Anti-money laundering (AML) regulations are firmly in the spotlight with regulators cracking down on firms and partners failing compliance measures. Remaining compliant is vital for all businesses in the legal sector as the law enforcers continue to ensure those rules and regulations are adhered to. However, another case of AML failings has come to light with the news of a £15,000 fine handed to a partner at a firm in London.

Kalwant Chauhan, a partner at the esteemed firm Bowling & Co has been fined for failing to complete AML due diligence during property transactions. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) cited Chauhan’s role in five property transactions, from April 2017 to May 2019, where the lack of CDD rendered the nature of his clients’ involvement uncertain.

The AML Failings Which Led to the Sanctions

Chauhan broke a number of AML regulations as he overlooked the necessity of thorough checks on third-party funds and their origins, neglected the importance of ongoing AML risk assessments, and failed to maintain adequate transaction documentation.

The transactions that took place showcased suspicious markers that went under the radar, including payments originating from high-risk jurisdictions, back-to-back property dealings with rapid asset value shifts, and the use of unconventional financial channel.

The SRA’s decisive action against Chauhan emphasises their intent on ensuring AML guidelines are met and breaking those regulations will lead to severe consequences. The implications of this case serve as a mandate for legal professionals to re-evaluate and enhance their AML protocols and processes.

Staying AML Compliant is a Challenge but Innovative is Sparking Change

Chauhan’s fine serves as a sobering reminder of the obligations that legal professionals bear in the fight against financial crime. It is essential any firm within the legal sector is complying with the rules and regulations set in place. This proves to be a challenge for many law firms but with technological advancements being made, the processes behind staying compliant are becoming more streamlined and effective.

AML regulations are a major concern but effective, innovative tech products like Verify 365 are changing the way firms are running. Verify 365’s client onboarding platform allows law firms to streamline processes, complete compliant checks and adhere to regulations. Our Biometric Dynamic ID Verification Software allows you to complete identity checks and confirm information of your clients within minutes.

In addition to this, the Verify 365 platform allows you to complete thorough company and source of funds checks, complete e-payments and sign documents virtually with e-signatures. The innovative tech is helping firms remain compliant but also helping them work more effectively and offer a better service for their clients.

The innovation of technology with the legal sector is a major boost for law firms attempting to stay compliant and adhere to regulations. AML concerns will remain and that is why it’s essential lawyers stay on top and ensure their firm is running effectively and efficiently to combat these issues.