Restraint Orders and Cash Seizures

Investigative authorities are increasingly using civil powers set out in Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to try and freeze sums in bank and building society accounts where there are ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ they contain the proceeds of unlawful conduct or funds intended for use in unlawful conduct. To apply for forfeiture, the authorities must satisfy the court that the funds are truly tainted in that way (and not just that there is a suspicion).

Importantly, the proceedings are civil, requiring no criminal conviction to act as the trigger.

As part of my fraud practice, I regularly advise individuals and businesses on pre-charge and post-charge restraint/freezing orders.  I understand the significant impact such orders can have businesses, individuals and their families.

As well as helping you understand the full implications of restraining/freezing assets, I also provide commercial knowledge and robust legal representation and advocacy.  I will advise you on the legality of a restraint order, what your obligations are under the order and represent you to either vary or discharge the order.

Whilst a restraint or freezing order generally allows reasonable living expenses and makes provisions for the running of a business or trade; if the allowance is insufficient for you and your family’s basic needs, I can renegotiate with prosecuting authorities for an allowance increase or in the event that fails, apply to the court to vary the order.

I also have experience of advising third parties who are affected by the imposition of a restraint order.  I can advise individuals, families, friends and businesses affected by restraint or asset freezing orders, on how to protect their financial interest in assets that may have been frozen.

I have successfully recovered substantial sums of money for individuals and businesses affected by the draconian powers of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Police and customs officers are regularly seizing cash (over £1,000) from ordinary law abiding citizens and then applying to the Court for its further detention and eventually its forfeiture.  This legislation entitles the authorities to initiate this process based on the slightest of suspicions. I understand that being subjected to a cash seizure and forfeiture action can be a distressing and traumatic experience for individuals, their families and businesses which may be effected by the seizure.  As well as helping you understand the full implications of the law relating to cash seizure, I will provide you with tireless legal support every step of the way.

If your cash has been seized, you have the right to apply for its return at anytime.  I understand that being the subject of an investigation is a stressful time for you. To help you I am happy to provide a free, no obligation initial consultation to discuss your case and provide preliminary advice.

Chambers and Partners 2021

"He's exceptionally talented and an extremely able barrister due to his grasp of the law and sensible approach to the jury. He can outshine leading silks on his day."

Chambers and Partners 2020

Highly sought after for his calm and collective approach which is never anything but measured. He is well received by clients, fellow professionals and the judiciary.” “He is meticulous in his preparation and presents his cases well before the court.”

Legal 500 2020

“He is a particularly strong junior in serious crime and fraud. He has dry wit that can wither any hostile witness testimony with ease. He has a huge practice nationally in complex crime. A very safe pair of hands”

Legal 500 2019

Has a great eye for detail”

Legal 500 2018

“Advises on serious financial crime matters. Regularly defends cases of mortgage, tax and investment fraud”

Chambers and Partners 2017:

“Recognised for advising on serious financial crime matters. He regularly defends cases of mortgage, tax and investment fraud ….His written work is particularly good."

Legal 500 2016:

‘His calm persona can cut through complex issues with ease’.

Chambers and Partners 2016:

‘Particularly noted for his expertise in cartel investigations, insider dealing and rate fixing matters. He routinely represents large corporations and individuals’

Legal 500 2015:

‘…often has the prosecution running around in circles’

Chambers and Partners 2015:

Has a nationwide financial crime practice and is regularly instructed to defend in complex fraud cases…….has an A to Z knowledge of fraud work."

Legal 500 2014:

‘An excellent jury advocate’

Chambers and Partners 2014:

‘Has a practice encompassing mortgage, tax and insurance fraud cases.

Legal 500 2013:

mindblowingly experienced'

Chambers and Partners 2013:

praised for his ability to handle cases which combine civil and criminal fraud elements. He has a national fraud profile, and handles mortgage and insurance frauds, money laundering matters and MTIC cases’ 

Chambers and Partners 2012:

‘a diligent professional acclaimed for his fantastic knowledge of his subject’

Chambers and Partners 2011:

'fights really hard for his clients and is very good tactically’

Legal 500 2011:

‘is comfortable with any level of tribunal and is completely au fait with complex legal issues’

Legal 500:

‘is widely experienced in fraud…has good experience in conspiracy trials’

Legal 500:

‘has a serious crime practice for his call and good experience in fraud and conspiracy trials’

Legal 500:

‘has a busy serious crime practice’

“I am delighted with the verdict. I am an innocent man and I’m glad the jury believed in me. This has been a very difficult time for me. My reputation was badly damaged after my arrest but now I can get on with my life as an innocent man with my head held high. I would like to take this opportunity to say I am especially indebted to my Barrister, Mr Ashraf Khan. Without his support I would have been lost”

QM, acquitted after a 5 month sexual abuse trial.

I cannot describe how happy I am today. Thank you Ashraf for all your help through this difficult period in my life. I was so scared I would loose my livelihood. I owe you so much”

TH, an independent financial adviser, acquitted after a 4 month fraud trial.


“I am delighted with the verdict! Thank you so much”

DO, acquitted of Grievous Bodily Harm after a trial.


“Brilliant result, thanks so much! Thank you for all the hard work and taking the time to understand our case; our previous lawyers just didn’t want to know”.

GH, acquitted of large scale drugs conspiracy.



“Thank you for everything! I could have spent my whole life in prison for something I didn’t do!

LW, acquitted of gang related murder after a 10 week trial.



“Thank you Mr Khan for all your hard work during this long and difficult trial. We knew we could always rely on you. You were superb!”

DM, acquitted of large scale drugs conspiracy.