Appleby (law firm)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

FounderReginald Appleby
Area served
Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Mauritius, Seychelles, Shanghai

Appleby (previously Appleby Spurling & Kempe, Appleby Spurling Hunter and Appleby Hunter Bailhache) is an offshore legal services provider. It has offices in offshore locations including Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Mauritius and Seychelles as well as the financial centres of Hong Kong and Shanghai. It is referred to in the Paradise Papers, and included in the assemblage of law firms known as the offshore magic circle.[1]


The original firm of Appleby was founded by Major Reginald Appleby (1865-1948) in Bermuda in 1898.[2] Appleby had passed his final law exams in England in 1887[3] and had been in partnership with Reginald Gray (later Sir) attorney-general of Bermuda, from 1893 to 1897 in Bermuda as Gray & Appleby.[4]

In 1938 Appleby and Dudley Spurling (later Sir) merged their practices to establish Appleby & Spurling.[5][page needed] In 1949, that firm merged with William Kempe to become Appleby Spurling Kemp (or Kempe). Dudley Spurling was the senior partner of the merged firm until 1981.[6] In 2004 they merged with Cayman Islands' law firm Hunter & Hunter and with Jersey based firm, Bailhache Labesse in September 2006.[7]

Appleby announced on 15 June 2008 that it was to merge with Isle of Man based Dickinson Cruickshank & Co., enabling it to become the largest offshore law firm in the world with 73 partners and 200 lawyers.[8] In 2010, they opened an office in Guernsey.[9] In 2012, they announced that they would be opening an office in Shanghai. In 2014, Appleby worked with the company Apple Inc. in a function similar to a general contractor to provide offshore offices on the island of Jersey in co-operation with the law firm Baker McKenzie.[10]

Until 2016, Appleby operated in partnership with the corporate services provider Estera until Estera split to become independent.[1]

Paradise Papers[edit]

On 24 October 2017, the firm confirmed that it was subject to a "data security incident" the previous year.[11] Appleby is identified as the source of a 2017 leak of documents known as the Paradise Papers.[1][12] In December 2017, the firm announced that it intended to sue the BBC and The Guardian newspaper over its reporting of the case.[13] The Paradise Papers revealed that Appleby provided active client services to Mukhtar Ablyazov who at the time was charged in multiple jurisdictions for fraud and embezzlement of up to $10 billion from the bank he chaired.[14]

Rankings and recognition[edit]

Appleby was ranked in Band 1 global-wide offshore in a 2015 client's guide to the legal profession.[15] They have won multiple awards for its practice of offshore law.[16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Fitzgibbon, Will; et al. (5 November 2017). "The 1 Percent - Offshore Trove Exposes Trump-Russia Links And Piggy Banks of the Wealthiest 1 Percent - A new leak of confidential records reveals the financial hideaways of iconic brands and power brokers across the political spectrum". International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  2. ^ Appleby, the offshore law firm with a record of compliance failures. Will Fitzgibbon, The Irish Times, 5 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  3. ^ "The Incorporated Law Society", The Times, 19 November 1887, p. 4.
  4. ^ Who's Who in Canada, Vol. 25. International Press, 1936. p. 350.
  5. ^ Martindale-Hubbell International Law Directory: Vol. 2: North America, South America, Central America, & the Caribbean. Martindale-Hubbell, New Providence, 2003. ISBN 9781561605897
  6. ^ "SPURLING, Hon. Sir (Arthur) Dudley". Who Was Who, online edition, Oxford University Press, 2014 . Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Our History" (PDF). 2016. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Appleby - Appleby Guernsey Office Opening Reception". 19 March 2012. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Drucker, Jesse; Bowers, Simon (6 November 2017). "After a Tax Crackdown, Apple Found a New Shelter for Its Profits". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  11. ^ Klein, Michael (24 October 2017). "Appleby confirms data breach". Cayman Compass. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Offshore law firm Appleby's response: 'no evidence of wrongdoing'". The Guardian. 5 November 2017. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  13. ^ "BBC and Guardian sued over Paradise Papers leaks". BBC News. 18 December 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  14. ^ "2012 Compliance Document From Appleby". International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
  15. ^ "Appleby: Firm Profile". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  16. ^ "The British Legal Awards 2010 Winners". The British Legal Awards. Legal Week. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  17. ^ "The Lawyer Awards 2010: Winners". The Lawyer. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2017.