The rules in Europe and the Netherlands in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing are strict and comprehensive. The authorities are increasingly directing their attention to the role of gatekeepers (banks, accountants, and other financial institutions). This has already led to various enforcement actions by regulators and the Public Prosecution Service for violations of the Dutch Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (“Wwft”), the Dutch implementation of various EU anti-money laundering directives (AML directives). Then there are various international economic and financial sanctions prohibiting the trade with certain parties, the supply of certain goods (such as dual use goods), or the provision of financial resources to parties in sanctioned countries. Failure to comply with the Wwft or the Dutch Sanctions Act 1977 can have major consequences for your company and management, such as high fines and the risk of personal fines or criminal prosecution of (board) directors. Moreover, if a financial institution violates any of these laws, this may affect directors’ future career prospects. For example, when the regulatory authorities run a fit-and-proper (re)assessment.
NautaDutilh's AML & Sanctions team advises gatekeepers, such as financial institutions (e.g. banks, investment institutions, insurers), accountants and other parties subject to the Wwft, on a daily basis on compliance with the Wwft and Dutch and EU sanctions regulations. This ranges from the proper performance of client due diligence (CDD/KYC), transaction monitoring, and investigations into and reporting of unusual transactions, to reviewing Wwft and sanctions policies and the Systematic Integrity Risk Analyses (SIRA). As part of the licence application process with the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), our team can also help set up an overall compliance framework (if necessary in collaboration with other experts).
Compliance with international sanctions remains a challenge for internationally operating companies. NautaDutilh advises and guidance companies in relation to the Dutch and European sanction regulations regarding i.a. Russia/the Crimea. The EU Blocking Statute in addition prohibits European entities from acting in accordance with designated US sanctions (OFAC sanctions), which may lead to difficult situations for companies. As well-positioned and independent law firm with strong ties with law firms around the world, including the US, NautaDutilh can provide clients with multi-jurisdictional advice.
If your institution or company is confronted with an investigation by the AFM, DNB, OM/FIOD or BFT for alleged failure to comply with the Wwft or sanctions legislation, our team stands ready to help you manage the investigation, minimise the risk of fines, and take remedial action (see also Assistance in raids). It may also be necessary for you to conduct an internal investigation into transactions or clients. Our Corporate Investigations team will be happy to help you, drawing on a wealth of experience with compliance reviews and internal investigations.
Our AML & Sanctions experts are members of the NautaDutilh's Corporate Crime team, which comprises twenty lawyers who are known for their pragmatic and hands-on approach. We have more than twenty-five years of experience in financial and economic sanctions law and administrative law.
Our Corporate Crime team has been ranked Tier 1 in the Legal 500 for many years now. Led by two of the firm’s female partners, , headed by the proactive and sharp Marike Bakker and Francien Rense, with in depth experience over almost three decades and a divers team, in terms of level of experience and a balanced distribution of both male and female lawyers (50/50).