Kingsley Napley has an excellent reputation for proceeds of crime work, born of longstanding experience. Recent years have seen considerable growth in this practice area, following the introduction of new measures designed to tackle illicit finance and the increased attention of enforcement agencies on funds alleged to have a suspicious origin.
We act for individuals and their family members- who may find themselves, unwittingly or otherwise, targets of the asset recovery or forfeiture regimes. We also advise financial institutions, professional services firms and companies – from the property and gambling sectors through to medicinal cannabis manufacturers.
Proceeds of crime solicitors
We have a large team of expert lawyers who routinely deal with matters brought by the full range of law enforcement agencies, including the Police, National Crime Agency, Crown Prosecution Service, Serious Fraud Office, Financial Conduct Authority and HM Revenue & Customs.
Our specialist proceeds of crime solicitors can advise on:
ACCOUNT FREEZING AND FORFEITURE ORDERS, AND CASH SEIZURES
Tackling illicit finance and the proceeds of crime is a government priority and law enforcement focus. Find out more about how our team of specialist forfeiture lawyers can help.
Tackling the laundering of criminal proceeds has been a key priority for successive governments over many years and every indication suggests that it will continue to be so. Find out more about how our expert lawyers can help.
RESTRAINT AND CONFISCATION
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. Find out more about how our team of restraint and confiscation experts can help.
UNEXPLAINED WEALTH ORDERS
UWOs are used by law enforcement agencies to require an individual to prove that a particular asset was obtained through legitimate means. Find out more about how our expert team of UWO lawyers can help.
The UK’s anti-money laundering regime is one of the toughest in the world. Find out more about how our specialist AML solicitors can help.
EXTENDING MORATORIUM PERIODS
A feature of the Proceeds of Crime Act that can have the unwelcome effect of freezing property is the ‘moratorium period’. Find out more about how our specialist proceeds of crime team can help.
Some matters can be procedurally straightforward to challenge, others can lead to complex litigation which may take years to resolve. Our reputation is built on a combination of our legal acumen and our understanding of clients’ interests, in circumstances of invariably high stakes: be it the need for urgent access to business or living expenses, the destiny of family assets or the protection of individual or corporate reputations.
The courts have repeatedly held that the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”) is an intentionally draconian statute. POCA’s armoury of restraint and confiscation has been reinforced over time, amended by the Serious & Organised Crime & Police Act 2005 (“SOCPA”) and more recently, and significantly, by the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which introduced Account Freezing Orders, Account Forfeiture Orders and UWOs.
The State’s appetite for confiscating assets suspected of representing criminal property is very real. Despite criticism of a legislative and procedural framework in which many different agencies have overlapping powers, diminishing the UK’s reputation as a safe haven for dirty money is an oft-stated priority for law enforcement. As a consequence of relentless focus over the last two decades, the UK now has probably one of the toughest asset recovery regimes in the world.
Defence of proceeds of crime enforcement or investigations
The risks of falling foul of Proceeds of Crime enforcement action can be loss of assets, fines or even imprisonment. Our priority is to deal with the allegations against our clients as quickly as possible to help them restore their lives. We are recognised as a go-to firm for those alleged to be connected – directly or indirectly – with funds of suspicious origin. We are also frequently approached by individual and corporate clients to conduct preventative checks on their asset base or company processes for monitoring money laundering or POCA compliance.