Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 confiscation proceedings follow the conviction of a defendant where the Court is satisfied that he or she obtain a benefit from his crime.
We often find that the confiscation proceedings become more confrontational and more complex than the original proceedings. The Act allows the prosecution to make a number of assumptions about the defendant which in reality put the burden of proof on a defendant.
Hogan Brown is often instructed to act in confiscation proceedings where the client’s original solicitors of choice have proved a disappointment. Confiscation proceedings are by their very nature complicated. Real diligence is required to avoid an unfair result.
We have been instructed in some of the biggest confiscation proceedings in the North West. We have often been able to demonstrate that the Confiscation order sought by the Prosecution is unrealistic and/or based on false or inadequate information.
We regularly instruct a range of experts including forensic accountants, chartered surveyors and private investigators to follow all possible lines of enquiry in order to combat the often draconian effects of the Act.
Some of our recent work in this area includes:
- The variation of a Confiscation Order which declared a benefit figure of over one million pounds and realisable assets of £200,000 to a nominal amount of £1.
- The reduction of a benefit figure from over £384,000 to £500 following an argument of apportionment.
- An agreed Confiscation Order in the sum of £20,802 where the Prosecution had originally identified realisable assets for £107,662 and the benefit figure was deemed at £1,800,959.