HNW clients can often be the subject of bad advice, poor structuring and more serious activities such as fraud and theft.
HNW individuals also face risks from disgruntled spouses and other family members, business partners, family office staff, accountants and lawyers, employees or strangers stealing, extorting or reassigning assets or cash to themselves.
In the course of our business advisory offer, Percheron Advisory can support clients to ensure their assets and wealth are secured.
Asset Tracing & Asset Protection
Assets and corporate holdings can be hidden and passed between different jurisdictions and tax structures. This can make locating assets or the individuals who misappropriated them difficult.
Percheron Advisory can deploy asset-tracing and asset-review tools to assist clients wanting to reclaim what is theirs.
We work with a number of partner corporate intelligence firms who can support this process, whist our partner international law firms conduct legal and asset risk reviews so building a protective wall around clients.
Another tool to reclaim sequestered assets is through the courts and legal measures of England & Wales.
Unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) were introduced to the UK legal system in January 2018, with the passing of the Criminal Finances Act 2017. Section 1 of this Act heavily amended the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) to introduce them.
A UWO requires the respondent to explain how an asset was acquired. If they do not provide an adequate explanation, or provide unsatisfactory evidence, the asset will be considered “recoverable property” for the purposes of a civil recovery order under POCA.
A UWO can be sought without any civil or criminal proceedings having begun. There is no need for the subject of a UWO to have been convicted of an offence or to have had a civil law judgement against them.
Other means to assist in the retrieval of assets include Worldwide Freezing Orders (WFOs), described as one of the two ‘nuclear weapons’ of the law by Lord Justice Donaldson; the other being disclosure orders), and most assets can be frozen no matter where they are.
A disclosure order is, in general terms, an order authorising a request for information with which the recipient is obliged to comply, which is usually backed up by penal sanctions for non-compliance.
A disclosure order can be issued to overseas individuals or companies meaning they have to disclose the assets that they are holding.
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