Proceeds of Crime & Confiscation
Being served with a Restraint Order can be a nightmare for clients and their families. As such orders are made by the authorities ex parte, they are served without warning. Often the Restraint Order is the first indication that an individual receives that he or she may be under investigation at all. Whilst that may come as a deep shock, the practical implications of the Restraint Order soon begin to bite. A Restraint Order or a freezing injunction prevents the subjects of the order from accessing their assets, whether it be withdrawing cash from bank accounts or selling property. It therefore represents a serious interference with the lives of the subjects. Cartwright King’s solicitors are leading experts in the field of asset forfeiture and POCA law and can defend your rights. Our team have office across the country so we can provide advice and support wherever you are based.
Free initial consultation
If you have been served with a Restraint Order, time is of the essence. You must take exert legal advice immediately. The Order will specify that a response detailing all of your assets must be prepared and served on the Prosecutor within 21 days and failure to do so may be a breach of the Order.
In addition, the order must be administered to ensure that a balance is struck between preserving the restrained assets and meeting the reasonable living expenses of you and your family. We understand that this is an urgent and pressing need and can liaise with you and the prosecutor to put in place procedures for ensuring that direct debits and bills are paid and that your reasonable living expenses are met.
We offer a free initial discussion to discuss these matters.
The power of the Crown Court to make Restraint Orders is set out in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The purpose of a Restraint Order is to freeze assets that the Crown suspects have been obtained through criminality so that they can be confiscated if the Defendant is later convicted of an offence. However, the public interest in disrupting the defendant’s ability to deal with his finances must be balanced against the fact that the defendant has not yet been convicted, nor in many cases, even charged with an offence.
In the most serious and complex cases, Restraint Orders can be accompanied by Management Receivership Orders which put in place a Receiver to manage specific assets such as businesses which continue to trade. We have extensive experience in dealing with Management Receivers and robustly challenging them to manage your business in a responsible way.
How we can help
There are a number of ways that we can assist individuals who are the subject of Restraint Orders.
We have successfully challenged the making of Restraint and Receivership Orders and applied for them to be discharged. We regularly challenge the extent of charges incurred by the Management Receiver (which are paid from the Restrained assets).
We can apply to have Orders varied to have certain assets released from the scope of the Oder and to have funds released to pay for living expenses.
We have also successfully defended proceedings for Contempt of Court and committal to prison following alleged breaches of Restraint Orders.
Finally we can assist with the repatriation of assets from abroad to the UK as required by many Restraint Orders and also advise third parties on how to protect their interests which may be affected by a Restraint Order.