Asset Forfeiture & Seizure
Criminal lawyers at Taylor Law can assist if you’ve been arrested, the Police want to talk to you or you’re due in Court.
Why Taylor Law?
Cash and other assets can be seized if it is suspected that they are the proceeds of criminal activity. This can include money held in bank accounts and can make life very difficult for those involved.
Asset seizure can happen to anyone whose cash or other assets are believed to be linked to crime.
No criminal offence needs to be proved in some instances and assets can be seized from people other than those suspected of carrying out an offence, such as spouses and other family members.
Legal guidance and representation
If you are faced with the disruption of having your assets seized or you have been advised of forfeiture proceedings against you, we can represent you to try and release your assets and defend the court action that is being brought.
Our civil and criminal recovery team have an in-depth understanding of how various agencies work in respect of asset forfeiture and seizure. We can explain the process clearly to you and work proactively to protect your funds from legal action.
We understand how distressing asset forfeiture and seizure can be and you can be assured that we will do our utmost to protect your money and other assets.
Asset forfeiture proceedings
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 has three categories of asset forfeiture proceedings, as follows:
- Cash forfeiture
- Civil recovery
Where a court is satisfied that property was obtained by way of criminal conduct, it can make a Forfeiture Order allowing the relevant authority to confiscate the assets as part of its sentence.
We are often able to raise a strong defence on behalf of clients facing Forfeiture Orders, such as where there is insufficient evidence that the funds were intended for criminal use, where assets passed to you in good faith or where funds cannot be traced back to unlawful conduct. We will also seek to reduce the benefit amount as far as possible and challenge the amount of any order if it is incorrect or you are unable to pay.
Cash forfeiture proceedings
Cash forfeiture proceedings are civil, not criminal, in nature and the standard of proof required is lower, needing evidence that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ the money in question is as a result of criminal conduct or could be recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
If cash forfeiture is being applied for, you will be notified of the initial hearing date. We can represent you at that and any subsequent hearing and prepare a defence as well as an application for the return of the cash.
Civil recovery proceedings
Like cash forfeiture, civil recovery proceedings are also civil actions and do not require a prior criminal conviction to be passed.
The High Court will decide whether, on the balance of probabilities, criminal activity has taken place and whether the funds in question are the proceeds of this crime.
Financial and regulatory bodies now have a considerable range of orders available, including asset and cash seizure, restraint, freezing, confiscation, unexplained wealth and receivership. With the standard of proof being relatively easy to achieve in some instances, we are increasingly being called upon to apply for assets to be released and to defend forfeiture proceedings.
Our team has an excellent track record of success in working with clients who are facing asset forfeiture action, with expert civil and criminal defence solicitors in Leeds, Middlesbrough and London who can step in immediately to represent you.
For an initial discussion, ring us on 0113 532 8100 (Leeds), 01642 221 108 (Middlesbrough) or 0203 780 7646 (London) or fill in our Contact Form.
View Cost Details
This work is carried out by:
Scott Taylor – Director of Taylor Law – Supervisor
Mark Lake – Senior Solicitor
Imogen Cox – Senior Solicitor
Ben Tighe – Solicitor
Our current hourly rates are £201 plus VAT per hour, with routine letters/telephone calls/emails (less than 6 minutes) costing £20.10 plus VAT. We shall be able to give you a more accurate costs estimate once we have seen you and are able to establish how complicated your case is. There are also likely to be disbursements to pay. These are costs associated with your matter paid to third parties such as expert fees, travel costs, copying charges etc. These will depend on your individual case.
Due to the experience of our criminal solicitors (both of whom are ex-duty solicitors), unlike many firms that deal with motoring offences, we do not routinely instruct barristers to attend court on your behalf, thus minimising costs.
In some cases, we are able to offer fixed fee representation. However, this depends upon various factors, such as the likely plea, how long any trial will take and the factual/ legal complexity of the case.
Usually, a guilty plea to a simple matter, at a court local to one of our offices, can be dealt with by way of a fixed fee. If we are required to travel to a court in a different town or city, if the case is likely to be lengthy or will involve complex factual disputes or legal points, then the fixed fee will be higher.
In some cases, for instance where a not guilty plea is intended, or where the precise amount of work required cannot be accurately estimated or is unusually complex, then we are likely to deal with your matter by way of an hourly rate. Not guilty plea cases, which result in trials, are likely to start from £2,000 plus VAT and disbursements.
Our guideline fixed fees, based on attendances at local courts, are as follows:
Guilty pleas (requiring a single attendance at court) – from £800 plus VAT*
(*Additional attendances, for instance following an adjournment, are charged at £400 plus VAT)
Please note that the above fees relate solely to Magistrates’ Court cases. Appeals against sentence
or conviction, or privately funded Crown Court matters, can only be quoted upon a full assessment
of the case papers.
The typical key stages of dealing with a motoring case are as follows:
In guilty plea cases:
– Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers, advising on plea and likely sentence and, in not guilty cases, the likely issues for trial;
– Attending the Magistrates’ Court for the first appearance; dealing with plea and sentence.
In not guilty plea cases, as above, plus:
– Dealing with case management at the first court appearance;
– Taking a proof of evidence from you, taking statements from witnesses, instructing experts, drafting statements;
– Considering further evidence served by the prosecution and taking your instructions on it;
– Considering unused material;
– Drafting legal arguments (in complex cases)
– Preparation for and attendance at trial.
– The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the stages above are not required, the costs will be reduced.
As to timescales, for guilty pleas, cases typically conclude on the same day as the first appearance. In not guilty cases, it usually takes between 2 to 3 months to conclude, although if the trial is vacated and re-fixed for any reason, then it may take around 4 to 6 months.
“I used Scott Taylor to represent me when I sued the Police and Successfully won my case. I felt confident going to court as Scott walked me through everything and engaged an amazing barrister on my behalf. It took a while to get there but by god did we get there. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Scott again he knows what he is doing and supports you at all stages.”
Valerie Ann Cadman-Khan