Since February 2nd 2004, the Belgian anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) legislation (Law of January 11th 1993 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing) applies to attorneys, when they assist their clients in the planning or execution of a number of specified transactions or when they act on behalf of and for their clients in such transactions (www.ctif-cfi.be).
Attorneys may not establish or maintain a relationship with a client - physical person or legal entity - nor carry out transactions on behalf of a client, without having identified the client and the client’s representatives and having verified their identity by means of supporting documents.
Attorneys who, in the execution of their activities, discover facts that they know or suspect to be related to money laundering or terrorist financing, must immediately inform the President of their bar association. The President of the bar association will decide if he or she has to transmit the information to the Belgian Financial Intelligence Processing Unit (CTIF-CFI). Attorneys must not transmit this information if it has been received from or obtained on one of their clients in the course of ascertaining that client's legal position or defending or representing that client in (relation to) judicial proceedings, including giving advice on instituting or avoiding such proceedings.