AML - what work falls within scope of the AML Regs according to the SRA?

We thought it worth putting up an answer to this questions as it has been asked may times. Compliance with AML is a particularly hot topic and the SRA is increasing inspection, audit and enforcement.

The SRA does not give an absolutely categorical list, but does supply helpful guidance (we understand a lot more helpful than the FCA) and attempt to tell firms it regulates what 'good' looks like.

(We provide a lot of support to businesses in the Legal Sector with AML compliance. Please see more info below.)

Here is a link to the most useful page we have found on the SRA website in answer to this question.

Below we have put part of that page where they have given guidance on what areas of legal work fall in scope of the AML regime:

"Legal areas of work - in and out of scope

The areas of work in the regulations are standalone definitions and do not align with other definitions of legal services. They do not for example refer to reserved activities under the Legal Services Act 2007.

You will need to decide for yourself whether a matter is in scope of the regulations or not.

You should be aware that there is no de minimis for small transactions or limited amounts of work. If something you do is in scope, the regulations apply in full.

It is also important to note that there is no definitive list of activities that are not in scope. While a type of legal work (eg litigation) might be considered out of scope, a particular matter could be drawn into scope if for example you were to set up a trust for the client as part of the matter.

Below are the areas of legal work that will generally be in scope of the regulations. Please note this list is not exhaustive and only reflects the likelihood that work of these types will be in scope. You will need to take a case-by-case approach when deciding whether a matter is in scope. If you are unclear, you should seek independent legal advice.

  • Conveyancing
  • Commercial and corporate work
  • Transactional work – including commodities, and business entities
  • Trust and company work
  • Tax work (other than litigation involving Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs or the simple paying of Stamp Duty and Land Tax)
  • Probate matters where you are managing the assets of the estate under instruction from the executors or as the executor or creating a trust as a part of the surrounding arrangements"

AML Support from us (HCL)

We provide a lot of AML support to businesses in the Legal Sector. Please see below for a summary and links for further information.

  • SRA Audit or Inspection on AML - we help firms with this. Charged at £200/r. It is best to contact us as soon as you receive notification from the SRA. They will ask you to answer some preliminary questions and submit your policies for review. How you answer them can help or hinder how the audit or inspection goes.

(Sanctions Regime compliance - see separate services for this on our website.)

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