In a statement released Tuesday, the law firm, Appleby, said: “We are committed to protecting our clients’ data and we have reviewed our cyber security and data access arrangements following a data security incident last year which involved some of our data being compromised.”
Echoes of Panama
The press release was issued after Appleby was contacted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and a number of its partner media organisations, which broke the Panama Papers story.
The company said: “These enquiries have arisen from documents that journalists claim to have seen and involve allegations made against our business and the business conducted by some of our clients.”
British newspaper Daily Telegraph, which is not a member of the ICIJ, has reported that a number of media organisations are preparing to release details of the leaks over the coming days.
“We are disappointed that the media may choose to use information which could have emanated from material obtained illegally and that this may result in exposing innocent parties to data protection breaches."
The Panama Papers were described at the time as the “biggest ever blow to the offshore world”, with around 11.5 million documents exposing the offshore holdings of politicians, sports stars and public officials around the world.
The latest leak from Appleby is understood to involve some of Britain’s wealthiest people.
Appleby said: “We are disappointed that the media may choose to use information which could have emanated from material obtained illegally and that this may result in exposing innocent parties to data protection breaches.
“Having researched the ICIJ’s allegations, we believe they are unfounded and based on a lack of understanding of the legitimate and lawful structures used in the offshore sector.”
The company said it has “thoroughly and vigorously investigated the allegations” and it is satisfied that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.
“We refute any allegations which may suggest otherwise and we would be happy to cooperate fully with any legitimate and authorised investigation of the allegations by the appropriate and relevant authorities.”
The company said it “does not tolerate illegal behaviour” and, after a review, it is “confident that our data integrity is secure”.
In addition to Bermuda, Appleby has offices in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Shanghai.
According to its website, it advises public and private companies, financial institutions and high net worth individuals.