Due to our strong online presence and visibility, we regularly receive enquiries from prospective clients abroad and always welcome those enquiries and instructions.
Many of our enquiries are business related, others are for personal legal matters. We all live in a far more mobile world and it is much more common for people and businesses to live in or operate from more than 1 country.
Clients are first and foremost looking for the right lawyers for them, but convenience also comes into play and where a client is in a country which may be thousands of miles away, they don;t always want to come to the UK. So what happens then, in terms of the necessary formalities ?
Solicitors are bound by professional conduct rules and also have to be very careful about client identification and money laundering.
It is possible, in some circumstances to proceed without meeting a client, but generally, at the very least, we would need someone in the UK to have a power of attorney and to ensure that we are able to identify the ultimate client, which can potentially be achieved by having a local lawyer, in the corresponding jurisdiction, carry out the appropriate identity checks. In the case of a power of attorney, we would need to check the bona fides of the document if we haven’t prepared it, to verify the identity of the attorney and of course to verify instructions from the ultimate client before we can accept any necessary documents which need to be signed by the attorney.
A common scenario where the above may be possible is where a non-Uk resident is selling a property they own in the UK, or perhaps having moved abroad, the person is named as an executor in a will. really, there are a myriad of situations and we will always work with clients and representatives to proceed in the way which is simplest for the client and cost effective, whilst also ensuring that we protect against the possibility of a bogs or fraudulent situation.
If you are either a business or individual seeking a UK lawyer for a legal matter in England & Wales (Scottish law is separate), please do get in touch with us.
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