Essex based TTS Legal have become the latest law firm to receive a fine from The Solicitors Regulation Authority for anti-money laundering failings.

The firm have been handed a fine totalling £23,216, accompanied by extra costs amounting to £1,350. TTS Legal’s AML failures occurred between 2018 and 2020 relating to three conveyancing transactions where they breached the regulations in place and failed to complete the necessary due diligence.

The Story Behind the TSS Legal’s AML Failings

In the first two instances, the firm was retained by Client A, and notably, by Client B in the third. A fatal error escalates as Client B, holding the mantle of financial advisor to Client A, operated falsely. Consequently, the due diligence and identity checks were not completed sufficiently.

In addition to this, the firm categorically failed to analyse all financial documents. The breaches were as glaring as they were routine, with discrepancies in financial explanations slipping under the firm’s radar. In one instance, a non-existent deposit of £185,000 from an invisible solicitor disappeared straight away when closely examined by the authorities.

The third transaction was a release of £46,000 to the seller’s solicitor at the behest of Client B, sans the trappings of rightful authority. The transaction, ensnared in the unraveling of a mortgage deal, underpins the inadvisable prudence on TTS Legal’s part.

Important to Remain Compliant Within the Regulations

TTS Legal quickly aligned itself with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, adamant in its assertions of compliance. The firm’s collaboration in the ongoing investigation played an important role in the overall outcome. The SRA’s decision to impose a fine was a careful judgment, balancing the risks of potential harm against the firm’s efforts to improve.

There are solutions available to law firms to tackle these challenges head on including innovative tech products like Verify 365, which is already having a positive impact on law firms as they are completing thorough, compliant checks and working within the necessary guidelines and regulations.

Verify 365 is the perfect compliance platform that has everything a law firm needs. A smooth client onboarding platform, Verify 365 is the ideal AML solution that allows you to complete thorough company and source of funds checks. Complete company checks using live data to optimise your KYB processes. Our KYB checks include thorough sanctions screening giving you a complete picture of the company’s risk and compliance status.

In addition to this, our Biometric Dynamic Identification Software allows you complete identity checks within minutes using our government grade technology, facial recognition and enhanced cryptography. These fast, compliant checks ensure you are getting all the necessary information required to begin working with the client.

Verify 365 also allows you to complete address verification checks, complete property searches, send over digital documents and invoices using e-signature and e-payment. The platform is a game changer for law firms and crucially within the strict guidelines and regulations ensuring you are compliant.

TTS Legal’s failings are a stark remainder to all workers within the legal sector about the importance of completing thorough due diligence on clients. Law firms are all too aware the challenges both compliance and AML throw at them on a day-to-day basis so its imperative to stay on top and not let complacency set in.