Law Soc blasts Money Laundering Directive

Law Society president Fiona Woolf has said slammed the draft regulations on the Third Money Laundering Directive as unworkable.

Woolf has written to Ed Balls, the lead minister for financial crime, to request an urgent meeting.

In a statement, Woolf said: “The Law Society will continue to press government to look again at these regulations. As currently drafted they will heap unnecessary regulatory burdens on solicitors and their corporate clients, significantly damaging competitiveness, particularly for city firms.

“In the interests of clarity, workability and the competitiveness of UK PLC, the City of London and the legal profession the Government must listen to practitioners and rewrite these regulations.”

The Third European Money Laundering Directive was adopted by the European Commission late last year, and must be implemented into UK law by December 2007. It puts more onus on professionals such as lawyers to report suspected money laundering.