The Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Financing of Terrorism Webinar for Legal Professionals led by Michael Lintern-Smith
Mr. Michael Lintern-Smith, Chairman of the Law Society’s AML Committee led the Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Financing of Terrorism Webinar for Legal Professionals (“AML Seminar”) jointly organised by the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Security Bureau on 21 November 2022. The AML Seminar included speakers from the Narcotics Division of the Security Bureau, Department of Justice, Financial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau and the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau.
Topics discussed included the:
• recent amendments of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance, Cap 615 (“AML Ordinance”)
• key takeaways from the Hong Kong's Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment Report 2022
• regulatory focus and risks associated with Proliferation Financing
• Hong Kong Association of Banks (“HKAB”) launch of the alternative payment arrangement for property transactions and its impact on the AML risk regarding conveyancing cases
• impact of the changing AML landscape on the legal profession
• Law Society’s initiatives towards an enhanced supervision of law firms’ compliance with their AML requirements
• AML Ordinance – customer due diligence and record keeping requirements for legal professionals
• money laundering offence and legal professional privilege – statutory requirements and case law
• Suspicious Transactions Reporting – typologies and statistics
Mr. Alan Linning, Vice-chairman of the AML Committee (pictured on the right) discussed amendments to the AML Ordinance impacting solicitors and AML requirements applicable to legal professionals, while Mr. Lintern-Smith focused on the supervisory requirements expected of the Law Society, the background to key changes and the actions taken by the Law Society to implement robust supervision of law firms’ compliance with their AML obligations. These include the appointment of the AML Executive, launch of the AML Review (first sectoral money laundering and terrorist financing Risk Assessment of legal profession), development of the AML toolkit, and launch of a comprehensive AML webpage which will serve as a resource hub for solicitors’ regarding AML. The AML Seminar was attended by over 400 participants.