MJP solicitors logo 0800 131 3298

Restraint Order

Restraint Orders Advice

Restraint Order

The CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) can apply to the Crown Court/High Court for a restraint order in relation to a persons assets where they suspect a person of a crime in order to stop that person from disposing of their assets or sending them abroad.

This application is usually made "ex parte" (or without the knowledge of the person affected) and makes provision for legal and daily living expenses. The evidence to support such an application is usually the evidence of a police officer or customs officer in a statement of truth.

They do not have to prove the crime but rather the existence of evidence that property is ´criminal property´ It is open for a person affected by a restraint order to apply to have that restraint order lifted temporarily or permanently pending the outcome of the case.

A restraint order prevents money being used or property being disposed of. It is registered at the Land Registry and with banks and financial institutions.

There can be dealings in the property but the value of property restrained must not be reduced.

Restraint orders are unique to each case and require detailed advice from solicitors.

Restraint orders are usually issued out of the High Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The document is a lengthy legal order which has the effect of restraining assets.

Back to the top

What Does Restraint Mean?

If assets are restrained you are prevents from selling them without permission. You cannot dispose of them. It is quite different from seizure which means that property is actually taken from you.

A restraint order may contain orders to seize cash but you have the right to apply for it back.

Restraining orders or freezing injunctions are served without notice (ex parte) and you will need to speak to a specialist lawyer who can deal with restraint orders.

The order will provide some funds to be accessed for living expenses but this is usually at a very low level and then application has to be made to the Court to vary the order.

Restraint orders prevent a person disposing of assets.

Third parties may be affected by a restraint order against you or you may be a third party.

Again, you have the right to apply to the Court to apply for release of some or all of the assets restrained.

You will need to contact MJP solicitors Restraints and Confiscation Order Department

  • Discharge and Variation of Restraint Orders

  • Restraint Order Appeals to Court of Appeal and Supreme Court

  • Evidence to support Restraint Order

  • Legal Expertise to challenge Restraint Order

  • Our Legal costs for Restraint Order Advice

Back to the top

Discharge and Variation of Restraint Orders

Where a Restraint Order is imposed it is possible to apply to the Court for a variation of the order.

If for example you are in the process of selling your house, the sale can still go ahead and even a purchase may continue providing the "reach" of the restraint order in terms of money is maintained.

The object is not to prevent you from continuing a business or private legal matters but it is to restrain the assets that are in your possession at the time the order is imposed.

Agreements are often reached with prosecutors and financial investigators or by the Court to allow financial transactions to continue for business or domestic purposes provided that the assets are not going to be disposed of out of the reach of the restraint order.

Back to the top

Our Legal Costs for Restraint Order Advice

Legal Aid is available for representation in relation to restraint orders. Some clients seek to release funds from those seized in order to challenge the restraint order on a private paying basis in certain cases.

Most of our clients, due to the restraint order, are entitled to legal aid but you should not hesitate to contact us as we always provide initial free advice on telephone or video link.

Back to the top


Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority www.rules.sra.org.uk/ (203739)