Q&As

Is there a specific form to apply for someone to become the firm's nominated officer?

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Published on LexisPSL on 13/04/2021

The following Practice Compliance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is there a specific form to apply for someone to become the firm's nominated officer?
  • Money Laundering Regulations 2017
  • Compulsory appointment of nominated officer
  • Voluntary appointment of nominated officer
  • Special position of sole practitioners
  • Financial Conduct Authority authorisation
  • Legal Sector Affinity Group AML Guidance
  • Registration of nominated officer

Is there a specific form to apply for someone to become the firm's nominated officer?

This Q&A reflects draft Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) AML guidance, published on 20 January 2021. It awaits HM Treasury approval. Note that any content may be amended before the final version is published with the Treasury’s approval.

All law firms have a professional obligation to comply with applicable anti-money laundering (AML) legislation, ie the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002), the Terrorism Act 2000 (TA 2000) and, if applicable, the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017), SI 2017/692, as amended.

A nominated officer is a person who is nominated to receive suspicious activity reports (SARs) under TA 2000 or POCA 2002.

Money Laundering Regulations 2017

The MLR 2017 require you to appoint a nominated officer. Whether the MLR 2017 apply to your firm depends on:

  1. the type of services you provide, and

  2. your business model

Not all firms have to appoint nominated officer.

Compulsory appointment of nominated officer

You must appoint a nominated officer if the MLR 2017 apply to your business, ie you are:

  1. a relevant person

  2. acting in the course of business in the UK

  3. not subject to one of the very narrowly drawn exclusions in regulation 15 (the main potential exclusion for law firms is 'financial activity on an occasional or very

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