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Global law firm Clyde & Co. was fined £500,000 ($635,613) on 11 January for multiple breaches of money laundering regulations relating to a long-standing client.
In recent events, the global law firm, Clyde & Co., was found guilty of multiple breaches of money laundering laws. These non-compliance violations were related to an old shipping industry client whose identity was not revealed. Clyde & Co. was found guilty of breaches over 14 transactions between 2014 and 2018. The fines were imposed because the firm failed to conduct the mandatory due diligence process on the client.
As a response to the charges, Clyde & Co. issued a statement saying that the firm “sincerely regrets any compliance failings.” As per the firm, the non-compliance standards were identified in 2018 and reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the same year.
In August, the SRA made an announcement that Clyde & Co. and Ed Mills-Webb, who was once the chair of the firm’s global practice group for marine, were being referred to an independent tribunal. The reason for this referral was their failure to adhere to money laundering regulations in the UK. The case was due to follow a trial at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in London over two weeks, beginning on Monday. Clyde & Co. and Mills-Webb initially contested the allegations. However, a lawyer from SRA said this week that the firm admitted to breaches in the prior month.
A spokesperson from the firm added that they have “significantly enhanced our risk management and regulatory compliance capabilities.”. The lawyer representing Clyde & Co., Ben Hubble, said in written arguments that the firm’s misconduct was inadvertent and caused no harm to clients or third parties.
Mills-Webb, a consultant at the boutique shipping firm Preston Turnbull, admitted to contributing to Clyde & Co.’s failure to conduct adequate due diligence. As a result, Mills-Webb was fined £11,900. In 2017, Clyde & Co. was fined £50,000 for violating money laundering and accounting rules that took place in 2013. During the tribunal held this week, lawyers representing Clyde & Co. informed that the company had improved its internal processes after the aforementioned events but before Company A became a client.