Martin Evans (1989)

 "...all aspects of law relating to asset recovery..." 

"...all aspects of law relating to asset recovery..." 

Martin’s practice involves all aspects of the law relating to asset recovery, money laundering and confiscation. He is experienced in handling the most complex restraint, receivership and contempt proceedings in the High Court and the Crown Court. 

He is highly regarded in a broad range of serious crime, with an emphasis on fraud, money laundering and corporate criminal liability and corruption. Regularly instructed for the defence and the prosecution in heavy fraud cases.  Currently instructed to prosecute international corruption case for the SFO and to defend in a ‘carbon credit’ fraud.

Yearly, he is ranked in the first band for POCA Work and Asset Forfeiture in Chambers and Partners: "He is very good and very knowledgeable, and has a great eye for detail. His written work is extremely good, and he is very approachable and a real team player." “Clever, engaged, personable and very knowledgeable, he's a pleasure to work with.” ‘‘He’s very bright. Clear and concise in the advice he gives. He’s an excellent appellate advocate’’. "A calm, clear and measured advocate". "Clever and analytical but also charming and funny." 

Martin has a strong appellate practice; in the last two years he has been instructed in more than a dozen cases before the Court of Appeal in which he did not appear in the lower court.

The Legal 500 recommends Martin as 'a specialist in asset recovery, money laundering and confiscation cases.'  'He reduces complex matters to easy and understandable matrices of facts.' and ‘Solicitors trust him with silk-level work.’ He is a contributing editor of ‘Archbold’ with responsibility for the chapters on money laundering, corporate criminal liability and Revenue and Customs offences. He is co-author of ‘Corporate Criminal Liability’ (described as “scholarly and comprehensive” by Lord Hoffmann and as "a thoughtful work" by Lord Hughes). He is also a contributing editor of ‘Confiscation and the Proceeds of Crime’ – Mitchell, Taylor and Talbot.

Martin has delivered training on money laundering for the Bar Council; devised materials for a training program for the judiciary on restraint and receivership under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and contributed to a SOCA program for expert witnesses in Money Laundering cases. He has provided training to the Metropolitan Police on investigative powers. He has given evidence on behalf of the Criminal Bar Association and Bar Council before the Home Affairs Committee on Proceeds of Crime legislation.  He regularly lectures on asset recovery and related topics. CPS Grade 4 Prosecution Advocate. SFO List A Counsel.

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Recent Cases

  • A v DPP [2016] EWCA Crim 1393: In what is the first time they considered Criminal Justice and Data Protection (Protocol No. 36) Regulations 2014 issues, the Court of Appeal ruled that that a challenge to the substantive reasons for the making of an overseas restraint order may be made only in the courts of the issuing state.

  • Barnes v Eastenders  [2015] A.C. 1; [2014] 2 W.L.R. 1269;  [2014] UKSC 26: CPS ordered to pay the remuneration and expenses of a receiver appointed following the discharge of a PoCA restraint and receivership order based upon the principle of ‘unjust enrichment’ where to allow E's assets to be taken to pay for B's costs and remuneration would not strike a fair balance between the general interest of the community and the requirements of the protection of E's right to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions and so would be disproportionateHowever, to refuse B's application would replace one injustice with another. As there had been a total failure of consideration in relation to B's rights over E's assets, which was fundamental to the basis on which he had agreed to act. B was entitled to recover his proper remuneration and expenses from the CPS because the work done and expenses incurred were at the CPS's request.  Instructed by Peters and Peters on behalf of the Receiver.

  • R v Doran and Gray [2015] EWCA Crim 384: Tobacco smuggling case. The fact that customs officers had not intervened but had merely kept the consignment under observation did not result in a disconnection between the goods and D for the purpose of the Regulations. As for benefit, the court was bound by the decision in Smith; provided there was no risk of double recovery by the Revenue, a confiscation order in the amount of the pecuniary advantage obtained was a proportionate means of ensuring that D did not gain from their criminal.  Prosecution appeal re apportionment allowed. Leave to appeal to the Supreme Court refused.  Instructed by the CPS

  • R v Harvey [2013] EWCA Crim 1104  No deduction was to be made from the benefit figure to reflect the amount paid by way of VAT; it was repugnant and contrary to the principles stated in May and Waya to conduct an accounting exercise over a criminal enterprise. ‘Partial restoration’: A1P1 did not require the court to deduct the residual value where D used stolen chattels for a substantial period (thereby materially reducing their value) before they were returned to their true owners.  Judgment of Supreme Court pending.

  • R v Lehair [2015] EWCA Crim 1324: A literal interpretation of s.77(5)(a) was anomalous to the explicit purpose of the Act. It could not have been intended that criminals would have a day's grace to dispose of their assets; section 77(5)(a) had to be construed purposively. Instructed by the CPS.

  • R v Bestel and others [2013] 2 Cr. App. R 30 The court gave guidance on the relevant principles when considering whether to grant an extension of time to appeal against a confiscation order when the effect of granting the application would be to allow the applicant to take advantage of a change of law.

  • Re D: Applications (in private) in the Administrative Court for discharge of worldwide freezing relief and interim receivership orders worth billions of dollars (under the Criminal Justice Act 1988).  Instructed by Allen & Overy for D

  • Worrall [2012] EWCA Crim 1150 Where the issue was whether turnover of a brothel was proper measure of benefit, the judge was entitled to make robust findings on the basis of evidence; where there was no sufficient evidence, it was wrong to equate turnover with benefit. Instructed on behalf of W.

  • McIlravey [2011] EWCA Crim 2815 In a money laundering case where the defendant received criminal funds (from her son) into a bank account over which she at all times had legal ownership and practical control, then the funds were ‘obtained by her’ for the purposes of s.76 POCA 2002.

  • R v Modjiri [2011] 1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 20 Prosecution appeal against a confiscation order (s.31, PACE). The case raised the important question of how the market value of jointly owned property is to be determined when the defendant’s interest is it cannot be retained separately from the property.

  • R v White & others [2010] EWCA Crim 978. The case concerned the calculation of benefit based upon liability for duty & VAT and the compatibility of duty and VAT regulations with European directives. Martin was led by David Anderson QC from Brick Court Chambers.

Other Notable Cases

  • R v Shabir [2008] EWCA Crim 1809
    First reported appeal in which the Court of Appeal quashed a confiscation order on the grounds that it was oppressive and an abuse of process; appeared for the Appellant.
  • R v IK [2007] EWCA Crim 491
    Prosecutor’s appeal against rulings by trial judge that there was no case to answer where the issue was whether the proceeds of cheating the revenue could be ‘criminal property’ for purposes of ss.340(3) and 328 of Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • R v Glatt [2006] EWCA Crim 605
    Confiscation appeal concerned with the meaning of and interrelationship between ss.74(4)(5) and (6) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the court’s discretion in confiscation proceeding under the unamended 1988 Act. The appellant was a solicitor who had laundered money for his principal, a duty fraudster.

Recent Seminars and Articles

  • 'Internal Compliance Training for bank employees’ June/July 2014
  • 'Criminal Prosecutions for Civil Litigators'; November 2013
  • Corporate Crime: Confiscation, restraint and civil recovery'; Lexis Nexis Webinar October 2013
  • 'Is there still a role for the receiver?'; POCLA Forum June 2012
  • 'Corporate Crime and Confiscation’; Financial Investigation Conference; Belfast February  2012
  • ‘Complex crime and Restraint Orders’; Inter-agency Proceeds of Crime Conference, FSA March 2012
  • ‘Asset recovery in Bribery cases’; Lexis Nexis Bribery conference October 2011
  • ‘Confiscation and Abuse of Process’; Journal of Asset Recovery November 2008
  • ‘Trade creditors and Restraint Orders: the implications of the decision in SFO v Lexi Holdings’; Legal Week, September 2008


  • ‘Corporate Criminal Liability’ (with Amanda Pinto QC): 3rd edition Sweet and Maxwell 2008.
  • Archbold Criminal pleading and Practice’; contributing editor (since 2006)
  • ‘Confiscation and the Proceeds of Crime’, Mitchell Taylor and Talbot; contributing editor
  • ‘Abuse of Process in Criminal Proceedings’ by Corker, Young and Summers; 3rd edition Butterworths 2008 (contributor)