Faculty reports on AML activities

02 Nov

Ruth Innes QC

THE Faculty of Advocates has presented its first annual report on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Supervisory activities. 

Its publication comes in the wake of new reporting requirements which came into effect for the first time this year. In devising its approach to AML supervision the Faculty carried out an AML risk assessment of its membership. As advocates are not permitted to hold client monies and as the majority of their instructions come from solicitors rather than clients, they are generally classified by Faculty as being low risk in terms of the AML regulations. 

In the report the Faculty’s Anti-Money Laundering Committee Chair, Ruth Innes QC, highlighted the collaborative work undertaken with the Bar Council of England & Wales and the Bar of Northern Ireland in producing specific AML Guidance for barristers and advocates.

“The nature of an advocate’s work and the manner in which we receive instructions mean that the AML challenges for members of a referral bar are different from other areas of the legal profession and we believe that this guidance, published in April 2021, will be a very useful source of additional support for our members,” she said.

 Advocates wanting to undertake work covered by the AML Regulations need to register with Faculty. None of the six registered members reported having raised a suspicious activity report in the period under review, which is in keeping with the inherently low AML risk in an advocate’s work.

 The Faculty’s AML risk assessment has been updated and a formal policy on the provision of information by registered members has been developed. “Faculty will continue to participate fully in government and professional initiatives to combat money laundering and terrorist financing,” said Ms Innes.