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When money laundering offences are alleged and confiscation of assets is threatened, you need the best money laundering barrister in the UK.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 creates a number of separate criminal offences of money laundering, which include obtaining, hiding, converting and removing criminal property. These can be very serious offences indeed and carry a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.

Quite apart from defending specific money laundering charges, confiscation proceedings on behalf of clients who have pleaded guilty or been convicted of a profitable offence, have very serious consequences and can themselves be a major battleground. Each prosecuting authority now has a dedicated team of investigators and lawyers who specialise in confiscating peoples assets.

First class preparation of the defence response is essential because it is the defendant who has to prove to the court that his realisable assets are less than the amount claimed by the prosecution. If an order is made against a client and the sum is not paid, the court must order an extra sentence of imprisonment, of up to 10 years.  A poorly prepared defence can have devastating results for the client.

As a specialist money laundering barrister, Howard acts for clients in both the Crown Court for proceeds of criminal confiscation cases and in the High Court for civil recovery cases.  Howard’s renowned advocacy coupled with his vast range of experience in all aspects of asset recovery and confiscation, make him an obvious first choice counsel in these matters.

So, people convicted of financial crimes or drug offences, almost always face asset confiscation proceedings in the Crown Court.  But even when no criminal conviction has been achieved, if it is believed there are unaccounted for monies from illegal sources, the authorities, now the National Crime Agency, (formerly SOCA) can bring proceedings in the High Court for civil recovery.

High Court proceedings are easier to prove than criminal cases in the Crown Court, and are frequently resorted to. They must be strongly challenged: the defence must be meticulously prepared and powerfully presented in court to have the best chance of success.

Some Sample cases:

Drugs Sting - Not Guilty [F & OTHERS]

A solicitor F was caught with drugs cash in Mayfair. This was a Metropolitan Police ‘sting ‘ operation using undercover police in London and Gibralter. The police set up a fake bureau de change in Mayfair, London, and encouraged F to import bags of drug cash from Gibralter to London.  After many weeks of legal argument in court, the judge halted the trial because of the police’s illegal activity in re-financing the drug trade. A verdict of ‘not guilty’ was entered and F was discharged.

Major Crime - Non-custodial Sentence [B & OTHERS]

B took over the running of the family’s financial affairs after her accountant husband was assassinated. The police were assisted by MI5 who secretly bugged the family’s home and recorded every conversation for 2 years!  After months of legal argument at the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, a deal was agreed. B pleaded guilty to a minor offence only, and received a non-custodial sentence.

VAT Fraud - Acquittal [ D ]

A Midlands businessman D, who ran an electronics business was alleged to have laundered millions of pounds through his business,  which were part of the proceeds of an enormous VAT carousel fraud. After a long trial he was acquitted by the jury. He was the only defendant who was not convicted.

One of the UK’s Best Money Laundering Barristers

2014 Chambers UK Directory logo for best money laundering barrister Howard Godfrey QC

Leading Individual


drugs sting
not guilty

non-custodial sentence

VAT fraud acquittal


Legal 500 UK logo for best money laundering barrister Howard Godfrey QC

Distills and plots
a course through
the most complex of work with ease”


If you or a family member, would like representation by one
of the UK’s very best money laundering barristers and QC’s,

… please feel free to
contact me for
 an initial conversation.

Contact Me

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