City firm Lovells is spearheading a consortium of 14 City firms developing on-line anti-money laundering training.

The firms are: Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Bird & Bird, CMS Cameron McKenna, Denton Wilde Sapte, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith, Linklaters, Norton Rose, Macfarlanes, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, Travers Smith Braithwaite and US practice Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Lovells' chief operating officer Nick Cave said: 'It's been a fantastic group to work with.

Everyone has been very co-operative in terms of trying to interpret the law and the Law Society guidance - and we've jointly developed the materials.'

The programme will take the form of a series of tests to ensure lawyers understand compulsory money laundering compliance regulations - law firms within the consortium will be able to bolt on additional material particular to their individual anti-money laundering procedures.

The content has been agreed by all the firms and will now be developed into a training software programme by Philippines-based company VinciWorks.

Mr Cave said that VinciWorks would then market the programme to other firms.

David Coleman, a partner in the corporate department of Macfarlanes, said: 'Law firms are increasingly catching on to the fact that e-learning is a reliable training medium.'

Meanwhile, Lovells is set to roll out a plain English on-line training programme in the next fortnight, the firm's head of training, Suzanne Fine, confirmed this week.

The programme is aimed at all Lovells staff and incorporates a series of tests, including a crossword puzzle, to help employees to shed Latin tags.

Ms Fine said the thrust was to train lawyers to approach language flexibly, with the client's outlook as the main priority.

Jeremy Fleming