We have a proven track record of success in what have frequently been described as the most difficult and draconian legal proceedings within the jurisdiction of English law.
We are the lead lawyers in the case of R v Glatt in the House of Lords and regularly deal with cases ranging from thousands to multimillion pounds, involving domestic and international issues.
It is crucial that you choose and have complete faith in your legal team before your assets and liberty are lost.
Confiscation Proceedings SolicitorA confiscation order is made after a person has been convicted. The legislation is probably the most draconian ever. The relevant legislation is Part II of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 referred to as POCA, as to all cases post 24 March 2003. Prior to this the law is slightly more favourable and is still sometimes relevant. A confiscation order is made after conviction, the purpose being to ensure a defendant cannot benefit from the proceeds of crime. The legislation is draconian insofar as assessing the amount of benefit a defendant has obtained the court is entitled to make a number of assumptions, for example in some circumstances the court may conclude that all income and expenditure in the preceding six years amounts to the proceeds of crime. Once the court has assessed the amount of benefit received from the offence - which can often lead to a form of double accounting - it must make a confiscation order for that amount unless the defendant satisfies the court that the value of their realisable assets is lower than the benefit figure.
This is complex legislation and can have horrendous consequences including the fact that whilst time in prison will be directed if a defendant does not pay the order within a specified period such time is in addition to time served for the offence itself and is proportional to the value of the confiscation order and will not wipe it out. The legislation in relation to confiscation is extremely complex and certainly in more difficult financial cases well beyond the abilities of the general high street lawyer.
Our specialist confiscation restraint and POCA team of lawyers have a highly successful record in defeating and/or limiting the extent of confiscation and restraint orders.
Restraint and Freezing Orders SolicitorA restraint order is to freeze property that may be subsequently confiscated. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 POCO, which was brought in to force in March 2003, enables a prosecutor to restrain or freeze assets to all realisable property and any property received after such an order has been made - there are all sorts of complications involved particularly in relation to jointly owned property. In complex cases the court may appoint a receiver to receive and manage your property - and run up enormous costs for which you will also be liable. Restraint orders are often taken against third parties and connected individuals and may be issued prior to any criminal charges so long as a criminal investigation is underway.
Funding for Restraint OrdersWhilst a restraint or freezing order generally allows provision for a respondent to have 'reasonable living expenses and reasonable legal expenses or to make provision for the running of a business or trade' the legal expenses referred do not include the expenses in relation to offences in respect of which the restraint order is made! This means that in order to fund a challenge to a restraint or freezing order either legal aid or third party funding is a necessity.
If you are served with a restraint order you do need specialist legal advice. A response is generally required and you should contact our restraint and freezing order team immediately as we can assist particularly with regard to how much you and your dependants need for reasonable living expenses, what you say about the charges/investigation, the reasonable belief test and the overall tactics to be employed. Consideration should be given to human rights arguments and increasingly the proportionality of the order. In this area we have enjoyed considerable success.