DEPARTMENT PROFILE

33 Chancery Lane

POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture

12 ranked barristersBand 1All CircuitsUK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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A highly praised set with experience across the full spectrum of POCA matters, which is especially noted for its expertise in money laundering investigations. Members act for defendants and prosecutors alike in cases which are often high-profile and international in nature. They also frequently represent receivers and third parties with regard to issues ranging from civil recovery and restraint proceedings to regulatory advice. Recent matters include an international drug trafficking confiscation case for the CPS, and a civil recovery claim for the SFO on behalf of a foreign government. One impressed client states: "The barristers have strength and depth in POCA and a knowledge of the whole regime that enables them to offer an overall perspective on the legislation."

Client service:

"The clerks are always on top of what's going on. They know what's happening with everyone's cases and if there's ever a problem they're immediately on it." "Practice director Martin Adams is incredibly experienced and knowledgeable."

Strengths:

Andrew Mitchell QC
Famed individual, extensively experienced in POCA work, whose practice covers a wide array of cases including those concerning money laundering, asset recovery, bribery and corruption. Frequently instructed in high-profile and complex matters, he is considered to be a master litigator who represents clients at the top level including in the Court of Appeal. The matters he undertakes regularly include international elements.
"Andrew works hard no matter where he is in the world. He can turn around work and advice in a short period of time and he's completely definitive in his view, which gives the client confidence to act on that advice." "A statesman of this area and a punchy advocate."
Recent work: Represented the Turks & Caicos Islands Government in R v Misick & Others, a case concerning civil recovery as part of an ongoing investigation. The charges involved included allegations of corruption, fraud and money laundering.

Strengths:

Barry Stancombe
POCA and asset forfeiture specialist with noteworthy experience in civil recovery and receivership. He acts for prosecuting agencies such as the SFO and FCA, as well as receivers, defendants and companies. His work includes fraud-related restraint and receivership matters. Instructed in high-profile cases, often with international components, Stancombe has had involvement in a number of matters that have helped to develop the law relating to asset recovery.
"Really good when it comes to unexplained wealth orders, account forfeiture and confiscation." "He's no-nonsense and a favourite of receivers."
Recent work: Represented Anthony Hanlon in R v Pangold & The Official Receiver & Liquidator of Pangold Gp of Companies. The dispute concerned issues including the question of whether, and how, assets obtained through an instance of consumer fraud should be sold.

Strengths:

Catherine Collins
Experienced in both the prosecution and defence of asset forfeiture issues. She frequently advises and represents third parties on a broad range of POCA and financial crime cases, particularly matters with a civil and criminal law crossover. She is appointed to the SFO Proceeds of Crime B Panel and the SFO Prosecution B Panel.
"Methodical, calm and good at explaining difficult concepts." "She's well aware of the key points and vulnerabilities of legislation and is able to attack them."
Recent work: Instructed by Shahid Ullah in confiscation proceedings brought by the SFO after being convicted for fraud and money laundering. The matter involves assets based outside of the UK.

Strengths:

Christopher Convey
Frequently acts for defendants and third parties in POCA proceedings relating to allegations of business crime and corporate wrongdoing, regularly appearing before the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He has particular experience of advising offshore trusts on money laundering and compliance issues.
"An all-round strong performer" who is "thorough and diligent."
Recent work: Acted for criminal, international hacker and blackmailer Zain Qaiser in confiscation proceedings. A multimillion-pound confiscation order was sought by the prosecution, but following a successful defence on behalf of Mr Qaiser a confiscation order was made in the greatly reduced sum of £270,000.

Strengths:

Faisal Osman
POCA practitioner specialising in domestic and international civil recovery stemming from commercial wrongdoing. He advises claimants and third parties on asset recovery matters, and also handles confiscation, fraud and regulatory enforcement cases. He is regularly instructed in appeals against confiscations, and his clients include governments and commercial organisations, among others.
"A polished advocate" who "has a scholarly knowledge of the law and is extremely bright."
Recent work: Acted in HMRC v Richards, highly complex confiscation proceedings relating to a very high-value tax cheat.

Strengths:

Fiona Jackson
Experienced criminal counsel who assists defence and prosecution clients with fraud, POCA and asset recovery matters. She is frequently instructed in cases with international elements, including those relating to international mutual legal assistance and international regulatory work. Jackson is experienced at representing clients at all court levels and is a regular in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
"She always has an excellent understanding of the shape of a case. Even when you're dealing with global complex litigation with a myriad of strands, she's got a first-class ability to deal with it." "She's a tenacious advocate with a deep knowledge of POCA."
Recent work: Acted in the High Court and Court of Appeal in Saleh V SFO, appearing for the SFO on behalf of a foreign government. This case concerned millions held in a London bank account that were the proceeds of criminal conduct, being the benefit that Saleh and other individuals linked to the Government of Chad were paid as corrupt financial inducements in return for the award of a contract to exploit oil reserves.

Strengths:

Graham Brodie QC
Acts for claimants and defendants in proceedings relating to allegations of commercial wrongdoing, and is renowned for his involvement in civil fraud and asset forfeiture cases. He handles cases concerning restraint, freezing and confiscation of assets in both the civil and criminal spheres. Brodie is regularly instructed in POCA cases that are multi-jurisdictional in nature.
"His approach combines intellectual rigour with a no-nonsense attitude to great effect." "His real skill is in problem solving and unravelling tricky situations."

Strengths:

Ian Smith
Commercial litigator and criminal lawyer who has a specialist knowledge of POCA. He is known for handling more general complex commercial cases with a fraud element. Smith is experienced in civil recovery restraint order and enforcement proceedings, both domestically and internationally. He also covers advisory work on anti-money laundering regulation.
"Has a good depth of knowledge of the law and all its facets." "He's very knowledgeable and experienced."

Strengths:

Kennedy Talbot QC
Highly regarded silk who frequently handles civil recovery, restraint, receivership and confiscation cases. Clients include private individuals and financial institutions. His practice covers advice on money laundering obligations compliance and novel regulatory developments.
"Kennedy is a master at POCA. His is a knowledgeable and practical approach to commercial matters, which is invaluable to corporate clients." "An incisive, helpful barrister who is always approachable and available. He's an excellent, tactical and, above all, decisive advocate."
Recent work: Instructed by the FCA in an investigation into the collapse of Worthington Group, and the consequent asset freezing.

Strengths:

Mark Rainsford QC
Handles specialised financial crime, proceeds of crime and asset recovery cases, and boasts particular expertise in money laundering matters. His clients include major financial institutions and private individuals. Rainsford is further instructed by prosecution agencies.
"He makes measured, well-constructed arguments."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of Robert Gold in confiscation proceedings following his fraud conviction in Operation Amazon.

Strengths:

Martin Evans QC
Boasts expertise in both POCA and criminal fraud matters, and is particularly adept at restraint, confiscation and civil recovery cases. He represents defendants, receivers, companies and prosecuting agencies, among others. Evans has been instructed in numerous cases in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
"Phenomenally bright and clear-headed, he can deal with complex matters in a very simple way." "He'll go out of his way to make sure that he delivers high-quality work in a timely manner."
Recent work: Acted for Access Finance Limited, a Zimbabwean bank, in relation to an asset freezing order concerning over £800,000 in funds. The assets were collected by individuals in the UK to be sent on to relatives living in Zimbabwe.

Strengths:

Penelope Small
Recognised for her specialist expertise in POCA proceedings, asset recovery and restraint orders in both the civil and criminal spheres. She represents prosecuting authorities and defendants, and regularly tackles cases with cross-border aspects to them. Small has particular expertise in third-party representation.
"A charming advocate who's fluent in the law." "She's a versatile counsel with great knowledge in this area."
Recent work: Appeared in R v Richard Cornish, successfully representing a spouse in protecting her asset from being swallowed up in confiscation proceedings.

POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture Department

33 Chancery Lane

firm
Department location

33 Chancery Lane

London

Greater London

UK

WC2A 1EN

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

All Circuits

POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture


Andrew Mitchell QC
Star Individuals
Graham Brodie QC
Band 3
Kennedy Talbot QC
Star Individuals
Mark Rainsford QC
Band 3
Martin Evans QC
Band 1

Juniors

All Circuits

POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture


Barry Stancombe
Band 2