AML Compliance

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

Chambers and Partners, 2020

The UK’s anti-money laundering regime is one of the toughest in the world.

Tackling the problem of ‘dirty money’ in our financial system remains a key Government priority. Businesses, financial institutions, individuals and their advisers are all bound by our stringent anti-money laundering legislation. Many are also in the regulated sector so bound by the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (as amended) [the regulations]. This includes, for example, solicitors, accountants, bankers, estate agents. The regulations requires them to implement certain checks, controls and procedures to prevent money laundering. A failure to do so is a criminal offence.    

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Gambling Commission and HMRC have statutory AML powers to supervisor those in the regulated sector. The Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS), which sits within the FCA, is also now tasked with ensuring a high standard of AML supervision in the accountancy and legal sectors.

Across the board, regulators are ramping up supervision and enforcement action to ensure that AML procedures are strictly adhered to and criminal activity is detected on a zero-tolerance basis.

How we can help

We are expert in advising both individuals and organisations who find themselves caught in the fight against financial crime.

From those accused of perpetrating “high-end” money laundering arising from major frauds, terrorist activity and international corruption, to those suspected of facilitating it further along the laundering process. Whether payments are electronic or cash-based, used to purchase crypto, financial or physical property assets; whether parties are knowingly or unwittingly involved – we can assist.

We have an impressive track record in providing criminal defence advice to corporates and individuals alleged to have disguised the illicit origin of funds. 

We also regularly advise those who might be considered enablers - lawyers, trust and company formation agents, investment banks and fund managers, accountants and real estate agents - on the regulatory and criminal law consequences of AML investigations, be they suspects or witnesses.  

In addition:

  • We draft policies and procedures to assist organisations in complying with their AML requirements and ensuring they have robust controls in place;
  • We provide money laundering training to help businesses stay abreast of the latest developments in AML legislation;
  • We provide expert advice on when to make Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to the NCA and on compliance with the SARs regime including tipping-off provisions;
  • We get involved when clients are accused of a failure to report suspected activity;
  • We conduct anti-money laundering audits for individuals and corporate entities and advise on prevention measures and compliance requirements.

Our approach

The legislation underpinning the UK’s AML regime is wide-ranging and complex. We pride ourselves on providing practical, commercial advice.

Where an internal investigation is called for, we can quickly analyse relevant transactions and recommend a strategy. Where a breach has occurred, we look to assist with remediation.  Where allegations require a more nuanced response or robust defence, we look to protect our client’s best interests. 

We recognise that clients want the strongest possible opportunity to avoid the fines, convictions and reputational damage that can follow a money laundering investigation.

If you are concerned that you may have fallen foul of AML regulations or need specialist compliance advice contact one of our specialist AML lawyers.

A source describes the team as "on top of its game," thanks to being "exposed to tremendous cases."

Chambers and Partners UK, 2020

One of the premier white collar defence teams in London."

Legal 500 UK, 2020

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

Chambers and Partners UK, 2020

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

Chambers and Partners UK, 2019

“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



Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering

Recent years have seen considerable growth in this practice area, following the introduction of new measures designed to tackle illicit finance and the increased attention of enforcement agencies.

Account Freezing and Forfeiture Orders, and Cash Seizure

Tackling illicit finance and the proceeds of crime is a government priority and law enforcement focus.

Restraint Orders, Confiscation and Third Party Rights

We advise individuals and corporates in relation to restraint orders and third party applications in respect of property caught by restraint orders.

Unexplained Wealth Orders

UWOs are used by law enforcement agencies to require an individual to prove that a particular asset was obtained through legitimate means.

Extending Moratorium Periods

Another feature of the Proceeds of Crime Act that can have the unwelcome effect of freezing property is the 'moratorium period'

Money Laundering

The UK’s anti-money laundering (AML) regime is amongst the most stringent. We represent both individuals and organisations in AML matters.

Serious Fraud

Defending complex white collar cases successfully is what we are known for. The firm has the largest team of specialist criminal lawyers in the UK.


When an individual or company is faced with a criminal or regulatory investigation we manage every step of the process.

Medical Cannabis: Licensing and Investment

We advise corporates and individuals on all aspects of investing and licensing in cannabis industry.

Advice for Professionals

Our regulatory team is independently and consistently top ranked by the legal directories for our work in professional services.

AML Compliance Insights

View all


The compulsory embrace of the art market by the UK's Anti-Money Laundering regime

Suspicious Activity Report guidance updated in light of anticipated COVID-19 related crime

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

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

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

AML failure: Gambling Commission takes action

Wine as an investment – the wine merchant’s risk

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

SRA AML audits: be prepared

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

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

AML: targeting the professional enablers – action not just talk

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

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

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

Sanctions and AML: first #BREXIT bill makes its way through Parliament

The New Money Laundering Regulations: A Game of Risk

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

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