Jonathan Lennon

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Confiscation, Civil Recovery and Asset Forfeiture

Recognised as a leading junior in POCA work by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500.

Jonathan has been involved in High Court civil recovery claims since the creation of the now defunct Assets Recovery Agency.

Jonathan is frequently briefed in POCA cash forfeiture cases where police/ customs etc have detained cash.  Jonathan’s case of Angus v UKBA [2011] Lloyds Rep FC 329 changed the law in this area, where the High Court confirmed that police etc who made forfeiture claims had to plead what type of criminal offence was alleged to be the source of the detained cash.  It was no longer enough to simply prove the cash was on the balance of probabilities the proceeds of some crime. 

National Crime Agency v Ghulam, joined with NCA v Jardine (2016).  Two separate civil recovery cases joined.  Jonathan successfully argued that the NCA – and High Court’s practice - of withholding from the Respondents witness statements used by the NCA in ex parte proceedings to secure orders such as Disclosure Orders and Property Freezing Orders was unlawful  Such evidence must now be disclosed (judgment 19/2/16; [2016] EWHC 255 (Admin)). 

NCA v S (2016); currently instructed in on-going civil recovery claim, acting for principal Respondent accused of involvement in drug trafficking. 

NCA v D (2016); currently instructed in on going civil recovery claim, acting for second Respondent accused of involvement in drug trafficking.  NCA now using civil route following acquittal in criminal case at Bristol Crown Court.

NCA v A (2015); Acting for second Respondent on High Court civil recovery claim involving expert evidence – settled. 

SOCA v Gale (2011) Supreme Court.  This was the first  POCA civil recovery case to reach the highest court in the land. Jonathan was junior counsel in a 2 day appeal before a 9 panel court. The case concerned the applicability of Art 6 of ECHR - specifically the standard of proof, in cases where a Respondent has been acquitted in previous criminal proceedings. The appeal also dealt with the proper recoverability of the costs of an Interim Receiver appointed by SOCA. Following comments made by the Court to the effect that the whole 'confusing area' would benefit from consideration by the Grand Chamber of the EctHR the Art 6 point is now submitted to Strasbourg.

Asset Recovery Agency v Allen (2008), High Court.  Civil asset recovery claim by ARA (now National Crime Agency), High Court trial of convicted drugs trafficker whose confiscation order was quashed and monies returned only to be pursued by ARA/NCA in the civil courts.