Proceeds of Crime and Asset Forfeiture

Proceeds of Crime and Asset Forfeiture

Our criminal law team has experience in all manner of restraint, confiscation and forfeiture proceedings, including in all aspects of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWO), Account Freezing Orders, and Asset Forfeiture Orders (AFO).

Matrix members regularly advise and appear on behalf of companies, directors and individuals subject to both civil and criminal asset recovery. Our members also advise a range of agencies exercising restraint and confiscation powers (including the SFO, NCA, FCA, and the CPS). Matrix members have also advised a number of governments in connection with restraint, confiscation and forfeiture proceedings – both before the courts of England and Wales, and internationally.

Notable cases

 Examples of significant POCA and asset forfeiture cases involving Matrix members include:

  • R v Seager [2010] 1 WLR 815: The leading case on piercing the corporate veil in confiscation proceedings.
  • R v GH [2015] 1 WLR 2126: Leading Supreme Court decision concerning the existence of “criminal property”.
  • R v Ahmad & Fields [2015] AC 299: Regarding the compatibility of the POCA regime with Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • National Crime Agency v Baker & ors [2020] EWHC 882 (Admin): Leading case on the proper approach to the granting of UWOs.

A number of members are involved in publishing the leading practitioner text in the field, Owen, Smith, and Bodnar on Asset Recovery: Criminal Confiscation and Civil Recovery.