Anti-Money Laundering Statement
Law firms in Hong Kong are subject to AML laws in Hong Kong under the following ordinances:
The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (“AMLO”)
The Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance
The Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance
The United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance
In addition, the Law Society of Hong Kong, as the designated regulator of legal professionals in Hong Kong under the AMLO, has issued AML regulatory requirements under its AML Guideline.
What do AML laws and regulations mean for clients of law firms in Hong Kong?
For certain types of legal instructions, law firms (as legal professionals defined under the AMLO) are obliged to obtain specified information about clients, persons and parties identified as being involved or connected to legal instructions and/or the underlying transactions.
To comply with the legal and regulatory AML obligations, it will be necessary for legal professionals to request certain personal information from their clients including, but not limited to, information regarding their financial details, their motives for giving the legal instructions and/or related underlying transactions and their relationships with other parties identified in the legal instructions and/or the related underlying transactions.
We kindly ask clients for their understanding and co-operation when we make requests for such information in order that we can satisfy our legal and regulatory AML obligations promptly and efficiently.
What do AML laws and regulations mean for law firms in Hong Kong?
Law firms are required to comply with the legal and regulatory AML requirements imposed in respect of certain legal instructions that involve specified activities.
Failure to comply with the legal and regulatory AML requirements may expose law firms and their staff to the risk of legal and/or regulatory consequences that include financial penalties, suspension or termination of the right to provide legal services and even imprisonment.