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Cocktail of problems: The conflict between anti-bribery compliance and client service

The UK’s anti-bribery regime is driving a wedge between clients and their lawyers, says Andrew Oldland QC

20 February 2014

Anti-money laundering due diligence on clients is a substantial feature of any law firm’s activities. Knowing your client (KYC) has always been central to any such due diligence. Knowing your lawyer – due diligence by clients on their lawyers – is a practice that is less well known. However, international anti-corruption legislation is now making due diligence in the lawyer-client relationship a two-way process.

In October 2013, the International Bar Association, in conjunction with the OECD and UNODC, published a survey entitled ‘Anti-corruption compliance and the
legal profession’. It produced some
startling results.

The survey sought the views of corporates in relation to managing corruption risks associated with instructing external lawyers. To the question ‘according to your compliance standards, do external legal coun...

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