Canada Repeals Money Laundering Regulations for Lawyers While FATF Prepares New Recommendations

IMPORTANT: The full content of this page is available to premium users only.

Sunday, June 1, 2003
Bruce Zagaris
On March 25, 2003, the Canadian Federal Government announced the tabling of regulations exempting lawyers from the regime of mandatory “suspicious transactions” reporting that it had imposed on financial intermediaries on November 8, 2001. Meanwhile, the Financial Action Task Force is finalizing its own work on the gatekeeper regulations. On March 25, 2003, the Canadian Government issued new regulations that exempt Canadian lawyers, at least temporarily, from Part 1 of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing. The Canadian Government explained in its regulatory impact analysis statement that the money laundering law failed to adequately consider lawyers’ duties to their clients, thereby undermining the prior refusal of former Justice Minister Anne McLellan to narrow the law because it would create “a gaping...and unacceptable terms of effect public policy.” As a result of the repeal, Canadian lawyers will no longer have to comply with the provisions of Part 1 of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, including the recoding and reporting requirements with respect to suspicious, large cash and terrorist financing related transactions, and the requirement to implement a compliance regime.