Law Firms Scrutinised Over Money Laundering

Specialist investigators are being sent to law firms of all sizes across the country in response to mounting concerns they are failing to fulfill obligations to report suspicious transactions.

The National Crime Agency and other enforcement agencies have reported a sharp fall in the number of warnings received from lawyers in recent years, despite a rise in reported suspicious transactions. Speaking to the FT, Paul Philip, the chief executive of the SRA, said if firms are found to have been “complicit” in money laundering, investigators have pledged to take tough action, including fines, shutting down firms and striking off solicitors.

A European Union anti-fraud task force last year flagged up law firms as vulnerable conduits for the proceeds of crime.