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  • "They are very informed about this area and understand what it takes to win a case."

    Chambers HNW 2017

  • What the firm lacks in size, it more than makes up for in the experience and expertise of its practitioners, who cover all the key areas of financial and regulatory enforcement. Corker Binning regularly represents large corporations and high-profile individuals in FCA and SFO investigations and prosecutions and clients are impressed by the “sensational level of support on offer”.

    Who’s Who Legal 100 2016

  • Peter Binning is an “absolutely outstanding solicitor” who is “hugely knowledgeable and unflappable in a crisis,” and is commended for his hands-on approach to conducting litigation. He is one of the firm’s co-founders, and brings considerable experience as an SFO prosecutor to his criminal fraud defence work.

    Chambers UK 2013

  • [Gemma Tombs is] a “tremendous asset to the firm”. She acts for individuals and companies on criminal and regulatory matters.

    Chambers UK 2010

  • [Peter Binning is] described as “charming, smooth and able” by interviewees, who are also resoundingly impressed with his strong negotiation skills.

    Chambers UK 2011

  • A heavy-hitting firm for extradition. They are a private client firm that carry over standards to legal aid work.

    Chambers UK 2016

  • Gemma Tombs is gifted with ‘very clear thinking’ and is seen as ‘a rising star’. She recently advised a client charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs in the context of a large prosecution of several gangs.

    Chambers UK 2014

  • Market commentators attest to Peter Binning‘s expertise, describing him as a “go-to specialist in white-collar defence work who combines technical knowledge with common sense.”

    Chambers UK 2013

Restraint orders

A restraint order is the criminal law equivalent to a civil litigation asset freezing order. It can have a worldwide effect. Courts have also been willing to impose additional collateral measures to make them more intrusive, such as compelling the ‘target’ to disclose their financial dealings going back six years and requiring them to transfer cash from an overseas to a UK bank account.

Since 2003 restraint orders can be obtained against a suspect by police or other agencies (including even a private prosecutor) long before sufficient evidence is gathered to justify a charge or prosecution. These orders offer investigators an attractive pre-emptive strike to immobilise the suspect’s everyday business activity, and then allow it to resume only under their careful scrutiny.

Furthermore, whilst such restraint orders are said only to be “protective” in the sense of preserving assets pending a possible post-conviction confiscation order, they can be exploited as a weapon to undermine a suspect’s ability to defend themselves. This can include denying the suspect the ability to spend money on legal advice; and using the information which the order compels the suspect to reveal to enhance the investigation and even undermine the suspect’s right of silence.

Corker Binning has been advising clients who are the subjects of restraint orders, for many years. Our restraint order lawyers are expert in having them either varied to reduce their potency or rescinded altogether because of the investigator’s misconduct.  In many other instances we had the effect of the orders severely curtailed.

Despite their sometimes draconian effect, these orders are relatively easy to obtain. All too often the targets of them are too intimidated or bewildered to resist. At Corker Binning our restraint order lawyers are able to provide rapid, fearless advice to a client served with such an order.

As the courts have allowed investigators to expand the categories of persons affected by these restraint orders so we have become adept at advising people whose economic interests may be jeopardised. For example, trustees, companies and the families of the person who is the subject of the order. Experience has shown that this type of third party is usually best off asserting their position early on; remaining a bystander can be the worst option.

Increasingly, UK prosecutors are asked by their equivalent in a foreign state for legal assistance in the form of a restraint order against a specific asset situated in the UK. We have advised clients and their lawyers both here and overseas who fear such a request might be made or after such an “external” order has been granted. There are often specific features about this type of order which have enabled us to have them varied substantially in favour of our client.

More

Our restraint orders have recently advised on the following matters:

  • Successfully applying for the discharge of a restraint order in an oral hearing contested by the CPS. The CPS had failed to demonstrate to the appropriate standard that our client, an FCA approved individual, should be the subject of the order.
  • Negotiating the release of UK property held by a trust fund which the authorities alleged was under the control of the defendant, who was not Corker Binning’s client. Corker Binning persuaded the CPS that the defendant did not in fact have control and that the UK property could not therefore be restrained.
  • Negotiating on behalf of an individual client that no restraint order would be applied for, either pre or post charge, in return for an undertaking that a sum of money equal to the alleged proceeds of crime was preserved for future confiscation.

For more information about how Corker Binning can help, please call 0207 353 6000.

Named as key individuals in the field of Crime by Chambers UK 2017:

chambers-2017
Top_tier_firms

Robert Brown – Star Individual

Jessica Parker – Up and Coming

  • Corker Binning is ranked in Band 1 of recommended firms for Crime by  Chambers 2017.
  • Corker Binning is ranked as a first tier firm for Crime by Legal 500 2016 and Robert Brown is named as a leading individual for Crime.
  • Robert Brown is the only member of a criminal firm to have been ranked in the Top 10 leading lawyers in the Super Lawyers London 2014 Annual List.

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