Unexplained Wealth Orders

"They are a really outstanding firm - their POCA and asset forfeiture work is absolutely first-class."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWO) are intended to bolster the proceeds of crime regime, by making it easier for law enforcement agencies to seize assets suspected of representing criminal property.

A UWO requires an individual to prove that a particular asset was obtained through legitimate means, e.g. that it was purchased with legitimately earned income or inherited from a legitimate source.

A UWO can be made against politically exposed individuals or individuals where there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that they are, or have been, involved in serious crime in the UK or elsewhere. A failure to provide a response to a UWO may give rise to a presumption that the property is recoverable

There are potentially dire consequences for those respondents targeted by a UWO.  HNWIs, PEPs and their advisors should seek specialist legal advice if they have any concerns that they might be of interest to the National Crime Agency, Serious Fraud Office or other agencies with the power to obtain a UWO.

Kingsley Napley’s top ranked team can advise on a strategy to challenge or respond to such orders.

Unexplained Wealth Orders: Frequently Asked Questions 

See our related blog: Unexplained Wealth Orders – can you prove the legitimate provenance of all of your significant assets?

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