Legal professionals are exposed to unique risks concerning money laundering and terrorist financing
The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has launched a new online learning program to respond to money laundering and terrorist financing risks in the legal profession.
The program, titled “Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Canadian Legal Profession,” is an essential addition to the library of written resources the Federation has developed. The program aims to assist the legal profession in understanding and effectively responding to money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
The Federation wrote on its website that the practice of law exposes legal professionals to unique risks concerning money laundering and terrorist financing. Although some practice areas present higher risks, any legal professional engaged in financial transactions may be targeted by criminals seeking to launder money or finance terrorist activities.
The FLSC stressed that to combat these threats, legal professionals must understand the risks that may arise in their legal practice and be aware of their legal and regulatory obligations. It cautioned that legal professionals may find themselves unwittingly facilitating or participating in criminal activity if they do not have any risk-based awareness and knowledge of the rules.
The program offers interactive tools like scenarios, videos, and quizzes to guide legal professionals on how to mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing risks and comply with their legal and regulatory obligations. The interactive course is structured into five modules:
- Understanding the problem of money laundering and terrorist financing
- Assessing and managing money laundering risks
- Key due diligence requirements
- Proper use of trust accounts
- Cash transactions
The online interactive program is free and eligible for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Ethics, Professionalism, and Practice Management (EPM) hours. The Federation urged legal professionals to check with their law society for further information on its CPD requirements and credits. The program has been accredited by the Law Society of Saskatchewan for 4.0 CPD hours, all of which qualify as ethics hours. The Law Society of Ontario has accredited the program for 3 hours and 45 minutes of Professionalism content. The Law Society of British Columbia has accredited this program for 3 CPD credits.
The program and other Anti-Money Laundering resources are available on the Federation of Law Societies website.