On 1 July 2018, lawyers and conveyancers became reporting entities under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act 2009. The purpose of this change reflects New Zealand’s commitment to the international initiative to counter the impact that criminal activity has on people and economies within the global community.
These changes mean that Davidson Legal and all other law firms in New Zealand must do a number of things to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and to help Police bring the criminals who do it to justice.
People who deal with banks will already be familiar with the increased requirements that have been in place for some time.
As lawyers, we must assess the risk we may face from the actions of money launderers and people who finance terrorism and to identify potentially suspicious activity, and in order to make that assessment we must conduct “customer due diligence” (‘CDD’) prospective and existing clients about a range of things.
CDD includes asking for specific identification and proof of address for clients, and in certain circumstances we may need to ask about the nature and purpose of the proposed work you are asking us to do for you, obtain information confirming the source of funds for a transaction and verification of that source of funds, verify the source of funds and sometimes report suspicious transactions. More information is available in our Source of Funds or Wealth guide.
If we are not able to obtain the required information from you, it is likely we will not be able to act for you.
Before we start working with you, you will need to bring a form of proof of address your ID with you when you come to a meeting at our office for us to verify and photocopy or provide us a certified copy of the original document. More information is available in our Acceptable Identification Documents and Proof of Address and Certification Requirements guide.
If you are seeing us about company or trust business, we will need information about the company or trust including the people associated with it (such as directors and shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries). More information is available in our Trusts, Companies and Other Organisations guide.
Please contact the lawyer who will be undertaking your work, if you have any queries or concerns.