The UK’s law firm regulator has publicly rebuked a top-rated law firm, Withers for its failure to provide appropriate Anti-Money Laundering training to its staff. The regulatory agreement published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) alleged non-compliance of Withers to the money laundering, terrorist financing and transfer of funds regulations 2017 for 28 months. The regulatory agreement stated a breach of statutory obligations which was once highlighted to the firm in 2018 but was still not remedied timely.
The SRA said the rebuke was imminent as it will serve as a deterrent to other firms. However, Withers responded by welcoming the SRA’s acknowledgement that its breach did not cause any lasting harm to consumers or third parties, and also that the firm has already taken steps to make relevant employees aware of the relevant Anti-Money Laundering legislation and training are now being delivered to all relevant employees.
Withers have agreed to pay the SRA’s investigation costs of £1,350 and promised to henceforth take its obligations concerning Anti-Money Laundering duties very seriously.