Anti-money laundering tops conveyancers' agenda

The series of workshops mark the next step in the association's drive to improve standards across the industry by providing a forum for its members to exchange experiences and guidance on complex issues which can affect the conveyancing process.

Eddie Goldsmith, chairman of the Conveyancing Association, said: “The workshops will assist members in continuing to offer a smooth, secure and efficient house buying service to their customers by ensuring that they are well prepared to handle the most technically challenging cases.”

Today's workshop will comprise two sessions with the first focusing on money laundering and the second on the government's Green Deal initiative and its potential implications for the conveyancing industry.

Bill Jones, managing partner at JMW Solicitors and managing director of ML Solutions 4U, will lead the money laundering session and Paul Butt, consultant solicitor at Rowlinsons Solicitors, will chair the session on the Green Deal.

Jones said: “Those dealing with property transactions on a day-to-day basis are often targeted by sophisticated criminals who are seeking to disguise the proceeds of crime though the conveyancing process.

“The statutory and regulatory anti-money laundering obligations on conveyancers are both onerous and compulsory. Failure to comply is a serious matter."

Butt added: “It is essential that conveyancers are aware of the implications if a green deal is in place on a property being bought and sold so they can advise their clients appropriately.

"In particular it is important that agreed procedures are put in place to ensure that a green deal does not hinder the smooth running of the transaction and cause unnecessary delays and expense to clients."