Mutual legal assistance—civil recovery
Produced in partnership with Nicholas Chapman and Michael Newbold of 9-12 Bell Yard
Mutual legal assistance—civil recovery

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Nicholas Chapman and Michael Newbold of 9-12 Bell Yard provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Mutual legal assistance—civil recovery
  • Assistance to overseas authorities in civil recovery proceedings
  • The nature of civil recovery proceedings
  • Civil recovery to give effect to a foreign court order
  • Interim remedies
  • Civil recovery proceedings to give effect to an external request to prohibit dealing with property
  • Practical considerations

Assistance to overseas authorities in civil recovery proceedings

Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) provides a mechanism for the freezing and divestment of the proceeds of crime using civil proceedings. POCA 2002, Pt 11 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005 (the 2005 Order), SI 2005/3181 together provide a comprehensive regime for the provision of assistance by the UK upon the request of an overseas authority, which closely mirrors the UK domestic regime both in substance and practice. It enables the UK enforcement authorities to take steps in the enforcement of, or ancillary to, an overseas court order (which is described in the statutory language as ‘giving effect to external orders by means of civil recovery’) and/or antecedent to any overseas proceedings (‘giving effect to external requests by means of civil proceedings’). See also Practice Note: POCA 2002—external investigations, requests and orders—introduction. For further information on external investigations under POCA 2002, Pt 11, see Practice Note: External Investigations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Of some importance to practitioners, in 2016 the Court of Appeal gave guidance upon the confidentiality of state-to-state communication in the context of external requests. This is considered in more details below, see Practical considerations.

The nature of civil recovery proceedings

Civil recovery provides a