Money laundering

International Guide to Money Laundering Law and Practice (5th edition)

Arun Srivastava, Mark Simpson, Richard Powell

£275, Bloomsbury


For any legal guidebook to reach its fifth edition, it is reasonable to suppose that its authors must have been doing most things right, and that significant recent developments have justified a new imprint. Both are true in the case of the latest version of Bloomsbury Professional’s masterly International Guide to Money Laundering Law and Practice.

Since the last edition was published in October 2013, the Panama Papers and Russian Laundromat scandals have broken, and the UK has transposed the EU’s Fourth AML Directive and introduced the Criminal Finance Act 2017. An array of new authorities interpret the alphabet of POCA 2002 subsections and the first 241 pages of this book focus on the UK. The AML regulations are comprehensively explained and the criminal and civil asset recovery regimes are cogently set out.

This, though, is very much an international guide and will rightly prove invaluable for practitioners – lawyers, regulators, tax professionals, accountants and compliance officers – who have even a passing interest in cross-border, white-collar crime, or who need to militate against it.

The three editors have excelled in presenting the contributions of more than 60 leading local experts. In contrast to many equally priced books, this work is not padded out with open-source legislation.  

Instead, this publication consists of 1,496 pages divided into 41 chapters covering 37 countries, ranging from Argentina to the US. The country-specific analysis charts the history of each AML legislative regime and details recent changes relevant to the practitioner. The text is consistently of a high standard and punctuated by subheadings, with bullet points and footnotes judiciously employed.

One can well imagine the temptation to have delayed publication to incorporate the inevitable post-Brexit revisions to the AML landscape, including the implementation of the Fifth and Sixth AML Directives before their respective 2020 deadlines. Practitioners may then pause at purchasing this edition at this juncture. They should not. This book is simply and currently unsurpassable as the comparative reference book on this subject and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

David Bloom is a solicitor at Sonn Macmillan Walker, London