Dispute resolution in Bahamas

Lennox Paton

Brian Simms QC heads up the litigation and dispute resolution, and restructuring and insolvency groups at Lennox Paton, which are involved in some of the Bahamas’ most high-profile, high-value disputes. 'Generally regarded as being at the top of its game', the large local team has an extensive track record in insolvency proceedings, company disputes, fraud and asset tracing claims, shareholder disputes and arbitration proceedings. In addition to Simms’ wide-ranging practice and Sophia Rolle-Kapousouzoglou’s insolvency and asset recovery expertise, the 'dynamic' Marco Turnquest regularly acts for trustees, personal representatives and beneficiaries in contentious trust issues. A notable recent highlight saw Turnquest and Simms represent Delanson Services Limited in Matteo Volpi v Delanson Services Limited and Gabriele Volpi, a recent Bahamian Supreme Court decision concerning the court’s jurisdiction limits to act in trust-related arbitrations. Other names to note include Metta MacMillan-Hughes, Christopher Jenkins, senior associate Chizelle Cargill and associate Ramonne Gardiner.

Practice head(s):

Brian Simms QC

Testimonials

‘For commercial litigation (including fraud and insolvency) in offshore jurisdictions, Lennox Paton have a wealth of expertise and are, I think, generally regarded as being at the top of their game.’

‘Marco Turnquest: a dynamic partner in Lennox Paton’s Bahamas office. He has a detailed knowledge of civil fraud developments within the jurisdiction, and pays considerable attention to detail.’

Key clients

Banque Havilland (Bahamas) Ltd

Bettas Ltd (“Bettas”)

CIBC Trust Company

Clico Bahamas

Deloitte & Touche

Ernst & Young

Groupe Nantes SA

Joint Provisional Liquidators of Mintbroker International Ltd. (formerly Swiss America Securities Ltd)

JP Morgan Bahamas Ltd.

KPMG

Montaque Capital Partners Ltd (in liquidation)

QBE Insurance Group and Insurance Company of The Bahamas

Sky Bahamas

UBS (Bahamas) Ltd (in voluntary liquidation)

ZCM Asset Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of a shareholder of open-ended Bahamian Mutual Funds seeking the recovery of assets from a Company incorporated in Bermuda valued at approximately $400m.
  • Representing Bettas in an ongoing claim against HSBC’s Bahamian branch and its Hong Kong branch for breach of mandate in failing to return over $26m dollars that was deposited in 1986.
  • Acting on behalf of the US SEC in relation to three separate litigation matters concerning the enforcement of judgments in relation to securities fraud, tracing claims against offshore assets and enforcement of claims for violations of the US Securities Act and Security Exchange Act, which arose from the defendants operating as an unregistered broker-dealer in the US.

Higgs & Johnson

With expertise in handling a range of cross-border insolvency and general litigation mandates, Higgs & Johnson regularly acts for large corporations, financial institutions and high-net-worth individuals. On the receiving end of referrals and instructions from international law firms in the US, Latin America, Switzerland and the UK, the department is particularly active in trust disputes, Norwich Pharmacal Relief matters, IP disputes and asset recovery claims. The team is led by managing partner and global managing director Oscar Johnson, Jr., who also specialises in admiralty law, insurance matters and employment issues. Further names to note include Audley Hanna and Tara Archer-Glasgow; Archer-Glasgow is praised as a 'very diligent' litigator who regularly appears in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Practice head(s):

Oscar Johnson Jr

Other key lawyers:

Tara Archer-Glasgow; Audley Hanna

Testimonials

‘The team at H&J is outstanding in this area. They have provided significant and timely counsel to my team in our dispute with stakeholders/tenants.’

‘Tara Archer-Glasgow has been very diligent and thoughtful in advising us on matters related to tenant disputes. She is familiar with our business and its unique environment and has given our team excellent advice on how to manage key disputes in particularly sensitive cases. She is relentless and smart, and we value her expertise. Audley Hanna has also been excellent particularly with regard to contract disputes, as well as labour disputes.’

McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes

Led by the experienced John Wilson QC, who has carved out a strong arbitration practice in the region, McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes specialises in commercial litigation. Shareholder disputes, contractual claims, trust litigation and insolvency mandates are key pillars of the practice, which also has particular expertise in the insurance, financial services and construction sectors. Acting as chair of the firm’s trust and private client practice, Sean Moree represents multinational corporations and ultra-high-net-worth families in a range of commercial and trust disputes including derivative actions, third-party claims and restructurings. Other key names include Genell Sands, who is active before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and Kevin Moree, who co-leads the tax and trade practice group.

Practice head(s):

John Wilson QC; Sean Moree

Testimonials

‘Partner Vanessa Lee Smith is not only an outstanding solutions oriented lawyer, she is very responsive to all our legal needs.’

‘I have found that my representation is done with my interest at heart. Good sound advice is always offered and recommendations made to help resolve issues rather than prolong them.’

‘Extremely pronounced technical skills. Solution driven approach Client management skills.’

‘The quality of service rendered by John Wilson QC and the tenacity and dedication with which he inspires his direct Associates to roll up their sleeves and defend the clients’ best interest.’

‘Prompt access and profound knowledge of local legislative framework. Solid strategic thought process and positioning of the appropriate case law for the positive outcome of the disputes.’

‘I think they have the most respected litigation practice in the country, decades of experience and therefore great research capacity. They do thorough work and you get what you pay for. Hardly any firm in the Bahamas can match their set of skills and capacities.’

‘Sean Moree – very fast, great wealth of knowledge, especially on Bahamas jurisdictional issues. Despite his fairly young age he already has great experience and ties his firm’s specialists well into a case team if needed.’

‘Kevin Moree worked hard in the case. He always kept the client updated on the matter. Kevin deserves recommendation for sure.’

Key clients

Private Trust Corporation Limited

Lyford International Bank

EFG Bank Bahamas

Executors of the Estate of James Martin

Butterfield Trust

First Caribbean International Bank (Bahamas) Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented BB Entertainment in arbitration proceedings relating to a contractual dispute valued at $200m with a local supplier that was contracted to pave an airport.

Baycourt Chambers

Established in 2012 by founding partner Raynard Rigby, boutique firm Baycourt Chambers primarily handles domestic disputes and appears before the Privy Council, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Working across a broad range of sectors, the team is instructed on personal injury claims, environmental litigation, contract disputes, medical negligence claims, employment litigation and general commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Raynard Rigby

Testimonials

‘The firm provides a concierge service and works with its clients to ensure where possible practical non-litigation solutions are explored. In the past the firm has intervened with external counsel to clarify processes and also explore settlements, making recommendations to its clients.’

‘Partner Raynard Rigby is thorough and is highly engaged in documentary reviews.’

Work highlights

  • Acting as counsel of record for an international cable TV services provider which alleges to have exclusive rights in the Bahamas to certain broadcasting rights inclusive of the broadcasting rights to certain NFL Programming; the client alleges that a local cable TV services provider has broadcast certain NFL programming in The Bahamas without licensure or permission.
  • Representing a Bahamian company which provides physician coverage for the Emergency Room of an independent hospital in The Bahamas in a medical negligence suit brought against the company in relation to the standard and duty of care owed by physicians in the ER.
  • Represented the Bahamas Pharmacy Council in judicial review proceedings where the Council’s decision to revoke the licences of 20 pharmacists was under review.