The Panama Papers project is based on a trove of more than 11.5 leaked files that provide details of nearly 40 years of the inner workings of Mossack Fonseca.
In addition to a later, longer, statement Mossack Fonseca sent this initial response to queries from ICIJ and its media partners.
“Our firm, like many firms, provides worldwide registered agent services for our professional clients (e.g., lawyers, banks, and trusts) who are intermediaries. As a registered agent we merely help incorporate companies, and before we agree to work with a client in any way, we conduct a thorough due-diligence process, one that in every case meets and quite often exceeds all relevant local rules, regulations and standards to which we and others are bound.”
“However, filing legal paperwork to help incorporate a company is a very different thing from establishing a business link with or directing in any way the companies so formed. We only incorporate companies, which just about everyone acknowledges is important, and something that’s critical in ensuring the global economy functions efficiently. In providing those services, we follow both the letter and spirit of the law. Because we do, we have not once in nearly 40 years of operation been charged with criminal wrongdoing. We’re proud of the work we do, notwithstanding recent and willful attempts by some to mischaracterize it.”
“Finally, it is well established that many countries (e.g. UK, USA) have trust laws that permit a person or enterprise to represent a third party in a fiduciary capacity, which is 100% legal and serves an important purpose in global commerce.”
Read Mossack Fonseca’s longer response in full: