Our Anti-Money Laundering Risk Manager, Bob Clark provides an update on the key insights and analysis from the data you provided in this year's Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Certificate.

Despite the pandemic, the Law Society of Scotland maintains a robust approach to risk-based AML supervision and is thankful to all participating firms who completed an AML Certificate return.

Approaching its fifth year since inception, the AML Certificate is a questionnaire that provides an indication of inherent AML risk to each in scope firm.

We ask that all firms responsible for carrying out work within scope of the Money Laundering Regulations, return an AML Certificate and use the information we gather to help shape analysis, gain insights and spot trends related to money laundering in the legal sector.

Utilising this information along with information and knowledge from various other sources we are able to satisfy our supervisory obligation when it comes to the risk assessment of our members.

The 2020 iteration of the AML Certificate remained largely unchanged from the previous year, set out in a data analysis method the certificate ensures the information gathered is reliable and as in depth as possible. This method means that we as a regulator, can review the collected data and provide accurate risk assessments of individual firms along with reviewing the data more broadly to identify trends or anomalies.

The infographic below can be used to showcase some of the key high level information gathered from your AML Certificates. Please do look at the ‘Points to consider’ questions along with the additional information on each section and give thought to whether or not your firm is confident in its approach to AML.

Anti-Money Laundering continues to be an ever growing requirement within the Scottish legal sector, the AML Certificate is one our most crucial tools in our approach to AML supervision and each individual firm has a responsibility to ensure we use that tool well.

Further reading and guidance relating to AML within the legal sector and compliance within your firm can be found on the AML pages of our website, please do familiarise yourself with this content and I hope you will also look out for further information relating to AML in The Journal and our fortnightly member email, LawScot News.

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Anti-money laundering

The fight against money laundering and counter terrorist financing - the role of the legal profession.