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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M01S

Alice Green, a conveyancing solicitor, is approached by her client, Mr. Collins, who asks for an explanation for the delay in completing a property transaction. Alice suspects that a suspicious activity report (SAR) has been filed regarding the other party in the transaction. Additionally, Mr. Collins mentions that his bank account has been frozen and seeks legal advice on the matter. What is the effect of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in this scenario?

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Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, specifically section 333A, it is an offence to disclose that a SAR has been made if such disclosure is likely to prejudice any investigation. However, legal advisers have certain protections under section 333D(2), which allows disclosures made for the purpose of dissuading a client from engaging in criminal conduct. In this scenario, Alice cannot inform Mr. Collins of her suspicions about the delay as this could potentially prejudice an investigation. Nonetheless, she can provide legal advice regarding the freezing of his bank account, as this does not fall under the same restriction. 

Key Point: This question examines the limitations imposed by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, particularly sections 333A and 333D. It is essential for legal professionals to understand the boundaries of client communication to avoid committing a "tipping off" offence while still fulfilling their duty to advise clients accurately.

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