Appleby, Guardian & BBC Settle Paradise Papers

May 4, 2018

Appleby, Guardian and the BBC “have resolved their differences in relation to Appleby’s breach of confidence claim against the Guardian and the BBC arising from the Paradise Papers,” Appleby announced today, with both the BBC and the Guardian also reporting the matter has been settled.

The Guardian reported, “Litigation brought against the Guardian and the BBC over the Paradise Papers investigation into the offshore activities of some of the world’s richest people and companies has been settled.”

“In an agreed statement, the parties announced they had “resolved their differences” with a settlement that ends the legal action launched by the offshore law firm Appleby.”

The BBC reported, “A confidential settlement has been reached between the BBC, the Guardian and law firm Appleby over the reporting of leaked documents detailing offshore tax-avoidance schemes.”

The statement from Appleby said, “Appleby, Guardian News and Media Limited [the Guardian], and the BBC are pleased to announce that they have resolved their differences in relation to Appleby’s breach of confidence claim against the Guardian and the BBC arising from the ‘Paradise Papers‘.

“Appleby has publicly explained that its main objective for bringing the proceedings was to understand which of its confidential and privileged documents had been taken so that Appleby could for example respond meaningfully to clients, regulators and colleagues about what information, relating to them, has been taken.

“Without compromising their journalistic integrity or ability to continue to do public interest journalism, the Guardian and the BBC have assisted Appleby by explaining which of the company’s documents may have been used to underpin their journalism. This will allow Appleby to initiate meaningful discussions with its clients, colleagues and regulators.

“It is now clear that the vast majority of documents that were of interest in the Paradise Papers investigation related to the fiduciary business that is no longer owned by Appleby and so were not legally privileged documents.”

Michael O’Connell, Group Managing Partner of Appleby, said: “From the outset we wanted to be able to explain to our clients and colleagues what information of theirs had been stolen. That was our duty. As a result of this legal action we are well on our way to achieving our objectives.”

A spokesperson for the Guardian said: “The Guardian’s reporting from the Paradise Papers is investigative journalism that has raised important issues in the public interest.”

A spokesperson for the BBC said: “We welcome this settlement which preserves our ability to carry out investigative journalism in the public interest.”

The Paradise Papers were initially released in November of last year, and since then they have been widely covered, with the tax and business practices of politicians, celebrities and royalty being reported on by numerous major media worldwide.

The ICIJ said the files “include nearly 7 million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from inside Appleby, a prestigious offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond.”

According to their website, Appleby is “an offshore law firm with around 470 people, including 60 partners, operating from 10 offices around the globe.”

Just prior to the Paradise Papers being released in 2017, the law firm confirmed they had a “data security incident last year which involved some of our data being compromised.”

In a subsequent statement, Appleby said their “firm was not the subject of a leak but of a serious criminal act and our systems were accessed by an intruder who deployed the tactics of a professional hacker.”

The Paradise Papers were mentioned a few times during the debate in the UK House of Commons last week on the register legislation, with MP Andrew Mitchell saying the “point is made eloquently but passively by the Panama and Paradise papers” that “only by openness and scrutiny — by allowing charities, NGOs and the media to join up the dots” that we can expose what he alleged is “dirty money and the people standing behind it.”

The statements and reports from the BBC, Guardian and Appleby do not detail what the “settlement” was, with the BBC’s report stating it was “confidential.”

Read More About

Category: All, Business, News

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rick says:

    Guardian and Appleby do not detail what the “settlement” was

    What do you think is was? $$$$$$$