Proceeds of Crime – The Petition of The Scottish Ministers v Stirton & Anderson [2012] CSOH 15


The Scottish Ministers have succeeded in recovering property to the value of more than £900,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Delivering her opinion Lady Stacy said that she was satisfied that the property sought by the Scottish Ministers, including the family homes and other assets of Mr Stirton and Mr Anderson, had been obtained by unlawful conduct consisting of involvement in importation of controlled drugs and a firearm, extortion, fraud and money laundering.

Westwater Advocate Bryan Heaney was junior counsel for the Scottish Ministers. Lasting 130 days, the proof was one of the longest in Scottish legal history. Bryan worked assiduously on the preparation of the case, where the productions stretched to more than 100 lever arch files and the witnesses on the Ministers’ list numbered 132. Bryan said “In a case of this complexity the only way to keep ahead of the demands is to use computer technology and work hard.”

Bryan assisted Ruth Crawford QC of Axiom Advocates. She said “Bryan’s support was invaluable. His legal knowledge, his ability with IT and diligent attitude allowed me to delegate portions of the case to him and be confident that nothing would be missed.”

As well as appearing as a standing junior for the Ministers in civil proceedings, Bryan accepts instructions from accused persons in criminal confiscation proceedings. He maintains a broad civil practice for pursuers and defenders. Bryan is also an assistant editor of Lloyds’ Law Report (Financial Crime).

The stable has several members with a special interest in proceeds of crime cases. For further information please call the clerking team.