The New Zealand Law Society has released a suggested one-page explanation which lawyers can give clients to explain why they will need to collect and verify information as part of customer due diligence under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Funding of Terrorism requirements.
Customer due diligence will require a law firm to undertake certain background checks before providing services to clients. Lawyers must take reasonable steps to make sure the information they receive from clients is correct, and will need to ask for documents that show this.
Clients who have never been asked for such information before or who are trying to engage a lawyer for the first time after 1 July 2018 may be surprised at being required to prove their identity and address.
It provides a plain English explanation of the information which is required and why it is required.
The Law Society says lawyers and law firms are free to use the explanation and are welcome to customise it with their logo or other identifying information.