Top Hong Kong law firms launch on-line money laundering training

Published August 5th, 2008 - 05:12 GMT

Top Hong Kong law firms launch on-line money laundering training


JSM and Richards Butler in Association with Reed Smith are leading a consortium of 11 Hong Kong law firms in developing and launching a Hong Kong version of the on-line anti-money laundering (AML) training originally developed in London by a 14 of the UK’s leading law firms and VinciWorks.


The other firms involved are: Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Clyde & Co, DLA Piper, Herbert Smith, Linklaters, Minter Ellison, Oldham, Li & Nie and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.


Faced with the new Practice Direction P - Guidelines on Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing introduced by The Law Society of Hong Kong, which were to come into effect on 1 July 2008, law firms in Hong Kong needed a fast and effective solution to comply with the mandatory requirement to ensure their lawyers understood the new Guidelines, AML legislation in Hong Kong and application of each firms' procedures and policies.


VinciWorks co-ordinated initial discussions with a number of the firms at the end of May 2008 and work commenced immediately on putting together a Hong Kong version of the course with Noeleen Farrell and Carolin Rost of JSM and Jonathan Green, William Barber and Kylie Chaplin of Richards Butler in Association with Reed Smith taking the lead in developing the content. The content was then agreed with the other firms and now sets the standard for AML training and compliance in Hong Kong.


The first course (there is a support staff version currently in development) is aimed at fee earners and will assist them to understand and apply Practice Direction P as well as the local legislation on AML. Each firm has the option to build in its own specific module to train its staff on firm specific polices and procedures. The course was ready and launched in little over 3 weeks. 


Noeleen Farrell and Carolin Rost said "We were delighted with the results. Not only did over 80% of our lawyers in the Hong Kong office take the course in the first week of it being launched, but we received extremely positive feedback on it. Our lawyers loved the interactive nature of it as well as the flexibility in being able to do the course at a time and a place to suit them.  The series of tests included within the course ensures that we track our lawyers' understanding of the new Guidelines as well as the effectiveness of the course."


Howard Finger, CEO of VinciWorks, will market the course to other interested firms.


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