Lawyers who are reporting entities under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 need to start considering how they will collect information for their required annual reports, the New Zealand Law Society says.
The AML/CFT regime comes into force for lawyers on 1 July 2018.
One of the compliance obligations is the requirement to file an annual report with the Department of Internal Affairs (the supervisor of the legal profession).
The first report must be filed by 31 August 2019. The report requires data which many lawyers may not routinely collect about clients and their practices. The information will need to be collected from 1 July 2018.
The Law Society says lawyers who are reporting entities (those who undertake captured activities) will be required to provide estimates of the number of specified legal arrangements such as companies and trusts they have formed, the total value of transactions (which excludes a lawyer’s fees) and how many customers they have conducted customer due diligence on during the previous year.
One useful start could be for lawyers and law firms to talk to their legal software provider or colleagues about ways to capture the required data.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Terrorism (Requirements and Compliance) Amendment Regulations 2017 contain the annual reporting requirements.