Deputy Head of Chambers, Sheena Cassidy is a Family and Asset and Tax recovery specialist.
Sheena specialises in family/matrimonial law, in particular financial remedy and also in proceeds of crime. She has developed a specialism in cases in which the areas of proceeds of crime and financial remedy overlap.
Family/matrimonial work covers the full range of financial provision as well as cases including property, trusts and probate issues. Sheena’s proceeds of crime work relates to all aspects of restraint and confiscation, with a particular specialism in claims by third parties.
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Sheena specialises in financial remedy cases and disputes between cohabitants. She has particular expertise in cases in which third party, trust or corporate interests arise. Her work ranges from the drafting of prenuptial agreements to dealing with enforcement and appeals. Her experience in property and insolvency work gives her the advantage of having familiarity with the relevant principles in cases where these issues arise.
She has a particular specialism in ancillary relief cases in which the Crown is involved due to ongoing criminal restraint and/or confiscation proceedings. This work has involved working with receivers, dealing with third party interests, arguments on living expenses and the relationship between the relevant criminal legislation and the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.
She has experience in applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, and in particular applications relating to express, resulting and constructive trusts and proprietary estoppel, with such ancillary issues as equitable accounting and/or payments pursuant to s.15 of TLATA. She also deals with probate matters, including applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, disputes regarding the administration of estates and the validity of wills.
She acts in private law proceedings under the Children Act 1989, in particular applications under Schedule 1 of that Act.
- Gohil v Gohil  UKSC 61 – Supreme Court hearing of Mrs Gohil’s appeal in relation to an order setting aside of a consent order where there was evidence of material non-disclosure. Sheena was instructed to advise on aspects of the case involving the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
- W v W  EWHC 2469 – case involving a claim for a financial remedy by a wife after a confiscation of over £2M was made against her husband. Considered the circumstances in which payment of tainted funds towards property could lead to an equitable account of those funds being taken.
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Sheena undertakes all aspects of confiscation work, with a great deal of experience in the enforcement stage of proceedings.
She specialises in cases involving restraint and/or confiscation proceedings in which a conflict arises between the interest of the Crown in satisfying a confiscation order and the interest of a former spouse applying under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 or as a parent under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. She is frequently instructed by the Crown as well as having acted for Receivers and third parties. She advises and represents clients in relation to third party interests, assets held by companies, arguments on living expenses and the relationship between criminal and matrimonial legislation.
Sheena was recently instructed to assist the Serious Fraud Office in relation to the confiscation proceedings against Tom Hayes, the first person convicted in relation to the rigging of LIBOR.
Sheena presents seminars on the relationship between ancillary relief and the proceeds of crime legislation both directly to solicitors at their offices and at events such as the POCLA confiscation forum and the CLT ancillary relief conference.
Gohil v Gohil  UKSC 61 – Supreme Court hearing of Mrs Gohil’s appeal in relation to an order setting aside of a consent order where there was evidence of material non-disclosure. Sheena was instructed to advise on aspects of the case involving the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Re White; Re Gangar  All ER (D) 273 – application for a certificate of inadequacy by defendants founds guilty of a ponzi-scheme fraud.
Earp v Seamer  EWHC 3776 (Admin) - case involving whether a trust deed created in relation to a property identified as available for confiscation was in fact a sham
Re Ali  EWHC 2302 (Admin) - claims by five third parties to beneficial interests in properties held in the name of a defendant subject to a confiscation order. Considered principles applicable to the establishment of a beneficial interest.
Deputy head of chambers and a matrimonial finance practitioner specialising in complex cases involving issues of tax and trust structures. She is noted for her experience in cases involving non-disclosure and fraud, and is frequently involved in matters involving cohabitees.
Strengths: "She's very knowledgeable, very informative, very measured, very confident and very articulate. Her paperwork is really efficient."
Chambers UK 2018/Family/Matrimonial - London (Bar) - Band 3
An expert at restraint and confiscation proceedings, who acts for the CPS, SFO and individual clients. She is particularly noted for handling cases where matrimonial disputes and asset recovery overlap.
Strengths: "She is a good advocate, who is approachable and has a thorough knowledge of her field. You can rely on her advice."
Chambers UK 2018/POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture - All Circuits (Bar) - Band 1
Strengths: "She's so measured, thorough, committed and unflappable."
Chambers UK 2017/Family/Matrimonial - London (Bar) - Band 3
According to sources, Cassidy is "undoubtedly the leading family law practitioner in asset forfeiture work." She is a leading figure for restraint and confiscation proceedings, and acts for the CPS, SFO and individual clients.
Strengths: "She displays excellent attention to detail in complex confiscation and enforcement matters, and has an eye for detail when producing written submissions." "Second to none in terms of her work ethic, case engagement and advice."
Chambers UK 2017/POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture - All Circuits (Bar) - Band 1
'A highly specialised practitioner who practises in the niche area of asset forfeiture and its crossover with family law. She is also experienced at dealing with more traditional matrimonial finance issues.
Strengths: "A very impressive advocate who is very knowledgeable and very well prepared."'
Chambers UK 2016/Family/Matrimonial - London (Bar) - Band 4
'A bright and knowledgeable POCA lawyer who is renowned especially for her expertise in cases where POCA and family law proceedings cross over.
Strengths: "A consummate professional and a tough cookie." "Her particular strength is that she has a family law background, which gives her an edge in cases involving parallel family law proceedings."'
Chambers UK 2016/POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture - All Circuits (Bar) - Band 1
'highly regarded for her expertise in asset forfeiture matters that overlap with family law. She also has extensive experience of handling confiscation proceedings involving third party rights'
Expertise: "You feel comfortable when you know she's in charge of a case. You know you're going to get sensible arguments, properly made and well prepared." "She is a good advocate who can think very quickly on her feet, and who gets on very well with clients."
Chambers UK 2015/POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture - All Circuits
'frequently undertakes complex matrimonial finance proceedings and cohabitation disputes on behalf of high net worth clients.
Expertise: "Great at negotiation and not pompous in her approach."'
Chambers UK 2015/Family/Matrimonial – London Bar
'excels in ancillary relief cases and when handling disputes between cohabitants. She is also regularly instructed to draft prenuptial agreements.
Expertise: “Extremely able, dependable, conscientious and a pleasure to work with. Her understanding of confiscation and restraint proceedings makes her especially valuable in those ancillary relief proceedings where such aspects arise.”'
Chambers UK 2014/Family: Matrimonial Finance – London Bar
'has a strong background in family law and focuses on cases that overlap between confiscation and restraint and claims made for financial remedy following divorce.
Expertise: “Very sharp and knowledgeable. She has the added advantage of family law expertise.”'
Chambers UK 2014/POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture - All Circuits
‘She approaches cases pragmatically and always thinks two to three moves ahead.’
Legal 500 2017/Proceeds of Crime Act and asset forfeiture
'She has good technical knowledge of the law and is extremely intelligent.’
Legal 500 2017/Family law (including divorce and financial remedy)
‘She advises the CPS on confiscation issues.’
Legal 500 2016/London Bar - Fraud: crime (including money laundering and asset forfeiture)
'Not afraid of standing up to the other side and clients love her.'
Legal 500 2016/Family law (including divorce and financial remedy)
'She has no equal on the interplay between family and criminal fraud proceedings - she is the go-to expert on such matters'
Legal 500 2015/London Bar - Family law (including divorce and financial remedy) – Leading juniors
'A silk of the future.' 'A fantastic, astute barrister with an eye for the detail and a great approach to clients.'
Legal 500 2014/London Bar
‘great with difficult opponents’
Legal 500 2013/14/London Bar, Family law (including divorce and ancillary relief) and Fraud: crime (including money laundering and asset forfeiture).
- MA (Hons) (Cantab)
Professional qualifications & appointments
- Called 2001; Inner Temple.
- Family Law Bar Association
- Proceeds of Crime Lawyers' Association
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