The Anti-Money Laundering & Countering Financing of Terrorism Act
The Anti-Money Laundering & Countering Financing of Terrorism Act requires us to obtain more information from all of our clients. Law firms (and other professionals) are all subject to this legislation, as we can be unwittingly used as a way to launder funds etc.
To comply with this Act, we must assess the risk we may face from the actions of criminals laundering funds or financing terrorism and to identify potentially suspicious activity. As a legal practice we must obtain and verify information from new and existing clients. This is called Client Due Diligence or CDD. This spans everything from your identity to confirming your source of funds and other requirements as necessary.
Basically, we need to verify client information before we can start acting for you. The initial information & verification includes; your full name, date of birth and address. To confirm these details, we now require documents such as your current Passport, NZ Drivers Licence, Birth Certificate and documents that show your current address (eg: a current utility bill).
If you are requiring work under an entity (such as a Partnership, Company or Trust etc), we will require more information, including the people associated with the entity, such as Directors, Shareholders, Trustees etc.
We may not be able to act for you or your entity, if we are not able to obtain this information from you.
If you are not the client, we will also need to understand your relationship to the client and will also require the same CDD, before any legal work can begin.
We are obliged under this Act to report anything suspicious or anyone stating their
criminal intentions. It is not protected under client/solicitor privilege.