Pinsent Masons is advising the BBC in the dispute between the broadcaster, The Guardian newspaper and offshore law firm Appleby over the ‘Paradise Papers’ data hack.
Appleby is taking legal action against both news outlets, citing breach of confidence following the data hack in May 2016.
The offshore firm alleges that information leaked to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and subsequently passed on to The Guardian and BBC was “obtained unlawfully” in circumstances “likely to have amounted to the commission of a criminal offence or cyber-hack”.
Appleby says the leak covers 6.8 million documents dating back to the 1950s, including loan agreements, financial statements, records of approaches from potential clients and records of legal advice, among other information.
The particulars of claim alleges that The Guardian and BBC should have known the information they had access to was confidential and subject to legal privilege, and that the publication of the documents did not meet the public interest test as “there