The Solicitors Regulation Authority is prosecuting international firm Clyde & Co over alleged historic money laundering rule breaches – the second such case against a leading firm within a matter of weeks.
A former partner with the firm is also facing a tribunal over allegations relating to anti-money laundering breaches.
According to SRA notices published yesterday, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has certified that Clyde & Co and Ed Mills-Webb have a case to answer in respect of allegations relating to an unnamed client.
The allegations involve an alleged failure to comply with anti-money laundering procedures and breach of money laundering regulations, in relation to ‘a number of matters spanning a period of over four years’.
The allegations are subject to a hearing before the SDT and are as yet unproven. In a statement, Clyde & Co said: ‘In early 2019 we suspended a partner, Ed Mills-Webb and referred him to the Solicitors Regulation Authority in relation to matters concerning the application of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 and the SRA Accounts Rules 2011.
‘We assisted the SRA fully with its investigations and during that time Ed Mills-Webb resigned from the firm. We are aware that the SRA has decided to charge the firm as well as Ed Mills-Webb in relation to breaches of the money laundering regulations and procedures relating to a client and companies used by the client.
‘We hold ourselves to the highest professional and ethical standards and take responsibility for ensuring we meet them, and we are reviewing these charges. It would be inappropriate to comment further.’
The news comes two weeks after the SRA announced it was prosecuting global firm Dentons in relation to alleged breaches of anti-money laundering rules.
The Gazette has approached Mills-Webb for a comment.
Mills-Webb is now a consultant with London firm Preston Turnbull and is known as an expert in shipping, international trade and insurance disputes.
He resigned from Clyde & Co in 2019 on the eve of the incorporation of Preston Turnbull, which was set up in October of that year by a breakaway group from the firm. Theophanis Theophani, Robert Collins, Andrew Preston and Elizabeth Turnbull – all previously partners with Clyde & Co – came with Mills-Webb for the creation of Preston Turnbull and are partners with the firm.
Source: The Law Society Gazette, 10th August 2023