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Why do you need to verify your client’s identity?

Why do you need to verify your client’s identity?

By Katie Miller


'Who are you? What's your name?' Are there any more basic questions in human experience? But how do you know that the answer given to these seemingly simple questions is correct. How do you know that the person you are dealing with is who they say they are? For lawyers, these philosophical questions have traditionally had limited relevance. As long as the client paid the bills and had the legal rights they asserted (like the right to deal in certain property), then it didn't really matter what they called themselves. However, in these days of e-conveyancing and increased scrutiny of the risk of money laundering, the question of who your client really is is taking on new levels of relevance and significance. Verifying your client's identity is becoming part of your legal responsibility and is another business risk that must be managed.

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