Catherine Collins > 33 Chancery Lane > London, England > Barrister Profile

33 Chancery Lane
Catherine Collins photo


Catherine is a specialist advocate whose practice encompasses all aspects of financial wrongdoing.

Financial Crime

Catherine acts for the prosecution and defence in fraud matters. Experience in these matters has enabled Catherine to develop an incisive and thorough approach to substantial and complex fraud cases.

Her defence experience includes being instructed in money laundering (including international laundering and cases where there are Hawala banking defences), through to the first SFO prosecution for offences related to “rigging” LIBOR, and as a led junior in the successful defence of a Company Secretary charged with fraud and corruption.

She has also been instructed by the SFO to advise on charge in relation to an international investment fraud and is currently advising the SFO on charge in relation to a suspected Ponzi scheme.  Catherine also has acted for the Specialist Fraud division of the CPS in various matters, including the successful prosecution of an NHS accountant for fraud to the value of £2.2 million.

Asset Recovery

Catherine has experience in dealing with CJA, DTA and POCA confiscation matters, including ancillary issues such as restraint, contempt and cash forfeiture.  She has acted for the prosecution, defence and third parties at all stages of asset recovery proceedings, from contested confiscation through to enforcement and receivership.  She regularly advises on, and assists in, the preparation of written statements for the purposes of asset recovery proceedings (whether in the Magistrates’ or Crown Court).  Her Restraint practice encompasses cases including international assets, and applications for Orders at all stages of proceedings, including post-conviction.

FCA v Choucair & Abdel-Malek (led).  Confiscation arising from convictions for insider trading.

R v Caplan.  Confiscation arising from conviction for romance fraud.

R v Dunn.  Confiscation arising from involvement in drug-dealing (Encrochat case).

R v AK.  Successfully intervening for a bank, the victim of a fraud, in confiscation proceedings; defeated a proprietary claim made by the liquidator of AK’s former company to the bank’s misappropriated funds.

R v F.  Successfully intervening for a company, the victim of fraud, in confiscation proceedings; application contested by the company director’s wife.

R v G.  PoCA discontinued by the Crown following legal argument.

Account Freezing and Forfeiture

Successfully challenging seizure and detention applications under POCA 2002, related to high value Listed Assets and cash, on behalf of an UHNWI subject of politically charged allegations of criminal conduct.

Operation B (led).  Successful forfeiture of an account balance, part of a wider investigation concerning the laundering of criminal cash and its eventual transfer to cryptoassets.

Re A and Re W.  Freezing and Forfeiture cases concerning the suspicious movement of monies internationally via suspected Trade Based Money Laundering. 


Al Hajjeh v MPS (led). Acted for the MPS in relation to the seizure and repatriation of an historical artefact, stolen overseas.

A v ACC  (led).  Successfully resisted an application under s.72 PoCA.

Re: K.  Successful variation of CJA 1988 Restraint Order for a Third Party in the context of enforcement proceedings against the defendant.


Catherine’s civil practice encompasses fraud, receivership and civil recovery.  She has undertaken work in cases with an international aspect, and has appeared in the First Tier Tribunal in tax matters.  Relevant cases include:

Re X.  Advising a professional executor on POCA implications arising in connection with the distribution of an estate.

(A Charity) v PP (led).  Fraud, conversion, personal and proprietary claims on behalf of an international charity; victim of a large-scale misappropriation by a corrupt employee.

NCA v (A Bank) (led).  Representing a bank in civil recovery proceedings; negotiated settlement.

NCA v TD and others.  Representing the Management Receiver in CJA receivership proceedings.

NCA v KH and SH.  Acting for the Official Solicitor, intervening on behalf of a child in civil recovery proceedings.

Re: FX247. Representing a Third Party in Insolvency Act proceedings; negotiated settlement.

Investigations, Inquests and Inquiry Work

Catherine has appeared, both led and alone, in various high-profile cases on behalf of the Metropolitan Police, and other forces, advising in relation to warrants, disclosure orders, production orders and judicial review matters connected thereto.  She has acted in investigations with an international element, and in those concerning terrorism, murder, and sex offences in addition to financial crime.  Relevant cases include:

Op S.  Advised on initial applications for co-ordinated seizures, over multiple locations, and subsequently acted in detention proceedings in large-scale money laundering investigation.

Op O (led).  Advised and acted in s.59 proceedings, and subsequently in further applications pre-charge.

Instructed on behalf of the Designated Lawyers in the Undercover Policing Inquiry, which is investigating and reporting on undercover police operations in England from 1968-2008.

Catherine has experience representing interested parties in inquests (Article 2 and non-jury), and worked on the preparatory stages of the Hillsborough inquest.


Catherine has advised and represented individuals facing disciplinary proceedings brought by the FCA.

Catherine is registered with the Bar Council Public Access Directory and regularly accepts instructions on a direct access basis.

Prior to her career at the Bar, Catherine spent two years working at a law firm specialising in complex fraud, serious crime, civil recovery and tax litigation/compliance. She represented defendants prosecuted by the SFO (in particular R v Asil Nadir), the CPS, HMRC, BIS, the Environment Agency and local authorities.


SFO B Panel; SFO POCA B Panel; CPS Proceeds of Crime Panel Level 3; CPS Fraud Panel Level 2; CPS Level 2; Metropolitan Police DLS Panel; Elected Member of the Bar Council (2018-2020 inclusive).


Contributing editor; ‘Mitchell, Taylor & Talbot: Confiscation and the Proceeds of Crime’.


Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association, Female Fraud Forum

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Proceeds of crime (POCA) and asset forfeiture

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Catherine Collins33 Chancery LaneStraight-talking, thoughtful, diligent: a dependable team player and an absolute pleasure to deal with.

33 Chancery Lane has particular strengths in restraint and confiscation cases and is ‘unsurpassed in quality for POCA related work‘. The set has recently been involved in numerous anti-money laundering matters, such as R v Baldwin, where Fiona Jackson acted on behalf of the Financial Conduct Authority in a rare confiscation order under s.27 of POCA in which the defendant was convicted in absence and remains at large. Catherine Collins also advised the Financial Conduct Authority in litigation concerning Operation Tiverton, a financial investigation regarding an individual’s unauthorised trading activity and associated money laundering. In matters relating to fraud, Martin Evans KC was instructed for confiscation proceedings following the conviction in R v Asplin, Kearns & Jones, a private prosecution by an insurance company against former directors who had conducted fraud for over a decade, while Kennedy Talbot KC acted for the trustees of a pension fund in the liquidation to pay an £8m confiscation order in the same matter. Mark Rainsford KC managed to restrain £48m of personal assets held by the defendants for the Crown Prosecution Service in the scope of Operation Salmon, an HMRC investigation into a fraud involving myriads of mini-umbrella companies.