New Anti-Money Laundering Requirements for Law Society Licensees

  • July 13, 2021
  • Don Perry, Perry Law

At the May 27, 2021 meeting of Convocation, Benchers approved amendments to the Law Society of Ontario’s by-laws on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing provisions.  The by-law amendments adopt changes that have been made to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s Model Rules to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.  The by-laws come into effect January 1, 2022.

The amendments are intended to preserve lawyer-client privilege and independence of the bar by maintaining the Law Society’s rules as separate from those of the federal government.  They require satisfactory diligence in client transactions so that lawyers do not unwittingly, or recklessly become involved in illegal activity, and they aim to preserve the Law Society’s regulatory authority with respect to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing measures.