The release by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in early April of documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and additional releases of details of offshore transactions involving well-known public figures, corporations and law firms (the Panama Papers) have shone a light on the use of offshore accounts and shell entities to shield the identities of the real parties to a variety of transactions. The names of individuals and entities as diverse as the Prime Minister of Iceland, soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, and Pablo Picasso’s granddaughter have appeared in connection with the releases. The releases have resulted in a flurry of articles concerning tax avoidance, U.S. and non-U.S. tax loopholes, and the role of the legal profession in these transactions. The commentary and speculation will in all likelihood continue as more information is released.

An additional, and perhaps as important, concern raised by the release of the Panama Papers is the manner in which the information was obtained. The ICIJ (along with the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung) received the documents, numbering in the millions, through a cyber-leak at Mossack Fonseca. Regardless of whether the leak originated inside the firm or was the work of an outside hacker, it focuses attention on the vulnerability of law firms that are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of their clients’ files.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]