Our Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) team defends in both criminal and civil asset recovery and forfeiture. We are often instructed as a POCA specialist after conviction where other firms have handled a criminal trial. Though most of the firm’s POCA cases involve advisory and civil recovery work for a mixture of corporate and private clients, the general crime team sees confiscation as a driving force behind many prosecutions, and in dishonesty cases a claim is inevitable.
The team has been successful in many cases in repelling the efforts of both government agencies and non-departmental public bodies to employ the civil provisions of POCA to achieve their policy ends eg, our successful defence of a client against a POCA forfeiture attempt made by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. We have had several enquiries about the new Unexplained Wealth Orders, and have also seen an increasing demand for POCA recovery advice from corporate and individual clients who are the victims of crime.
Many cases have an international element, and there is increasingly a focus on the hazards of double recovery across jurisdictions. We are dealing with regulators in the US, the EU and the UK seeking to impose civil penalties resulting from the same set of facts.
We also advise regularly on compliance issues. One of the team’s senior partners, Ross Dixon, is on the Law Society Money Laundering task force, and we are the firm of choice for many other solicitors with AML concerns.