Dispute resolution in Bahamas

Lennox Paton

Particularly active in complex, high-profile claims, Lennox Paton’s ‘highly reputable’ litigation and dispute resolution department has expertise across a broad range of matters including trust claims, banking, insolvency and asset tracing litigation; insurance issues, mutual fund disputes, property litigation and director liability proceedings. ‘Incredibly incisive’ senior partner Brian Simms QC heads up the practice and has substantial experience at all levels of the court system. Marco Turnquest is a key contact for banking, shareholder, insolvency and trust disputes, while Sophia Rolle-Kapousouzoglou has a notable track record in complex insolvency cases. Other key individuals include Christopher Jenkins, who has experience in property litigation and shareholder disputes; Metta MacMillan-Hughes , who acts in a range of commercial and civil litigation; and senior associate Chizelle Cargill .

Practice head(s):

Brian Simms QC

Testimonials

‘High attention to the client, quick answers by emails, highly professional and competent lawyers. Definitely the best law firm in the Bahamas, they never fail to deliver.’

‘Sophia Rolle-Kapousouzoglou is a great partner and a rising star in the Bahamas law sector.’

‘Lennox is a reputable firm.’

‘Brian Simms: incredibly incisive and good at drilling down through all the facts: he can unpick a case in an instant.’

‘Lennox Paton (Bahamas) is a pre-eminent firm dealing with heavy-weight offshore litigation. Their partners are up to date on recent legal developments in the Bahamian Supreme Court, particularly as regards matters of civil fraud. Importantly, Lennox Paton are much more responsive than most other firms on the island, with quick turnaround times.’

‘Marco Turnquest – he is an extremely able partner specialising in commercial dispute resolution and civil fraud. He is very clever and diligent.’

‘LP was very thorough and detailed in their research and explaining all the nuances to the legal process in the Bahamas. They left no stone unturned.’

‘Sophia Rolle-Kapousouzoglou stands out by her competence and professionalism.’

Work highlights

  • Advising the Judicial Trustee of the Sir Jack Hayward 1993 Settlement on numerous difficult points and representing him in proceedings.
  • Acting on behalf of Cyprus and Panamanian Companies in legal proceedings concerning a dispute over $30m in frozen funds held in an account at Ansbacher Bank, a Bahamian bank.
  • Representing Bettas in an ongoing claim against HSBC Bahamian branch and its Hong Kong branch for breach of mandate in failing to return over $26m that was deposited with it in 1986.

Delaney Partners

Delaney Partners‘ dispute resolution practice saw notable growth in 2020 following the recruitment of consultant Robert Adams and Edward Marshall from Graham Thompson; Adam’s work spans commercial litigation and arbitration proceedings and also appeals before the Privy Council, while Marshall is admitted as an English barrister. John Delaney QC heads up the department, which is particularly active in restructuring and insolvency work, banking and financial services claims, shareholder disputes, trust and estate litigation and regulatory issues. Lena Bonaby is a key contact for financial services, restructuring and insolvency mandates.

Practice head(s):

John Delaney QC

Other key lawyers:

Lena Bonaby; Robert Adams; Edward Marshall

Higgs & Johnson

The ‘reactive and reliable’ practice at Higgs & Johnson fields a large litigation practice, which is headed up by Tara Archer-Glasgow, who ‘provides advice that is sound, well thought out and grounded in the law’. The department acts for a broad range of local and international clients and handles the full spectrum of contentious mandates; key areas of expertise include cross-border litigation, asset recovery claims, trust disputes, financial services and regulatory claims, insolvency and restructuring mandates, employment cases and tax proceedings. The group is also a key name in the market for alternative dispute resolution and arbitration proceedings. Philip Dunkley, co-managing partner Oscar Johnson, Jr. , Vann Gaitor, Leroy Smith, Karen Brown and Audley Hanna are also key names to note.

Practice head(s):

Tara Archer-Glasgow

Testimonials

‘Higgs and Johnson is known to be one of the leading law firms in the Bahamas. Its leadership team is well respected in the country and abroad. They offer a wide range of professionals to assist with your legal needs.’

‘It stands out by name and reputation in the country. Our experience has been mostly in the area of dispute resolution and the two lawyers we have dealt with have been excellent over the years.’

‘Tara Archer-Glasgow is an excellent lawyer, very pleasant with a great personality which has resulted in a wonderful Lawyer/Client relationship. From my personal observations and interaction with her over the years, it’s obvious that she is well versed in the Law and confident in her legal counsel and advice. She can explain the Law in laymen’s terms and intelligently answer all your questions about any matter being dealt with. Mrs. Archer-Glasgow’s legal advice has always proven to be sound, well thought out and grounded in the law. Whether communicating with her electronically or in person she can calm one’s anxieties no matter what the legal situation involves. I have the utmost confidence in her legal guidance and the greatest respect for her openness and honesty as a lawyer.’

‘Keith Major – I was very impressed with his persona, professionalism and legal astuteness. He has proven to be very thorough in his preparation and confident in his presentation in the court room. Despite his obvious legal knowledge and understanding of the Law, he is a very humble and respectable gentleman in and out of the court room. I personally believe that he has a very bright future in the legal profession.’

‘Very responsive, adapts to the needs of the client, creative and very easy to work with.’

‘Tara Archer-Glasgow has been exceptional to work with. Clear in her advice, extremely responsive and understands the needs of the individual client.’

‘There is a depth of knowledge and experience within the team and the team has a wide array of experts in key areas needed by my company. This is their strength along with a collaborative approach internally that appears part of the culture of the practice.’

‘We work very closely with attorneys Tara Archer and Audley Hanna. They are responsive, thorough and fully understand our business which makes them very valuable as attorneys. They are each capable as attorneys and Tara has been an outstanding litigator on our behalf.’

‘Higgs & Johnson has a diverse complement of skilled Attorney’s that give practical and timely advice.’

‘The Partner that I have dealt with most frequently over the years at Higgs & Johnson is Tara Archer-Glasgow. She is knowledgeable, reliable and offers sound legal advice. She is very responsive and her assiduous work demeanour provides clients with assurance that their legal matter is in very capable hands.’

‘I have worked with Audley Hanna, Partner Higgs & Johnson on a few matters. In my experience, Mr. Hanna is articulate, reliable and very responsive. He is committed to his practice.’

‘Having to deal in a foreign country is not always easy. Oscar Johnson Jr is really helpful in explaining the specificities of Bahamian law and procedure and he is very helpful in determining the defence strategy. Thanks to him we manage to deal with high value cases and to find solution to the satisfaction of our client.’

McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes

McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes fields ‘a very knowledgeable team of local attorneys’, which has ‘a good spread of expertise’ encompassing commercial and trust disputes, insolvency and restructuring work and financial services, private client, IP and corporate cases; the team is also regularly involved in alternative dispute resolution. John Wilson QC heads up the practice and also leads the trust and private client groups, while Sean Moree focuses on insolvency, restructuring and banking disputes alongside an active arbitration practice. Michelle Deveaux heads up the firm’s competition practice group, Vanessa Smith is vice chair of the trust and private client group, and Kevin Moree handles tax disputes. At associate level, Erin Hill , Knijah Knowles and Berchel Wilson are key individuals.

Practice head(s):

John Wilson QC

Testimonials

‘Accessibility to the partners, responsiveness and efficiency of results.’

‘John F. Wilson, Managing Partner of MBH is what makes the difference when it comes to litigation and dispute resolution.’

‘Very knowledgeable team of local attorneys. Multidisciplinary team. Professional. Offices that provide service throughout the Bahamas.’

‘Its been a pleasure to work with Genell Sands on a variety of insolvency related matters. She is very knowledgeable, courteous, professional and responsive. ’

‘Well known firm with good connections. Good spread of expertise to cover range of areas.’

‘Sean Moree – a bright and enthusiastic partner with a good sense of humour. Works well in a team and respectful of others.’

‘Vanessa Smith – hard working, committed partner. She can be depended on to pick up all matters and works well in a team.’

Key clients

The Private Trust Corporation limited

Lyford International Bank Limited

EFG Bank & Trust (Bahamas) Limited.

Executors of the Estate of James Martin

Butterfield Trust (Bahamas) Limited

Adlard Holdings Limited

FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas) Ltd

Crowe Bahamas

Lervoss International Limited

RAV Bahamas Ltd.

Kikivarakis & Co.

Work highlights

  • Represented and advised Crowe Bahamas as liquidators of one of the largest domestically owned construction companies in The Bahamas and its sister company.
  • Assisting liquidators of of Rural International Bank Limited in seeking directions from the Supreme Court of the Bahamas in respect of the payment of legal fees incurred by the former lawyers for the liquidation committee. This is the first time the payment of a liquidation committee’s fees out of an insolvent company’s estate has been the subject of judicial consideration in The Bahamas.
  • Representing a US lender in recovering over $14m by enforcing US judgments against US entrepreneurs and challenging the methods used by the US borrowers to attempt to hide and/or remove assets within The Bahamas to avoid recognition and enforcement proceedings.

Baycourt Chambers

At boutique firm Baycourt Chambers, the group is active in notable domestic disputes and handles a broad range of contentious work. Key areas of expertise include financial services claims, injunctions, judicial reviews, property litigation and matters before all court levels. Raynard Rigby heads up the group, which also includes Christopher Francis, who handles environmental law, conveying issues and civil litigation. The team is also a member of the Nextlaw Referral Network.

Practice head(s):

Raynard Rigby

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Francis

Testimonials

‘Baycourt Chambers have a clear understanding of the Road Traffic Act as it relates to our jurisdiction and therefore, are able to provide sound advice to its application for motor claims. Another one of Baycourt’s strengths is the ability to negotiate reasonable settlements on our behalf. Also in the event settlement cannot be negotiated, Baycourt Chambers provide expert and concise advice on how to navigate the litigation process.’

‘Based on our interaction with Raynard Rigby, it is clear that he is knowledgeable and able to convey his opinions on quantum and liability in a concise manner that is easily understood by insurers and persons that may not have a legal background. Additionally, Mr. Rigby is also aware that maintaining costs is essential to us and he provides us with cost effective approaches to bring resolution to settlement negotiations and litigation matters in a timely manner.’

‘Raynard Rigby’s astute legal mind, communication skills, and practical approach makes him an exceptional litigator. In our experience, Raynard is one of the most responsive and client service orientated lawyers in The Bahamas.’

‘This team makes the client relationship a priority, they are always available to discuss matters with the client, they provide sound legal advice and are able to deliver on their commitments.’

‘Raynard Rigby provides always provides excellent legal advice and is always willing to assist even in matters he has not yet been engaged in.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a leading telecoms company and defeated a claim for an injunction brought by a user of its services.
  • Successful in a matter involving the issuance of a Writ of Fi Fa in execution of a default judgment.
  • Representing a high-end condominium developer in several leading disputes involving matters surrounding the interpretation of the Declaration of Condominium and the Law and Conveyancing Condominium Act.

Gail Lockhart Charles & Co

Gail Lockhart Charles & Co is a local boutique commercial firm led by name partner Gail Lockhart Charles, who has a strong international reputation and works closely with international firms on offshore mandates. The group’s experience spans property litigation, insurance claims and banking and insolvency issues, alongside general commercial disputes. Lockhart Charles is ably supported by Tracy Wells and Lisa Esfakis.

Practice head(s):

Gail Lockhart Charles

Other key lawyers:

Tracy Wells; Lisa Esfaki

Testimonials

‘Gail Lockhart Charles is the real strength of the firm. Her team provide her with excellent support. Extremely busy and diverse practice with an impressive list of clients, and regularly instructed on high profile cases in the Bahamas.’

‘Gail Lockhart Charles. She has an incredible work ethic and manages a huge case load. She is smart and switched on and she has a good sense of what will work in front of the Court. She also has a good sense of the bigger picture and what her clients are trying to achieve, and she understands the commercial perspective. Her clients love her.’

‘The practice has an impressive reach as it deals with both domestic matters but also regularly handles matters with an international dimension including those being litigated in more than one jurisdiction. It has handled cases in the highest Courts including the Privy Counsel. Gail Lockhart Charles and her colleagues have a breadth of knowledge and experience which means they are comfortable handling disputes across the breadth of civil litigation from personal injury to property to commercial, to name but a few.’

‘Gail Lockhart Charles herself if the leading light at the firm. She is highly organised, juggling multiple complex matters and leads by example with her laser-like focus into the key issues in any matter. She is very much a team player when working with external Leading Counsel to the benefit of clients.’

‘Drive and commitment to clients.’

‘Gail Lockhart-Charles always explores every angle and deals with cases with panache.’

Key clients

The Bank of The Bahamas

BR-ILAND Responsible Development Ltd

Sunset Equities Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the defendant in proceedings in The Bahamas Supreme Court seeking to enforce payment of the sanctions against the defendant in The Bahamas.
  • Acting in a judicial review case challenging the validity of planning permission granted for a multi-million dollar marina development in The Bahamas.
  • Acted for The Bank of The Bahamas in multi-million dollar claim brought against the bank by former clients claiming damages for breach of contract.