Unexplained Wealth Orders

Introduced in 2018, Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) require an individual to explain their interest in a particular property, including the source of the wealth used to obtain the property. Failure to comply with a UWO within the specified timescale gives rise to the risk that law enforcement will seek to forfeit the property.  In 2020, Mishcon de Reya represented the respondents in the only successful challenge to a UWO to date in a case concerning three London properties. Following our intervention, the UWOs were discharged.

A UWO can require an individual to show how they funded the purchase of any property valued at more than £50,000, regardless of where the property is located. This may focus on the acquisition of real estate, jewellery, or other high value assets, and can be the aggregate value of multiple assets.  It is likely to be issued alongside an Interim Freezing Order to prevent the dissipation of the assets which are being investigated.

Mishcon has unrivalled experience in acting for clients facing UWOs. The team is able to provide expert advice on the issues facing those subject to a UWO and we have unique insight on the potential strategies available to deal with the impact of a UWO.  

Further, we recognise that clients are often concerned about the risk of prospective UWOs and we have experience in developing strategy at the earliest stages, including providing advice on what steps may be available to mitigate the impact of any UWO.

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