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Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession


Welcome to the home page of the ABA Task Force on the Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession. The Task Force was created in February 2002 by ABA President Robert Hirshon to examine U.S. government and multilateral efforts to combat international money laundering and the implications of these efforts for lawyers and the profession. The legal profession, as well as certain financial sector professions, have been characterized as the "gatekeepers" to the international financial and business markets.

The mission of the Task Force is to respond to initiatives by the U.S. Department of Justice and other organizations that will impact on the attorney-client relationship in the context of anti-money laundering enforcement. We are reviewing and evaluating ABA policies and rules regarding the ability of attorneys to disclose client activity and information, and developing a position on the Gatekeeper issue. We are developing educational programs for legal professionals and law students, and organizing resource materials to allow lawyers to comply with their anti-money laundering responsibilities. The goal is to preserve the integrity of the attorney-client relationship.

Latest Developments and Key Materials

Laurel Terry and José Robles Law Review Article: "The Relevance of FATF's Recommendations and Fourth Round of Mutual Evaluations to the Legal Profession," (Fordham Int’l Law Journal, 2018)

U.S. Treasury Department's Specially Designated Nationals List (August 5, 2015)

ABA President William Hubbard Op-Ed Praising Canadian Supreme Court Decision“: Confidentiality Versus Money-Laundering Laws” (National Law Journal, March 10, 2015)

Conference of Chief Justices Resolution Supporting the Voluntary (July 2013)

FATF Documents and Related ABA Comments

FATF Typologies Report (June 2013)

The FATF Standards (February 2012)

Risk Based Approach Guidance for Legal Professionals (October 23, 2008)

ABA Submits Initial Follow-Up Comments to FATF Consultative Meeting in Milan (January 7, 2011)

Other Organizations’ Comments to FATF Consultation Paper

CCBE Letter (June 20, 2011)

JFBA Letter (June 20, 2011)

ABA Policies and Positions

ABA Resolution 300 Opposing Federal Beneficial Ownership Reporting Mandates and Regulation of Lawyers in Formation of Business Entities (August 2008)

ABA Resolution 116 Adopting the Voluntary Good Practices Guidance for Lawyers to Detect and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (August, 2010)

Text of Voluntary Good Practices Guidance for Lawyers to Detect and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Reference Materials

Financial Action Task Force

ABA Governmental Affairs Office: "Independence of the Legal Profession: Gatekeeper Regulations on Lawyers"

ABA Journal "Into the Breach" article from Oct 2011


Frequently Asked Questions about the Gatekeeper Initiative and the Voluntary Good Practices Guidance


Chair: William H. Clark, Jr, Philadelphia, PA


John M. Barkett, Miami, FL

Elwood F. Cahill, Jr, New Orleans, LA

John Regis Coogan, Washington, DC

Robert Wilson Downes, New York, NY

Garth Jacobson, Seattle, WA

Myles V. Lynk, Washington, DC

George W. Madison, New York, NY

Jenny Mittelman, Atlanta, GA

Carolyn A. Reers, Greenwich, CT

William E. Stern, New York, NY

Laurel S. Terry, Carlisle, PA

Bruce Zagaris, Washington, DC

Board Liaison:  Kevin L. Shepherd, Baltimore, MD

Staff: Larson Frisby, Washington, DC