Appleby (previously Appleby Spurling & Kempe, Appleby Spurling Hunter and Appleby Hunter Bailhache) is an offshore legal services provider. It has offices in the key offshore locations of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Mauritius and Seychelles as well as the financial centres of Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Appleby is a law firm that helps corporations, financial institutions and high-net-worth individuals set up and register companies in offshore jurisdictions. Founded in Bermuda and with a history dating back to the 1890s, it has become one of the largest and best known of about 10 major companies involved in the specialist arena. It is referred to in the Paradise Papers, and included in the assemblage of law firms known as the offshore magic circle. The leak shows the US dominates Appleby’s client register, with more than 31,000 US addresses for clients. There were more than 14,000 UK addresses and 12,000 in Bermuda.
The original firm of Appleby was founded by Reginald Appleby (1865-1948) in Bermuda in 1898. Appleby had passed his final law exams in England in 1887 and had been in partnership with Reginald Gray (later Sir) attorney-general of Bermuda, from 1893 to 1897 in Bermuda as Gray & Appleby. In 1938 Appleby and Dudley Spurling (later Sir) merged their practices to establish Appleby & Spurling. In 1949, that firm merged with William Kempe to become Appleby Spurling Kemp (or Kempe). Dudley Spurling was the senior partner of the merged firm until 1981. In 2004 they merged with Cayman Islands’ law firm Hunter & Hunter and with Jersey based firm, Bailhache Labesse in September 2006.
Appleby announced on 15 June 2008 that it was to merge with Isle of Man based Dickinson Cruickshank & Co., enabling it to become the largest offshore law firm in the world with 73 partners and 200 lawyers. In 2010, they opened an office in Guernsey. In 2012, they announced that they would be opening an office in Shanghai. In 2014, Appleby worked with the company Apple Inc. in a function similar to a general contractor to provide offshore offices on the island of Jersey in co-operation with the law firm Baker McKenzie.