From now on, posts in this series will not contain the word review in the title. The previous posts were taken as recommendations by some readers, which caused some unfortunate controversy over specially SFM Offshore, whose service quality has degraded since my post on them. I had intended for the word review to mean examination, but that wasn’t clear enough.
Today, we will take a look at Icaza, Gonzales-Ruiz & Aleman, commonly called just Icaza Law. They are headquartered in Panama and have been around since 1920.
Similar to Mossack & Fonseca, Icaza Law is a law firm and not a pure offshore service provider. This means higher costs but higher quality. Icaza law has offices in the following jurisdictions:
- British Virgin Islands
- United Arab Emirates
They provide nearly every service under the sun, ranging from incorporation to trusts to immigration to real estate, and so on. Icaza Law incorporates in more jurisdictions than listed above, such as Costa Rica, Delaware (LLC), New Zealand, Marshall Islands, and Netherlands.
Fees for forming a basic IBC starts at around 1,500 USD for the bare essentials. They have pretty good banking connections and you shouldn’t have any problems finding a suitable bank among the ones they can offer although those seeking more exotic alternatives may end up having to open an account on their own.
With such an old and trusted name, this part seems almost superfluous but let’s do it anyway.
Whois & Address
We again start with a whois of the domain.
Registrant Name: Icaza, Gonzalez-Ruiz & Aleman Registrant Organization: Registrant Street: Calle Aquilino de la Guardia #8 Registrant City: Panama Registrant State/Province: PANAMA Registrant Postal Code: 87-1371 Registrant Country: PA Registrant Phone: +1.0115072635555 Registrant Phone Ext: Registrant Fax: +1.9999999999 Registrant Fax Ext: Registrant Email: [email protected] Registry Admin ID: Admin Name: Icaza Gonzalez Ruiz & Aleman Admin Organization: Icaza Gonzalez Ruiz & Aleman Admin Street: Calle Aquilino de la Guardia Admin City: Panama Admin State/Province: Panama Admin Postal Code: 0823-02435 Admin Country: PA Admin Phone: 507 2056059 Admin Phone Ext: Admin Fax: 507 2694891 Admin Fax Ext: Admin Email: [email protected] Admin Organization: Registry Tech ID: Tech Name: Icaza Gonzalez Ruiz & Aleman Tech Organization: Icaza Gonzalez Ruiz & Aleman Tech Street: Calle Aquilino de la Guardia #8 Tech City: Panama Tech State/Province: Panama Tech Postal Code: 0823-02435 Tech Country: PA Tech Phone: 507 2056000 Tech Phone Ext: Tech Fax: 507 2694891 Tech Fax Ext: Tech Email: [email protected] Tech Organization: Name Server: NS.PSINETPA.NET Name Server: NS.CWPANAMA.NET
The address matches the address stated on their website:
Googling the address returns no results indicating that this is a virtual office or anything other than Icaza Law’s own offices. In fact, one of the first results is a list of prominent law firms on the Canadian Trade Commissioner’s website.
The company is headquartered in Panama, so let’s head over the Panama public registry. Don’t hold your breath clicking the British flag for English. Most of the registry is in Spanish and will break if you use it in English.
There are eight Icaza companies:
Being that these are S.A.s, it’s impossible to determine the ownership structure with confidence. The names shown do in many cases correspond to the list of attorneys from Icaza Law’s website, and many are clearly family members. This is after all a family business dating back to the 1920s.
Being physically present and offering financial services, Icaza Law is duly licensed in most of their places of operation. Let’s just take a look at some of the licenses they hold.
Licensed by the Anguilla FSC:
Licensed by the Belize IFSC:
British Virgin Islands
Licensed by the BVI FSC:
Licensed by the Seychelles FSA:
I first came in contact with Icaza law when working in igaming (online gambling) sector, where a large number of affiliates incorporated in BVI and Bahamas were using Icaza Law. Since then I have worked with Icaza Law on behalf of a number of clients and other projects.
Service quality has remained very high throughout the years. I am told it can be difficult to establish contact with them by email. It’s highly recommended to give them a call instead. I suppose it’s one way to weed out less serious contact requests.
Prices are fair. You’re dealing with a long-standing, reputable law firm.