‘Offshore magic circle’ law firms fear Paradise Papers fallout

Fionnuala Lynch, Head of Tax, was invited to provide comment by the Financial Times on the recent Paradise Papers leak, where 13.4m financial documents belonging to an off-shore law firm exposed the financial affairs of companies, celebrities and royalty.

Fear and suspicion have swept through the “offshore magic circle” law firms that advise wealthy individuals and large multinationals on how to minimise their tax bills. The term “offshore magic circle” refers to the top firms based in the Caribbean and the Channel Islands that specialise in helping clients move money to low-tax countries.

The Financial Times considered the implications of the Paradise Papers leak, which follows the Panama Papers leak last year.  Fionnuala commented:

“This is not like Panama, which does not have the same regulations,”… “When the Panama Papers came out, a lot of corruption was exposed. With the Paradise Papers, you see a lot of tax planning but not much dirty money.”

First published in the Financial Times.