Anti-Money Laundering and Lawyer Regulation: The Response of the Professions
Posted: 21 Jun 2019 Last revised: 11 Nov 2019
Date Written: June 15, 2019
The extension of anti-money laundering (AML) controls to lawyers has been a controversial topic since the early 2000s. The legal professions facing these measures have adopted differentiated strategies of response, three examples of which are examined and contrasted in this paper. In the US, the legal profession vocally objected to the measures and has been able to deflect any legislative action. In the United Kingdom, the profession pragmatically engaged with the new rules, while in France the profession has made maximum use of the levers of self-regulation allowed by the European directives. The paper presents AML lawyer-regulation as an example of the versatility of global regulatory norms, which do not necessarily evict national traditions. It also views the EU as the real bedrock of AML regulatory diffusion and questions US professional (and academic) resistance to these norms.
Keywords: anti-money laundering, regulation of the legal professions, gatekeeper, ABA, legal ethics
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