AML Tender: Training for Lawyers on AML-CTF Rules at EU Level

AML Tender: Training for Lawyers on AML-CTF Rules at EU Level

On 17 May 2021, the European Lawyers Foundation (ELF) and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) held the first training activity for EU lawyers on anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing (AML/CTF) obligations.


The training activity was attended by several legal participants from more than fifteen (15) EU Member States, which included Dr. Rebecca Bonnici on behalf of BDO Malta. The training activity is within the framework of a contract awarded by the European Commission to the ELF and CCBE on the ‘Development of organization of training for lawyers on AML and CTF Rules at EU level’ (Service contract JUST/2018/JACC/PR/CRIM/0185).


The following describes the European Commission’s objectives in putting this contract out to tender:


‘The general objective of the contract is to train, raise awareness and promote the dissemination among lawyers of the key principles and concepts of the EU AML/CTF rules. The purpose of the contract is to analyse, assess and support lawyers’ needs by increasing their awareness on their role and obligations in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism under the Directive.


The specific objective is that the training programme reach the largest possible audience of lawyers throughout the Union. In particular, the training activities may help lawyers concerned to answer how they can best:


  • Access and understand relevant AML/CTF obligations; reflect on the ways lawyers and law firms may be misused in the context of money laundering and terrorist financing;
  • Reflect on practices layers and law firms can adopt in their particular jurisdiction and in accordance with the relevant bar rules, to ensure the highest ethical standards of the profession are maintained;
  • Identify the problem that may arise in the interpretation of specific provisions in the light of hypothetical and actual cases and in view, in particular, of the continuity of their business relations with their clients and other considerations.’


The event, which commenced with welcome speeches from Mr. James MacGuill (Vice President of the CCBE) and Mr. Stephen Ryan (Deputy Head of the Financial Crime Unit at the European Commission), touched upon the upcoming projects at an EU level, including the European Commission’s AML Action Plan for a comprehensive Union policy on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing; as well as a brief summary on the documents which have been produced during the project, namely a model training program and manuals for trainers and users. The documents were formulated in a way to ensure that all material produced during the course of the project remains consistent, regardless in which Member State it is organised. 


The training program focused on the most important principles stemming from AML/CFT rules at an EU level, including the risk-based approach, customer due diligence, beneficial ownership, lawyer-client confidentiality, data protection and cross-border issues.


BDO is here to help!


Our Compliance Advisory Department can provide organizations with a tailor-made AML/CFT compliance review and the setting up of any necessary compliance and training programs. Through an AML/CFT compliance review, testing is carried out on internal systems, controls and procedures in order to assess the organization’s current processes and assess whether its people are both knowledgeable and enforcing the established regulatory requirements, or whether problems have been identified within a particular process.


Get in touch with our compliance team