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UK Bar Guide 2022

Ranked in 2 Practice Areas

About

Provided by Sarah Wood

Practice Areas

Financial Crime, Money Laundering, Asset Forfeiture, Confiscation, Financial Remedies (family); Private prosecutions

Career

Sarah particularly specialises in criminal and family matters involving high-value assets and complex financial arrangements. She is one of a handful of barristers with extensive experience of cases where there are contemporaneous family financial proceedings and criminal POCA claims. She has the knowledge and understanding to advise and represent clients in both sets of proceedings and provides practical realistic advice.

Sarah frequently appears in both the High Court and the Family Court in this area of work and is regularly instructed to act on behalf of either a party or the CPS as the intervener in the proceedings because of her detailed knowledge of all related aspects of confiscation work.

Sarah also specialises in the civil aspects of POCA work, including Account Freezing and Forfeiture applications, Cash Forfeiture and UWOs. Regularly instructed by the NCA and HMRC in respect of these applications, she also has extensive experience of representing individuals facing applications of this nature.

Sarah is joint Head of the Business Crime & Financial Regulation Practice Group within 5SAH Chambers and is regularly instructed to prosecute and defend complex private prosecutions.

She is known for her attention to detail, work ethic and ability to find a practical solution to a problem.

Professional Memberships

Fraud Lawyers Association, POCLA, Family Law Bar Association.

Publications

Financial remedies v confiscation proceedings: what takes priority? [2019] FAM LAW 941

What happens when assets are tainted: financial remedies v confiscation proceedings revisited [2021] FAM LAW 1064

Chambers Review

Provided by Chambers

UK Bar

POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture - All Circuits
3
Band 3

Sarah Wood
Sarah Wood garners convincing market feedback due to her presence in notable POCA cases. In line with her expertise in family financial disputes, she displays particular knowledge when it comes to contemporaneous confiscation and family ancillary relief proceedings. Wood is instructed in confiscation proceedings both by prosecuting authorities and by individual defendants.

Strengths

“A really good strategic thinker who is really aware of the important principles in a case and highly knowledgeable on the crossover between POCA and family law.” “She has a fantastic manner in court, and is a blend of everything you’d want in a practitioner in this area.”

Recent work

Acted in R v Banyard, confiscation proceedings that arose out of Mr Banyard's conviction for cheating the public revenue.


Financial Crime: Private Prosecutions - London (Bar)
Spotlight Table

Sarah Wood
Sarah Wood currently serves as joint head of the business crime team at 5 St Andrew's Hill, and is noted for her expertise in private prosecutions. Her broad financial crime practice also encompasses asset recovery and complex money laundering cases.

Strengths

"She is fantastic and very clever. She has a really soft approach and is like a silent assassin."

Recent work

Instructed in Flexi Lets v Bishop and Dumitrascu, a private prosecution brought on behalf of Flexi Lets against two employees of the company who were alleged to have stolen a large number of items from Flexi Lets in order to furnish apartments now managed by Mr Bishop as part of a competitive business. 

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5 St Andrew's Hill

Provided by Chambers
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