Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

April 30, 2008 14:39 ET

Law Society's new 'know your client' requirements enhance public protection

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - The Law Society has enacted new client identification and verification regulations to assist lawyers and paralegals in identifying potential fraudulent client activities.

The new regulations, which come into effect October 31, 2008, include the steps lawyers and paralegals must take to verify the identity of new clients.

"Prudent lawyers and paralegals already follow these procedures," says Gavin MacKenzie, Treasurer of the Law Society. "By codifying them in a by-law, we are ensuring that Ontario's legal profession is at the forefront of the fight against money laundering and other criminal activities."

The Law Society's governing board (Convocation) approved amendments to By-Law 7.1 (Operational Obligations and Responsibilities) at its April meeting. The amendments establish rigorous client identification and verification regulations for Ontario's lawyers and paralegals. The regulations are based on a model rule developed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (the umbrella organization for Canada's 14 Law Societies).

This is the second initiative undertaken by the Law Society to proactively combat money laundering. The Law Society adopted the Federation's 'no cash rule' in 2005, which prohibits lawyers and paralegals from accepting $7,500 or more in cash from a client.

For more information see the Law Society's website at http://www.lsuc.on.ca/latest-news/a/hottopics/law-societys-new-know-your-clien t-requirements-enhance-public-protection/

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