Information: Stricter due diligence procedures in combating money laundering

Fight against money launderers and terrorists
Above all, the constant terror attacks since September 2001 and the expansion of organised crime have created a situation where the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing is continuously being intensified on an international level.

A further milestone has been placed recently with the so-called "4th EU Money Laundering Directive" which once more stipulates a significant extension of the due diligence procedures.

Austria is obliged to implement these global initiatives. A series of legislative amendments have now come into force. The Legal Profession Act (Rechtsanwaltsordnung - RAO) has also been updated.

Professional due diligence procedures for lawyers
For lawyers this has resulted in a massive tightening up of the law governing their profession. The legal profession is of course committed to combating money laundering and terrorism financing. Nonetheless, the impact of the "4th EU Money Laundering Directive" is admittedly regarded quite critically. Irrespective of this, the legal profession's compliance measures will have to be enhanced.

Compliance at SCWP Schindhelm
SCWP Schindhelm has always taken its compliance obligations seriously. The professional law and code of conduct, but also criminal law, specify the framework for us. We regard anti-money laundering compliance not just as the expression of our understanding of our professional duties of care, but also as a fundamental instrument in protecting our business relationships. Thus, our obligations also and above all serve the interests of our clients. There should not and must not be any doubt that the relationship between our law firm and our clients is free of any suspicion of suspicious transactions.

In light of this, we ask for your understanding that we have to intensify our efforts in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing due to mandatory statutory regulations. This may require us to ask even our existing clients to provide some additional information, for example. Please rest assured that we are only doing this as part of imperative statutory provisions. We are already dealing intensively with preparing the relevant organisational and other requirements. In this field too, we thus see ourselves as being in tune with the times.

Please treat this as advance notification, which at present will not result in any obligations of any kind for you to act or provide information. Our concern is also to maintain maximum professionalism and the greatest possible transparency, especially in challenging matters. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Saxinger Chalupsky & Partner Rechtsanwälte GmbH