POCA/Confiscation

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Categories of Defence

POCA / Confiscation

Confiscation proceedings can be brought by the prosecuting authorities following conviction for any offence where it is felt that a financial benefit has been obtained by the defendant.  The agencies have extensive and draconian powers and using an expert Proceeds of Crime Act solicitor is important to ensuring that you achieve the best result.

We have a team of expert POCA solicitors all of whom are experienced in preparing your case and we are often asked to take over cases after people have become disillusioned with the work of their solicitors in this area.  

At risk of considerable periods of imprisonment if you fail to pay the confiscation order our expert solicitors guide you through the case ensuring that you receive proper advice and tactical guidance. The investigating authorities of the government are now provided with extensive and draconian powers to investigate the assets of those under investigation, and to freeze and even to confiscate those assets both in the civil and criminal courts. We know just how devastating the effect of these orders can be, and the paramount importance of the proper advice and tactics from the very outset.  We can help you if you find yourself facing:

  • Cash seizure and forfeiture proceedings
  • Restraint orders
  • Confiscation proceedings
  • POCA civil recovery proceedings
  • Third party interests
  • Enforcement proceedings
  • Certificates of inadequacy
  • Appeals against confiscation orders

We are often instructed by clients to take over confiscation proceedings after conviction and legal aid funding can be transferred to us by the Court.

We are increasingly instructed by individuals and businesses facing multi-million Pound confiscation applications as a result of our expertise in these types of applications.

Confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act often involve attempts by the prosecution to confiscate assets which potentially belong to third parties. It is not unusual for the prosecution to claim that assets such as properties, vehicles and bank accounts are available assets for confiscation when a third party such as a husband, wife, other family member or business associate is the owner or has an interest in the asset. Section 10 (a) of the

Proceeds Crime Act allows such third parties to join in the confiscation proceedings and state their claim to the asset in question. They are able to apply to be separately represented in the confiscation hearing and call evidence to establish the ownership of the asset. If you believe that an asset belonging to you has been wrongly included within confiscation proceedings it is important to act before the final confiscation order is made. We have significant experience in dealing with these matters and are happy to discuss your potential application.

Key contacts in this area are Rob Rode, Keith Allen and Andrew Stewardson.

  • R v T – Confiscation following the conviction of an internet banking fraudster who was part of the Dark Market internet fraud site, and was once on the FBI most wanted list
  • R v Y – A multi-million pound confiscation proceedings involving a prominent local businessman following conviction of theft and mortgage fraud
  • R v P – A multi-million pound confiscation claim
  • R v A – £2m confiscation claim – nominal order made
  • R v M – Multi-million pound criminal lifestyle claim following drugs offences
  • R v N – Multi-million benefit claim reduced to £500 and nominal amount ordered
  • Other notable cases include:
  • The widely reported R v Shabir [2008] EWCA Crim 1809 – confiscation order quashed as an abuse of process
  • R v X – Confiscation appeal concerning ownership of properties in Tanzania
  • R v F –  Confiscation proceedings relating to a £600k phoenix company fraud
  • R v H – Confiscation proceedings re a £1m benefit figure following trade descriptions offences
  • R v S – Confiscation proceedings involving allegation of hidden assets in Vietnam
  • R v M – £7m benefit claim was reduced to £300k benefit and £220k confiscation order
  • R v S – Confiscation proceedings following a BIS prosecution  – issues re corporate veil and benefit of director acting whilst disqualified
  • R v S – Third party interest claim re property held in name of husband convicted of drug offences.
  • R v M & M – Represented third parties in High Court enforcement receiver applications and also in SOCA civil recovery proceedings – assets were preserved for clients in both cases
  • R v C – Certificate of inadequacy application concerning diminution of value of assets held in Norway and Switzerland
  • Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) Proceeds of Crime Act civil recovery proceedings concerning executive pension scheme

Case Study

BPI-v-W (Newcastle Crown Court) – Confiscation proceedings brought by the British Phonographic Industry. Keith Allen lead a team of other fee earners to prepare the case. The proceedings involved the reconstruction of all company spending over a 6 year period from both original material and suppliers including applications for over 50 witness summons.  The prosecution sought a benefit figure of over £4 million pounds before agreeing an amount just over £2 million pounds.  The prosecution sought a finding of hidden assets at the same value as the benefit figure before eventually agreeing an available amount at a little over one hundred thousand pounds.  The defence were also successful in excluding the defendant’s wife’s home from the eventual order.

We have been instructed in several multi-million pound confiscation proceedings, including several cases where the firm has been instructed by the client post conviction specifically to handle the confiscation proceedings, including:

  • R v T – Confiscation following the conviction of an internet banking fraudster who was part of the Dark Market internet fraud site, and was once on the FBI most wanted list
  • R v Y – A multi-million pound confiscation proceedings involving a prominent local businessman following conviction of theft and mortgage fraud
  • R v P – A multi-million pound confiscation claim
  • R v A – £2m confiscation claim – nominal order made
  • R v M – Multi-million pound criminal lifestyle claim following drugs offences
  • R v N – Multi-million benefit claim reduced to £500 and nominal amount ordered


OTHER NOTABLE CASES INCLUDE:


The widely reported R v Shabir [2008] EWCA Crim 1809 – confiscation order quashed as an abuse of process:


  • R v X – Confiscation appeal concerning ownership of properties in Tanzania
  • R v F – Ongoing confiscation proceedings re £600k phoenix company fraud
  • R v H – Ongoing confiscation proceedings re a £1m benefit figure following trade descriptions offences
  • R v S – Ongoing confiscation proceedings involving allegation of hidden assets in Vietnam
  • R v M – £7m benefit claim was reduced to £300k benefit and £220k confiscation order
  • R v S – Confiscation proceedings re BIS prosecution  – issues re corporate viel and benefit of director acting whilst disqualified
  • R v S – Third party interest claim re property held in name of husband convicted of drug offences
  • R v M & M – Represented third parties in High Court enforcement receiver applications and also in SOCA civil recovery proceedings – assets were preserved for clients in both cases
  • R v C – Certificate of inadequacy application concerning diminution of value of assets held in Norway and Switzerland

Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) Proceeds of Crime Act civil recovery proceedings concerning executive pension scheme

We are currently working with other practitioners on a Best Practice Guide to confiscation proceedings.

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