The The Danish Bar and Law Society's new AML guidelines

The Danish Bar and Law Society has released a revised guide for compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act, and we're giving you an overview here.

Practical examples are on the agenda, in the The Danish Bar and Law Society's revised money laundering guidelines, for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing - and there is a good reason for that. Lawyers are not like others subject to the Money Laundering Act. It is not a consistent practice that all cases must go through the anti-money laundering machine, and theThe Danish Bar and Law Society wants, according to chairman Martin Lavesen, to specify the rules that lawyers must comply with:

"Money laundering is deeply harmful to society, and lawyers must, of course, contribute to fighting this type of crime if they come across it. Our experience is that lawyers are already good at complying with the rules and preventing money laundering. With the new guidance, the Bar Council will advise lawyers even better concerning how they concretely live up to their obligations in the Money Laundering Act," says Martin Lavesen, chairman of the The Danish Bar and Law Society, to AdvokatSamfundet.

Some believe the current compliance rules are sufficient, while others argue they need to be strengthened. In this article, we will examine both sides of the argument and try to conclude the best way forward for law firms.

The revised guidance replaces the The Danish Bar and Law Society's money laundering guide from 2017. It provides specific examples and descriptions of the duties of lawyers, a general plan for law firms, and advice for the individual lawyer involved in a particular case covered by the Money Laundering Act. At the same time, the new guidance also provides a clear view of the cases that are exempted from the legislation.

Martin Lavesen hopes that the new guidance will be a good tool so that lawyers can more easily comply with their money laundering obligations. The new direction contains, among other things, sections such as:

  • Clarification of when the Money Laundering Act covers lawyers with some concrete examples of case types where the lawyer's assistance falls within the Money Laundering Act.

  • Implementation of internal control and screening of employees.

  • Concrete examples of who is to be considered the actual owner.

  • Change who will be regarded as the owner of bankruptcy estates and deceased estates.

  • Lawyers' obligation to notify and the exceptions to this.

Source: The Danish Bar and Law Society

Law firms can be held liable for aiding and abetting money laundering if they knowingly facilitate transactions that later become part of a money laundering scheme. In addition to reputational damage, negligence can result in financial penalties and prison terms for individuals in the company. Read more about AML for lawyers here: Anti-Money Laundering Compliance in law firms.

For several years, Visma Creditro has helped both large and small law firms comply with the Money Laundering Act with products such as Creditro Comply, which, following current legislation, automates the process and removes the document-heavy process from lawyers. It allows them to spend time advising clients and just 5 minutes on the KYC process. Book a demo today.

Read the complete guidance (currently only available in Danish) from the Bar Council here 👉  Guidance.

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