We're delighted to have been ranked by Chambers and Partners (2015) as number 1 in Asset Recovery yet again.
Chambers is consistently acknowledged as the leading set in relation to heavyweight proceeds of crime and asset forfeiture cases. Sources explain that "the knowledge base and expertise here is unparalleled. You go to them when you need not only someone who knows all the rules but also knows the infrastructure of the area in depth."
It is home to numerous dedicated specialists and offers high-quality representation and advice at all levels. Members are capable of acting in the full range of restraint, confiscation, civil recovery and cash seizure matters, and appear on behalf of prosecuting authorities, defendants, receivers and third parties.
They obtains some of the most significant instructions in this field, both at first instance and at appellate levels. Notable examples of recent cases include R v GH, which determined the scope of Section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, R v Ahmad, which determined the approach to confiscation in joint benefit cases, and Barnes v Eastenders, which decided liability for incorrectly made receivership orders.
Client service: "The clerking team is of a high standard. All the clerks are very professional , approachable, friendly, courteous and willing to assist in every way they possibly can. No request is too big or small. They are also responsive to any communication that I have with them and overall a pleasure to work with as I know that any work that I instruct chambers to deal with is in a safe pair of hands." The practice manager, Martin Adams, is "a true professional and very reliable."
Andrew Mitchell QC
Sources from all corners of the market praise him. His track record features many of the largest, precedent-setting cases that have been brought under the proceeds of crime legislation. Strengths: "He knows everything about everything in proceeds of crime." "He knows the law backwards and inside out. He's also an excellent advocate, and can marshal facts and put them forward like no others. His cross-examination is also exceptional and a thing to behold." Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal on behalf of the former chairman of an offshore bank who faced a civil recovery claim in respect of money laundering committed through the bank.
Graham Brodie QC
A well-regarded asset forfeiture specialist who is regularly instructed by commercial clients and individual defendants to handle confiscation and restraint proceedings arising from white-collar and serious civil fraud investigations. Strengths: "An expert on the law but also able to think strategically about how issues will play out." "He knows his way around the area very well and is also very good with clients. He is also very user-friendly and responsive." Recent work: Acted for a former Goldman Sachs banker charged with laundering proceeds of corruption from Nigeria. The case concerned confiscation proceedings and an application for the variance of a restraint order.
Mark Rainsford QC
Has a stellar reputation for acting in money laundering claims. His broad proceeds of crime practice sees him handling very high-value confiscation and restraint orders. Strengths: "Offers excellent advocacy, first-class advice and superior preparation. He is hard-working, very commercially aware, user-friendly and approachable." Recent work: Represented the CPS in enforcement proceedings brought in relation to a £14 million confiscation order after financial restructuring had seemingly dissipated the initial assets.
Highly regarded for his asset forfeiture expertise and described by some as "Mr POCA." He has considerable experience of acting in civil recovery, restraint, confiscation and receivership proceedings at every court level. Strengths: "A good intellectual lawyer and an effective advocate." "He has a very practical and straightforward way of delivering arguments which courts appreciate. His written advice is also to the point and no-nonsense." Recent work: Appeared in R v GH, a Supreme Court appeal which questioned the meaning of money laundering activity under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Renowned for his expertise in asset forfeiture, he is frequently instructed in the leading cases in this area. He has a wealth of experience in confiscation, civil recovery and restraint proceedings. Strengths: "A calm, clear and measured advocate" who is "clever and analytical but also charming and funny." "He can deal with things at short notice, is extremely knowledgeable in this area and does a lot of work." Recent work: Acted for the former receiver in Barnes v Eastenders Group, a Supreme Court case concerning liability for a receiver's remuneration where the initial receivership order was unjustified.
Very well-regarded criminal counsel with an excellent asset recovery practice. She has considerable experience of acting in confiscation and civil recovery matters, and has handled cases involving international enforcement and mutual assistance. Strengths: "An excellent advocate who is reliable, extremely hard-working, commercially aware, user-friendly and very approachable." "She has a deep-rooted understanding of how all of these areas of law work." Recent work: Acted for the Government of Macau in enforcement proceedings concerning a multimillion-pound confiscation order served on corrupt individuals.
Regularly instructed to advise businesses on complying with their duties under POCA legislation in the context of money laundering and international sanctions. He has additional experience of restraint, recovery and enforcement proceedings. Strengths: "He is approachable, professional and incredibly knowledgeable in these fields. His written work is excellent and his advocacy is even better. He is a formidable opponent and a delight to work with."
Prosecutes and defends in complex restraint and confiscation proceedings. His work is often multi-jurisdictional, and regularly involves offshore or foreign parties. Strengths: "Extremely knowledgeable and very hard-working, he is increasingly becoming an authority in this area." Recent work: Instructed by the US Department of Justice to advise on international restraint and receivership issues involved in Allen Stanford's billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
A renowned fraud practitioner who regularly prosecutes and defends in confiscation and asset recovery proceedings. He has experience of acting with regard to international mutual assistance requests, multi-jurisdictional recovery claims and contempt of court cases. Strengths: "Has the right client manner to guide clients through what are always difficult and stressful proceedings.""He's absolutely tremendous at drafting, which can be everything in POCA work. His knowledge is immense too and he keeps on top of everything." Recent work: Represented defendants Kingdom Corporation, a bureau de change, which was the subject of a police investigation into money laundering activities. As well as various other proceedings, he successfully challenged the seizure of £90,000 while it was being moved to a bank.
Regularly advises management receivers and affected third parties, as well as defendants faced with POCA proceedings. He has notable expertise relating to civil recovery and receivership. Strengths: "A lawyer with excellent advocacy skills who works very quickly and very thoroughly." Recent work: Advised the management receiver and liquidator of Sustainable Growth Group following a high-profile SFO investigation which resulted in the conviction of the former company directors.