Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA)

Our team has specialist knowledge of all aspects of POCA work. All of these powers cause major disruption to our clients therefore it is imperative that urgent early advice is sought to ensure there are no delays to possible challenges.

Free Initial Discussion

We understand that you will want to discuss your circumstances with an expert solicitor, which is why we offer a no-obligation, free initial discussion to see how we can assist you. Please call us on 0330 1333676 or contact Sundeep Soor on

The types of work we can assist with include the following:

Confiscation Proceedings

Confiscation proceedings are financial proceedings brought following a conviction and enable the authorities to deprive the defendant of the financial benefit of his crime. In some circumstances, Restraint & Confiscation orders can also affect third parties.

In 2015 the law was changed (Section 10A POCA 2002) to allow innocent third parties such as a spouse, family, friends etc to have a direct right to be represented in Confiscation Proceedings. This means that third-party interests can be taken into consideration at a much earlier stage in Confiscation Proceedings. We have extensive experience in advising clients and third parties affected by such proceedings, often leading to variation or discharge of any prohibiting orders.

Read more on POCA Confiscation Proceedings

Restraint Orders

A restraint order can be made against a suspect or defendant in criminal proceedings to freeze assets worldwide where the authorities believe they may be liable to confiscation following a trial. They can be extremely disruptive and lead to the repatriation of assets from anywhere in the world to the UK. We can assist with discharge or variation applications to enable funds to be released for reasonable living expenses.

Bank Account Freezing Orders (AFO’s) & Cash Seizures

A major change to the Proceeds of Crime Act in 2017 has given authorities power to freeze and investigate bank account balances in excess of £1,000. They must have reasonable suspicion that the funds are the proceeds of crime or intended for use in unlawful conduct. The same power has existed since 2003 in respect of cash seizures in excess of £1000. We have extensive experience in recovering frozen or seized funds on behalf of our clients based in the UK and abroad. We can object to the imposition of an AFO, apply to set aside an order and contest any forfeiture application. We can also apply to vary an AFO to enable access to funds for living or business expenses and legal fees.

Read more on Account Freezing Orders

Civil Recovery  

Civil recovery is a High Court civil action where the authorities seek to seize the assets (e.g. property and vehicles) of a company or an individual that they believe to be the proceeds of crime. The authorities are keen to use such powers as there does not have to be a criminal charge or conviction for the assets to be seized. These proceedings can be brought by UK authorities against assets anywhere in the world.

Unexplained Wealth Orders

UWO’s can only be made against a politically exposed person from a state outside the European Economic Area. The authorities must have reasonable grounds to suspect involvement in serious crime or is closely connected to a person involved in serious crime. These orders can be made in respect of any property valued at more than £50,000, wherever in the world it is situated, if a court is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe a person has an interest in it and reasonable grounds to suspect that they would not have been able to obtain that property using their lawfully obtained income from known sources.  

Client Testimonial:

“We instructed Sundeep to assist us when the prosecution service attempted to seize our family home as an asset of an individual family member who had been convicted of an offence and was subject to a POCA assessment and seizure of assets. This was an incredibly stressful experience for our entire family as if the house was seized it would have meant our family having to move out of the home we had lived in for 30 years.

Sundeep was absolutely excellent. He was calm, compassionate and reassuring, but also gave very clear and frank advice about the issues we were facing. He worked creatively to help us come up with a strategy to resist the prosecution’s efforts, and had lots of suggestions about how we might go about proving the house was a family home and had no association with the convicted individual.

Ultimately we were fully successful – once the prosecution saw the substantial pack of evidence Sundeep helped us prepare, they withdrew their request to seize the home. This was a huge relief to the entire family and removed a massive source of anxiety and worry from everyone’s lives.
We can’t recommend Sundeep strongly enough, he was terrific.”

Why Choose Defence Legal

We provide specialist, direct and robust partner level led representation to all individuals and companies in all cases involving financial crime. We are highly recognised for our expertise in dealing with complex and high profile cases. Our lawyers work with leading barristers and experts in complex fraud matters. It is crucial that an experienced fraud specialist is instructed from the outset of a case to ensure that a proactive strategy is put in place without delay.

How to get in contact

We can assist wherever you are based. For more information and advice, then please call us today for a free initial discussion about your individual circumstances on 0330 1333676 or email


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