Law Society to launch 'know your client' requirements at year-end

    TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - The Law Society of Upper Canada is launching new
client identification and verification requirements on December 31, 2008, to
help lawyers and paralegals identify potential fraudulent client activities.
    The 'know your client' requirements, adopted in April 2008, were
originally slated to come into force October 31, 2008, but will now become
effective at year-end to give lawyers and paralegals more time to prepare for
compliance. Other law societies across the country are implementing similar
    "The Law Society joins other law societies throughout Canada in
establishing rigorous client identification requirements for lawyers and
paralegals, which will assist them in determining whether a client is
attempting to use them to launder funds. In this way, the legal professions
will contribute to the effort to fight money laundering and terrorist
financing," says Law Society Treasurer W. A. Derry Millar.
    The new requirements are based on a model rule adopted by the Federation
of Law Societies of Canada - the umbrella organization for Canada's 14 law
societies. "By adopting the new requirements through law societies in every
province and territory, a national standard will be achieved. We will have an
effective, practical and enforceable tool to ensure that members of the legal
professions, in serving clients, remain vigilant," says the Treasurer.
    This is the second initiative the Law Society has implemented in recent
years to combat money laundering. In 2005, the Law Society adopted the
Federation's 'no cash' rule, which prohibits lawyers and paralegals from
accepting $7,500 or more in cash from a client.
    Several resources have been developed by the Law Society to assist
lawyers and paralegals in meeting the new ID and verification requirements.
They are available on the Law Society's website at

    The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegal in Ontario in the public
interest. The Law Society has a duty to protect the public interest, to
maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate
access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and
efficient manner.

For further information:

For further information: Lisa Hall at (416) 947-7625,;
or Susan Tonkin,, (416) 947-7605

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