About the Group

About the Group

IBA Anti-Money Laundering Legislation Implementation Group


The Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Experts Working Group (AMLSEWG) is a specialised working group of the IBA’s Public and Professional Interest Division. The Working Group focuses upon the challenges for the legal profession presented by compliance with anti-money laundering legislation throughout the world. The aims of the group are to:

  • seek a dialogue with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the European Commission, local regulatory bodies, bar associations and others to share information and encourage greater co-operation and co-ordination and to ensure the special role that lawyers play in society is both fully recognised and appropriately addressed in any existing and proposed legislation;
  • monitor all legislative and regulatory anti-money laundering requirements affecting lawyers worldwide;
  • analyse the impact on law firms and private practitioners of the implementation of the FATF Recommendations and Standards, the EU Money Laundering Directives and other national and international legislative initiatives;
  • ensure appropriate awareness of legal professionals around the world of legislative developments, both internationally and nationally, that apply to them as lawyers and of the issues that may be encountered as a result of money laundering by their clients; and
  • act as an information resource through our website - www.anti-moneylaundering.org - for practitioners and academics to promote greater awareness of the implications of anti-money laundering regulations as they impact lawyers.

If you would like to become a member of the working group or contribute to its work please register your interest here.

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Stephen Revell, AMLLIG Co-ordinator
Gonzalo Guzmán, Head of Legal Projects, IBA, London, England
Agris Bitans, Attorney at Law, Eversheds Britans, Riga, Latvia
Willem Calkoen, LPD Councillor Emeritus, Nauta Dutilh, Netherlands
Louise Delahunty, Simmons & Simmons, London, England
Jan Eijsbouts, Past Co-Chair, Corporate Counsel Forum, Akzo Nobel NV, Netherlands
Jonathan Fisher QC, Barrister, 23 Essex Street, London, England
Alberto Gonzalez-Pita, Member of the Corporate Counsel Forum Advisory Board
Tatsu Katayama, Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Tokyo, Japan
Peter McNamee, CCBE Liaison to the AMLLIG, Brussels, Belgium
Christopher Murray, Kingsley Napley, London, England
Suzie Ogilvie, Head of Anti-Money Laundering, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, London, England
Monty Raphael, Senior Adviser to the AMLLIG, London, England
W Ross Ray QC, President, Law Council of Australia, Canberra, Australia
Nielson Sánchez Stewart, Esq., Member of the National Council of the Spanish Advocacy and President of the Commission on the Prevention of Anti-Money Laundering
François Serres, Francois Serres & Associates, Paris, France
Dr András Szecskay, Managing Partner, Szecskay Attorneys at Law, Budapest, Hungary
Max Vermeij, Sjocrona van Stigt, The Hague and Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Ellen Zeisler, Corker Binning Solicitors, London, England
Valentina Zoghbi, Practice Protection Manager, SJ Berwin LLP, London, England

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About the Anti-Money Laundering Website

As part of its work, the AMLLIG has developed a website to assist lawyers in complying with client identification/verification and suspicious transaction reporting requirements in light of the EU Money Laundering Directive in Europe, as well as other money laundering regulations.

The IBA Anti-Money Laundering Website is the first one-stop-shop for access to the most current versions of new anti-money laundering laws and regulations that have a significant impact on the legal profession. The website currently features coverage of lawyer’s responsibilities in connection with anti-money laundering legislation in over 100 jurisdictions. The current template for gathering the relevant country information can be consulted here.

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Implementation of the Third EU Money Laundering Directive

Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, formally adopted 20 September 2005, on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (the “Third EU Money Laundering Directive”), was published in the Official Journal L 309 of 25 November 2005. Member states had until 15 December 2007 to adopt and bring into force appropriate implementing measures. The Third EU Money Laundering Directive repealed and replaced the previous 1991 Directive (as amended in 2001). The aims of the Third EU Money Laundering Directive are to consolidate the First and Second Directives and to make appropriate amendments to take into account the revised Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 Recommendations. The FATF amended the 40 Recommendations in June 2004 and introduced a number of substantial changes at that time. The FATF 40+9 Recommendations make up the methodology followed in the mutual evaluation program to assess countries’ anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing (AML/CFT) systems.

To read about the status of individual EU member states’ transpositions of the Third EU Money Laundering Directive, including information on recent cases involving the Third EU Money Laundering Directive in Belgium and France, please refer to the EU chart and the individual European countries pages in our website.

According to an European Union press release of 5 June 2008 (Ref: IP/08/860), the European Commission (EC) was pursuing infringement actions against 15 member states for failing to adopt and implement the Third EU Money Laundering Directive into national law by the deadline of 15 December 2007. Formal requests will be sent to Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Slovakia. The infringing nations had two months to provide an acceptable response. In a press release of 16 October 2008 (Ref. IP/08/1522), the European Union informed that the European Commission decided to refer Belgium, Ireland, Spain and Sweden to the European Court of Justice over non-implementation of the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive

A copy of the Third EU Money Laundering Directive as published in the Official Journal is available here.

In May 2008, HM Treasury (UK) announced a list of countries from outside of the European Economic Area which it considers to have anti-money laundering laws equivalent to the Third EU Money Laundering Directive. UK solicitors should find the list useful in applying the simplified due diligence provisions provided for in the Third EU Money Laundering Directive. On 8 August 2008, the UK Joint Money Laundering Steering Group released revised guidance on equivalent countries that is more expansive than the May guidance. It was prepared in consultation with HM Treasury (UK) and can be accessed here.

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Click the following links to read details of some of the meetings that the AMLLIG has participated in

28/10/2011 – AMLLIWG of the IBA responds to FATF’s Consultation Paper of June 2011

25/03/2011 - Results of the Public Consultation on the Review of the FATF Recommendations and Standards

Anti-Money Laundering Legislation Implementation Group attends meeting with the DG Internal Markets and Services Division of the European Commission

IBA Debates Concerns about Anti-Money Laundering Legislation at FATF Summit

IBA voices concern at a European Commission Meeting over the difficulties on the application of Anti-Money Laundering Legislation to the legal profession

AMLLIG appointed to coordinate global legal community in drafting guidance

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FATF Risk Approach Guidance for Lawyers

FATF Risk Based Assessment Guidance (Pdf format)

New international guidance, intended to help legal professionals identify and mitigate money laundering risks, was agreed on Friday, 23 October 2008 at an international summit of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the inter-governmental body charged with combating money-laundering and terrorist financing. The guidance was developed through an active involvement and dialogue with the International Bar Association (IBA)’s Anti-Money Laundering Legislation Implementation Group (AMLLIG), in consultation with other lawyers including members of the American Bar Association and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe.

The new FATF guidance sets out a risk-based approach to assessing the likelihood of money laundering taking place in any case or with any client, and sets out recommended approaches to the implementation of effective monitoring processes and training programmes in law firms.

Although there is little or no evidence of lawyers being unwittingly involved in money laundering, FATF is keen to ensure lawyers remain vigilant in examining the real identity of their clients. The guidance provides the basis for lawyers to develop a common sense, proportionate approach to client due diligence.

Significant concerns remain in many jurisdictions about the further requirement for lawyers to report to the authorities ‘suspicious activity’. The IBA intends to continue its dialogue with FATF on this and other related matters.

The principal categories of risk assessment the guidance identifies are geography, the nature of a client and its business, and the nature of the service requested by the client. The guidance suggests some variables that may impact the risk such as the regularity or duration of the client relationship and the level of regulation to which a client is subject. They also offer a variety of suggestions to deal with higher risk situations.

The guidance discusses how a risk-based approach should be implemented within a legal practice setting out processes for conducting due diligence about clients and monitoring clients over time. Its recommendations for training suggest that it should be tailored to the appropriate levels of detail and frequency for the relevant legal professional’s role. The IBA is considering more detailed advice to its membership about the best approaches to training in this area.

The guidance also recommends the adoption of specific internal processes dealing with anti-money laundering as an integral part of a practice’s wider internal controls ensuring that they are part of the overall responsibility for good governance and that this aspect of management supervision is most directed at areas susceptible to higher risk.

Stephen Revell, Chair of the IBA AMLLIG and a partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer says, ‘This guidance will act as a valuable point of reference for setting standards around the world, helping to direct attention to the areas of greatest risk of money laundering in law firms. The importance the IBA places on lawyers knowing the rules and best practices in this arena is already reflected in the IBA’s anti-money laundering website. We have very much welcomed the active dialogue between FATF and the IBA and other representatives of the legal profession in producing this guidance.’

David W Rivkin, Chair IBA Legal Practice Division and a partner of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP says, ‘We encourage every jurisdiction, bar and law firm to assess the role of this guidance within their own regulatory or management framework in ensuring that the appropriate resources are directed towards the minimisation of the risks of money laundering, including terrorist financing, via the relationship of client and legal adviser.’

FATF, in support of its Anti-Money Laundering recommendations, publishes guidance for those impacted by the recommendations. That guidance includes guidance targeted at lawyers, notaries and other legal professionals. The guidance was first issued in 2008 and was produced by FATF in conjunction with the IBA and others. That guidance has recently been revamped by FATF with the help of an editorial group led by Stephen Revell on behalf of the IBA. That guidance is available here. This guidance provides some very useful support to those considering how they best comply with the anti-money laundering laws that apply to them as lawyers.

When the original guidance was published in 2008, the IBA (along with the ABA and the CCBE) produced its own guidance which filled in some of the gaps that the FATF guidance, for one reason or another, did not cover. This guidance is still extremely valid and is below.

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International Guidance

The AMLSEWG has been involved in producing the following guidance:

The updated 2019 guide from FATF to assist lawyers and law firms to implement a risk based approach to their initial and ongoing client due diligence measures.

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A Lawyer's Guide to Detecting and Preventing Money Laundering

A new guide aiming to provide lawyers across the world with practical guidance in detecting and preventing money laundering has been produced by the International Bar Association (IBA) in conjunction with the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE). Click here to download A Lawyer’s Guide to Detecting and Preventing Money Laundering