Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Mishcon de Reya, the law firm, was fined £ 232,500 for money laundering failures, its second regulatory fine in three months.

Mishcon conceded to offenses that included failing to exercise adequate caution in four separate cases, failing to record a record of zeal he did carry out, and failing to train a partner in money laundering rules.

The sanction – part of a settlement with the lawyer for England and Wales – is the latest against Mishcon. The firm hopes to list on the London Stock Market this year.

In October, the group was forced to pay £ 25,000 for violating rules that prevent law firms such as banks from being used.

The latest fine is the largest issued by the Law Firm and covers an extensive list of findings against Mishcon ranging from 2015 to 2019, including work involving companies in “high-risk jurisdictions”.

The regulator found that Mishcon did not conduct adequate due diligence when working between 2015 and 2017 for two individual clients and linked corporate vehicles.

Mishcon believed he had conducted due diligence with respect to the clients, but the SRA said it “did not keep the hard copy file of such documents, which were apparently misplaced”, noting that no electronic copy was also kept.

The law firm was working on the initial stages of acquisitions that pose a greater risk of money laundering under the applicable rules because it involved companies in high-risk jurisdictions, the regulator said. Mishcon did not adequately undertake the necessary improved monitoring.

Mishcon admitted that it had improperly transferred funds belonging to one of the corporate vehicles to the customer ledger for another entity. During the firm’s external investigation into the issue, it appeared that the partner in question had not received adequate training against money laundering.

The firm also allowed four payments to come in and out of its client account between July 22 and July 28, 2016, meaning it allowed the account to be used as a banking facility.

Between September 2017 and October 2018, the firm worked on three real estate transactions where due diligence was not fully conducted.

Mishcon said on Wednesday: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the SRA in connection with two separate and historic investigations into which we have made appropriate acknowledgments.

“Mitigating factors such as our cooperation with the SRA during the investigations and the corrective steps we have taken since then to prevent a recurrence have been recognized by the SRA to achieve this outcome.”

In October, Mishcon was fined for allowing payments to agents involved in soccer transfer transactions to be sent through his client bank account, following a case before the Attorneys’ Disciplinary Tribunal.

The ruling relates to work that Mishcon did in its sports department about a decade ago.

In a statement given to the SRA in the most recent case, Mishcon said he “showed sincere insight into his management of risk and action during the relevant periods, including by having an external investigation conducted.”

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