Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Proceeds of Crime Act: The New Regime for Asset Freezing and Confiscation

Eleanor Davison and Aaron Taylor

This article considers the provisions of Title XI of Part Three of the UK EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, concerning judicial cooperation on asset freezing and confiscation.

The EU has recently consolidated the patchwork regime which previously applied to requests to enforce freezing and confiscation order between Member States. Title XI is based on that consolidated regime, and is an effective and self contained code. This is to be welcomed; unlike many other aspects of the judicial cooperation regime, the UK is not in a materially worse situation with respect to the enforcement of freezing and confiscation orders than the EU 27. However, there are some notable difference between the regime which applies between Member States inter se and that which now applies between Member States and UK, as regards a requested state’s grounds for refusing enforcement. The grounds for refusal under Title XI are broader, and more nebulous, than those which apply as between Member States.