Lawyer says OFCs are not information black holes

| 04/03/2011

(CNS): Jeremy Walton, a partner at local offshore firm Appleby has said that the commonly held belief in the world’s major countries that Offshore Financial Centers are impenetrable fortresses when it comes to obtaining information for criminal and civil investigations is just not true. The Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law is a "particularly misunderstood" tool for information-gatherers, Walton has revealed ahead of his planned appearance at the Offshore Alert conference next week. Walton told the offshore watchdog that the law’s principal purpose is not to avoid disclosing information, as some seem to believe, but to protect service providers against breach of confidence claims by their clients accused of fraud.

"It is a myth that offshore financial centers are information black-holes and that it is practically impossible to obtain information or relief for the victims of fraud," he told OffshoreAlert. "The myths of secrecy in offshore jurisdictions are debunked by a consideration of the practical remedies and relief available from offshore courts to obtain information and freeze assets for the purpose of pursuing fraud claims."

Offshore Financial Centers stand up well in comparison with big countries when it comes to obtaining information, Walton stated. "OFCs not only have adopted the same legal mechanisms which were created in onshore centers like London, their courts have gone even further to develop stronger and more sophisticated remedies for deserving claimants," he added.

The lawyer said that the ‘post-sale service’ which must be provided to purchasers of offshore products extends to the quality of the court system and the ability to obtain swift justice when those products are used as vehicles for fraud or any other wrongdoing. "In some OFCs a claimant can obtain a free-standing asset-freezing injunction which may not be available in either the UK or the USA," he stated.

Walton and other offshore practitioners will go into detail about the legal information gateways that exist in OFCs during a session entitled ‘Offshore but not Off-Limits: How Fraud Victims Can Obtain Relief in OFCs’ at The 9th Annual OffshoreAlert Conference, which will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach in Florida on April 4-6, 2011.


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  1. Chris Johnson says:

    Cayman does not seriously stand up against the big countries when it comes to obtaining information. Transparency is seriously missing in the Cayman Islands contrary to what Mr Travers and others say. In particularly there are two fundamental items of information which must be made available to the public. Firstly and foremost it is essential that names of directors of Cayman companies are made a matter of public record, and especially hedge funds. Secondly it is time that a company’s Memorandum and Articles were made available on request. Why the secrecy in providing this information? What do the directors have to hide?