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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M49S

Jessica Green, a solicitor, is representing her client, Mr. Lewis, in debt recovery proceedings against Mr. Taylor for £50,000. No settlement offers have been made, and the case is listed for trial. Jessica has received minimal instructions from Mr. Lewis beyond compliance with court orders and suspects that money laundering may be occurring.


What should Jessica do?

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The litigation exemption from Bowman v Fels applies in this case because it concerns ongoing litigation. This exemption protects actions taken during litigation up to and including the execution of a judgment. However, the property in question remains criminal property, and once judgment is executed, money laundering offences can be committed. Jessica should thus continue to act in Mr. Lewis's best interests (as per SRA Principle 4) and consider referring him for specialist advice regarding potential money laundering offences post-judgment. Coming off record or warning the court may constitute "tipping off" under section 333A, leading to criminal liability. 


Key Point: This question highlights the nuances of the litigation exemption under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. It is critical for solicitors to understand when to continue representation and when to seek specialist advice to avoid facilitating money laundering.

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