Another offshore law firm braces for data leaks

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Appleby offices in George Town, Cayman Islands

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CNS) — One of the Cayman Islands leading offshore law firms is bracing for potential exposure of its business and that of its clients in the international media after admitting that it suffered a cyber security breach last year.

Some of the information has found its way to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which plans to publish some of what they have. While Appleby admitted that data was compromised in the hack, they gave no details of who did it, when it happened or how many clients were affected but denied any wrongdoing by it or its clients.

Regardless of the firm’s claims, the ICIJ have contacted the offshore lawyers about the documents they have, which involve as yet unspecified allegations against Appleby and their clients that the investigative reporters are intending to release. Appleby claims the information could have been obtained illegally and risks exposing innocent parties.

“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 firm said in a release about the impending exposure.

“We take any allegation of wrongdoing, implicit or otherwise, extremely seriously. Appleby operates in highly regulated jurisdictions and like all professional organisations in our regions, we are subject to frequent regulatory checks and we are committed to achieving the high standards set by our regulators. We are also committed to the highest standards of client service and confidentiality,” they added before admitting the security breach, which is more than likely how the ICIJ managed to get the information.

“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. These arrangements were reviewed and tested by a leading IT forensics team and we are confident that our data integrity is secure,” the firm added.

Satisfied that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of the firm or their clients, the release states that Appleby refutes any allegations that may suggest otherwise.

“We would be happy to cooperate fully with any legitimate and authorised investigation of the allegations by the appropriate and relevant authorities,” the law firm added.

“We are a law firm which advises clients on legitimate and lawful ways to conduct their business. We do not tolerate illegal behaviour. It is true that we are not infallible. Where we find that mistakes have happened we act quickly to put things right and we make the necessary notifications to the relevant authorities,” the firm said.

Appleby began life in Bermuda but established a local office in the 1940s and is considered the oldest legal practice in the Cayman Islands.

Republished with permission of Cayman News Service

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