Law firm Russell-Cooke has been successful in overturning a Moratorium Extension Order which had frozen nearly £3,000,000 of its client company's funds. The Order had been granted under section 336A of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002.

POCA is the principal money laundering legislation in the UK. It also facilitates the civil recovery of proceeds of crime and adds to the power of investigation into money laundering and proceeds of crime offences, among other provisions.

Jim Sturman QC of 2 Bedford Row, instructed by Russell-Cooke, challenged the Order on the basis of a breach of procedural requirements, lack of full and frank disclosure to the Judge who granted the Order, and a failure to exercise due diligence in the investigation.

Russell-Cooke partner Matt Bosworth, who leads the Regulation team, instructed Mr Sturman. He regularly advises individuals and companies on matters involving reputational matters, regulatory offences, private prosecutions and investigations work.

Matt Bosworth commented: “This ruling shows that any individual or organisation facing a Moratorium Order under the POCA regime should always seek expert advice as to what the best way forward is for their case. A detailed knowledge of the issues involved with POCA proceedings and compliance coupled with pragmatic advice is key in issues such as this.”