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Appleby drops Paradise Papers lawsuit against BBC & Guardian

- Appleby had sued following the release of some 13m confidential documents from the company in November 2017.
Appleby BVI: The Paradise Papers were leaks of a trove of 13.4 million files taken mostly from the offshore law firm, Appleby. Photo: VINO/File
Offshore law firm Appleby has dropped its legal action against the BBC and the Guardian. Photo: Internet Source
Offshore law firm Appleby has dropped its legal action against the BBC and the Guardian. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The controversial ‘Paradise Papers’, which came to light in November 2017, little more than a year after the 'Panama Papers' leak, had seen Appleby file a lawsuit against United Kingdom media outlets the BBC and the Guardian.

The Paradise Papers were leaks of a trove of 13.4 million files taken mostly from the offshore law firm, Appleby.

The release of the papers had sent ripples in the offshore financial sector and placed the Virgin Islands industry under renewed scrutiny.

And now the offshore law firm Appleby has dropped its legal action against the BBC and the Guardian.

According to International Investment on May 8, 2018, the two sides announced they had “resolved their differences” with a settlement that ends the legal action launched by Appleby following the release of some 13m confidential documents from the company last November.

‘Not legally privileged’

In a statement issued Friday May 4, 2018, Appleby said it was 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.”

Appleby had said previously 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.

The law firm, International Investment continued, explained in a joint statement with the BBC and the UK-based Guardian newspaper: “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.”

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.”

In response, the BBC said: “We welcome this settlement which preserves our ability to carry out investigative journalism in the public interest.”

Latest controversy

The latest controversy in the financial services sector has seen the United Kingdom House of Commons’ vote in favour of an amendment to a Bill on May 1, 2018 that required Overseas Territories engaging in financial services to make Public Registers of Beneficial Ownership.

The Territories affected have been pushing back and have said they will not allow the UK to violate their constitution and cripple their economies.

A public demonstration against the UK Parliament decision is planned for May 24, 2018 in Road Town, Tortola.

Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) and Opposition Leader Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) are in transit to the United Kingdom to meet with UK official to express their concerns about the recent House of Commons vote.

See link to related article:

http://www.virginislandsnewsonline.com/en/news/a-year-after-the-panama-papers-leak-comes-the-paradise-papers

6 Responses to “Appleby drops Paradise Papers lawsuit against BBC & Guardian”

  • Kirkboy (14/05/2018, 16:14) Like (5) Dislike (9) Reply
    They need to also drop Jefferey beanstalk. Bad for business mate.
  • one eye (14/05/2018, 16:35) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Get out the popcorn
  • mary j (15/05/2018, 07:04) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hope they win
  • Paralegal (15/05/2018, 08:01) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    no one has the right to steal papers and release information about clients, from a law firm. BBC and the Guardian
    should be sued for billions, along with that phoney international investigative journalists trash organization.
    imagine if your file at your lawyers or doctors is just lifted 'in the public interest' and displayed to the world.
    those doing so should be put down. England's ethics have become sleazy as ever.
    • ok (15/05/2018, 13:30) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Good luck with that attitude.
      It's a simple public interest defence.
      If someone is doing something wrong and the only way to show it is to use documents that have been taken illegally, the public interest takes precedence over the (law firm's) right to privacy.
      You'll notice Appelby settled. You know better than them?
      If this was exposing a crime that affected you negatively, you'd be glad for those disgusting investigative journalists. Sounds like it's exposing crimes that you would be happy to stay hidden, so - doh! - you don't agree with the law.
  • @ok (16/05/2018, 09:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    May I put a camera and a microphone up your kazoo? R U OK?


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