Anti-money laundering legislation impacts law firms

by | Jun 5, 2018 | Blog, General property Law

NZ passportHave your ID and proof of address ready for inspection please!

From 1st July you will need to jump through a few hoops when you instruct a lawyer.  Phase 2 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT) comes into play so we’re ready to comply.

If you’ve opened a new bank account recently, you will know the process required to prove who you are. Now the same process applies when you wish to instruct a lawyer.

Why we need to do this

It is important lawyers are part of AML/CFT.  The legal profession is seen as the gatekeeper, adding a veneer of respectability to a transaction. It is estimated that 30% of all laundered money worldwide is channelled through real estate transactions and no law firm wants to be a part of this.

What does it mean for you?

Lawyers must gather and verify a client’s identification before they can start working for them. If the client is a company, trust or body corporate then ID will be needed from more individuals. This could include all directors, shareholders, trustees, committee members etc.

Sometimes you need the job started urgently. Like when you want to bid at an auction this afternoon but need a lawyer to check the agreement first! So please ensure you present current ID and proof of address to your lawyer to avoid delays.


These rules do not apply to certain legal work. For example wills, powers of attorney, some lease work, and advice-type work is not captured.

More details

More information on the types of identification we require and the ways in which you can supply it, can be found in our Information required from new clients. Any member of our team can also guide you on this. Thank you for your understanding. We trust compliance with the anti-money laundering requirements will not decrease your enjoyment of our great service.

By Rachael Stevenson


By <a href="" target="_self">Rachael Stevenson</a>

By Rachael Stevenson