Information for Clients

Cheryl DroughtGeneral News

Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 – How the changes affect you, our valued clients.

As from 1 July 2018 all lawyers must comply with the recent changes made to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (the AML/CFT law).

In line with New Zealand’s commitment to the international initiative to combat money laundering and terrorist financing lawyers, and other professionals, must do a number of things to help the Police bring criminals to justice. This is what the AML/CFT law calls “customer due diligence”.

For us, customer due diligence means that we need to undertake background checks before providing services to our clients. In order to meet our legal obligations we must take all reasonable steps to verify that the information we receive from clients is correct and supported by documentation.

This applies even if you have been a client of ours for a long time because the law, and its changes, applies to everyone, including us.
For example, we will need to confirm your name, date of birth and address are correct and in order to do this we will need certified documents (or something similar) such as:

  •  Identity documents such as a driver’s licence and birth certificate or a New Zealand passport; and
  •      Address documents such as a bank statement, or a utilities invoice dated within the last three months.

If we are assisting you in regard to a company or a trust, we will need all the information about the company/or trust including all the people associated with it.

We are also obligated to ask you about the nature and purpose of the proposed work, including confirming the source of funds for the work that you are seeking us to do.  If you are unable to provide the required information, it is likely that we will not be able to act for you.

With all work in progress we may also need to ask for further information even if it is at a late stage in the transaction. We will let you know what information and what documents you need to provide us for photocopying.

Please contact us if you have any queries or concerns about these changes.


Mark Copeland Lawyers – Specialists in Commercial and Rural Law