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Civil Recovery

Any UK law enforcement agency or prosecution authority which has been unable to successfully prosecute a case  can refer the matter to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) to consider civil recovery proceedings if criminal funds  in excess of £10,000 exist in the hands of the defendant. Further, all the main prosecuting agencies now have the ability to issue the same civil recovery proceedings, e.g. Serious Fraud Office, Customs, CPS, etc.

Under Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the organisations above are able to make a civil claim in the High Court for assets belonging to any individual or corporate body on the basis that any such asset was acquired through ‘unlawful conduct’. The issue in Civil recovery is the property itself not the alleged guilt of the individual. Any property can be recovered under the act; ‘recoverable property’   is any property obtained through unlawful conduct or property which represents property so obtained.

We are able to provide immediate expert advice to defendants or third parties against whom proceedings have been issued. ShearmanBowen has a wealth of experience in confiscation law defending and advising individuals and companies in this area. For more information please contact Rick Shearman and Mark Bowen.