Ullah Law Associates

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Asset recovery

The asset recovery regime under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) is a complex and draconian one. Broadly speaking, there are three main strands with which anyone who is or may be made subject to the regime should be concerned: restraint, forfeiture, and confiscation.

Restraint

A restraint order is an order made by the court preventing a defendant from doing certain things to money which may need to be preserved for the purposes of confiscation. Such an order may restrain the defendant from (for example) spending that money or transferring it to somebody else, or from disposing of it in some other way, such as moving it out of the jurisdiction. In some cases, orders may provide for the repatriation of money previously transferred to other jurisdictions.

Being made subject to a restraint order can often have a detrimental effect on a defendant, as it tends to occur early on in proceedings, and it will have a profound impact on the funds available to them in the course of the trial. At Ullah Law Associates, we work hard to ensure that such orders are robustly challenged and that where they are made, they cause as little hardship as possible for our clients.

Forfeiture

Forfeiture is concerned with cash discovered in the course of a search of premises. If there is a suspicion that the cash is linked to criminal activity, an application can be made to a Magistrates’ Court for it to be seized and held by the police until such a suspicion no longer exists. Challenging an application for forfeiture will often involve factual argument as to the source of the cash, in order to prove that the suspicion of a criminal origin is unreasonable, as well as legal argument relating to the legality of the search.

At Ullah Law Associates we have an excellent track record of resisting applications for restraint and continued detention of cash based on our in-depth knowledge of the law and procedure involved and our extensive experience in arguing such applications in court.

Confiscation

Confiscation is arguably the most draconian regime of the three covered in this section. It takes place after conviction, and involves an application by the Crown to confiscate assets held by the defendant. This extends not only to any money or property obtained through the criminal conduct in question (e.g. proceeds of the sale of drugs), but encompasses the entirety of the defendant’s assets. It is then up to the defendant to argue that all or part of the amount sought should not be made the subject of a confiscation order. Resisting confiscation proceedings involves a detailed knowledge of a defendant’s assets, an eye for detail, and unrelenting advocacy both in and out of court. Sometimes proceedings can be resolved with a negotiated settlement, while on other occasions it is necessary to go before a judge in order to argue down the amount sought by the Crown.

At Ullah Law Associates we have particular expertise in challenging applications for confiscation orders on both evidential and legal fronts. Our solicitors have extensive experience in this area, and know how to use expert evidence to best effect. Our efforts often result in orders being substantially reduced (either by settlement or in court) or rejected entirely.

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Asset recovery

The asset recovery regime under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) is a complex and draconian one. Broadly speaking, there are three main strands with which anyone who is or may be made subject to the regime should be concerned: restraint, forfeiture, and confiscation.

Restraint

A restraint order is an order made by the court preventing a defendant from doing certain things to money which may need to be preserved for the purposes of confiscation. Such an order may restrain the defendant from (for example) spending that money or transferring it to somebody else, or from disposing of it in some other way, such as moving it out of the jurisdiction. In some cases, orders may provide for the repatriation of money previously transferred to other jurisdictions.

Being made subject to a restraint order can often have a detrimental effect on a defendant, as it tends to occur early on in proceedings, and it will have a profound impact on the funds available to them in the course of the trial. At Ullah Law Associates, we work hard to ensure that such orders are robustly challenged and that where they are made, they cause as little hardship as possible for our clients.

Forfeiture

Forfeiture is concerned with cash discovered in the course of a search of premises. If there is a suspicion that the cash is linked to criminal activity, an application can be made to a Magistrates’ Court for it to be seized and held by the police until such a suspicion no longer exists. Challenging an application for forfeiture will often involve factual argument as to the source of the cash, in order to prove that the suspicion of a criminal origin is unreasonable, as well as legal argument relating to the legality of the search.

At Ullah Law Associates we have an excellent track record of resisting applications for restraint and continued detention of cash based on our in-depth knowledge of the law and procedure involved and our extensive experience in arguing such applications in court.

Confiscation

Confiscation is arguably the most draconian regime of the three covered in this section. It takes place after conviction, and involves an application by the Crown to confiscate assets held by the defendant. This extends not only to any money or property obtained through the criminal conduct in question (e.g. proceeds of the sale of drugs), but encompasses the entirety of the defendant’s assets. It is then up to the defendant to argue that all or part of the amount sought should not be made the subject of a confiscation order. Resisting confiscation proceedings involves a detailed knowledge of a defendant’s assets, an eye for detail, and unrelenting advocacy both in and out of court. Sometimes proceedings can be resolved with a negotiated settlement, while on other occasions it is necessary to go before a judge in order to argue down the amount sought by the Crown.

At Ullah Law Associates we have particular expertise in challenging applications for confiscation orders on both evidential and legal fronts. Our solicitors have extensive experience in this area, and know how to use expert evidence to best effect. Our efforts often result in orders being substantially reduced (either by settlement or in court) or rejected entirely.

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