Mar 2, 2018 Supreme Court ruling: No ‘special rules’ for litigants in person Litigants in person are on the increase, and given the growing costs of litigation this is no surprise. The recent Supreme Court decision in Barton v Wright Hassall LLP [2018] UKSC 12 has confirmed that the CPR does not just apply to those parties represented by lawyers, and being a litigant in person is no excuse for failing to comply with the rules.   On the last day before the Claim Form expired, Mr Barton emailed his Claim Form to Berrymans Lace Mawer, solicitors for Wright Hassall LLP. Berrymans did not accept service by email and asserted that the Claim Form had expired unserved ... Read More
Feb 15, 2018 Unexplained Wealth Orders The Criminal Finances Act 2017 introduced significant changes to the existing laws dealing with money laundering and asset recovery under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA 2002’).  Since its inception, it has created the new corporate offences of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion and a key element of the Act is the introduction of Unexplained Wealth Orders (‘UWOs’) which came into force on 31 January 2018. Whilst existing legislations dealing with proceeds of crime has largely been domestic in its focus, the introduction of UWOs moves towards ... Read More
Jan 11, 2018 New rules to speed up freezing and confiscating criminal assets across the EU I read this press release on the European Parliament website today I was wondering if anyone else appreciated the irony of the Civil Liberties Committee approving a regulation which makes it easier to confiscate assets internationally “even if they are not the direct proceeds of crime”, “even if they belong to a third party” and “even if there is no conviction”. On the basis this will get rubber-stamped it will become effective six months after coming into force. I wonder if that will be before or after 29 March 2019 and, if it’s before will the UK ... Read More
Jul 20, 2017 Expansion to cash seizure provisions The Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA 2017) received Royal Assent on 27th April 2017 and makes a number of changes to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002), including an expansion to the cash seizure provisions available to investigating authorities.  The CFA 2017 introduces section 303B to POCA 2002 which now allows the following assets to be seized where the item is over the statutory minimum value of £1,000: Precious metals; Precious stones; Watches; Artistic works; Face-value vouchers; and Postage stamps. These items can be seized and an application made for ... Read More
Jul 6, 2017 Extension of the SAR moratorium period Extension of the SAR moratorium period Section 10 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 provides a scheme for the extension of the moratorium period beyond 31 days. The Government justifies this in the explanatory notes to the bill, stating that at present it “often does not allow sufficient time to develop the evidence, particularly where it must be sought from overseas through mutual legal assistance.” The application for an extension must be made to the Crown Court / Sheriff Court. The Court can grant an extension if it is satisfied that: An investigation is being carried out ... Read More
May 31, 2017 Jurisdiction and Conspiracy to Injure by Unlawful Means Introduction In the recent decision in Khrapunov v JSC BTA Bank [2017] EWCA Civ 40, the Court of Appeal (CA) made a number of interesting rulings relating to unlawful means conspiracy and jurisdiction. In particular, the CA held that (1) a contempt of court could constitute unlawful means as part of an unlawful means conspiracy and (2) the place of the event giving rise to damages in a claim for conspiracy to injure will be the place in which the conspiracy was made.  The context of the CA’s findings and their potential implications are discussed below. Proceedings against Mr ... Read More
May 2, 2017 Third Party Rights: What’s in a name? On 22 March this year, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Macris v FCA [2017] UKSC 19 (on appeal from [2015] EWCA Civ 490)   This followed extensive litigation between the parties from the Upper Tribunal to the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court with Mr Macris successful until the final hurdle. The FCA emerged victorious (albeit probably somewhat surprised) but will this have the effect of derailing the many identification cases that have followed Mr Macris’ trailblazing footsteps? The nuance of the four separate judgements make this a complicated ... Read More
Apr 12, 2017 Notification Injunctions: a lower evidential threshold for risk of dissipation? A notification injunction is an order which prohibits the respondent from dealing with or disposing of assets without first providing advance notice to the applicant. It thus gives the applicant an opportunity to examine the proposed transaction and decide whether to apply for an injunction prohibiting it. The courts have recently considered the evidential threshold for notification injunctions – and in particular the question whether it is different from the threshold for freezing injunctions – in the dispute between Mark Holyoake and the Candy brothers. In April last year Mr ... Read More
Apr 10, 2017 Reduction in Sentence for a Guilty plea – The Definitive guideline In my previous blog on this subject I entreated people to take part in the consultation regarding the proposed changes to the reductions in sentence that should be applied for a guilty plea. Those proposed changes have now come to pass. Consequently, for all offenders aged 18 or over and organisations that have their first hearing in respect of their proceedings on or after 1 June 2017 the following will apply: Where a plea is indicated at the first stage of the proceedings a reduction of one third (maximum) applies. The “first stage of the proceedings” for summary offences ... Read More
Mar 21, 2017 Police and Crime Act 2017 – does this really mean the end of lengthy pre-charge bail conditions? The Policing and Crime Act 2017 (“PCA”) received Royal Assent on the 31st of January 2017 and is due to come into force on the 3rd of April 2017. It has been portrayed as a positive reform which will reduce the time individuals spend on bail before being charged. But does the legislation actually achieve this aim? The PCA creates a presumption of release without bail and places time limits on the length of pre-charge police bail. In most cases the initial period will be capped at 28 days with a superintendent being able to extend this for a further 3 months. Thereafter any ... Read More