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  • Jessica Parker "has complete mastery of her cases and excellent client-handling skills."

    Chambers UK 2017

  • Andrew Smith has a broad international practice, encompassing extradition and crime. Peers note that he is ‘very bright, quick-thinking and ideal with clients: he is a star of the future.’

    Chambers UK 2015

  • The ‘exceptionally strong’ and ‘straightforward’ practice at Corker Binning continues to act for corporate and individual clients in the financial sector, with strengths in regulatory litigation, criminal fraud, and corporate crime.

    The Legal 500 UK 2017

  • Peter Binning is "extraordinarily smooth and unflappable".

    Chambers UK 2018

  • Corker Binning’s ‘top niche practice’ is praised as being ‘on a different level’. David Corker ‘has the skill and tact to deal with difficult negotiations’, and Peter Binning is an ‘outstanding tactician’ with ‘excellent client skills and judgement’. ‘Rising star’ Andrew Smith represented a former company director in relation to Operation Tabernula. Robert Brown is also recommended, for his ‘wealth of experience’.

    Legal 500 2015

  • Corker Binning has ‘a well-deserved reputation for excellence in the fraud and white-collar crime space’, and ‘combines hard work, commitment and excellent judgement to provide a through and efficient service’

    The Legal 500 UK 2017

  • Robert Brown is celebrated as an "absolutely first-class solicitor" with a "phenomenal criminal practice."

    Chambers UK 2017

  • Andrew Smith is well-regarded in Chambers, and notes that he "strategises very well and makes one feel very comfortable with his advice."

    Chambers UK 2017

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 2018:

chambers-2017
Top_tier_firms

Robert Brown – Star Individual

Jessica Parker – Band 4

  • Corker Binning is ranked in Band 1 of recommended firms for Crime by  Chambers 2018.
  • Corker Binning is ranked as a first tier firm for Crime by The Legal 500 2017 and Robert Brown is named as a leading individual for Crime.

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