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Law Society enhances diligence standards for lawyers to combat money laundering, terrorist financing

June 2, 2021 – The Law Society of Ontario has approved By-Law amendments aimed at enhancing and clarifying diligence requirements to prevent licensees from assisting clients in money laundering and terrorist financing.

At Convocation last Thursday, the Professional Regulation Committee moved to implement amendments to By-Laws 7.1 and 9, under the Law Society Act. The motion passed, with 37 in favour, 14 opposed and one abstention. The amendments will come into effect Jan. 1, 2022. In the meantime, the Law Society will produce guidance and resource materials for education on the new requirements.

“The Law Society of Ontario needs to provide our licensees with direction and guidance about accepted diligence standards so that they can meet their obligations not to assist clients in illegal activity,” said Megan Shortreed, chair of the Professional Regulation Committee.

The amendments strengthen the Law Society’s anti-money-laundering framework and equip licensees to avoid unwittingly becoming involved or assisting with money laundering and terrorist financing, says Jacqueline Horvat, the Committee’s vice-chair. Law Times News reports. | READ MORE