Enforcement agencies have a selection of disruptive tools available whilst they carry out investigations. We regularly advise clients who have accounts or property that has been frozen or where banks are unable to return money which is the subject of an inquiry. Restraint Orders Investigators can apply to freeze assets which are located anywhere in the world, pre and post charge and pending a criminal trial. Proceedings are usually brought ex parte and clients may only become aware that an order has been granted when it is served on them. Cash Seizure/Account Freezing Orders (AFO) These orders are very wide and they can be made against any person's account in which there is at least £1,000 where the authorities suspect the funds are the proceeds of crime or intended for unlawful use. Whilst the funds are being investigated they are frozen which can lead to an application for forfeiture down the line. It is important to challenge the AFO and robustly defend any application for forfeiture. Our team has extensive experience of acting for clients who are the subject of proceedings to restrain their assets whatever method is chosen. We also advise third parties who may be affected.