Corker Binning is ranked as a Leading Firm for asset forfeiture by Chambers 2019.
Extension of moratorium periods
Since January 2018 UK law enforcement can seek to freeze property situated in the UK for up to six months because it is the subject of an investigation. The threshold enabling a Crown Court judge to impose a freeze called a “moratorium period”, is low. There are three conditions. A suspicious activity report (SAR) was made about the property by for example, a financial institution, to the National Crime Agency. Second either it or another law enforcement agency wishes to investigate the provenance of this property and seeks time in order to do so. Third that the investigation is being conducted diligently.
Obtaining a moratorium is therefore relatively easy. The existence of a SAR and a consequent investigation alone is almost sufficient. The Act however imposes safeguards which create opportunities for resistance. Corker Binning has already gained substantial experience in opposing applications for a moratorium. Grounds for opposition have included;-
(a) There is no investigation occurring by the applicant UK law enforcement agency. In reality the moratorium is sought to enable a foreign agency to investigate.
(b) The applicant agency has failed to disclose sufficient information about its alleged investigation to satisfy the court that it is being conducted diligently
(c) The application is unreasonable because the agency has already had sufficient opportunity to investigate
Opposing applications for moratoria is often important because they can provide law enforcement with an vital opportunity to prepare applications for more invasive asset freezing orders and investigations. A successful moratorium application can metastasize into an application for an indefinite restraint order or a two year asset freezing order.More
Named as key individuals in the field of POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture by Chambers and Partners UK 2019:
- Corker Binning is ranked in Band 1 of recommended firms for POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture by Chambers and Partners UK 2019.
- Corker Binning is ranked as a first tier firm for Fraud: White-collar crime by The Legal 500 2019. David Corker, Peter Binning and Andrew Smith are Leading Individuals.
- Peter Binning, David Corker, Jessica Parker and Robert Brown are recognised as leading individuals in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2018.
- Claire Cross comments on the FCA’s first decision notice against former CEO of Sonali Bank UK in GIR
- Jessica Parker comments on the growing pressure to clamp down on money laundering in the IBA
- Peter Binning and David Corker comment on a £300m court for fraud, cybercrime and economic crime cases in New Law Journal, CDR and The Law Society Gazette
- David Corker comments on the Law Commission’s recommendations to reform search warrant laws in Global Investigations Review
- Peter Binning and Ben Henriques comment on UWOs in The Law Society Gazette
- David Corker discusses the judgment in R (AL) v SFO and third party disclosure in criminal proceedings in CrimeLine and GIR
- Peter Binning and Ben Henriques discuss sophisticated modern money laundering in Financier Worldwide
- Andrew Smith comments on anti-money laundering measures and FinTech in KYC360
- Jessica Parker comments on UK fraud hitting a 15-year high in Bloomberg and Insurance Journal
- Jessica Parker comments on the facilitation of tax evasion in economia
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