Data breach at a major offshore law firm may put UK's wealthiest at risk

Firm has offices in tax havens like British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man

A major offshore law firm has announced today that it suffered a data breach last year, putting at risk financial details of high net worth clients, including some of the wealthiest people in Britain.

Bermuda-based Appleby is also the fourth largest offshore law firm and is currently warning clients that their sensitive information may have been leaked after it was approached by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in relation to its “business and the business conducted by some of our clients”, media reports suggest.

The ICIJ is a global network of journalists that was behind the reporting of the Panama Papers, a set of 11.5m leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

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The firm has offices in many tax havens like British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey, Mauritius, the Isle of Man and the Seychelles. It has, however, denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

In the light of media scrutiny, the law firm has also stated that it is “disappointed” that the media may choose to publish material “obtained illegally” and said this may result in “exposing innocent parties to data protection breaches”.

Following the breach, Appleby clarified that it has reviewed its “cybersecurity and data access arrangements” together with a leading IT forensics team and is “confident that our data integrity is secure”.

Appleby advises global public and private companies, including FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and high net worth individuals, reports suggest.

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