Proceeds of Crime: new Asset Recovery Action Plan seeks to leave “no safe space” for dirty money
Chambers and Partners, 2019
The purpose of a restraint order is to freeze assets (wherever in the world they might be) in order to satisfy any confiscation order that may be made following a later conviction. While it is necessary for a criminal investigation to be underway in order for the authorities to apply for restraint, once that hurdle is overcome it is typically a straightforward matter for the relevant law enforcement agency to secure a restraint order. Once in place, the nature of complex financial crime investigations often means that assets are frozen for many years, causing huge disruption to the domestic and commercial lives of those affected.
The potentially devastating effect of restraint is far-reaching: as well as the direct target, others who face disruption include trustees, companies, spouses and other family members, who can find themselves caught up complex and demanding restraint proceedings entirely inadvertently.
Non-compliance with an order is a contempt of court or, for the more serious examples, can be treated as perverting the course of justice. A conviction for either offence usually carries a sentence of imprisonment.
Confiscation is the process by which any financial benefit gained from offending behaviour is recouped by the state following conviction. The court will calculate the benefit obtained, and the amount available to the offender to repay that benefit (the “recoverable amount”). As with restraint, the effects of confiscation proceedings typically extend beyond the offender, most notably when jointly held property is included in the recoverable amount.
We understand the importance for individuals and companies of minimising the effect of restraint and confiscation orders and the need for an urgent response in many cases. We can advise on the following:
Our team of restraint and confiscation experts have extensive experience acting in all aspects of restraint orders and confiscation, and can guide you through every step of the process.
One of the premier white collar defence teams in London."
Legal 500 UK 2020
Outstanding practice which frequently defends corporate entities and high-profile individuals in restraint and money laundering matters."
Chambers UK 2017
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