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

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.

This can have regulatory and criminal law consequences.

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 both criminal and regulatory.

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.

The stigma of being involved in an investigation can adversely affect your reputation or that of the business, not least because the potential for media interest in cases is increasing.  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. 

Ensuring that the UK financial system is an increasingly hostile environment for illicit finances, particularly in the light of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is a key government priority. As well as the criminal authorities, regulators, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Solicitors Regulatory Authority also investigate anti-money laundering procedures and whether such procedures are adhered to. 

With the advent of the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) regulators are ramping up their supervision and enforcement action to ensure professional body AML supervisors provide consistently high standards of AML supervision

The NCA has confirmed that it is increasingly focusing on  “high end” money laundering which arises from major frauds and international corruption, where the raw product of the offending is electronic and cash is only used further along 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.

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. 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. 

What Clients and directories have said

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

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

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

...A ‘first-rate team'."

Legal 500 UK


Straddles the overlap between contentious regulatory work and financial crime."

Chambers UK 2020 – A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession

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

Chambers and Partners UK, 2019

Fantastic insight into the procedural aspects as well as the substantive law" of large-scale money laundering cases."

Chambers UK 2020 – A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession

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

Chambers and Partners UK

Money Laundering Insights

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Account Freezing Orders – Court makes €1.9 million Forfeiture Order

Online casino fined £3 million for "systemic" AML failings

The (quiet) extension of the AML regime: an overview

Subject of Unexplained Wealth Order now hit with Account Freezing Order

The Fourth AML Directive - The current roadmap and possible changes to the AML landscape two years on

AML: HMRC flexes enforcement muscle to the tune of £7.8 million

Cross-border criminal justice post-Brexit – Operation Yellowhammer

AML failure: Gambling Commission takes action

NCA obtains first UWO against a suspected organised criminal – a change in approach

Overhaul of SARS regime to be welcomed

Unexplained Wealth Orders for prime property

New ICAEW sanctions guidance on criminal convictions, cautions and Anti-Money Laundering

Crunching the numbers: is the National Crime Agency right to seek additional funding?

The Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill - An Overview

SRA AML audits: be prepared

SRA to undertake AML audits as enforcers keep focus on “professional enablers”

Estate agents come under the HMRC spotlight

No deal Brexit and financial crime: proposed regulations published

Routinely and aggressively pursuing money-laundering investigations: the verdict on the UK’s AML regime

Tackling illicit finance: lawyers under the spotlight

AML: targeting the professional enablers – action not just talk

Financial Crime: Analysis of firms' data – first report

Ensuring crime doesn’t pay: confiscation regime under review

The UK’s new National Economic Crime Centre

Unexplained Wealth Orders – can you prove the legitimate provenance of all of your significant assets?

Canada relaxes cannabis laws: what this might mean for the UK investor

AML: reforming the suspicious activity reporting regime – have your say

New police training indicates authorities believe cryptocurrency is here to stay

Corporates in the spotlight: NCA and SFO confirm tackling money laundering a strategic priority

The FCA Annual Report 2017-18: Anti-Money Laundering takes centre stage

FCA: Criminal prosecutions for AML systems and controls failings – a step too far?

Beyond #Brexit: new anti-money laundering regime agreed

Anti-Money Laundering: will new EU regime impact the UK?

Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill – Second Reading

Bringing cryptocurrencies in from the cold

Gambling Commission imposes record fine on William Hill for anti-money laundering failures

What you need to know about Unexplained Wealth Orders

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies – regulation on the horizon to combat cyber-crime?

The New Money Laundering Regulations: A Game of Risk

OPBAS – FCA consults on the “supervisor of supervisors”

Privilege, Confidentiality and the Challenge of Modern Technology

PEPs and anti-money laundering: The FCA issues guidance

EU Anti-Money Laundering rules: tackling risky business and reckless conduct

Anti-Money Laundering: new rules and regulations in play

FCA prepares for Fourth Money Laundering Directive

Tough action against solicitor who laundered proceeds of bogus investment scheme

FCA guidance on how firms should deal with PEPs: a proportionate approach

OPBAS: A supervisor of supervisors?

Tackling overseas corruption: Committee recommendations for Department for International Development.

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