The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) remains a conundrum to many, troubling the appellate courts like few other areas of the law. POCA issues transcend a number of different areas of law, so it is crucial for any company or private individual needing advice in this area to instruct a barrister with specialist knowledge of the area so as to mitigate and if possible avoid the risks of criminal liability and lost or frozen assets.

OTC has a formidable reputation in POCA and Asset Recovery work. Owing to the set’s longstanding foundations in financial crime and financial services, it is well-placed to advise and provide advocacy services in all matters relating to this field. Members are routinely instructed in high-profile and large-value matters, often involving complicated cross-jurisdictional aspects and/or assets held by third parties.

The set undertakes work for all the big UK enforcement agencies, including the CPS, SFO, NCA, FCA, HMRC and UKBF. It is also routinely instructed by US and City law firms, financial institutions, insolvency practitioners and accountants. In addition, Oliver Powell has assisted Transparency International UK on POCA matters: most recently in respect of the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which brought about a number of significant changes to POCA 2002, most notably the introduction of AFOs and UWOs.

Often, a problem with POCA can uncover issues with an organisation’s internal AML controls and policies. Our team includes members with hands-on, in-house experience of building, running and remediating AML programmes for large multinational corporates. Our pragmatic approach means that we can advise on and (if the client desires it) oversee reviews and enhancements to systems and controls.

The team includes a host of editors and contributors to practitioners texts that majors on or deals with POCA and Asset Forfeiture, including ‘Blackstone’s Criminal Practice’, The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations (GIR), ‘Lissack and Horlick on Bribery and Corruption’, ‘Millington and Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime’, and the Government’s Public Sector Counter Fraud Journal.

Members of the team are regularly invited to speak at to speak at AML, POCA and asset recovery conferences. Amongst others, these have included: AMLP Annual Anti-Bribery and Corruption Forum; FLA; POCLA and YFLA.

Member of Business Crime & regulatory team are ranked in both Chambers & Partners (UK Bar) and Legal 500 for POCA and Asset Forfeiture.

Money Laundering, POCA & Asset Forfeiture Experience

Our work includes matters relating to:

  • AML advice and AML investigations
  • Appeals
  • Account Freezing Orders (AFOs)
  • Ancillary orders: seizure, disclosure and repatriation of assets
  • Civil Recovery (Part 5)
  • Confiscation, including enforcement
  • Enforcement of restraint and receivership order, including contempt of court
  • Insolvency and POCA
  • International asset recovery
  • Mutual Legal Assistance
  • Property Freezing Orders, Receivers and Legal Expenses
  • Restraint Orders, including applications to vary and discharge
  • Receivership – management and enforcement
  • Seizure and recovery of cash
  • Suspicious Transactions and SARs
  • Third Parties (Section 10A Applications)

Members of our Business Crime and Regulation team have been involved in a number of high profile POCA and asset forfeiture cases:

  • SFO v Saghir Afzal – enforcement proceedings arising out of a £30 million confiscation order
  • Operation Craggily – frozen funds investigation arising out of a suspected $8 million fraud committed against an African government
  • Operation Sanderling – £7 million forfeiture proceedings
  • R v FD (POCA): in £14 million confiscation proceedings arising out of corporate fraud and money laundering offences
  • R v McCormick (POCA) (Operation Venus)
  • R v Michael Stannard [2015] EWHC 1199 (Admin)
  • SFO v Daniel Gooding & Others (POCA) (Operation Steamroller)
  • Bark & Co v Nassa Khan (CJA)
  • NCA v Amir Azam [2014] EWHC 2722 (QB)
  • NCA v Amir Azam [2014] EWHC 4742 (QB)
  • SFO v Bates (Operation Anderson)

Money Laundering, POCA & Asset Forfeiture Barristers

Michael Bowes QC

Call: 1980 Silk: 2001

Ben Compton QC

Call: 1979 Silk: 2011

Richard Hitchcock QC

Call: 1990 Silk: 2014

John McKendrick QC

Call: 1999 Silk: 2016

Nick Johnson QC

Call: 1994 Silk: 2016

Fiona Horlick QC

Call: 1992 Silk: 2019

Paul Rogers

Call: 1989

James Leonard

Call: 1989

Matthew McDonagh

Call: 1994

Oliver Powell

Call: 2006

Alex Haines

Call: 2007 (England & Wales); 2019 (New York); and 2020 (Ireland)

Justina Stewart

Call: 2010

Sophie O’Sullivan

Call: 2011

Stephen Doherty

Call: 2013

Jeremy Scott-Joynt

Call: 2018

Joshua Hitchens

Joshua Hitchens

Call: 2018

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