Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

COMPLIANCE OFFICERS, REMEMBER THAT CANADIAN LAWYERS ARE EXEMPT FROM REPORTING REQUIREMENTS UNDER MONEY LAUNDERING LAWS



If you are a compliance officer in the United States, and your international client or bank customer is dealing with you through a Canadian attorney, note well that lawyers in Canada are exempt from the reporting requirements inder Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist financing Act, as well as all regulations promulgated thereunder. You can thank the Supreme Court of Canada for that, as a 2015 decision of the Court held that requiring them to disclose information about their clients violated the attorney-client privilege, and that the legal profession was the sole regulatory body for lawyers.

If you were wondering just how efficiently the various law societies in the provinces are with regulation, an attorney in British Colombia, who laundered CAD$25m through his trust account, received only a 6 month suspension, and a twenty five thousand dollar fine, which represented his fee in the matter. Oh, and it took five years for that decision to be handed down. Do we trust Canadian attorneys that funds they send from their trust accounts are clean ?

Govern yourself accordingly, compliance officers.

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