On 27th May 2019, the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST) of the European Commission (EC) published a tender notice on the “Development and Organisation of Training for Lawyers on Anti-money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing (AML-CTF) Rules at EU Level”. This tender was awarded to a consortium composed of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and the European Lawyers Foundation (ELF) with an outstanding score of 92 out of 100 points.
AML-CTF is a clear priority for the CCBE, which has a Committee on Anti-Money Laundering that has been promoting policy positions on behalf of European lawyers for years.
ELF provides training for EU lawyers in various fields of EU law and has good experience in knowing what the needs of EU lawyers are regarding training.
The project will last for 24 months and officially started on 18 November 2019. A kick-off meeting with EC officials took place on 2nd December 2019.
The general objective of the project is training in, raising awareness of and promotion of the key principles and concepts of the EU AML-CTF rules among lawyers. The project will analyse, assess and support lawyers’ needs by increasing their awareness of their role and obligations in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism under the Directives.
The project activities are aimed at helping lawyers understand 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 lawyers and law firms should 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 problems 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 relationships with their clients and other considerations;
3. Project activities
The project is divided into three main sets of activities:
- Development of a strategy for training lawyers on their obligations under AML/CTF Directives: this will be composed of sub-activities such as the drafting of a Training Need Assessment and the drafting of an overall strategy, which will include also the relevant AML/CTF context (Including legislation and case-law).
- Production of an EU-level training programme (TP): the TP will be complemented by a manual for trainers (which will allow trainers to organise successful training for lawyers on AML/CTF) and a user’s manual (which will contain relevant information for lawyers).
- Training activities: two kind of activities will take place:
a) Training for trainers: a group of 15 trainers coming from different EU jurisdictions will be trained at an event in Brussels. The objective is to give these trainers the opportunity to re-use the training modules presented to them and adapt them to their own training activities and national specificities.
b) Regional cross-border training activities: three regional seminars will be organised in three different EU Member States to train lawyers on AML/CTF on the basis of the TP. Lawyers from different Member States will be selected and will be grouped into one of the 3 training seminars. Participants will have their travel and accommodation costs reimbursed by the project. In addition to geographical representation, the project will focus on ensuring the participation of lawyers in terms of gender balance and representation of big, medium and small law firms and self-employed lawyers.
All these activities will be supported by comprehensive dissemination over the duration of the project. Information about the project will be provided through various communication tools such as a dedicated website (www.AML4lawyers.eu, available soon), the use of social media (mainly the CCBE and ELF’s LinkedIn and Twitter accounts) and the CCBE’s e-newsletter CCBE-info. National Bars and Law Societies will be kept informed through the information presented to them regularly at CCBE Standing Committees and Plenary Sessions.
This information has been produced under a contract with the European Union (Ref.: JUST/2018/JACC/PR/CRIM/018) and does not represent the official opinion of the European Commission. Neither the Commission nor any person acting on the Commission’s behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.