Since the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), published its UK anti-money laundering report in December 2018, AML compliance is firmly back on the agenda across the country for many law firms.
The FATF is an inter-governmental body responsible for setting Anti-Money Laundering standards for its 38 member states. Last year the body carried out a 14-month assessement of the UK’s AML supervisory measures, which included looking at the procedures of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Law Society, which led to its 25-page report, entitled ‘Anti Money Laundering and counter terrorist financing Measures – United Kingdom’.
While the FATF findings show that “The UK routinely and aggressively identifies, pursues and prioritises money laundering investigations and prosecutions.” and that “The UK is a global leader in promoting corporate transparency and has a good understanding of the money laundering counter terrorist financing risks posed by legal persons and arrangements.” … it also highlights that the UK needs to address significant weaknesses and lays out seven AML related action points, for the legal and accountancy sectors, which puts AML under the spotlight in 2019.
Criminals today are constantly looking for the route of least resistance, and where once-upon-a-time ‘Launderers’ went only for the larger city firms, where the money was, they are now seeing smaller practices as an option, presuming AML policies and processes are perhaps not as robust as they should be.
This means no firm is off the hook when it comes to needing first-class AML compliance procedures. Any good legal practice management software worth its salt should provide powerful yet flexible functionality that will allow a firm, of any size, to put in place robust AML measures that can be mirrored precisely within its case management software. Whilst powerful software of this nature was once very expensive, which made it only available to the larger, more affluent firms, now firms of all sizes can implement software that will drive their AML processes if it chooses the right technology partner.
LAWFUSION, from Select Legal Systems Limited, offers a range of editions for firms of different sizes. The software is used by law firms with anything from 1 user up to 250 users and its anti-money laundering functionality allows firms to make sure they are following best practice to satisfy all necessary due diligence. The software is designed to manage risk by guiding users through via the system’s file set-up wizards and via links from the case management workflows. As standard, within the LAWFUSION software law firms get a whole raft of AML functionality. For example:
- The software allows firms to enter the checks done and also to scan in documents, papers, etc.
- The AML module can be set to automatically produce a “suspicion letter” for the firm’s Anti-Money Laundering Officer subject to a list of specified criteria.
- The software can produce correspondence regarding any AML suspicions the firm may have for sending onto The National Crime Agency (NCA).
- LAWFUSION can be set up to flag where anti-money laundering checks have not been completed for the client, when accepting funds.
- LAWFUSION will warn when funds over a certain value are being accepted.
- The software reminds firms ahead of time when anti-money laundering checks are due to become out of date.
- It integrates to external identity checking services such as Call ML and Experian.
For a demonstration of LAWFUSION’s anti-money laundering functionality, or any other aspect of the system, please call Select Legal Systems Limited on 01482 567601 between 9am and 5.30pm. After hours our online ‘book a demo’ form is available here.