New legislation requires lawyers to obtain more information from clients before starting work
From 1 July 2018, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (the Act) will apply to Anderson Lloyd and all other New Zealand law firms.
The Act requires all law firms to mitigate the risk of being used to facilitate money laundering and terrorism financing and to identify potentially suspicious activities. In order to do this, Anderson Lloyd must collect and verify identity information about existing and prospective clients and, in some cases, the client’s source of wealth or funds.
Before providing services to you on a new matter, Anderson Lloyd will ask you to complete a short questionnaire to obtain the required information about your identity (and, where an entity is instructing us, the identity of individuals associated with that entity), and the nature and purpose of the proposed work you are asking us to do for you.
Wherever possible, we will seek to use an electronic identity verification tool, however, we may require you to provide further documents in order to manually verify your identity, such as a passport, driver licence or birth certificate, and a bank statement or utility bill to verify your address.
Please do not be concerned when we ask for more information or documents. We are legally required to obtain this information from all clients, even those who have been a client of the firm for many years.
If we are not able to collect and verify the required information, we will not be able to act for you.
Implementing these measures will help to enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to do business and will deter criminals from attempting to use our services to finance illegal activity.
Want to know more?