Financial crime is a real and growing risk for law firms, a risk that is being catalysed by the COVID-19 crisis. As lockdown makes cash based money laundering more difficult, and many smaller practices struggle to stay afloat, the legal sector is becoming an attractive alternative channel for the laundering of illicit funds. Simultaneously, squeezed budgets and reduced staff numbers are impeding legal practices’ ability to deploy effective controls.
It’s the ingredients for a perfect storm – spikes in criminal activity coupled with weakened AML defences. So how can the legal sector ensure it defends itself from the threat of money laundering, whilst continuing to operate effectively through these unprecedented times?
Understanding the risks and adopting a Risk-Based Approach is key. To help you achieve this, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions has created a guide to Client Due Diligence, offering practical guidance to help you:
- Ask the right questions of your firm to be confident that you are meeting compliance requirements
- Understand the new money laundering vulnerabilities COVID-19 exposes for the legal sector
- Recognise client behaviours that could indicate a money laundering risk
- Implement appropriate AML controls