Raids & Asset Freezing
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?
Being subjected to a dawn raid and/or the freezing of assets and accounts puts a business in a very difficult position. As well as losing documentation and computers, it is likely to be impossible to pay debts and salaries, which can effectively shut down an operation.
You should seek legal advice as soon as possible to try and minimise the damage caused.
Expert legal help and representation
At Taylor Law we will immediately work to oppose Account Freezing Orders or Restraint Orders. We will check the legality of the order and wherever possible make an application to the court to vary it or set it aside.
Our team have extensive expertise in the area of both dawn raids and the freezing of assets. We can advise you on crisis management as well as putting together a strong case on your behalf.
Assets are frozen with a view to the authorities recovering them as proceeds of crime. We can represent you throughout a case to show that they are not recoverable property and request that they be released.
We understand how disruptive this type of action is for a business and an individual, with problems extending to affect spouses and others who may be suspected of having benefited from criminal conduct, even if they have done nothing wrong.
We will offer support and guidance throughout and work proactively on your behalf to minimise the difficulties caused.
Dealing with a dawn raid
A dawn raid can be carried out by the police or other regulatory bodies such as HM Revenue & Customs, the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Conduct Authority, the National Crime Agency, the Health & Safety Executive or Trading Standards.
Simultaneous raids could take place at a number of premises, such as the offices of a corporation as well as the homes of its key personnel.
Where possible, you should contact a solicitor straight away. If you ring us, we will immediately attend the raid to ensure that your rights are protected. We will also represent you at any subsequent interview under caution.
Following the raid, we will request the return of any seized materials or copies of what has been taken.
Account Freezing Orders
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, as amended by the Criminal Finances Act 2017, it is open to law enforcement agencies to obtain an Account Freezing Order if they have reasonable suspicion that the money held in a bank account may be recoverable under the Proceeds of Crime Act or that
it is intended to be used in criminal activity. The order may apply to all of the money in an account, or could just apply to some of the funds.
The order can be applied for by enforcement officers of regulatory bodies such as HM Revenue & Customs, the Serious Fraud Office and the National Crime Agency.
This type of order is civil, not criminal, in nature and is issued by the Magistrates Court, generally without notice. Because it is not a criminal order, the standard of proof that the authority will have to show is that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ the money is recoverable under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The term of the order can be for up to two years.
If you have had an Account Freezing Order served on you, you may be allowed to withdraw reasonable living expenses and if this has not been granted, we can make an application on your behalf. We will also work to have the order lifted.
A Restraint Order is usually issued before criminal proceedings are commenced to prevent funds from being moved or hidden. The intention is to preserve them pending the outcome of a criminal trial, after which they may be recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act. It has the effect of freezing assets and bank accounts so that they cannot be accessed or used in any way.
If you are served with a Restraint Order you should seek legal advice before taking any action. You may be asked to provide details of any assets you hold, including those held overseas. We can liaise with the relevant authorities on your behalf and put together a strong rebuttal of their assertions.
We will also request that you be allowed access to funds for living expenses if these have not been permitted under the terms of the order.
Life can be made very difficult if you are subject to a dawn raid and the freezing of your assets, particularly if you are running a business where you need constant access to funds to trade and pay staff.
At Taylor Law we can work on your behalf to minimise the damage and disruption and to represent you throughout any investigation.
We have an excellent track record of success in working with clients who are under financial investigation, 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