The collateral consequences of the Criminal Finances Act - Ed Smyth writes for TheWealthNet

4 February 2020

Ed Smyth, Senior Associate in our criminal litigation team writes for TheWealthNet exploring the impact the Criminal Finances Act has had since being introduced in 2017.

This was passed in the wake of the Panama Paper scandal and one purpose of the Act was to target high net worth individuals / companies with offshore accounts and associated persons or companies who may be facilitating the evasion of tax. However, the Act was also the UK Government's response to accusations that the UK was a haven for dirty money and the spate of terrorism attacks at the time.

Ed looks at two measures which were introduced as a result of this which are Unexplained Wealth Orders and Account Freezing Orders. These orders enabled law enforcement agencies to obtain draconian court orders requiring property owners and back account holders to satisfy the courts of the clean provenance of their assets or risk them being confiscated. 

This article was first published on TheWealthNet on 28 January 2020. You can read the article in full by clicking here (subscription required).

Further information

For further information on the issues raised in this news post, please contact a member of our criminal team.


About the author

Ed Smyth is a Senior Associate in the Criminal Litigation Department and represents individuals and corporates involved across the full spectrum of criminal and quasi-criminal matters. He has considerable experience of confiscation and asset forfeiture proceedings and of challenging the exercise of search and seizure powers. He has acted in cases involving the SFO, the Information Commissioner, the Electoral Commission and various professional disciplinary bodies.


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