Services

Money Laundering & Drugs Solicitors

For over 40 years, JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors has advised and represented clients facing money laundering charges related to drug offences and during Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings. Thanks to our specialist expertise in these complex matters, we can provide the very best support to protect your legal rights and secure the best available outcome. 

Our money laundering solicitors and Proceeds of Crime specialists speak a wide range of languages, allowing us to offer clear, effective advice to people from diverse backgrounds. We have built a reputation for securing favourable outcomes for our clients facing even the most complex and serious charges for money laundering in connection to drugs, as well as during all stages of confiscation proceedings.

  • Have you, a friend or family member been arrested for money laundering?
  • Are you required to attend a police station by appointment?
  • Have you been bailed to return to the police station?
  • Have you been charged with money laundering in connection to drugs?
  • Are you facing Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings?

For a free initial consultation on your legal position and the available options, contact our local offices in LondonBirmingham or Manchester.

Need immediate legal support? Our accredited Police Station Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Please use the emergency numbers listed at the top of the page for on-the-spot specialist legal representation for drug-related money laundering charges or confiscation proceedings.

If you have been charged with money laundering in connection with drugs or have been made subject to a Proceeds of Crimes Act 2002 process, we can provide you with a robust defence and support for you and your family.

At JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors, we have over 40 years’ experience in advising clients who have been charged with serious drug and money laundering offences.  Because we have developed relationships with some of the most highly skilled criminal barristers in the UK, our criminal defence team has a strong track record of success.  For example, we recently secured an acquittal for nine defendants in a money-laundering case involving the alleged conversion of millions of pounds of criminal property from various sources.

We have offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester and our team can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency legal advice and representation.  If you have been arrested in connection with a drugs-related money-laundering offence, it is crucial to contact us immediately.

Led by our partners, our team can represent you in a Confiscation hearing.  In addition, we can provide 24-hour police station representation.  Because, anything you say or do upon arrest can affect the outcome of your criminal matter, we provide expert advice at a crucial time, ensuring your best interests are always protected.

JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors is Lexcel accredited, meaning we meet the highest levels of management and customer care set by the Law Society of England and Wales.  In addition, we were awarded the Law Society Excellence in Practice Management Award in 2012.  Our expert team speaks multiple languages, and we have approved external interpreters who can assist us if required.  Our team provides exceptionally comprehensive criminal defence, a claim we can support with various successful cases.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering is the process of converting the proceeds of crime into assets which appear to have a legitimate origin, profits can be kept or recycled to aid further criminal activity.  For example, a person may own a legitimate business such as a hairdressing salon and inflate the cash receipts in order to funnel money from drug deals through the business and into the bank.  The advent of crypto-currency has made the process of money-laundering more sophisticated and harder for authorities to detect.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, there are three separate money laundering offences:

  • Concealment - whereby someone conceals, disguises, converts or transfers criminal property or removes criminal property from the UK
  • Arrangement - whereby a person enters into or becomes involved with an arrangement that they know or suspect assists the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property, by or on behalf of someone else
  • Acquisition, Use or Possession - whereby a person acquires, uses, or has possession of criminal property

Each of these offences carries stiff penalties, not only in terms of fines and incarceration, but reputational damage.  Our criminal defence solicitors will provide robust legal advice and representation to ensure you have the best defence available should you face charges of this kind.

What does the Prosecution have to prove in a money laundering offence?

To be convicted of acquiring, using or possessing criminal property, the Prosecution must show that the conduct from which the property derived was unlawful or that the circumstances in which the property was handled pointed to an “irresistible inference” that it would only have derived from crime.

The Prosecution must identify the crime; it is not enough to make vague allegations of criminal conduct.  Our Solicitors will carefully examine the Prosecution’s case against you and swiftly identify any weaknesses in the evidence they present.  From this, we can build a strong defence in your favour.

Can my property be confiscated?

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the government can recover funds or assets acquired from criminal activity.  Items which can be confiscated include homes, cars, art, jewellery, and commercial property.

The definition of criminal property is that which constitutes an individual’s benefit from criminal activity and the accused is aware this is the case.  Therefore, in addition to the above, the Prosecution must also prove the items are in fact ‘criminal property’.  This often involves searching through large amounts of data to link the property to criminal activity.  Our team has the experience required to sift through large amounts of disclosed material and spot any flaws in the Prosecution’s evidence.

It is possible for property to become subject to a Process of Crimes Act procedure before charges are laid.  Assets held overseas can also be frozen.  Should this happen, it is crucial to contact us immediately, so we can secure the return of your property to ensure you and third parties are not adversely affected.

Will I be told if my assets are to be frozen under the Proceeds of Crimes Act 2002?

Assets are usually frozen without notice, via a Restraint Order, to prevent the owner from dispersing of them prior to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 being invoked.  Under section 40(2) of the Proceeds of Crime Act, the Prosecution must satisfy the court that:

  1. A criminal investigation has been launched,
  2. There is reason to believe the person affected by the order has benefited from a crime, and
  3. There is a definite risk of the assets being ‘dissipated’.

Our criminal defence lawyers can challenge a freezing order on the grounds the authorities did not make a full and proper disclosure to the Court or there is no evidence the assets are at risk of being dissipated. 

What does a confiscation hearing involve?

If you have been convicted of a crime, including a drug-related offence, a confiscation hearing can be brought by the Prosecution if you have benefited from the criminal activity.  The benefit does not necessarily have to be financial.  Our Solicitors can advise and prepare evidence in confiscation hearing proceedings.  Expert legal support is crucial, as the consequences of a confiscation hearing can be very detrimental, not only to you, but to innocent third-parties.  We have successfully challenged the ‘benefits’ figure laid out by the Prosecution on many occasions, as it is often significantly exaggerated. 

What is a ‘criminal lifestyle’?

If you have been convicted of certain drug offences such as possession with intent to supply, supply (including concerned in supply), production (including concerned in production), and permitting certain activities relating to controlled drugs (section 8 Misuse of Drugs Act 1971), you may be found to have a ‘criminal lifestyle’.  Should you be found to have a ‘criminal lifestyle, the Court will assume that all property held by you and money spent by you I the six years prior to your arrest was derived from the proceeds of crime and can, therefore, be made subject to a Confiscation Order.

Our team can collate evidence to refute this assumption.  We can provide the Court with evidence of the source of the money and other assets which have passed through your possession over the six years in question.  Documents such as wage slips, evidence of a mortgage being granted, and business loans are examples of evidence we can present to the Court to show certain money or assets were not proceeds of crime.  We can also argue that the assumption would result in a risk of serious injustice.

Expert legal advice is essential in confiscation hearings as even if you are not found to have a ‘criminal lifestyle’ the Court can examine whether you have benefitted from the crime you have been convicted of.  We can advise you of your options and have the resources and expertise to represent you in even the most complex of Proceeds of Crime Act hearings.

Contact our criminal law defence solicitors today

For specialist advice, prompt representation or to speak to us confidentially about any criminal matter, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated team of criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone:

  • City of London: 0207 624 7771 - our senior Solicitors and Partners can meet by appointment in the City.
  • Brent & Camden London Office: 020 7624 7771
  • Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
  • Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333

Or email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk

Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

In Urgent Cases

For immediate representation and advice, you can contact our Emergency Number: 07836 577 556, and we will provide you with the urgent assistance you need.

  • Umar Zeb
      • Umar Zeb
      • Senior Partner - Head of Private Client Crime
      • 020 7624 7771
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  • Lisa Nicol
      • 020 7644 0729
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  • Sanjay Cholera
      • 020 7651 0850
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  • Pretesh Chauhan
      • 0121 614 3333
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  • Peter Mulhearn
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  • John Geraghty
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  • Danny Parkash
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  • Mimma Sabato
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  • Richard Souper
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  • Sandra Cunningham
      • 0161 835 1638
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  • Malik Aldeiri
      • 020 7644 0721
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  • Panama Begum
      • 0121 614 3333
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  • Barry Linnane
      • 020 7651 0850
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  • Stuart Lloyd
      • 020 7624 7771
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  • James O'Donnell
      • 020 7644 0742
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  • Louise Scott
      • 020 7651 0850
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  • Andrew Stewart
      • 020 7644 0725
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  • Robert Wong
      • 020 7624 7771
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Our cases

Our cases

For new serious cases you can email a senior partner/lawyer directly by clicking here. When you call us you can request a call back or meeting the same day with a senior partner/lawyer or Barrister.

If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future, and you have the means to pay for this service please read more about our bespoke private fee service.