Proceeds of Crime


Emma has acted in confiscation proceedings both under POCA, and under the old regime of the DTA/CJA. She was instructed to prosecute complex confiscation proceedings arising out of convictions in an MTIC fraud, where the confiscation order made against the first defendant (£26M) was (at that time) the second largest ever obtained by Revenue & Customs. She is familiar with the arguments on calculation of benefit, apportionment and hidden assets. She has experience of related ancillary relief proceedings where spouses of defendants are claiming an interest in property subject to confiscation proceedings

Emma has appeared in numerous enforcement hearings in the Magistrates’ Court and is familiar with the case law and arguments on the activation of default sentences. She has appeared in the Administrative Court where the decision to activate a default sentence was judicially reviewed.


Emma is experienced in drafting restraint orders under both the CJA and POCA, including restraint proceedings in multi-handed MTIC cases. She has advised on related issues such as lifting the corporate veil, as well as the variation of orders to allow release of funds for legal expenses, and to allow restrained companies to continue to trade. She has dealt with applications by third parties to vary restraint orders. She has advised on, and appeared in, High Court contempt proceedings where restraint orders have been breached.

She has been instructed in a number of large operations where management receiverships are in place and where the assets in questions are each over £30 million.

Emma has advised on the appointment of enforcement receivers under the CJA and POCA and has experience of drafting enforcement receivership orders and their attendant witness statements. She has been instructed in a number of enforcement receivership proceedings, including one where the confiscation order to be enforced was in excess of £25 million, there were multiple third parties and the majority of the assets were held outside the jurisdiction. She has also advised receivers in relation to their powers.


Emma has appeared in a number of Certificate of Inadequacy applications, both in the High Court and Crown Court. She has particular expertise in cases involving allegations of hidden assets.


Emma has advised third parties in respect of civil asset recovery proceedings, specifically a section 281 POCA application concerning property subject to a Property Freezing Order.


Notable Cases in which Emma has acted in the field of Proceeds of Crime are:

Re S

Application for increase in Available Amount pursuant to section 22 POCA.

Op Chert

Conducted contested confiscation proceedings, including contested benefit. Acted as sole counsel against a number of Queen’s Counsel/leading counsel.

Re Aspinwall [2012] EWHC 1455 (Admin)

Sole counsel for the Crown in Certificate of Inadequacy application in the High Court.

Re Pearson [2012] EWHC 1704 (Admin)

Sole counsel for the Crown in Certificate of Inadequacy application in the High Court.

Operation X

Instructed by the RCPO as junior counsel in restraint and receivership proceedings arising out of an MTIC fraud where the tax loss is alleged to be hundreds of millions of pounds. The orders in this case were complex, with over 25 limited companies having their corporate veils lifted.

Operation Y

Instructed by RCPO as junior counsel in restraint and receivership proceedings arising out of an MTIC fraud where allegedly the tax loss was hundreds of millions of pounds and the principal defendants held assets in excess of £30M. These were complex due to the fact that their assets are held in the names of third parties including UK and offshore limited companies, and a charity.

Operation E Confiscation

Instructed by RCPO as junior counsel to conduct confiscation proceedings under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 for ten defendants. These confiscation proceedings arise out of convictions for MTIC fraud. These proceedings involved complex legal arguments on the apportionment of benefit and hidden assets. A confiscation order was made against the first defendant in a sum in excess of £26 million.

Re X Enforcement- Receivership
December 2008 onwards

Instructed as junior counsel by RCPO in the enforcement proceedings arising out of a £26M confiscation order. There was an application under the Criminal Justice Act to appoint an enforcement receiver in the High Court. This application was extremely complex as the defendant’s assets were alleged to be held in numerous jurisdictions and invariably in the names of third parties. There has been significant litigation in relation to third party interests in assets.

Re J Enforcement- Default Sentence

The Defendant judicially reviewed the decision to activate his default sentence. The original decision of the District Judge was upheld by the Administrative Court and this is now one of the leading authorities on the activation of default sentences: R v Birmingham Magistrates’ Court ex parte Craig Johnson [2012] EWHC 596 (Admin).

Re H and Re T-S
2009 onwards

Instructed by RCPO alone to advise on and draft an enforcement receivership application. The applications in respect of both these defendants are under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and therefore in the High Court. In both cases an enforcement receiver is needed to realise a property that is held in the name of a company that has since been dissolved. Also instructed by the enforcement receivers in respect of their power to take possession of a property subject to the order, and treatment of realisation of an excess amount.

Operation W

Instructed as sole counsel by RCPO to conduct an application for the appointment of a management receiver in the Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The main assets of the defendant in question were racehorses, the ownership of most of which was disputed.

Operation H

Instructed by RCPO alone to advise on and conduct contempt proceedings in the High Court arising out of a defendant’s failure to serve an adequate disclosure statement as required by the terms of a restraint order made against him.

Re K & Others

Instructed by RCPO alone to advise on and redraft restraint orders in restraint proceedings against three defendants arising out of a tax credit fraud. This case involved complex issues of whether it was appropriate to lift the corporate veil in respect of a number of companies.