The Panorama programme proceeds on the basis of extremely serious allegations made against certain individuals and suggests that Appleby “failed to notice it was setting up and administering some companies that were being used by gangsters to launder money”. We do not know the truth of these allegations but at no point has Panorama produced any evidence that these allegations were known or should have been known to Appleby. They were not. To be clear, there was no suggestion in the information which Appleby had that these individuals were involved in any criminal activity. It is absurd to insinuate accusations against Appleby in relation to alleged failures of client due diligence on the basis of information which was simply not available at the time.
In addition, once again, the allegations made against us are based on a lack of understanding of the legitimate and lawful structures used in the offshore sector. We remain disappointed that the media continues to appear to give no consideration to the major violation of confidence, privilege and privacy arising from using stolen material.
The journalists based the content of the programme on documents which originated from the so-called Paradise Papers. The documents referred to in the programme were taken from our systems illegally. This criminal act is the subject of a criminal investigation.
We are surprised to see that the BBC is continuing to make use of the stolen documents while legal proceedings are underway. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further until the legal proceedings have concluded.
We wish to reiterate that our clients and our colleagues remain our primary focus. Our goal is to be able to explain to them what private and confidential information belonging to them may have been compromised. The BBC is in a position to help us to do that and we will continue to take all necessary and proportionate steps to achieve this simple objective.
If you are a client of Appleby and you wish to discuss any aspect of this statement, please call +44 (0)1624 647 915, or email [email protected]