Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance

Posted by Margaret Hellyer on July 5 2018 in News

How New AML Legislation Affects Our Clients

Why we need to ask you for information 

Recent changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (Act) mean that from 1 July 2018, lawyers in New Zealand will be subject to the Act. The legislation introduces regulations that require law firms to assess and mitigate the risk of the law firm being used to facilitate money laundering and terrorism financing and to identify potentially suspicious activities.

Similar to legislation in other countries, law firms will be required to conduct customer due diligence or “know your customer” investigations on existing and prospective clients. This process must be completed by us before providing, or continuing to provide, services to those clients.

What information will we need from you?

The customer due diligence process will involve collecting and verifying identification and additional information necessary in order to understand the nature of our client’s business and the purpose of the proposed work. In some circumstances, we will also be required to obtain information about the client’s source of wealth and/or funds.

The information that we are required to collect will depend on the nature of the client (for example, whether they are an individual, company, trust) and the nature of the proposed transaction. At a minimum we will need information and documentation to help us to identify:

• Our client;

• Our client’s beneficial owner(s); and

• The people acting on our client’s behalf.

We will need to obtain and verify certain information from you to meet these legal requirements. This
information includes:

• your full name; and

• your date of birth; and

• your address.

To confirm these details, documents such as your passport or driver’s licence, and documents that
show your address, such as a current bank statement or utility bill, will be required.

If you are seeing us about company or trust business, we will need information about the company or
trust including the people associated with it (such as directors and shareholders, trustees and

We will endeavour to make the process as easy as possible and we will provide further details as what documentation can be provided to meet these requirements.

In some cases we may be able to verify scanned copies of the identity documentation via an electronic identity verification tool. Where this is not possible, we may require you to provide certified copies of the relevant documentation in order to manually verify your identity.

Please do not be concerned in the event that we ask for more information or documents. We are legally required to obtain this information from all clients.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions about these changes and how they will affect you, please either contact your usual contact at Shieff Angland or email our Practice Director, Margaret Hellyer:

This paper gives a general overview of the topics covered and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice.