Call today on 0845 450 0707 or email Nigel Power QC directly


confiscation and restraint


Nigel Power QC is a lawyer with experience of all types of confiscation, asset-tracing and restraint cases, both in the civil and criminal fields. He is a barrister with the technical legal expertise to help you at any stage of proceedings. He has recently been instructed at the confiscation stage of a large number of complex frauds including MTIC, Gold, Drugs and Money Laundering cases.. He can also help at the very early stages of a case, where prosecution agencies try to restrain assets even before you have been charged (see his article here). He recently represented Robert Gerrard in a case where the Judge instigated proceedings when the prosecution decliend to do so, but the case resulted in a nominal order even though the benefit was £1.7m. In November 2017 he appeared in the High Court in Belfast and successfully applied to vary a restraint order which allowed a business with a £50m per annum turnover to trade as before, whereas the original order had placed a stranglehold on all its trading activities. 

Nigel recently represented Stephen Clarke in a case where the prosecution alleged benefit of £5.6m (reduced to £911,000) and the claim for hidden assets was completely defeated (report here). He also represented John Conroy in the confiscation proceedings of Operation Inertia, a large scale MTIC fraud involving contra-trading. The prosecution claimed that the benefit was £90m and that there were substantial hidden assets, but the eventual order was for benefit and assets of just £200,000. See the article about that case here.

Nigel is also conducted a £12m confiscation case on behalf of Antony Lowry-Huws, who was involved in what the press described as Wales' biggest ever fraud; the case involved multiple property and mortgage transactions in relation to £100m worth of property with mortgages to match but a final order in the sum of £27,905.

Whether it is alleged that your assets are the proceeds of drug-trafficking, fraud, money laundering or any other crime, Nigel will be able to advise the best strategies and approach to keep hold of what is lawfully yours. He writes regularly on the subject and is an expert in difficult apportionment cases (see his most recent article on the subject here).  

Nigel has successfully argued on a number of occasions that half of a defendant's property should be kept over for his wife, even when the prosecution have alleged that all of the property is tainted and the proceeds of crime. Nigel has a detailed specialist knowledge of the law relating to finance in marital breakdown which he has used to his client’s advantage. In the case of Brian MacAtavey, the defendant was going through a divorce at the time of his confiscation hearing but the family proceedings had not concluded. The prosecution alleged benefit of £10.4m, identified assists of £3.4m and suggested that there were hidden assets. Ultimately the defendant was ordered to pay just £200,00, it being successfully contended that the benefit figure included a large measure of "double counting", that the property had been grossly overvalued and the wife's share significantly undervalued. 

For Gerard Hand, who pleaded guilty to money laundering where the majority of the transactions were conducted through hawala banking schemes, Nigel was able to reduce the benefit figure by more than £2m through a careful analysis of the transactions and enable the defendant to arrive at a modest order that he was able to pay immediately and avoid any risk of further imprisonment.

In civil POCA proceedings Nigel represented the widow of an alleged drug dealer and convicted money launderer, Edward Lundon, who had committed suicide in jail. Unlike criminal “POCA” claims, civil claims do not require a conviction and orders are made in respect of specific property rather than in a monetary sum. Mr Lundon was a successful gambler and by the time of his death in 2008 had amassed a considerable property portfolio. However, he had been charged with a drugs conspiracy and sadly committed suicide in jail. SOCA then pursued a civil action in the High Court, claiming that all of Mr Lundon's wealth could be traced back to his conduct in 1998. Although SOCA were successful in their claim in relation to some of the property, the careful tracing during a three-day High Court hearing by Nigel of funds over an 12 -year period made it possible to defeat the claim in respect of a number of properties despite the fact that Mr Lundon’s widow had not worked for any of the period. This allowed Mrs Lundon to retain some of the family property following the most unfortunate end to her husband’s life. Nigel’s article about funding from restrained funds in civil POCA cases is here.   

To obtain Nigel’s help and advice in relation to confiscation and asset-freezing, email directly or call 0845 450 0707.