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Lewis Nedas Law are London-based solicitors. Frequently rated in both Chambers UK and The Legal 500, we can help you or your business today. Tel: 020 7387 2032.

Confiscation Update: Third Parties – by Miles Herman

Third Parties’ interests often take a back seat when confiscation proceedings are ongoing and so a defendant’s partner, wife or husband’s interests may not always be advanced at an early stage and that may have serious implications in terms of any Orders the Court makes at the conclusion of proceedings.

Third parties often have beneficial interest in property and those beneficial interests ought to apply when calculating the recoverable amount in confiscation proceedings.

In the recent reported case of R v Harriet (Paula) (2012 EWCA Crim 2294), the Court was concerned with making an Order against the defendant and took into consideration her realizable assets which included her house. The Court made an Order on the basis she had full control over 25% of the equity in the matrimonial home, notwithstanding that she resided there with her husband and children and that the husband had contributed to payment of the mortgage on the property, although was not named on the mortgage deeds.

In this case it would seem documentation was not before the Court prior to making the Order and, on appeal, the Court quashed the original decision by the Crown Court Judge on the basis the appellant’s husband, here the third party, was legally entitled to his share of the property and that should have been accounted for when calculating the appellant’s equitable interest in the matrimonial home.

The issue that arises here is that third parties’ interests should be advanced at an early stage of proceedings and, had that happened in the present case, it is arguable whether the Court would have made the Order that it did prior to the appeal.

Third party interests need not only relate to property, but other assets jointly owned between the defendant and the third party, and therefore in a case where third party interests are relevant it is often necessary, and indeed desirable, that that third party seeks independent legal advice once confiscation proceedings are commenced, if not before.

Lewis Nedas Law have extensive experience in advising third parties in matters of this nature. Often, specialists in expert advice can alleviate the need for contested confiscation hearings at an early stage of proceedings where third party assets are advanced in a case.

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Eight Lewis Nedas Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in the 2013 London Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

Super Lawyers UK has selected six of our lawyers, Jeffrey Lewis, Siobhain Egan, Miles Herman, Keith Wood and Laura Saunsbury, to be included in the 2013 London Super Lawyers list, because they have each demonstrated excellence in their specialist fields. These selections are limited to only five per cent of solicitors in London.

Additionally, a further two of our junior solicitors, Unan Choudhury and Layna Thompson, have been selected as ‘rising stars’ and will be included on Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars list. Both lists will be distributed via the Telegraph Magazine and the Law Society Gazette in March 2013.

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Lewis Nedas Law Instructed In Immigration Lawyers Fraud Prosecution

Following several arrests, Miles Herman acts for one defendant facing a SOCA prosecution alleging that certain immigration lawyers were involved in a fraud scam.

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Miles Herman Blogs about Police Investigations

Miles Herman has written a piece on investigations by the Police. Read the full blog here.

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Police Investigations – by Miles Herman

In respect of a number of investigations the firm has undertaken within the last year it has become apparent that the cuts in the Criminal Justice System are starting to bite deep with regards to both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

This is particularly so in often lengthy and complex investigations which require forensic analysis of all available evidence and significant time spent in chasing up lines of enquiry and obtaining of evidence which may be relevant to the investigation.

With less police on hand to deal with these issues suspects are finding that they are being re-bailed on a regular basis and investigations are taking, to my experience at least, double the amount of time than they were say two or three years ago.

The fact investigations are taking longer does not mean that a defence lawyer should sit idly back and allow the police more time than they should ordinarily need to do their job. I have recently represented two professionals and have been proactive in making representations to the police and/or prosecuting authorities as to not only the state of the evidence but also as to their obligations in ensuring that justice should be dealt with both expeditiously and diligently.

Such an approach early on in an investigation can reap significant benefits from a suspect under investigation. It is important to place the police under pressure right from the start. This can be done by seeking the return of property, liaising with police over any pre-charge bail conditions that may have been imposed and by questioning the nature of the investigation and the evidence that has been obtained. None of the above interferes with the way the case is being conducted by police, but it makes it clear that on behalf of a suspect everything that reasonably can be done is being done before a decision is made whether to charge a suspect or not.

In certain cases the right approach may be to make representations as to alternatives to prosecution in addition to comment on the length of time an investigation is taking.

Therefore, if you are the subject of a police investigation and seek proactive advice by expert defence solicitors dealing with police station matters on a daily basis then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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