Restraint Orders, Confiscation and Third Party Rights

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

Chambers and Partners, 2019

Our team of specialist criminal defence lawyers are experienced in advising individuals and corporates in relation to restraint orders and third party applications in respect of property caught by restraint orders.
 

What is a restraint order?

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.

What is confiscation and confiscation proceedings?

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.

Specialist restraint and confiscation legal expertise

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:

  • The lawfulness of the restraint order
  • Compliance with the order including repatriation of assets and providing a statement of assets
  • Challenging the order by way of application to the court to vary or discharge it
  • Contesting confiscation proceedings or appealing the outcome
  • Advising third parties on their rights

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.

Further commentators praise the group's "extremely professional, experienced, committed and diligent" approach."

Chambers and Partners UK, 2020

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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