The Proceeds of Crime Act Team

Advice and Assistance from Cohen Cramer

Helen Lynch:

helenchambersHelen heads up the POCA Department and is responsible for the supervision of all the POCA cases, dealing with some of the more complex herself.   She has over 15 years’ experience in criminal defence work.  She is renowned within the field of POCA and was ranked again this year in Chambers and Partners as being a “fantastic proceeds of crime lawyer” by market sources. They go on to say that she is “very good in preparation, has a detailed extensive knowledge of the law, and provides a first-rate service.”

In the previous year’s publication she was described as “the queen of POCA and civil recovery”.  Clients think “she’s unbelievable.  Her knowledge of the case is remarkable, she’s on the ball and she backs you all the way”.   Helen also featured in Legal 500 in 2013 as a ‘true expert in her field.’

Helen, in her role as a committee member of the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association (POCLA) and as chair of POCLA North, organises seminars for barristers and solicitors in relation to developing areas of confiscation law.

During her career, Helen has been instructed on some of the biggest ever POCA cases with one such case lasting over three years which saw a reduction in the benefit figure of over £6.1m.  She is regularly instructed on cases that require a team of lawyers which she supervises yet at the same time accepts instructions from people with minor proceedings.  Either way all her clients receive the same devoted service.

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Lauren_Bowkett-04[1]Lauren Bowkett:

Lauren deals with some of the departments most high-profile cases. One of the largest matters relates to a £6 million hidden assets order for which Lauren was required to work exclusively on for four months.  The case resulted in Lauren attending court and giving expert evidence, receiving praise from both the Judge and the CPS for her high standard of work and the manner in which she presented her evidence.

In addition, Lauen has taken the lead in the negotiations with Financial Investigators and Counsel and has settled many matters out of Court without the need for a contested hearing. 

Lauren has a clear analytical mind that understands the importance of review and consideration of the disparity between the benefit figure and the available amount which if not dealt with can have an effect on a client’s life forever. 

In addition to main POCA matters Lauren works on all types of ancillary matters such as extending the time to pay under Section 11 POCA 2002, advising and contesting on applications put forward by the Prosecution under Section 22 POCA 2002 to increase the available amount and drafting her own applications under Section 23 of POCA 2002 to reduce the available amount and stop interest accruing.  Lauren also has a flow of private instruction for Section 10A applications, asserting third party interests. 

Lauren can also help with any issues raised in respect of restraint orders and help with the settlement of Confiscation Orders and she also acts as an advocate at the Magistrates Court for Enforcement Hearings.

More recently Lauren has spearheaded the POCA conveyancing department and works closely with Wilsons Auctioneers who recognise us as their main conveyancers for all of POCA properties.  Lauren has been described as a ‘rising star of the POCA world’.

Some of her most notable cases are:

  • R v K Benefit reduced from £1,434,105.00 to £70,000.00
  • R v T successfully argued no hidden assets reducing available amount from £100,000.00 to £2,131.54
  • R v H successfully argued no hidden assets reducing available amount to £1 and reducing benefit figure from £1,148,937.88 to £194,950.00

For the expert legal advice you need contact Lauren today:

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Leah Arksey:

Having studied Law at Leeds Metropolitan University Leah joined the practice in 2015 and recently joined the POCA team having previously worked in the Personal Injury department.

Currently studying for her LPC, Leah is the department assistant and makes sure that her colleagues get the support they need.

John Hera:

John qualified as a solicitor in 2009 and gained notoriety through the Manchester, Salford, London and Birmingham legal circuits

John has worked on a number of high profile cases which have received widespread national media coverage.

John was the sole advocate in the case of R v Paul Hookway which involved a challenge to the police bail laws and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.  The representations John made before District Judge Finestein in Salford Magistrates’ Court ultimately led to this case being debated in the Supreme Court. The Conservative Government was forced to enact emergency legislation to overturn the decision made in this case as a result of the representations put forward by John.

Since joining Cohen Cramer however he now specialises entirely on POCA cases including the preparation of some of the team’s biggest cases, as well as conducting many Enforcement Hearings (successfully!!) at the Magistrates Court and of course conducting ancillary proceedings such as applications under Section 11, Section 23 and 22.  He is a senior and instrumental member of the team.

He had recently worked (with a team of two other solicitors) on one of the country’s biggest ever environmental confiscation cases earning praise from both the Judge and his opposition.

Other noteworthy cases:

R v W              Benefit figure reduced from £1,800,000 to £48,000

R v M               Benefit figure reduced from £1,300,000 to £450,000 and available amount reduced from £270,000 to £150,000

 

For the Quality Legal Service You Deserve.