Level 12, 575 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
P (03) 9628 4113
F (03) 8256 0110
M +61 0422 009 028
info @ sdrlaw.com.au

SDR Law The Confiscation Law Specialists

SDR Law is an independent legal practice that provides specialist advice and advocacy in litigation related to asset confiscation and proceeds of crime. SDR Law is able to advise, appear in and prepare all relevant documentation in respect of proceedings instituted under the Confiscation Act 1997 (Vic) and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth).

Robert Sdraulig

The principal of SDR Law, Robert Sdraulig, has broad litigation experience, which includes practice as a solicitor with a major law firm and as a barrister at the Victorian Bar.

For a number of years now, Robert's practice has been focussed on confiscation/proceeds of crime. Initially, Robert was employed as a senior lawyer with the Office of Public Prosecutions, within its Proceeds of Crime Directorate. Since establishing SDR Law in 2010, Robert has acted exclusively for defendants. From his experience in acting for both the prosecution and defendants, Robert has developed an extensive and nuanced understanding of the law related to proceeds of crime. Robert is aware of how the law is evolving in response to the recent judgments in this area. Importantly, he understands too the policy drivers of the major stakeholders responsible for enforcing the law.

SDR Law aspires to provide its clients with an exceptional legal service, tailored to each client's individual needs, as the situation demands. SDR Law is results driven. This is reflected in the successful outcomes SDR Law has achieved for numerous clients. To achieve this success, Robert personally attends to and brings his considerable skill to all aspects of preparing your case, from obtaining initial instructions, to giving clear legal advice, preparing your evidence, and appearing in Court in the event it is necessary. SDR Law has a strong track record for settling confiscation matters prior to a court hearing. The result for you of this care and attention is that your rights under the law are protected and that you obtain the best possible outcome for your matter.

How Confiscation Laws Work

A proceeding under the Confiscation Act 1997 or the corresponding Commonwealth legislation, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth), is the process by which the State:

  • confiscates proceeds of crime or property purchased with the proceeds of crime; and
  • confiscates property used in the commission of crime.

Under the Confiscation Act or Proceeds of Crime Act, a convicted person may also be ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty to the State, to the value of any benefit he or she has received as a result committing an offence.

Property usually becomes the subject of confiscation proceedings when a restraining order is made, which has the effect of preventing any dealing with that property. The property may be anything of value including land, cars, a bank account, shares or jewellery.

The bases on which property is restrained are either that the accused person has an interest in the property or that it is connected with the commission of a crime. If you have an interest in property that has been restrained (for example, joint ownership of a house that has been restrained), unless you act to enforce your rights, your interest too will be at risk of forfeiture, even though no wrong-doing is alleged against you.

Whether you are the accused or an innocent third party, if your property is restrained, the confiscation law provides ways for you to protect your interest from being forfeited to the State. In the appropriate circumstances, you may be able to challenge the restraining order directly, by way of review. The Confiscation Act and Proceeds of Crime Act also provide mechanisms to exclude your interest from the restraining order while the restraining order is still active, or in certain circumstances, to exclude your property from forfeiture, after forfeiture has occurred.

If your property is affected by a restraining order, it is vital that you obtain advice from SDR Law about your legal rights immediately you become aware of the restraining order, because many of the exclusionary processes, particularly under the Confiscation Act, are time limited.

What SDR Law Does to Protect You

SDR Law's specialist confiscation practice is able to advise on, prepare evidence (including expert evidence), represent you in Court, or negotiate the settlement of all legal proceedings under the Confiscation Act 1997 and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth), including the following:

  • Review of ex parte decisions in respect of the grant of Restraining Orders;
  • Exclusion order applications, including leave applications;
  • Applications for exclusion from forfeiture, civil forfeiture and automatic forfeiture;
  • Opposition to applications for forfeiture and civil forfeiture;
  • Opposition to applications for pecuniary penalty orders; and
  • Appellate practice in relation to all of the above proceedings.

If your property has been restrained by proceeds of crime legislation, to protect your property from being confiscated, contact SDR Law today.


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