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Tipping off – London lawyer will stand trial


A City of London solicitor, accused of forging a legal letter and tipping off a client about a money-laundering investigation, will stand on trial after denying both counts.

William Osmond, the founder of City of London law firm Osmond Solicitors, entered not guilty pleas on one count of forgery and one count of disclosing an investigation into possible breaches of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The London lawyer will face trial in March 2023 after being accused of informing his client of the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO's) plans for a money-laundering probe.

The accusation is the solicitor:-

  • Tipped-off James Reeding Ramsay after the SFO handed him a Section 2 notice requiring him to hand over documents.
  • "Engaged in regular, frequent communication" with his client as to the contents of the SFO notice.
  • Handed over a forged "letter of engagement," purported to be from 2013 but had been created by Osmond in 2018.

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