Unexplained Wealth Orders

Financial Crime

Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWO) have recently been introduced into UK law under the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

An Unexplained Wealth Order requires the person, who is the subject of that Order, to provide information to explain their personal interest in high valued assets, property or the like. The individual will be compelled by a government agency (HMRC, SFO, FCA, NCA and the CPS) to provide details and reveal the source of wealth used to acquire the asset. UWO’s can be made in respect of any assets valued at £50,000 and over. The asset does not have to be held in the UK for an Unexplained Wealth Order to be made against an individual. The Order can be made with or without notice to the individual.

Government agencies can attempt to freeze individuals’ assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 by using an Interim Freezing Order to prevent the dissipation of the assets whilst an Unexplained Wealth Order is being pursued. This can be done with or without notice to the individual.

It is imperative that you seek advice, if you have received notification of an Unexplained Wealth Order and/ or an Interim Freezing Order. Richardson Lissack are able to immediately formulate a strategy in respect of a challenge or response to both.

Our lawyers are available 24/7 to assist you and provide legal advice. Contact London 020 3753 5352 or Manchester 0161 834 7284. Alternatively you can email

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Ben Richardson
Head of Corporate & Financial Crime

020 3753 5352

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