Photo of Colin King

Colin King
Reader (Law)
T: +44 (0)1273 872923



My research is centred around three themes:

  1. Civil recovery (NCB forfeiture) powers: My primary research area for the past decade has been on the use of these controversial powers that enable property to be confiscated in the absence of criminal conviction. My research in this area initially adopted a black-letter, doctrinal approach, analysing relevant legislation and judicial responses, looking at individual jurisdictions as well as adopting comparative approaches. More recently, my research has included new theoretical analyses – for example, systems theory and procedural hybridity. I am currently conducting empirical (qualitative) work on civil recovery powers under the UK Proceeds of Crime Act.
  2. Financial crime: I have significant research interests in financial crime, particularly legal responses to such crime. I recently completed a book entitled ‘Negotiated Justice and Corporate Crime: The Legitimacy of Civil Recovery and Deferred Prosecution Agreements’ (with Dr Nicholas Lord), examining the identification principle, difficulties in corporate criminal liability, and enforcement preference for settlements. A separate project explores issues of ‘responsibilisation’ of private actors in tackling financial crime, for example the role of ‘gatekeepers’ in anti-money laundering legislation.
  3. Criminal Evidence: I have particular interests in the presumption of innocence, anti-terrorism law and ‘normalisation’ (eg belief evidence; witness protection; asset recovery), and miscarriages of justice (particularly entitlements to compensation).  




2017-2018: AHRC Leadership Fellows scheme (£158,800 fec)

  • This one-year fellowship will enable me to carry out empirical research on the development and operation of controversial civil recovery powers under the UK Proceeds of Crime legislation.


2017-2018: British Academy, Tackling the UK’s International Challenges programme (PI) (£33,295)

  • This one-year project entitled ‘Corruption, Dirty Capital and the London Property Market’ is a collaboration between colleagues in law and politics to examine illicit financial flows from developing countries, how that ‘dirty capital’ is laundered in the UK real estate sector, and whether the anti-money laundering framework is adequate in tackling this problem.  (co-Is: Dr Liz David-Barrett; Prof Dan Hough).


2016: Modern Law Review Seminar Series (joint PI) (£5,000)

  • This funding was awarded for the purpose of organising a two-day symposium entitled ‘Justice, Counter Terrorism, and Miscarriages of Justice’. The symposium was in honour of the work of Professor Clive Walker QC, and an edited collection will be published by Hart Publishing in 2018. (joint PIs: Dr Carole McCartney; Dr Genevieve Lennon).


2014-2016: AHRC Network Scheme (PI) (£45,126 fec)

  • I was Principal Investigator on this funding grant awarded to establish a research network of policymakers, practitioners, and researchers on ‘Dirty Assets: Experiences, reflections, and lessons learnt from a decade of legislation on criminal money laundering and terrorism financing’. Four international conferences were organised. Building upon the success of those events, The Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law is currently in press. (co-I: Prof Clive Walker). 


2013: Strategic Investment Research Fund, University of Manchester Faculty of Humanities (£3,920)

  • This investment funding enabled me to travel to the School of Public Affairs at the American University (Washington) and the Center for the Study of Law and Society at University of California, Berkeley to develop research links with researchers in public policy and organised crime.


2011: Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Research Mobility Programme (RMP) funding (£1,770)

  • This mobility funding allowed me to travel to the University of Sydney, during which I developed relations with researchers and practitioners from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. I delivered a research presentation, which was subsequently published in the International Journal of Evidence and Proof.


2010: Modern Law Review Seminar Series (joint PI) (£7,415.20)

  • This funding was awarded for the purpose of organising a one-day symposium on the confiscation of assets. This symposium brought together in discussion 67 attendees, consisting of policy makers, practitioners and academics all engaged in work on asset recovery and the financing of terrorism. Following this, I was invited to present at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, and I co-authored an article with a member of the Scottish Civil Recovery Unit. This event subsequently led to a co-edited Ashgate collection on ‘Dirty Assets’ (2014: King & Walker, eds). (joint PI: Prof Clive Walker).