Baker & Partners defended the first prosecution in Jersey for breach of the anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations.
The firm has since advised in numerous cases where such prosecutions were a risk. It has been instructed by the Attorney General to advise on and pursue prosecutions for breach of the AML regulations. See also the regulatory page.
The States of Jersey Police (SOJP) has the power to “withhold consent” to move assets once money laundering suspicions have been reported. Although this is not a court order, in reality it operates like a freezing order because it is a virtual certainty that the financial institute controlling the assets will not conduct any transactions without the consent of the SOJP for fear of being convicted of money laundering. This power exists in many jurisdictions, but is normally subject to time limits which, once expired, require a court order if the funds are to remain frozen. This is not the case in Jersey. There are no time limits, so funds can remain informally frozen for years unless the owners take action to have the “no consent” lifted. These actions can either take the form of a private law action against the institution holding the funds, or judicial review of the decision of the SOJP. The firm has considerable expertise in this area and has procured the release of very large sums on behalf its clients.