Re A [2016] EWHC 304 (Admin): joint benefit in multi-defendant confiscation cases.


An application by the Crown for an enforcement receiver to realise property held by two defendants pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act 1988. In earlier proceedings the Supreme Court had decided that in accordance with the principles of joint benefit, proportionality and the application of Article 1 Protocol 1 of the ECHR, sums recovered against one defendant’s confiscation order should count towards the other. (see R v Ahmad [2015] AC 299).

On the application for the enforcement receiver, the Defendants argued their confiscation orders should be credited with sums already recovered under confiscation orders made against money launderers who had been convicted of offences arising out of the defendants’ fraud.


The Court rejected the Defendants’ argument: The benefit obtained by the money launderers was not the same proceeds as the proceeds of the fraud committed by the defendants. Therefore sums recovered against those money launderers was not to be credited to these defendants’ orders.

James Fletcher practises in both civil and criminal law. He is a specialist in Asset Recovery and Proceeds of Crime work. He is instructed on behalf of businesses, by individual members of the public and by Government departments.