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Anti-money laundering

In case lawyers perform certain activities in the interest of their clients, they shall need to observe the preventive aspects of the anti-money laundering act (Law of 11 January 1993 on preventing the use of the financial system for purposes of laundering money and terrorism financing). The aim of this act is to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing and therefore imposes a number of binding obligations onto lawyers. Non-compliance with these obligations may lead to disciplinary sanctions and administrative fines.

Our lawyers have an obligation to identify our clients and to request and store a number of documents proving the identity of the respective client. Throughout the entire period of the client relationship the lawyers are furthermore subject to a due diligence obligation for which additional information may be required. This information and due diligence obligation does not only apply to our clients - natural and legal persons - but also to the latter's representatives, such as the company directors.

When our lawyers become aware, while handling one of the matters referred to in the law, of facts which they know or have reason to believe have a connection to money laundering or financing terrorism, they are under a legal obligation to bring these to the attention of the head of their bar immediately. This reporting obligation shall not apply where their assistance consists of analysing the client's legal position or defending or representing the client in (or in relation to) legal proceedings. It is up to the head of the bar to decide whether or not any information received is to be transmitted to the Financial Intelligence Processing Unit.

These obligations shall naturally not affect the professional secrecy, which applies to the relationship between clients and lawyers.

Should you have any further questions on this subject, please e-mail them to the following address: or