“For restraint and confiscation matters, no other set has the breadth of experience available under one roof" [Chambers and Partners, 2010]
All of Chambers' Barristers have extensive experience in confiscation litigation. We are regularly instructed by specialist prosecuting authorities including the SFO, RCPO, CPS [regional and the Organised Crime Division], FPS and FSA and Police forces. We are also extensively used by defence solicitors, court appointed receivers and third parties to assist in dealing with all aspects of the asset forfeiture regime flowing from criminal conduct; both domestic and international.
We can offer specialists who are familiar with the operation of restraint orders imposed both before and after a criminal conviction in respect of domestic offences and those committed abroad. Members frequently make applications applying for, discharging or varying restraint orders. We can assist in securing variations to existing court orders to meet living expenditure, remove property from the ambit of the restraint regime or other ancillary orders made by the court [including passport surrender]. Chambers are regularly instructed in cases involving both management and enforcement receivers.
We also have extensive expertise in dealing with the competing claims between ancillary relief applications flowing from divorce and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 provisions regarding preservation of assets. Members regularly appear in the Family Division of the High Court on such cases and also in County Courts.
Chambers are also regularly instructed in high value confiscation proceedings at the Crown Court involving assets both within and outside the jurisdiction and advise frequently on ‘hidden asset’ cases. We frequently deal with appeals in respect of Crown Court confiscation orders, even when we have not been instructed as Counsel in the Court below.
We have significant experience of dealing with both certificate of inadequacy and certificate of increase cases where changes are sought to original Crown Court confiscation orders. We also advise and appear in cases where the case is listed for enforcement purposes in which a default term sentence of significant imprisonment is a live issue. Our members have appeared in the leading cases involving delay and abuse of process at the enforcement stage of a confiscation order.
Members can assist in removing from restraint or confiscation assets on behalf of those who can establish a proprietary claim to the property seized. Examples include stolen items being held by the prosecution authority, or of money moved through bank accounts where a tracing exercise is required.
Chambers offers extensive experience in cash seizure work, both under POCA 2002 and its forerunner legislation, the Drug Trafficking Act 1984. We have acted in many of the largest and most technical cash seizure cases, in the Magistrates' Court and appeals to the Crown Court and in judicial review to the High Court or Court of Appeal. Our advice is routinely sought pre-seizure by prosecuting authorities and police forces in large cases and we regularly advise defendants on how best to respond to notices of seizure and forfeiture particularly when these proceedings are running in parallel with criminal proceedings.