Attwaters appoints new Anti-Money Laundering Officer
We are delighted to have appointed our Partner, Lesley-Ann Mayhew, as the firm’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Officer. The post combines the roles of Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) and Money Laundering Compliance Officer (MLCO) as set out in the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017.
As a firm in the regulated sector, Attwaters Jameson Hill is bound by strict AML legislation, with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) given new powers to fine rule-breakers up to £25,000 in June 2022. We take AML compliance extremely seriously, which is why we have selected Lesley-Ann, a trusted senior lawyer, for this post.
In addition to her duties as a Head of Department and solicitor in our Wills, Trusts & Probate team, Lesley-Ann will undertake a range of new responsibilities associated with the prevention of fraud and money-laundering within our business. This includes:
- Updating all internal AML procedures and implementing training across the firm
- Implementing a new, up-to-date online identity checking system to strengthen and simplify our ID verification process for our clients.
To prepare for this role, Lesley-Ann has undertaken extensive training from various programmes delivered by course providers including the Law Society and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). She has also studied extensively for the Law Society’s Advanced Anti-Money Laundering Accreditation and will sit the exam in due course.
Over the past year, she has developed and strengthened Attwaters Jameson Hill’s AML internal processes and systems and overhauled the way training is delivered to support staff, fee earners and partners.
“The legal sector is considered a high-risk sector for money laundering, so it is our responsibility to ensure we have robust process in place to ensure compliance with current legislation. I take my role and responsibilities as AML Officer extremely seriously, not only because it is my duty to comply with AML regulations, but because it is our duty as a firm to protect the clients who place their trust in us.”
Our Managing Partner, Sheri-Anne Mizon, commented:
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, criminals have taken advantage of the social and economic fallout to increase their activities and perpetrate new and ever more sophisticated money laundering schemes. We can’t sit on our laurels and hope for the best – it is our responsibility as trusted legal professionals to be proactive, vigilant and adaptive so we can continue to meet the challenges presented by money laundering and financial crime.”