Enforcement of confiscation orders
Produced in partnership with Quinton Newcomb of Fulcrum Chambers
Enforcement of confiscation orders

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Quinton Newcomb of Fulcrum Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Enforcement of confiscation orders
  • Status of a confiscation order
  • How is a confiscation order fulfilled?
  • Time to pay a confiscation order
  • Interest on an outstanding confiscation order
  • The magistrates' court—responsibilities and powers
  • Enforcement hearings
  • Issuing a warrant of commitment to serve the default term
  • Enforcement in the Crown Court
  • Enforcement abroad
  • more

Status of a confiscation order

A confiscation order is an order to pay a sum of money and is only satisfied once that sum is paid. The confiscation order will be accompanied by a sentence to be served in default of payment. See Practice Note: Default term in confiscation.

The convicted defendant (offender) can choose to pay the order voluntarily, but if they fail to pay, compulsory enforcement action can be taken. The order is treated as a fine and is collected and enforced by a specified magistrates' court or, if none is specified, by the committing magistrates' court.

It is often described as an order ‘in personam’ as opposed to being ‘in rem’. The practical effect of this is that, once a Crown Court has determined the recoverable amount of the proceeds of crime under section 6 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) and the available amount under POCA 2002, s 9, then the confiscation order which it must make under POCA 2002, s 6(5)(b) operates simply to require the defendant to pay the recoverable amount. In Crown Prosecution Service v Aquila Advisory Ltd, the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) explained that a confiscation order ‘does not give the CPS any form of proprietary interest in the defendant's available assets or any priority over other claims and