In April 2016 the release of the Panama Papers by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) sparked widespread condemnation of practices used to evade tax, launder money and breach sanctions through the Panama tax haven. On May 9 2016 the ICIJ released a searchable database of the offshore entities referred to in the Panama Papers.

A taskforce led by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency has been established to investigate allegations relating to UK companies and individuals named in the leaked papers. The taskforce will work alongside analysts from the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who are also conducting investigations arising from the leak. The investigative team will report on their findings to the chancellor and home secretary later in the year.

Following the revelations of the Panama Papers, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has asked a number of City law firms to review their files for links to Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of the data leak. On April 7 2016 the FCA ordered banks and other financial companies to carry out a similar review of their connections to the law firm.

For further information on this topic please contact Kathleen Harris, Stuart Baker, Michael J Atkinson or James McSweeney at Arnold & Porter LLP by telephone (+44 20 7786 6100) or email (kathleen.harris@aporter.com, stuart.baker@aporter.com, michael.atkinson@aporter.com or james.mcsweeney@aporter.com). The Arnold & Porter website can be accessed at www.arnoldporter.com.

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