The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act imposes a number of obligations on lawyers. WILLEMS Advocaten & Rechtsanwälte N.V. has a duty to make its business relations aware of those obligations and of their consequences. The most important obligation under the Act is that a lawyer is required to report unusual transactions to the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit. The object of the Act is to preserve the integrity of the financial system by combating money laundering and terrorism (and its financing). If in (exceptional) instances WILLEMS Advocaten & Rechtsanwälte N.V. feels obliged to report an unusual transaction, we cannot and may not inform the client or other business relation that the transaction has been reported.
A second important obligation concerns the identification and verification of clients by lawyers. Before providing any legal assistance, a lawyer always has a duty to identify the client and to verify the client’s identity. This obligation applies to such matters as buying or selling real estate or other goods subject to registration; managing money, securities, coins, banknotes, precious metals, precious stones or other valuable items; establishing or managing companies, legal persons or similar bodies; buying and selling of shares in, or the full or partial buying or selling or takeover of enterprises, companies, legal persons or similar bodies; tax work; establishing a mortgage right to real estate; and any instances where lawyers act in the name of and for the account of the client in any financial or real estate transaction.
Proper identification is a precondition for the provision of legal services by WILLEMS Advocaten & Rechtsanwälte N.V.