Martin Evans in Supreme Court; Recovery of Management Receiver's Costs

Martin Evans appeared in the Supreme Court case of Barnes (as former Court Appointed Receiver) (Appellant) v The Eastenders Group and another (Respondents).

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A number of people suspected of fraud were to be arrested by police. On 6 December 2010 HHJ Hawkins QC made restraint orders over the assets of the alleged offenders on the (without notice) application of the CPS. He appointed a management receiver over their assets pursuant to s.48(2) of PoCA. The assets of the respondent (Eastenders Cash and Carry) were treated as assets of the alleged offenders and the appellant was appointed by the court as management receiver of the companies. In accordance with s.49(2)(d) PoCA and the terms of the Management Receivership Order and letter of agreement, the appellant was to take his remuneration and expenses from the receivership property.

On 8 February 2011 the Court of Appeal discharged the receivership order on the basis that the respondent’s assets did not constitute ‘realisable property’ which is property obtained through criminal conduct in which the offender has an interest. No provision is made for the receiver to be paid through any other means than from the property under his control, however, the Court of Appeal held by a majority that to allow the receiver to use the property in this way would breach the respondent’s A1P1 rights.

The Issue before the Court was:

Whether allowing a court appointed receiver to recover their fees and expenses from property under their receivership following an order under s.48(2) Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (PoCA) is a breach of the owner’s rights under Article 1 Protocol 1 (A1P1) of the ECHR where the order is subsequently quashed by the Court of Appeal?

Judgment has been reserved.