The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Law firms are subject to general professional and regulatory obligations in relation to record keeping simply by virtue of being both a business in the UK and regulated by the SRA. Firms are also under additional and separate record keeping obligations under the anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regime. This Practice Note explains the regulatory requirements relating to AML and CTF record keeping as set out in the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017), SI 2017/692, as amended from 20 January 2020 by the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/1511. Separate subtopic: Information management and security discusses more general record keeping obligations.
If you are subject to the MLR 2017, you must establish and maintain appropriate and risk-sensitive policies and procedures relating to record keeping (see Practice Note: Money Laundering Regulations 2017—scope and application—law firms for guidance on whether you are subject to the MLR 2017).
Record keeping is an essential component of the AML and CTF regime because it:
evidences your compliance with regulatory obligations, and
assists law enforcement agencies in conducting financial investigations
Record keeping requirements are not subject to the risk-based approach and therefore there is no room for subjective assessment of the extent to which you should
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