Corporate law (including banking, finance and M&A) in Bahamas

Higgs & Johnson

Higgs & Johnson‘s commercial transactions practice advises on all Bahamian aspects of cross-border transactions, financings and M&A, with particular expertise in the finance, utilities, telecoms, hospitality and oil and gas sectors. The firm has also been active in drafting legislation and works closely with the relevant regulatory agencies to develop the jurisdiction’s financial services law; it also has notable expertise in issues relating to counter terrorist financing and anti-money laundering matters. Vivienne Gouthro, Zarina Fitzgerald and Christel Sands-Feaste jointly lead the practice; Gouthro also leads the firm’s maritime and aviation group, Fitzgerald is ‘very responsible and attuned to commercial practices‘ and Sands-Feaste leads the financial services and securities and investment funds practices. Other key individuals include Portia Nicholson, who leads the firm’s newly formed tax group; Alexandra Hall, who leads the recently established government and regulatory affairs group; co-managing partner Sterling Cooke and associate Andre Hill.

Testimonials

‘Very good knowledge of the local and political landscape and how this impacts decisions and legal direction. Also their experience in how international business can be best conducted is great.’

‘Our primary contact is Portia Nicholson. Portia has a good way to work through various options that are more complicated and need creative thinking.’

‘Very responsive and commercially oriented.’

‘Zarina Fitzgerald is very responsible and attuned to commercial practices.’

‘Portia Nicholson is the Corporate Partner my company deals with. She is very experienced and delivers clear and concise advice – which is exactly what I want and need as a client.’

‘Portia Nicholson is a top drawer lawyer.’

‘I am of the view that H&J provides the best service in The Bahamas. They take a conservative outlook and are careful and thoughtful in their advice, which is delivered in a timely manner. Zarina Fitzgerald is the epitome of this.’

Lennox Paton

The highly experienced team at Lennox Paton advises on the full spectrum of corporate, commercial and finance mandates spanning cross-border M&A, regulatory matters, fund work, private wealth and trust structure issues, securitisations, data protection work and fintech matters. The group is particularly active in the financial services sector; it recently advised the Central Bank of the Bahamas on the issuance of a digital currency and the related regulatory issues. Michael Paton heads up the practice and Michelle Neville-Clarke  acts as deputy head; Paton is also deputy chairman of the securities commission of The Bahamas and Neville-Clarke acts for a range of local and international clients. Arthur Seligman  leads the firm’s trusts and foundations group and Castino Sands  is a key contact for fund-related mandates. Clients also praise senior associate Dwayne Whylly for his ‘sophisticated advice‘ and senior associate Laura Harris, who focuses on the shipping sector.

Practice head(s):

Michael Paton

Testimonials

‘It’s one of maybe two law firms you would use in the Bahamas to provide advice in the context of cross border transactions.’

‘I engage Dwayne Whylly. The reason I do so is because I know he will respond promptly and give sophisticated advice.’

Work highlights

  • Advised in respect of grant of security and entry into security documents by a Bahamian group company.
  • Advised Steiner Leisure Limited on its private placement investment in OneSpaWorld Limited, a Bahamian company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and advised on the initial listing of OneSpaWorld on the NYSE.
  • Assisted the Central Bank of The Bahamas with the issuance of a digital currency and the development of the corresponding regulatory framework.

Delaney Partners

Delaney Partners’ full-service practice is a key name in the market for financial services clients; it also regularly acts for private clients in the region. Key areas of expertise include business restructuring and insolvency mandates, commercial transactions, financial services regulations, and private client wealth and immigration issues; the firm also has a distinct securities team, which fields the ‘extremely knowledgeablePamela Klonaris and Sofia Papageorge. Other key names include firm founder John Delaney QC, who is a former Attorney General of The Bahamas; restructuring and insolvency expert Lena Bonaby and Jillian Chase-Jones.

Practice head(s):

John Delaney QC

Testimonials

‘Based over 10 years of working with Delaney Partners, the firm seems to have excellent corporate, banking and funds practices. They seem very much aware of all recent and pending developments in Bahamas law related to those fields.’

‘My involvement with Delaney Partners has been primarily with attorney Pamela Klonaris. She has been extremely knowledgeable about, and very much on top of, recent developments and proposed legislation in all of the relevant areas of Bahamas law. She has been very responsive and thorough, and very clear in her communications. The matters we worked on were far from run of the mill, and involved creative thinking and drafting. More recently, I have also worked with John Delaney in connection with a matter involving potential litigation and he was also excellent. He was very responsive, has great writing skills and gave excellent advice.’

‘Delaney Partners are thorough in the way they address our legal needs, they are efficient in their responses and readily available for follow ups and clarifications. They are very responsive to our requests and are very knowledgeable of the financial services industry which we find to be very beneficial.’

‘John Delaney is the partner that I’ve worked most closely with at the firm. He is very responsive and always available to answer questions or help us address complex situations that may present themselves from a legal perspective. His depth of knowledge in the law is a tremendous asset and is clearly evident in the way he speaks to matters presented. He has a way of simplifying complex situations so that it is easily understood and allows me the ability to make informed decisions and ask the right questions. He is clearly at the top of his field in the Bahamas. He is of the highest integrity and most trustworthy. He exudes pride in his work which is evident in his delivery.’

McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes

The corporate and commercial transactions group at McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes is a key name in the jurisdiction for offshore trust and private client work, and works closely with the firm’s litigation team on commercial disputes. The team is also particularly active in advising on liquidations and insolvencies, regulatory matters, contractual work, financings, investment management and fund work, and restructuring mandates. Key names in the practice include group chair Kimberley Rolle, who handles commercial, corporate, real estate and project finance work; practice vice-chair Alexander Christie, senior partner John Wilson QC, Campbell Cleare III, who leads the foreign and local investment practice group; Sean Moree, who heads up the trust and private client team, and Michelle Deveaux, who is also part of the firm’s competition practice. Clients also praise senior associate Gia Sands, who handles foreign and local investments and corporate transactions; and Kevin Moree, who has notable expertise in the Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Act.

Practice head(s):

Kimberley Rolle

Testimonials

‘Very quick to respond to queries, very knowledgeable solution providers.’

‘Quick to response with detailed solutions. – Campbell Cleare, Gia Sands, April Turner are key names to note.’

‘Promptness and efficiency in dealing with all corporate matters, especially time sensitive filings with the Regulatory authorities.’

‘Responsiveness and precision more or less sums it up. Under the coordination of Managing Partner John Wilson, both Berchel Wilson and Michelle Deveaux are stand out names when it comes to getting the job done.’

‘Very dynamic and professional team. Have the precise answer to your problems.’

‘Beatrice Miranda is always there with the good answer and she is very proactive. Always available. Amazing professional.’

Key clients

RAV Bahamas Ltd.

Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation

Lyford Holdings N.V. (majority shareholder of Lyford International Bank)

Neworld One Bay Street Limited

Tropix Shipping Ltd.

Oasis Marketplace Ltd.

Crowe Bahamas

Mylor Caribbean Development Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of one of the most world renowned transportation companies in connection with a loan facility in excess of $2bn.
  • Acted as local counsel to a Canadian public oil and natural gas company advising on a bridge loan made available to a Bahamian incorporated company which is secured by a guarantee and pledge of shares.