Unexplained Wealth Orders

Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) are a further instrument of the state to compel someone who is reasonably suspected of involvement in, or of being connected to a person involved in, serious crime to explain the nature and extent of their interest in particular property.

Given that an UWO can be issued against items worth more than £50,000 it is vital that intelligent and accurate legal advice is taken as a matter of course.

UWOs were introduced under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 and reverse the onus onto the individual to prove their lawful ownership of property and the means by which it was obtained. It is important to note that the power is an investigative one, meaning that a UWO on its own is not one that can be used to recover assets. There is in existence a wealth of powers available under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) for that purpose.

It is, of course, possible to challenge UWOs. If you find yourself in this position then you will need one of our dynamic and highly qualified lawyers to navigate the process for you.