The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 was enacted in 2009.  It put in place requirements and mechanisms to try to identify and prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism in New Zealand.

Until now, lawyers had been exempt from meeting the requirements of the legislation.  However, from 1 July 2018, we as lawyers (along with real estate agents, accountants and some other groups) will be required to meet the requirements of the Act and associated regulations.

From the above date, when we open a new matter for a client, we will need to obtain certain ID before we can do any work for that client.  For existing clients with open files and/or funds being held in our trust account, we will need to obtain such ID from them in order to continue to act and hold funds in our trust account.  In certain circumstances, we will also be required to enquire into the source of funds coming into our trust account.

We will shortly be contacting existing clients with open files and/or funds in our Trust Account, for whom we don’t currently hold ID that fully complies with the new requirements.