Rising Stars

Real estate in Bahamas

Higgs & Johnson

The real estate and development group at Higgs & Johnson acts for a roster of national and international clients including developers, financial institutions and private clients on real estate transactions, developments, financing issues and regulatory mandates. The team has been notably active on resort and cruise ship port developments, property sales and lease work. Stephen Melvin leads the practice alongside newly promoted partner Ja’Ann Major. Other key names include firm co-managing partner Sterling Cooke, who handles transactional work, maritime and aviation practice head and Freeport office managing partner Vivienne Gouthro, development and conveyancing expert Sandra Lightbourn, and development specialist Lori Nelson. Renai Martin is the key name at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Melvin; Ja’Ann Major

Other key lawyers:

Sterling Cooke; Vivienne Gouthro; Sandra Lightbourn; Lori Nelson; Renai Martin


‘We’ve been working with Higgs & Johnson for many years on various real estate backed transactions. The team is highly experienced and always a pleasure to deal with. The partners turnaround deals efficiently and accordingly, allowing us to provide our clients with superior service. From simple to complex real estate transactions, Higgs is our first choice.’

‘Stephen Melvin and Lori Nelson are two partners we work with most and they provide an exceptional level of service. Very attentive to our requests and always turn around deals quickly.’

‘The firm’s response time is excellent and the partners are technically strong. We are working primarily with Stephen Melvin who has been excellent. Another partner Lori Nelson works with our clients and she too has been strong.’

Lennox Paton

As a noteworthy name for resort and residential developments in Nassau and the Family Islands, Lennox Paton counts a range of corporate and high-net-worth individuals as clients. David Johnstone leads the real estate, resort development and private client departments and is a go-to name for resort developers for acquisitions, financings, regulatory issues and planning work. Nateisha Anderson-Bain is a key contact for property sales and acquisitions, and Chelon Carr-Newbold focuses on development work, project financing issues and master planning matters. Jamie Liddell was promoted to the partnership in 2023 and Brynae McKay is the main associate to note.

Practice head(s):

David Johnstone

Other key lawyers:

Nateisha Anderson-Bain; Chelon Carr-Newbold; Jamie Liddell; Brynae McKay

Key clients

FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas) Limited

Atabey Development Company Limited

Flinders Property Development Ltd/Marec Development Ltd

Access industries Inc (AI Land Bahamas Ltd)

Royal Island Bahamas Ltd

Concept Companies Ltd (Florida)

London Regional Group Hotel Holding’s Ltd

McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes

McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes’ real estate practice excels across commercial and residential real estate mandates, covering transactional, development and regulatory issues. The group’s work encompasses the purchase and sale of a variety of properties, including cays and islands, resorts, vacation homes and private residences; it also advises on conveyancing matters, leases, hotel and resort developments, and project financing advice. Kimberley Rolle leads the department and focuses on transactions and developments, while group vice chair Alexander Christie also assists with financing work. Timothy Eneas KC is a key contact for conveyancing issues and litigation, while Gia Sands is active in the tourism and leisure sectors, and newly promoted partner Vanessa Hall acts for developers and high-net-worth individuals and families.

Practice head(s):

Kimberley Rolle

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Christie; Timothy Eneas KC; Gia Sands; Vanessa Hall


‘The team has a proven track record with regard to real estate transactions and resort development work. They have superior knowledge of Bahamian laws and an excellent grasp of government policy. The team has good relationships with the government and other private sector stakeholders. Each team member possesses superior communication skills and are known for their business friendly approach to their practice.’

‘Kimberley Rolle – Kim is an experienced attorney who communicates well and can be relied on to provide well-thought-out solutions to legal issues.’

‘Timothy Eneas KC was very insightful and helped get everything taken care of. Tim was extremely helpful letting me know what was needed to complete the sale, and truly went above and beyond. If we ever decide to buy in the Bahamas again, I will definitely be seeking his help.’

‘Gia Sands – Gia is a sharp, confident and highly responsive attorney. You can depend on Gia to draft and provide thorough review and analysis of legal documents. She has excellent communication skills and sticks to time commitments.’

Key clients

Pineapple Grove Limited

Neworld One Bay Street Limited

Terralaw Ltd.

Sandy Ground Development Ltd.

Mylor Caribbean Development Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a developer in relation to the development of a marina, resort and residential venture.
  • Acting on behalf of a developer on the establishment of the legal framework for its condominium units and acting on its behalf in the sale of such units.
  • Acting on behalf of a developer with respect to facilitating its proposed development of a residential property.