Civil Recovery & Asset Forfeiture
Several barristers at Millennium Chambers combine criminal and civil practices. Those who do, have expertise in the area of civil recovery and asset forfeiture. We regularly defend civil recovery cases brought before the High Court under Part 5 of POCA and ancillary applications to secure property freezing orders. Our barristers strive to achieve exclusion orders which enable their clients to live, run their businesses and to pay their legal expenses whilst proceedings are ongoing.
Unexplained Wealth Orders and criminal taxation proceedings, practice in this area is developing fast. We act on cases brought under section 303Z to freeze and potentially forfeit money held in individual bank accounts (Account freezing and forfeiture orders). Our members know how to deal with the NCA, CPS, HMRC, amongst other prosecution authorities. They are adept at protecting the interests of clients faced with these orders. We also have experience with cash forfeiture proceedings.
Other forms of asset recovery
If confiscation proceedings are not appropriate, it may be that other forms of asset recovery included within POCA may be relevant. Those include civil recovery, cash, listed asset and account forfeiture proceedings and taxation.
The prosecution authority will highlight the possibilities to the financial investigator or the officer in charge. If civil recovery is considered a potential avenue, contact will be made with CPS POC.
*Note, the NCA and HMRC conduct their civil recovery cases.
If a prosecution should proceed, the prosecution authority will provide advice to the police on the basis that the issue arises from a criminal offence and is ancillary to contemplated, or ongoing criminal proceedings. The Court of Appeal has issued guidance concerning parallel cash recovery and criminal proceedings.
Conversely, if the prosecution authority advises against prosecution, then either the cash will be returned, or purely civil forfeiture proceedings will continue without the prosecution authority’s involvement.