Account Freezing Order Solicitors

Account freezing order
Legally reviewed by: Laura Smith

Asset and Account Freezing Orders, or the highly publicised Unexplained Wealth Orders can be hugely disruptive to you and your business. If you are facing an Account Freezing Order, Cartwright King’s Account Freezing Order solicitors can provide fast legal guidance, minimising inconvenience and maximising the chances of overturning the order.

Get in touch with our corporate and financial team for reliable legal advice and action against an Account Freezing Order.

What is an Account Freezing Order?

An Account Freezing Order is a civil injunction order that freezes a certain amount of funds held in a bank or building society account. Therefore, this stops the account holder, beneficiary, or signatory from making withdrawals or payments to that account for a period of up to two years.

An enforcement agency such as HMRC, the Serious Fraud Office, or the police, can utilise an Emergency Freezing Order. To launch a civil injunction, authorities must suspect that a business or an individual bank account holder has been or is actively engaging in unlawful conduct. Authorities can utilise the Account Freezing Order to temporarily stop the flow of money through the account while conducting investigations to establish the legitimacy of the funds.

The bank account can in the name of a business or individual. Additionally, it must have a minimum of £1,000 in credit balance. Only an enforcement officer of appropriate seniority within the relevant enforcement agency can apply for an Account Freezing Order. The application must demonstrate reasonable grounds to suspect that the funds in the account are recoverable property, obtained through unlawful conduct by the individual or business. Alternatively, if authorities suspect that the business or individual intends to use funds for unlawful conduct.

How Cartwright King Can Help You Overturn an Account Freezing Order?

Overturning an Account Freezing Order requires a solid strategy and presenting a robust legal argument to ensuring that a solicitor represents your your case is properly. Cartwright King’s specialist Account Freezing Order solicitors are meticulous, picking holes in the evidence against you and using it to your advantage in order to clear you of wrongdoing and protecting your reputation.

We can help with:

  • Drafting a response to requests for information – failure to provide full and accurate information can lead to an application for forfeiture and losing all your funds.
  • Specialist advice from Fraud & POCA solicitors on the best course of action while considering your personal circumstances and objectives.
  • We provide reliable, proactive advice if you are facing a Freezing Order. Our solicitors will guide you through any requirements that you must comply with, and we can advise on whether you can challenge the Freezing Order.

Unique Advocacy Services

If you are facing an Account Freezing Order, it’s important that you seek an advocacy service that can represent you at any stage at a moment’s notice.

If you’ve been arrested or charged with criminal activity, whether you require representation at a police station right up to attending Supreme Court, our solicitors can represent you.

Benefit from a Free, Initial Telephone Conversation

If you or your business face having your accounts and assets frozen, having the right law firm on your side can make all the difference in successfully overturning an Account Freezing Order.

There really is no substitute for speaking to a specialist solicitor for expert legal advice on overturning an Account Freezing Order .

For immediate action, contact us for your free* initial discussion. 

The discussion is completely informal and confidential, and is an opportunity for us to:

  • Get to know you 
  • Understand your situation
  • Agree how you want to proceed

Why Choose Cartwright King for Account Freezing Order Issues?

Cartwright King’s solicitors are able to represent clients, no matter the complexities of the case. Our team are experts in managing intensive investigations and leasing with the authorities. This allows us to thoroughly prepare for the process and guide you through any demands made of you, in a manner that does not incriminate yourself or your business.

An Account Freezing Orders can be immensely disruptive and stressful. Therefore, if not managed correctly it can ruin reputations and potentially leave you penniless and without a business. That’s why it’s vital that you seek a solicitor who is an expert in the law concerning Account Freezing Orders, and is able to protect your legal rights.

Our corporate and financial solicitors have extensive legal experience in dealing with many high-profile Account Freezing Order cases, with a proven track record in and out of the magistrates court or crown court.

We’re a trusted, Legal 500 law firm with specialist solicitors committed to defending your legal rights. Having a law firm on your side that understands what’s at stake for you, means that you can trust us to protect you, your business, and your financial future.

Frequently asked questions.

What is an Account Freezing Order?

Account Freezing and Forfeiture Orders came into force following changes to the Criminal Finances Act 2017. These orders give authorities additional powers through amendments made to the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The latest legislation was introduced to recover ‘ill-gotten gains’ from criminal activity. Additionally, authorities are using these orders as an alternative to bringing criminal charges.

The legislation takes previously existing powers, which allow for the seizure, detention and forfeiture of cash, and modifies those powers to cover the contents of a bank account.

Furthermore, the orders are made ex parte (without notice). The first you will be made aware of an account being frozen is when you are served with the order or when you have difficulty accessing your account.

The threshold is identical to that set out for the seizure of cash with a minimum of £1,000 and no maximum in order to freeze an account.

Therefore, if a bank becomes suspicious about the source, activity or intended use of funds within a bank account, they are under a duty to submit a suspicious activity report (SAR) and lodge this with the NCA. As a result, the NCA will likely request a local economic crime investigation unit to consider applying for an Account Freezing Order.

How can an Account Freezing Order Affect Me?

During an Account Freezing Order, your bank will prohibit you from managing your account as you normally would. 

Your direct debits and standing orders will be cancelled, and day to day banking facilities such as internet banking, bill payments and cash withdrawals will be suspended, causing chaos.

You can withdraw only a minimal sum each week to live on by making an application to the Court, despite the funds belonging to you.

You will more than likely be invited for an interview with the investigating body and asked intrusive questions about your assets, income and the specific financial transactions relating to your bank account. Additionally, there is nothing to stop the police deciding to turn the matter into a criminal investigation.

An Account Freezing Order can have a detrimental effect on your business and your personal life. Due to being unable to access your own funds, the order can leave you in financial difficulty.

How do I pay living and legal expenses if my accounts are frozen?

Unlike POCA Restraint Orders, an Account Freezing Order can be varied to allow you to cover living expenses and your legal fees. For help applying for an AFO to be varied, get in touch with Cartwright King immediately.

We're here for you.

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