The investigation and prosecution of money laundering has changed dramatically in recent years, particularly following the Proceeds of Crime Act and the 2003 Money Laundering Regulations. The 2007 Money Laundering Regulations further strengthened anti-money laundering measures and extended them to terrorist financing, as well as making other important changes to the regulatory regime.
Money laundering offences are legally complex and are very widely expressed, including those relating to transferring, converting and retaining criminal property and those relating to non-compliance with the regulatory regime under POCA and the ML Regs. These offences are also increasingly used by prosecution authorities in fraud and corruption cases, as well as in many other cases involving acquisitive crime. More than ever before, those suspected of money laundering require expert advice and representation. With our team of leading experts in the UK, BCL provides such expert advice and representation to governments, organisations, financial institutions, law firms, accountancy practices and individuals.
We also advise on compliance issues arising out of POCA and the ML Regs. Our expert team of lawyers includes two of the authors of the OUP book on money laundering law and regulation, one of whom is the immediate past Chair of The Law Society's Money Laundering Task Force who contributed to the Law Society’s guidance on money laundering and has provided expert witness assistance to an overseas common law government in relation to the scope and impact of UK anti-money laundering legislation.
In addition, we provide expert advice and representation in relation to cash seizure and forfeiture proceedings under POCA. The power given to police and customs officers to seize cash is being used with increasing frequency; in practice, anyone carrying cash over £1,000 is at risk of having it seized and having, in effect, to prove that it is legitimate or risk its forfeiture. Our lawyers have extensive experience of cash seizure cases and a strong track record of obtaining the return of wrongly seized cash, often without the need for court proceedings.