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Know Your Client - Law Society Rules


client verification and know your client rules


Capture the required information with Acumin


Acumin enables users to intelligently receive, scan, process, manage, archive, retrieve, and distribute KYC forms, as well as allow reporting at all levels of the KYC form processing cycle. Firm's benefit from flexible workflows leading to effective KYC compliances, better operational efficiencies and reduced compliance costs.

Overview:  Many law firms in most jurisdictions are now subject to client identification and verification rules also known as “Know your Client”. Various Law Societies and other governing bodies have adopted these requirements as part of the global fight against money laundering, fraud and other criminal activities.  


There are two distinct aspects to the requirements:

Client Identification Information:

  • At the time the client is retained, it will be required to provide the following basic information.


For clients who are individuals:

  • Full name;
  • Business address and phone number (if applicable); and
  • Home address, telephone number and occupation.


For clients that are organizations such as corporations, partnerships, trusts or incorporated associations:

  • Legal name;
  • Business address, business telephone number, and business identification number;
  • Place of its issue, and a description of your business activities;
  • The full names, positions and contact information of those individuals authorized to provide instructions.

If the firm is acting for or representing a third party, similar information about that third party will be required.


Client Verification Requirements:

If the firm is asked to engage in, give instructions in respect of, receiving, paying or transferring funds or negotiable securities, the firm is required, unless an exemption applies, to take reasonable steps to verify the identity of the client, the individuals authorized to provide instructions on behalf of an organizational client and any third party our client is acting for or representing, through reliable independent source documents, such as a passport or drivers licence in the case of an individual, a certificate of status or current information return in the case of a corporation or charter documents in the case of other organizations.   

In addition, it is required to verify the identity of an organization, the following additional information is required

  • The name and occupation of each of its directors; and
  • The name, address and occupation of each person who owns 25% or more of the organization or its shares.

Clients that are financial institutions, public authorities and many public companies (and their consolidated subsidiaries) are exempt from the verification requirements and from certain of the information requirements. In addition, most payments by wire transfer are exempt from the verification requirements.

It is also required to retain a copy of the above stated documents obtained for identification and verification purposes. In addition to the professional obligations of confidentiality, firms should develop and publish their own privacy policies.


(For information purposes only, please consult your applicable Law Society for further details.)


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