POCA Lawyers

Put your trust in Clifford Johnston & Co.

  • Specialist POCA Lawyers
  • Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation
  • Cost Effective Specialist Legal Advice
  • Contact our Proceeds of Crime Solicitors

Proceeds of Crime Act Solicitors


The Proceeds Of Crime Act (POCA) 2002 is a complex piece of legislation, and anyone under investigation or facing trial for a crime covered by the Act is advised to seek legal counsel as early as possible. Investigations can take several months to resolve, and the consequences can be potentially far-reaching, so you need somebody on your side who fully understands the complexities of the situation.

The POCA provides authorities with the power to seize assets known or thought to have been obtained via criminal activity, and the accused must then prove that their funds and assets have been gained legitimately.

Our specialist serious crime solicitors have the necessary knowledge, experience, and tenacity to ensure the outcome of your case is as favourable as possible. To find out more about how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to a member of our team today.

Crime team of the year Manchester

Why choose Clifford Johnston?

When facing the daunting complexities of POCA, choosing the right legal representation is crucial. At Clifford Johnston & Co, we offer more than just legal expertise; we provide a partnership that prioritises your legal needs and well-being. Our approach to POCA cases combines deep legal knowledge with a commitment to client-focused service, ensuring each client receives personalised and effective representation.

Our team of specialised POCA solicitors brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success, ensuring that your case is handled with professionalism and attention to detail. We understand the critical importance of acting swiftly and decisively in cases involving the seizure of assets and potential criminal charges. Our solicitors are renowned for their comprehensive understanding of POCA legislation, offering robust defence strategies and proactive advice.

Moreover, Clifford Johnston & Co stands out for its transparent and cost-effective pricing, providing access to exceptional legal advice without any hidden costs. We are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of legal practice, supported by our numerous accreditations, including the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation and the Law Society Family Law Accreditation.

What Is The Proceeds of Crime Act?

POCA is a piece of legislation which criminalises the use of any asset obtained by criminal activity, including money, goods, or property. The Act has two main aims – to curtail money laundering activities and deprive offenders of the proceeds of their criminal activity.

The POCA provides the legislative framework which allows the authorities to recover criminal assets via search, seizure, restraint, and the freezing of assets. Having the power to confiscate criminal proceeds enables the authorities to prevent criminals from using their illegally gained assets, recover the proceeds, and deter others from committing such crimes.

Under sections 327-329 of POCA, it is a money laundering offence to handle the proceeds of crime in the following ways:

  • The concealment of criminal property
  • The possession of criminal property
  • Entering into an arrangement involving the retention, use, or control of criminal property.

The Proceeds of Crime Act reformed the legislation to include a wide range of offences, which include drug offences, white collar crime, and money laundering, as well as the specific offence of failure to report money laundering within the regulated sector, including banks, financial institutions, accountants, tax advisors, estate agents and solicitors.

If you are facing criminal charges under the Proceeds of Crime Act, our experienced POCA solicitors can help to ensure the best possible outcome of your case. For example, where a prison sentence is inevitable, we can work towards reducing your overall sentence where possible.

What Is Regarded As Proceeds Of Crime?

The proceeds of crime or criminal property refers to any asset gained via criminal activity, which can include the following things:

  • Cash
  • Valuable art
  • Luxury vehicles
  • Stocks and shares
  • Intellectual property
  • Residential properties
  • Commercial properties
  • Expensive jewellery/watches

POCA is used by police and non-police agencies to recover the proceeds of numerous crimes, including tax evasion, money laundering, benefit fraud, embezzlement, copyright infringement and rogue trading.

The prosecution must be able to demonstrate that the property represents in part or whole benefit of criminal conduct, either directly or indirectly, to prove that any property has been acquired as a result of criminal activity; they must also show that the defendant knows the property represents a benefit gained via criminal activity.

How Are The Proceeds Of Crime Recovered?

POCA provides the police and non-police agencies with the power to recover the proceeds of crime in several different ways, depending on the type of property. The most commonly used methods of recovery include:

  • Restraint and freezing orders: The bank accounts and property of anyone under investigation can be frozen at any time during the investigation by a restraint order. The purpose of this is to prevent the assets from being devalued or sold before a conviction is made.
  • Confiscation orders: This is an order made against a defendant after they have been convicted, which requires them to pay back an amount as determined by the court.
  • Cash seizures: This type of property recovery typically occurs at a stop and search point, such as an international border or at the business premises believed to be the source of the criminal activity and subsequent money.
  • Civil recovery: This allows for assets to be recovered in the absence of a criminal conviction, but where it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt that said assets were acquired via criminal activity.
  • Seizures by Border Force and HMRC: Cash and other property can be seized at the border by HMRC, UK Border Force, and other government agencies.
  • Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWO): These came into force in January 2018 to help authorities identify and seize property suspected to have been purchased using laundered funds.

If you have been accused of acquiring money or property from criminal activity, it is strongly advised that you seek help from an experienced solicitor as soon as possible. Here at Clifford Johnston, our specialist team of Proceeds of Crime Act solicitors will work with you to ensure the outcome of your case is as favourable as possible, whether that means seeing the charges dropped or your sentence reduced where imprisonment is inevitable.

Contact Clifford Johnston’s POCA Solicitors today

If you are currently involved in a POCA investigation or are concerned about the implications of this legislation on your assets and financial status, do not hesitate to contact us. Our experienced team is ready to provide you with the support and guidance necessary to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

We take immense pride in the exceptional criminal law services we offer and the significant impact we achieve on behalf of our clients. Our experienced Stockport and Manchester solicitors are distinguished by their deep expertise in the field.

Contact us immediately if you have been arrested, called in for an interview, or become aware that you are under investigation. Our skilled criminal defence solicitors are prepared to assist you at every step, ensuring you comprehend your choices while striving for the best possible resolution under your specific circumstances.

Need some professional advice?

Do you have any issues that you are worried about? Contact our professional team for a free, no-obligation informal discussion, where we can discuss your particular requirements in greater detail.

Clifford Johnston & Co. Accreditations

  • assault defence lawyers