Why do you need to bring ID to the solicitors?

Bringing ID to the solicitors

Taking ID to the solicitors provides a critical role in anti-money laundering. Like estate agents and banks, legal firms have a responsibility to both protect themselves, their clients and the legal system. Solicitors often deal with large sums of money, either through a house sale or a large estate going through probate. It is a solicitor’s duty to ensure that the source, and recipient of the money are legal.

This is why ID is important:

Client screening

ID allows us to ensure that money comes from legitimate sources. We screen clients against sanctions lists and politically-exposed persons lists, allowing us to avoid high-risk clients, or take extra measures if the risk is elevated.

Legal and ethical compliance

Solicitors are required to adhere to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Having correct documentation from clients ensures they are complying to these rules. Maintaining thorough records support ethical standards by ensuring that all transactions are legitimate.

Monitoring and reporting suspicious activities

Proper documentation enables solicitors to identify and report suspicious transactions and behaviours. By maintaining detailed records, and by documenting transactions, solicitors can track the flow of funds, and detect patterns or anomalies that may suggest money laundering.

Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements

ID helps solicitors fulfill ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) obligations by verifying the identity of clients. This includes collecting and maintaining records such as passports, driving licences, utility bills and other identification documents to confirm the client’s identity and address. Through proper documentation, thorough due diligence can be undertaken on clients, understanding their businesses activities, sources of funds and the nature of transactions.

Record keeping and audit trails

Having detailed documentation creates a clear audit trail, making it easier to trace the origin and movements of funds. This is crucial for internal audits and regulatory inspections. In case of a legal investigation, having comprehensive records demonstrates we have complied fully with legal obligations. Continuous documentation of client interactions allows for ongoing monitoring, ensuring any changes in the clients behaviour or financial activities are identified.

For further information, please contact Felicity Green on 01756 692885 or email felicity.green@awbclaw.co.uk

Further reading:

Gov.UK: Anti money laundering

Do you know where all your pensions are?

3 Legal things that every new company should do