Go to search LinkedinTwitter

Helen Lynch

Consultant Litigation Executive

"Queen of POCA and Civil Recovery"

Chambers and Partners


Helen is widely considered as one of the best POCA Lawyers in the England having been instructed on some of the biggest and most complex cases, preparing one case alone for over 3 years leading a team of 5, her work successfully reducing the benefit figure from £17m to £12m and the available amount from £3.4m to £1.7m.

She has also worked on numerous other cases including substantive POCA cases, ancillary matters such as applications under Section 11, Section 22, Section 23 and Section 10a’s.

Helen is a committee member of Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association (POCLA) and is responsible for all organising Seminars both in Manchester, Leeds and London.

In her previous roles Helen built up two successful POCA departments, once of which included a team of five full time lawyers.

Helen has specialised in POCA work for over a decade and in that time she has worked on some of the biggest cases including:

  • Supreme Court case of National Crime Agency v Gale – one of the leading cases in civil recovery
  • National Crime Agency v Aslam – another precedent setting civil recovery case
  • R v H A multi million-pound legal highs case which, following a contested hearing, resulted in the benefit figure being reduced by over £4m which in turn lead to it being lower than his available amount.  He left with money being returned to him which is very rare.
  • R v W Another multi-million-pound legal highs case – the biggest in the Country. During this case her work was highly praised by the Judge and Leading Counsel said of her efforts “the best piece of work he had seen in 37 years at the bar”.  Also defeated a £7m hidden asset argument following a 5 day contested hearing.

Her practice areas cover the full range of POCA matters, including:

  • Preparing all defence elements and Section 17 statements;
  • Advising in respect of pre-charge Restraint Orders, and making variations to pay bills and increase living allowances, etc;
  • Attempting to negotiate settlement of proceedings prior to hearings;
  • Representing defendants at in enforcement proceedings;
  • Defending applications to appoint management receivers;
  • Certificates of inadequacy applications before the High Court (CJA 1988)
  • Handling appeals against Confiscation Orders, particularly out-of-time appeals;
  • Covering all ancillary matters, including applications under Sections 11, 14, 22 and 23.
  • Assisting in the realisation of Confiscation Orders, especially if a property needs to be sold.

Helen believes firmly that POCA proceedings do not cease when the order is made, but when the order is paid.  This protects clients from enforcement proceedings and possible default sentences.

Helen is based in the North of England but covers cases all over England and Wales. Meeting facilities are available in Manchester by appointment.

  • What the directories say

    Recommended Lawyer – Chambers and Partners 2022

    • “She is able to cut through complex cases and achieve the best result for her clients.” (Chambers and Partners 2022)
    • “Helen has a thorough understanding of POCA and a vast experience of complicated litigation.” (Chambers and Partners 2022)
    • “First-rate negotiation skills.” (Chambers and Partners 2018)
    • Very personable, outgoing and down-to-earth. Clients like her a lot. She is very direct and engaging.”  (Chambers and Partners 2018)
    • “Highly recommended for her work in this field.” (Legal 500, 2018)
    • “Highly diligent” and “tireless in pursuit of her client’s interests” (Legal 500, 2018)
    • “Will go the extra mile for her clients, and has an unmatched determination and drive.”  (Chambers and Partners 2017)
    • “One of the most knowledgeable lawyers on confiscation proceedings in the North of England.”  (Chambers and Partners 2017)
    • “The Queen of POCA and Civil Recovery.”  (Chambers and Partners 2015)
  • Notable cases
    • R v G – POCA Appeal in which the Court gave permission for the previous Solicitors and Counsel to give evidence
    • P v B  – One of the most complex and longest ever POCA case (in excess of 6 years).  Benefit reduced from £10m to £1.4m and available reduced by over £1m.   Amongst other things the defence issued 15 witness summons (ex-parte) and had to deal with the Spanish Authorities re CI’s.
    • R v B  – Following a ‘care worker’ fraud the benefit was reduced from over £1m to £363,000 which was payable and left the client with change.  HMCR prosecution followed which was settled following lengthy interviews and negotiations.
    • R v B – Appeal against POCA which whilst preparing was subject to Enforcement Proceedings and the appointment of a receiver which was successfully challenged until the Appeal decision was finalised.
    • R v P – Complex and lengthy POCA Proceedings available amount reduced from £980k to £512k and then successful S.23 application to reduce to under £100k   The realisation of the assets included travel to Spain and numerous POA’s.
  • Memberships and associations

    Committee Member – Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association (POCLA)

Request for advice