Money Laundering

"They are the country's premier niche white-collar firm. They are very savvy and understand how the corporate world works - a very good outfit."

Chambers and Partners, 2017

The UK’s anti-money laundering regime is amongst the most stringent in the world. Tackling the laundering of criminal proceeds has been a key priority for successive governments over many years and every indication suggests that it will continue to be so.

The UK’s anti-money laundering legislation is extensive and complex and reaches into many areas of business and commercial life. It is critical that businesses and individuals ensure that they are aware of the legislation and keep up to date with developments.

A new anti- money laundering regime applies from 26 June 2017 under the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 introduce these provisions into national law and entered into force on the same day.  The UK Government seeks to use these provisions to make the UK financial system an increasingly hostile environment for illicit finances. Read more here.

Kingsley Napley represents both individuals and organisations in a wide range of money laundering related matters.  Our experience means that we can quickly analyse relevant transactions and advise on the appropriate course of action. Our clients include professional services firms, money laundering officers, and individuals and organisations caught up in money laundering investigations.

Anti-money laundering legislation is an integral part of modern life in business.  Getting it wrong can involve criminal sanctions as well as reputational damage. Penalties are severe for money laundering and it is important to have the right advice from a firm that has a track record of practical experience in this field.  The timing of decisions is crucial and can be the difference between being a witness or a victim in a matter or becoming suspected or prosecuted for money laundering offences.

As well as the criminal authorities, regulators, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), also investigate anti-money laundering procedures and whether such procedures are adhered to.  The FCA Business Plan 2017-18 states that tackling financial crime and money laundering will be a priority for it during this period.

The stigma of being part of an investigation can adversely affect your reputation or that of the business.  Increasingly, there is the potential for media interest in cases.  In addition to dealing with the legal aspects of the case, we can also help you manage your reputation in the media.

You might think that money laundering offences can only be committed by those knowingly engaged in acquisitive crime, such as fraud.  In fact, both individuals and businesses can find themselves unwittingly involved in the acquisition or transfer of money or assets which either are or could be the proceeds of crime. 

The NCA has confirmed that it is increasingly focusing its efforts on targeting “high end” money laundering which is particularly relevant in major frauds and overseas corruption work, where the raw material of the crime is electronic and cash is only used further down the laundering process.  In order to disguise the source of funds criminals need professionals and businesses to make the necessary arrangements. Lawyers, trust and company formation agents, investment bankers and accountants are among those at greatest risk of becoming involved, either wittingly or unwittingly in high end money laundering.

Restraint and Confiscation

In almost any case where it can be said that a financial benefit derived from a criminal act it is open to the authorities to invoke the confiscation regime.

Restraint and confiscation, the process by which a person’s assets can be first frozen and then taken, can have a cataclysmic effect on a person’s life and business.  Understanding at an early stage the options and best course of action is essential.

Confiscation is a complex area of law in which the wrong advice can result in the requirement to pay a greater amount, or even an extended period of imprisonment in default of payment of up to 10 years. The Anti-Money Laundering regime applies to a number of different business sectors.  As well as advising suspects and defendants throughout the regulatory and criminal process, we regularly provide money laundering training and conduct anti-money laundering audits for individuals and corporate entities and advise on prevention measures and compliance requirements.  

"They are a really outstanding firm - their POCA and asset forfeiture work is absolutely first-class."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

"I like using Kingsley Napley because of their depth of understanding of criminal and regulatory matters, and their general strength in depth. They are an excellent firm to have working alongside you."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

"Clear and direct in their advice, with very good client skills. They reassure their clients and are responsive."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

"Outstanding practice which frequently defends corporate entities and high-profile individuals in restraint and money laundering matters."

Chambers UK 2017

"They are an excellent firm with a strength in the white-collar and business crime market."

Chambers UK 2017

“When it comes to money laundering matters, “there is no one better” than Jonathan Grimes, who “never fails to deliver astute and considered counsel” to clients”

Who's Who Business Crime Defence, 2016 

 "...'It's a first-class service'..." 

Chambers UK 2014, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

...highlighted as a leading force in esoteric and high-stakes work, with an impressive offering of high-quality practitioners dedicated to the practice area...

Chambers UK 2012, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

...a ‘first-rate team'...

Legal 500 UK 2012

Money Laundering Insights

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Tough action against solicitor who laundered proceeds of bogus investment scheme

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Anti-Money Laundering: European Commission seeks further change

2016-17: Tackling financial crime and ensuring AML compliance a UK and FCA top priority

Launch of Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation: understanding, implementing and enforcing sanctions

National Crime Agency reports on UK response to money laundering

Fifth Money Laundering Directive on the horizon?

Reducing sentences for guilty pleas – a new proposed Guideline

Politically Exposed Persons - House of Commons debates money laundering rules

Anti-money laundering - speeding up the pace of change

Contracts for difference: FCA issues open letter re compliance with financial crime prevention procedures

Corporate corruption: Smith & Ouzman ordered to pay £2.2m

Anti-Money Laundering: under review

Financial services: Penalties for manipulation in five additional benchmarks – Consultation announced

Law firms to face increasing scrutiny from the SRA for money laundering compliance

What type of case will result in the first Deferred Prosecution Agreement?

Corporate Criminal Liability - Elephant in the room spotted

First FCA fine imposed as they continue FSAs work in sanctioning banks for money laundering failings

UK Financial regulatory landscape: A quick guide to the new Financial Conduct Authority, Prudential Regulation Authority & Financial Policy Committee

French advocates, like any other European lawyers, must actively detect and report money laundering activities

OFT imposes fine and revokes payday lender’s licence over breach of money laundering regulations

FSA’s AML thematic review gets a new scalp - Turkish Bank (UK) Ltd fined £294,000 for money laundering failings

FATF report on specific risk factors in laundering the proceeds of corruption: a risk-based approach

Guidance on anti-bribery due diligence in mergers, acquisitions and investments – companies and investors ignore at your peril

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