Proceeds of crime
Cash seizure and forfeiture orders
"They are intellectually sound, good lawyers and are very good at client care."
Chambers 2021, Financial Crime
UK law enforcement agencies possess wide powers to seize or detain property where they suspect that it is the proceeds of crime.
The scope of these powers is wide and, since February 2018, include a credit balance held at any UK bank or building society. Applications for seizure are made to magistrates’ courts, normally without notice. Subsequently, law enforcement can apply for the permanent forfeiture of the seized property. It only has to prove on a balance of probabilities that the property was somehow obtained as a consequence of criminal conduct which occurred either in the UK or elsewhere.
Corker Binning has extensive experience in advising respondents (the person whose property has been seized) and others affected (family members) who suddenly lose control of their property as a result of a law enforcement action.
Our many years of experience enables us to guide clients to achieve a pragmatic result, whilst minimising the risk of adverse and consequential outcomes. We have acted for clients facing a full spectrum of allegations of criminality and have succeeded in having their property released.
Our cash seizures lawyers have recently advised on the following matters:
- Representing a money services business which had £700,000 seized. We successfully negotiated the return of over half of this sum together with a formal acknowledgement that our client had no criminal culpability.
- Securing the return of £110,000 in cash seized from business owners on their return to the UK into the port at Folkestone.
- Cash seized from a safety deposit box (we have advised many individuals in the well-publicised operation by the Metropolitan Police called Operation Rize in which three London safe depositaries were raided and 6,700 deposit boxes opened and searched).