From 1 July 2018 the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 has applied to all New Zealand law firms including O'Neill Devereux.
The purpose of the legislation is to detect and deter money-laundering and financing of terrorism pursuant to New Zealand's international obligations.
The Act requires all law firms to mitigate the risk of being used to launder money or finance terrorism and to identify potentially suspicious activities.
The legislation has applied to banks for some time and now also applies to accountants and real estate agents.
When you engage us to work for you; we will require you to provide documents in order to verify your identity. These may include a current passport, NZ driver's licence or full birth certificate as well as a bank statement or utility bill to verify your residential address. This will be held electronically in our secured system. As with all matters we undertake for clients, the information will be held by us on a confidential basis.
Please do not be concerned if we ask for more information or documents. We are legally required to obtain this information from all clients, even those who have been clients for many years. If we are not able to collect and verify this information, the legislation prevents us from being able to act for you.
To assist us in being able to act for you in any matter on an urgent basis, please feel free to contact us and provide the information ahead of time, so as to minimise any delays resulting from the obligations imposed on us under this legislation.