Astonishing news from Panama Papers hack – Lawyers do their jobs

The consortium of left-wing numpties have released the astonishing news that Lawyers apparently do their jobs, and worse they appear to also talk with other lawyers…overseas.

New Zealand law firms that lobbied the government in 2014 against shutting down the foreign trust industry in this country had extensive links to Mossack Fonseca.

So what, they represent clients, they talked to ministers about changes. It’s called politics and lobbying and it happens everywhere. You don’t think the unions are just enjoying cucumber sandwiches and jugs of chardonnay when they waltz into Labour ministers’ offices do you?

Four of the five firms that met with and lobbied the then Revenue Minister Todd McClay have done a varying amount of business with the controversial Panamanian law firm, with Auckland-based firm Cone Marshall featuring most prominently.

The Panama Papers also show the man who has long handled Prime Minister John Key’s personal legal matters, Ken Whitney, had links to Mossack Fonseca through two companies – registered in the British Virgin Islands, with Mossack Fonseca as their agent. Mr Whitney also acted as a referee for Karen Marshall of Cone Marshall in 2009.

Foreign trusts and New Zealand’s rules have been under the spotlight since the release of the Panama Papers, which revealed how the Panamanian law firm orchestrated a worldwide web of companies designed to let people hide money and avoid taxes.

And nothing is illegal, but boy are they trying to make it sound illegal.

The Pamana Papers show that along with Roger Thompson of Bentleys, a group of New Zealand law firms has been doing a significant amount of business with Mossack Fonseca, setting up companies and trusts.

Various lawyers also act as directors, secretaries, treasurers and liquidators for dozens of trusts and companies set up and registered overseas, many of them in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). In some cases, the law firms also provide registered addresses for the companies and trusts to use.

So what? My company has its registered address at my accountant…who cares? This is trying to murk up precisely what trust lawyers do. A sensible person always has an independent trustee on their trust. Trusts are supposed to be arms length. This whole beat up is about lawyers and accountants doing their jobs and these morons trying to make them sound bad.

This is a shameless hit job by the media on people who are simply doing their jobs.

The media are trying to make it all sound dodgy by talking about drug dealers and gun dealers and other criminals, but they haven’t made the next logical conclusion and worked out that if that is the reason one shouldn’t be working with these law firms then every law firm in the country needs to close down because most of them represent criminals at some stage in their career.

I think they have massively over-reached and may even end up getting themselves sued in the process.

 

– RadioNZ

 


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  • McGrath

    I’ve been deeply disappointed by the Panama Papers today. There has been a total beat-up about nothing out of the ordinary. A telling sign where this story is heading is the Herald. It’s 1pm and Panama barely features on the front page of their website.

    • CheesyEarWax

      Not just you, seems like the rest of NZ is as well. None of the Panama Papers coverage has featured on their respective Top 5 or Top 10 popular reads on One News, NZ Harald, and Stuff websites. The Bachelor NZ the most popular it seems.

    • Seriously?

      If it were a movie it would have to be called “Moment of Truth 2: The Panama Performance”.

  • shykiwibloke

    Ooh I hope they get sued. Imagine a bunch of MSM trying to find a decent legal firm to represent them – against every other law firm in town. I also think a labour could be shooting themselves in the foot on this one by annoying yet another segment of traditional voters – albeit Chardonnay socialists.

    • They’ve been spending a truck load of cash at Bell Gully the past few weeks.

      • murrayirwin

        ‘They’ being the MSM? Just covering their cowardly backsides – going as far as they can but stopping short of something actionable. Hope they mis-step, and trip over the line.

      • localnews

        And nobody at Bell Gully told them how a trust works? I’d ask for my money back.
        I hope they don’t find out that sometimes lawyers have murderers for clients

  • Keeping Stock

    I think they have massively over-reached and may even end up getting themselves sued in the process.

    It’s interesting that this week is Privacy Week, and the theme is “Privacy is in your hands”.

    Except, of course, if you happened to get a mention in the Panama Papers. In that case, the likes of Vance, Jessica Mutch and Nicky Hager have stolen the privacy of a number of individuals by publishing their names and their residential addresses online. This is despite the people having done nothing which is illegal, or in most cases even being accused of having done anything illegal. But a band of news media hounds with an anti-government agenda have smeared them via innuendo and making two plus two equal 22.

    I hope that lawsuits do follow, and I hope that Hager is named as First Defendant. He has chosen to try and make political capital out of nothing, and the consequences of that decision are entirely his.

    • Wheninrome

      Is it just political capital, or is he trying to feather his nest?

      • Keeping Stock

        I think Hager enjoys his time in the media spotlight. Oddly though, he was less cavalier about his own privacy when the Police came calling than he is now about the privacy of others.

        As I said elsewhere this morning, “Hypocrisy, thy name is Hager”

        • MarcWills

          This should be submitted to Wikipedia as a definition of hypocrisy – first seen on Backchat last night: (pic)

  • Karma

    Let’s face it, this whole thing was nothing more than an attempt by the opposition to implicate the PM as personally having an off-shore trust, and since they haven’t found any direct evidence, they’re now rooting around in the leftovers of the Panama poop trying to find something that will stick. Not only should those involved in this latest Hager Saga get sued, the OECD should give the NZ media an almighty slap for suggesting they know more than a worldwide organisation.

  • cows4me

    Listening to the news while feeding the moos, the news reader called it the Panama Papers scandal. Yes he’s quite right it is a scandal, it’s a scandal that a bunch of useless, irrelevant lefty morons can inflect such nonsense on the people of New Zealand. These full flushing idiots are their own worst enemies. One day there will be a real scandal and the people will simply laugh at them, it’s only what they would deserve.

  • Grantavius

    I’m shocked, shocked, to learn that the people who lobbied for the retention of the foreign trust regime were involved in the foreign trust regime.

    I hope that the Media Party follow up on allegations that the Federated Farmers of New Zealand are involved in agriculture.

    • shykiwibloke

      Yes and remember the media people who lobbied for whatshisface from Tv3 current affairs to be paid from the public purse.
      Also – how many opposition MPs have a family trust?

      Edit – spellchecker absurdities removed.

    • Rebecca

      Exactly.

      FWIW, the lobbying lawyers quoted millions of dollars of contribution to the NZ economy. Since you can’t distribute into NZ from a Foreign trust, I assume they’re talking about their own fees. No wonder they lobbied government to keep their gravy train running.

      I’m still waiting to hear why it’s John Key’s fault. He’s called for a disclosure review and says the IRD plans to review all the documentation. Not sure what else is expected of him.

      Meanwhile there’s a whole heap of shoulda-woulda-coulda but not a single instance of actual tax banditry via a Foreign Trust. Where’s the beef, Hager?

  • Teletubby

    I’m praying Bob Jones is named in all of this, not that I wish any I’ll upon him but because he is the type of person who will sue these clowns on principal even if it costs him more than he wins. They need to tred very carefully when smearing very wealthy people

    • biscuit barrel

      Bob Jones sues everybody, office tower builders( he once wanted to get out of a sale contract for a tower block by saying the windows werent high enough).
      he sued an accountant over bad tax advice, an investment adviser (he only got a miserly $100k.
      He hangs around high priced lawyers too much, they of course are happy at that.

  • twittertit

    A question for overseas based WO readers, are the MSM where you are going this rabid over such tenuous links?

  • Sagacious Blonde

    JK said in Question Time that Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Red Cross have foreign trusts

  • Seriously?

    In this whole saga there is only one type of professional that appears to lack the ability to do their job properly, journalists.

    Maybe that is what is upsetting the hacks, the professionalism of others showing them up.

  • Aucky

    The PM has just added Red Cross.

  • Abjv

    Angry Andy wanted all foreign trusts shut down. Is it now Labour policy to shut down the Red Cross and Greenpeace?

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