Allen & Overy LLP

Senior In-House Lawyer - AML & Sanctions

London (Central), London (Greater)
08 Feb 2021
09 Apr 2021
Role Classification
Contract Type
Experience Level
5+ yrs PQE

Job description

We currently have an opportunity for a Senior In-House Lawyer to join our Business Acceptance Unit (BAU) in London.

Role and responsibilities

  • Working closely with and supporting the UK Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) and Deputy MLRO, including attending regular meetings to provide updates on areas of responsibility.
  • Analysing and resolving (or, where appropriate, facilitating resolution of) professional, legal, regulatory and commercial issues relating to business acceptance and client engagement in the areas of financial crime and sanctions, which are referred by the BAU analyst and legal teams, by partners and by all other levels of lawyer and support staff, including in the following areas:
    • anti-money laundering client ID issues;
    • reputational and suitability issues; and
    • sanctions questions.
  • Performing the role of the firm’s internal expert in and senior contact point for anti-money laundering client ID requirements in particular specified jurisdictions, including attending regulatory audit meetings in respect of those jurisdictions where required.
  • Being a senior contact point for local MLROs globally in relation to the BAU team’s processes and procedures.
  • Monitoring changes in practice, professional rules, regulations and the law as affects financial crime and sanctions globally and escalating any proposed adjustments/enhancements to the Heads of Business Acceptance Unit and Financial Crime & Sanctions for consideration.
  • Assisting and supporting the Money Laundering Compliance Officer and Head of Financial Crime & Sanctions in ensuring that firm and BAU policy and procedure in the areas of financial crime and sanctions, including client ID checks, meet applicable requirements and that the process is as efficient and streamlined as possible, whilst remaining thorough and rigorous.
  • Helping to develop and refine internal databases and evaluating external databases of information/services for use in the business acceptance process, particularly technological solutions in the area of anti-money laundering compliance.
  • Helping in the design of and taking day-to-day responsibility for the management of major financial crime and sanctions projects (e.g. introduction of new technological solutions and processes) and other work-streams (e.g. sanctions matter records sweeps).
  • Assisting in the design, implementation and delivery of training for the BAU team and fee earners in the areas of financial crime and sanctions, particularly anti-money laundering compliance.
  • Being a senior point of contact for the HR team, including helping to manage the recruitment process in relation to vacancies in the BAU Analyst team and conducting regular performance review meetings with the relevant members of the BAU Analyst team and the AML Regulation Officer.
  • Where requested, representing the BAU in the areas of financial crime and sanctions at cross-departmental and external meetings.
  • Managing and supervising the process for responding to regulatory audit requests relating to anti-money laundering compliance, including liaising with local MLROs to ensure the necessary information is available and any post-audit recommendations implemented.
  • Assisting with anti-money laundering compliance audits commissioned by Allen & Overy.
  • Managing and supervising the process for ongoing client screening, including helping refine and further develop use of the technology.
  • Providing regular reports and updates of team workload to BAU team management.
  • Being flexible in undertaking the above responsibilities and any others so required. 

Role requirements

  • Existing senior level experience of the work and responsibilities of the BAU team, including specifically in the areas of anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance.
  • Commercially and practically minded and able to see the bigger picture when needed.
  • Ability to analyse facts and scenarios thoroughly (and yet quickly) and to proactively put forward resolutions to problems.
  • Top-level task management and organisational skills and a proven ability to manage multiple tasks under time pressure.
  • Strong communicator with a proven ability to motivate others and to communicate positively and effectively with team members, fee earners and support staff.
  • Willingness to work hard and to take day-to-day responsibility for the BAU's key processes in the areas of financial crime and sanctions.
  • Possessing a "can do" approach with an ability to solve problems and look beyond practical and logistical challenges by suggesting solutions and implementing them.
  • Strong people management skills and experience with an interest in mentoring.
  • Enthusiastic, self-motivated and pro-active.

The role of the Business Acceptance Unit

  • To process requests from partners for A&O to accept new legal matters including, in particular, performing anti-money laundering and background checks on new clients and performing conflicts checks (within internal databases) on each new matter (for both new and existing clients);
  • To obtain from relevant lawyers required evidence of identity for new clients (and existing clients for whom the practice has done no work in the preceding two years and whose ownership or control may therefore have changed in the intervening period);
  • To screen and, where requested, send conflict search emails (containing information on new legal matters) to all partners and to monitor responses, analyse search results and, in consultation with the originating lawyers, determine whether or not the new legal matter is clear of conflicts and appropriate for the practice to take on;
  • To authorise the opening of new legal matters when checks have been completed and any issues or problems satisfactorily resolved;
  • To facilitate resolution of legal conflict issues in consultation, where appropriate, with A&O senior management;
  • To facilitate resolution of business conflict issues in consultation with relevant partners/senior lawyers including, if necessary, A&O senior management;
  • To determine the need for information barriers to enhance the internal security of information and to facilitate them being established to meet the requirements of the situation;
  • To intervene (where needed) to direct the required levels of matter/virtual file security within the A&O virtual filing system;
  • To receive, monitor and (where appropriate) keep a central record of terms of engagement agreed with clients, to remind lawyers of the need to ensure that the terms of our engagements are clear and documented and to advise lawyers on unusual/non-standard terms and on aspects of the firm's engagement terms policy; and
  • To deal with business acceptance queries (including conflicts and anti-money laundering ID queries).

Allen & Overy LLP is committed to being an inclusive employer and we are happy to consider flexible working arrangements.

Additional information - External

It’s Time

Allen & Overy is a leading global law firm operating in over thirty countries. By turning our insight, technology and talent into ground-breaking solutions, we’ve earned a place at the forefront of our industry. Our lawyers are leaders in their field – and the same goes for our support teams. Ambitious, driven and open to fresh perspectives, we find innovative new ways to deliver our services and maintain our reputation for excellence, in all that we do.

The nature of law is changing and with that change brings unique opportunities. With our collaborative working culture, flexibility, and a commitment to your progress, we build rewarding careers. By joining our global team, you are supported by colleagues from around the world. If you’re ready for a new challenge, it’s time to seize the opportunity.