The UK’s solicitors’ watchdog has fined Scarborough law firm Pinkney Grunwells Lawyers LLP £2,000 and ordered it to pay £600 in costs over its failure to put in place anti-money laundering (AML) provisions.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) said Pinkney Grunwells had been “reckless” in failing to heed multiple warnings over a three-year period over the need for it to have a firm-wide policy in place.
After carrying out an investigation in 2020, the watchdog said Pinkney Grunwells had failed to properly verify the identity of one of its clients and failed to properly scrutinise a transaction by carrying out the necessary source of funds checks.
Pinkney Grunwells admitted failing to comply with AML legislation first introduced in 2017 that requires law firms have practice-wide risk assessments in place.
The firm, which has five offices along the Yorkshire coast, was fined £2,000 and also told to pay the costs of the SRA’s investigation, amounting to £600.
The fine comes after data obtained by City A.M. showed the number of fines handed out by the SRA against law firms has increased six-fold over the past five years, as the watchdog has cracked down on AML failings in the sector.