Real estate in Bahamas

Lennox Paton

Lennox Paton’s practice, led by David Johnstone, handles many of The Bahamas’ most high-value real estate matters including resort, residential, and commercial projects throughout the region. As well as having a strong high-net-worth private client base, the team also assists luxury developers as well as leading financial institutions and lender groups with the financing of development projects. In a recent highlight, the group acted for Taylor Freres Americas on the $500m development of Phase I of a branded mixed-use resort on Cat Island, including a large branded condo-hotel programme, a golf course and a marina. With particular expertise in property acquisitions, project financing matters and master planning issues relating to large integrated mixed-use resort and residential developments, the department also has experience with regulatory approvals and sales programmes. Deputy practice head Chelon Carr-Newbold has extensive experience advising on large, high-profile projects, with a notable emphasis on work for high-net-worth individuals. Another key member of the team is senior associate Nateisha Anderson-Bain, who regularly works alongside Johnstone on the department's significant transactions.

Practice head(s):

David Johnstone

Key clients

Taylor Freres Americas

Sterling Montage Limited

Exuma Resort Developers Ltd

McPike Global Family Office

JGB Management Ltd

Hamilton Group Ltd. (Ontario)

Elmwood Hill Land Holdings Ltd.

Sterling Hurricane Hole Limited

Park Ridge Securities West Corp.

Sterling Asset Management Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Taylor Freres Americas – the purchaser/sponsor – on the development of Phase I of a branded mixed-use resort on Cat Island, including a large branded condo-hotel programme, a golf-course and a marina.
  • Acting for Sterling Montage Limited, a joint venture vehicle, to develop a cay in Abaco as a Montage-branded mixed-use resort and condo-hotel community, including subdivision lots and a marina.
  • Advising Park Ridge Securities West Corp, the purchaser of 382 acres of land in South Ocean in The Bahamas for a future resort and residential development being sold by virtue of the seller’s power of sale.

McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes

McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes' real estate practice attracts praise for its 'responsiveness and thoroughness' and has expertise in handling matters ranging from residential deals for high-net-worth individuals and families to high-value development projects including luxury hotels and large-scale condominiums for multinational developers. Kimberley Rolle, who is a key real estate lawyer at the firm, focuses on transactions in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Other names to note include senior associate Gia Sands and Timothy Eneas, who has extensive experience in conveyancing and property litigation, specifically title issues and property rights work.

Practice head(s):

Kimberley Rolle


‘Responsiveness and thoroughness. In our experience, Gia Sands and Campbell Cleare provide prompt, well-considered responses to queries. They also proactively follow-up on outstanding matters.’

‘Gia Sands and Campbell Cleare provide courteous, prompt, and efficient service. They are also able to clearly articulate legal concepts and positions in terms that the client understands.’

‘We have used them several times for real estate work over the years. You just know that they do the job properly. Thorough title research and they wont forget a single item on the expansive to do list. Gives any buyer or seller confidence that they are looked after.’

‘Sean Moree – good handling of cases, delegates and works well with associates, but also very strong in communication with third parties or opposition. Gia Sands – very efficient and thorough when executing the legal work on property deals. persistent on getting all done correctly, and communicates well with client.’

‘The interaction with the team at McKinney Bancroft & Hughes was extremely professional yet personal.’

‘My interaction with Gia Sands of McKinney Bancroft & Hughes really exemplified professionalism and personalisation joining hands. The experience with Gia made me comfortable where I knew my transaction was getting the attention required and I was informed throughout the process of how things were moving along. I was given reasonable expectations and knew exactly what to expect along the way. The process was seamless. I would certainly recommend Gia and McKinney for property transactions.’

‘Attentive to needs of clients, competent, personable team. Team takes a proactive approach to problem solving and meeting needs of clients. Very good at relationship building and going above and beyond to meet the needs of clients in a timely fashion. Exceptionally responsive with emails.’

‘The team is highly knowledgeable, results driven and accessible. Associate Gia Sands is smart, affable and dedicated to needs of her clients. She has ability to “think out the box” to provide effective and innovative solutions for her clients. Always positive! Partner Kimberley Rolle exudes calm and confidence in legal problem solving. Partner Campbell Cleare is thoughtful and insightful in his approach to legal practice. Team represents diversity and competence at its best!’

‘McKinney Bancroft & Hughes’ team is comprised of top notch, intelligent individuals that keep its clients and client objectives as its highest priority. There was never a time that we felt that disregarded or that they were not willing to put down their pencils to talk to us or to respond to our questions or concerns. Their attention to detail and the speed at which they respond to requests is unmatched. They are fully capable of what any client could throw at them and I would not hesitate for an instance of contacting them with any issue.’

‘They genuinely care about their clients and it shows in their work and effort. They practically become a part of the company and we view their insight, intelligence and integrity at the highest level.’

Key clients

Pineapple Grove Limited

Leeward Yacht Club

Work highlights

  • Advised Neworld One Bay Street, Ltd on – and drafted all contractual documents required for – the development and sale of a luxury hotel and condominiums valued at $250m.
  • Structured and prepared all documents for Sandy Ground Development Ltd. to establish the condominium and appurtenant rights for unit owners of a $5m condominium project.
  • Advised the Bahamian developer of the South Ocean Estates subdivision since the development’s inception in 1986, including on the corporate transactions and sales of lots in South Ocean Estates.

Higgs & Johnson

Higgs & Johnson acts for vendors and purchasers on a mix of property acquisitions, licencing issues and regulatory matters. Headed up by Sterling Cooke, the department has experience in assisting domestic and international real estate investors on residential properties and high-end developments, including resorts, mixed-use developments and condominiums. Stephen Melvin also has a notable track record in assisting high-net-worth individuals with private island and cay acquisitions, and has expertise in commercial real estate issues relating to hotel and mixed-use resort work.

Practice head(s):

Sterling Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Melvin