Kangs Solicitors has a nationally recognised specialist team handling all issues arising from the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) including:
- Restraint Orders
- Confiscation & POCA Proceedings
- Cash Seizures
- Civil Recovery
We act for Respondents, Defendants and Third Parties affected by any of the above-mentioned matters.
Kangs Solicitors is a leading firm and has been ranked nationally for ‘POCA and Asset Forfeiture work’ by the legal directory Chambers UK since 2014.
‘They are excellent in their client care and have a technical knowledge of POCA and Asset Forfeiture work which is far superior to other firms’
We have considerable experience representing clients and third parties in relation to Restraint Orders obtained pursuant to POCA.
A Restraint Order is a powerful investigative tool used by many of the major prosecuting authorities such as HMRC, SFO, FCA, CPS and Trading Standards.
Key Features of a Restraint Order
- Usually obtained without notice or prior warning to an individual or business and can have a devasting financial impact if matters are not addressed immediately.
- The effect is to freeze all assets belonging to an individual or business.
- Includes provisions requiring the respondent to provide certain documentation and information such as the disclosure of all assets and bank accounts in the UK and overseas.
- A provision ordering the respondent to repatriate all assets and funds to the UK within a strict time limit.
- A requirement for the respondent to provide a statement of truth detailing all financial assets and expenditure during a specified period.
- A restriction on the amount of funds to be utilized for personal living expenses and/or business expenditure.
How can we help you with a Restraint Order?
- Provide early advice and guidance on its effect.
- Take immediate action to unfreeze bank accounts to enable essential payments and expenditure to be undertaken.
- Take immediate steps to ensure any business affected is able to function on a day to day basis.
- Seek an increase in the weekly living allowance which it may authorise.
- Apply for its discharge or variation.
- Represent and advise third party individuals and corporate entities which it affects.
Confiscation Proceedings | POCA
Our specialist confiscation and POCA team regularly works alongside the leading barristers and forensic accountants and prides itself on providing quick and effective advice in all situations.
We are regularly instructed by defendants in relation to confiscation proceedings after they have been convicted. We advise clients in such circumstances and, if appropriate, take over the conduct of their defence of confiscation proceedings following conviction in proceedings where we have not previously been involved.
POCA is a highly specialised area and our experienced team has had considerable success with members of our team having conducted some of the leading reported cases in this area of law.
How can we help you with Confiscation & POCA Proceedings?
- Provide early and effective advice, which can often be crucial in the outcome of POCA proceedings.
- Represent a defendant in confiscation proceedings.
- Represent third parties in confiscation proceedings.
- Challenge the ‘benefit figure’ and ‘realisable assets/available amount figure’.
- Contest the ‘criminal lifestyle assumptions’ often applied by the prosecution.
- Contest a prosecution application to re-open a Confiscation Order.
- Provide representation in applications pursuant to section 23 POCA to vary the ‘available assets figure’ after a Confiscation Order has been made.
- Provide representation and advice regarding enforcement of Confiscation Orders.
- Prepare and submit applications for ‘certificates of inadequacy’.
- Advise regarding the appointment of Management Receivers.
Cash Seizure | Detention & Forfeiture
POCA authorises a relevant officer of the state (including police and HMRC officers) to seize cash in certain circumstances, detain it pending an investigation into its origins or intended use and thereafter to apply for its forfeiture.
How much cash can be detained?
The current level is a minimum sum of £1,000.
The minimum figure has been gradually reduced over time as follows:
- 16th March 2004: the minimum amount under Section 294 of POCA was lowered from £10,000 to £5,000
- 31st July 2006: the minimum amount was reduced from £5,000 to £1,000
- The person in possession of the cash is usually questioned by the authorities.
- The questions are for the purpose of establishing its ownership and whether it is ‘recoverable property’.
- Recoverable property is property obtained through unlawful conduct or property intended for an unlawful use.
- A form called ‘Form A’ must be completed at the scene and served on the person from whom the cash is seized together with a copy of the ‘Receipt For Seized Cash’.
- There is no power to detain a person at the scene for the purpose of serving Form A.
- The Form A must include the time and place of seizure, the Magistrates’ Court at which the application for further detention will take place and, finally, the reason for the cash seizure.
- A Detention of Cash Order is usually made by the Magistrates’ Court to allow the authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding the existence of the cash. Such an order can be made for up to two years.
- During the investigation stage, the defence may furnish the authorities with any relevant evidence to demonstrate that the cash is not recoverable property.
- An application for the release of the detained cash can be made by the named owner of the cash pursuant to section 297 of POCA.
- A similar application for the release of the detained cash can be made by the ‘victim or other owner’ of the detained cash under section 301 of POCA.
- If neither of the above applications are made, the State can make an application for forfeiture of the cash within the two year period.
- The forfeiture hearing is a civil hearing conducted in the Magistrates’ Court. The case will be decided on a ‘balance of probabilities’ in accordance with the civil law standard of proof.
How can we help with Cash Seizure Applications?
We have a considerable track record in contesting cash seizure cases across the country and we take great pride in representing a wide spectrum of clients from individuals to large corporations.
A client recently commented:
“We are delighted at the result achieved by Kangs Solicitors. The intervention by the authorities caused what we believed to be irreparable damage to the operation of our business at the time. We are so grateful to Kangs Solicitors for their hard work and expertise, which lead to clearing the company’s name and the return of over £200,000 of company money held for almost 18 months. We thank Kangs Solicitors for their continued support through this very difficult time and for enabling the company to return to business as usual, which is a relief to us and all of our company employees”.
Wherever you may be confronted with cash seizure or forfeiture proceedings, including UK airports and seaports we can assist by:
- providing you with immediate expert advice on the legality of the cash seizure
- advising on the right to challenge the seizure
- preparing the relevant applications to the court for the release of the detained cash
- representing you at any contested cash forfeiture hearing.
Who Can I Contact For Help?
Our team is here to assist in all aspects of POCA legislation including Restraint Orders, Confiscation Proceedings and Cash Seizures.
We encourage and welcome new enquiries by telephone or email.
We provide a no obligation consultation to discuss the issues in your case and to provide you with an early assessment of how we can assist you.
An initial consultation can be conducted at any of our three offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester as well as by telephone or by video conferencing.
“The firm has particular strength in this area with a dedicated department in POCA-related work”
“Dedicated white-collar crime team handling confiscations, restraint orders and cash seizures”
“Frequently represents high-profile individuals in Proceeds of Crime proceedings”
“Advises on civil cases brought by the NCA under POCA, including Property Freezing and Civil Recovery Orders”
“The firm has an exceptional team of lawyers and considerable strength in depth”
“It is a first-rate firm that is dedicated to its clients and is tenacious in challenging the prosecution”
“They are excellent in their client care and have a technical knowledge of POCA and Asset Forfeiture work which is far superior to other firms”