Firm Profile > Higgs & Johnson > NASSAU, Bahamas

Higgs & Johnson
P.O. BOX N-3247

Corporate law (including banking, finance and M&A) Tier 1

At Higgs & Johnson, the corporate practice handles the full gamut of commercial, corporate, and banking and finance mandates, with particular expertise in large-scale M&A transactions, high-value financing matters and securitisations involving vessels. Within the broader practice, the commercial transactions group is headed by Zarina Fitzgerald, who has experience in structured finance transactions and initial public offerings, and includes the highly praised Surinder Deal, while Vivienne Gouthro is managing partner of the Freeport office and leads the maritime and aviation group. Christel Sands-Feaste, who is the chair of both the financial services and regulation, and securities and investment funds practice groups, handles asset financing mandates, corporate structuring issues and the structuring and creation of investment funds. Governmental and regulatory approvals are another area of strength for the group, which also advises on anti-money laundering matters and financial services regulatory frameworks. Associate Corey Brown is also highly active in the space.

Other key lawyers:


‘Surinder Deal has been the primary on our business, leading the effort to refinance part of our debt. Her understanding of the very complex financing agreements, our obligations under those agreements, was essential to our ability to refinance the debt and protect our interests.’

‘They provide timely, careful advice that one can rely upon without concern in international transactions. Zarina Fitzgerald exemplifies these qualities.’

Dispute resolution Tier 2

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):


‘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.’

Real estate Tier 3

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):

Other key lawyers:

Firm Overview:
Higgs & Johnson has more than a half-century of experience and is one of the largest full-service corporate and commercial law firms in the Bahamas. The firm’s highly qualified attorneys are among the best in their respective fields as providers of superior, results-oriented legal advice and exceptional personalised service.

Main Areas of Practice:

Higgs & Johnson is engaged in a broad spectrum of international litigation, and accustomed to working with lawyers from other jurisdictions in co-ordinating cross border litigation strategies for client success. In the past decade the group has been involved in some of the most notable international cases, acting as counsel in matters involving substantial sums of money.

Real Estate & Development:
The firm has experience in a variety of real property transactions and has acted in the sale and purchase of an oil refinery, hotels, the establishment of commercial time-share complexes and other substantial commercial properties. A steady stream of individuals in the sale and purchase of residences and private islands are served.

Securities & Investment Funds: The group offers a wide range of services in relation to investment funds, derivatives, capital markets, collective investment schemes and financial products.

Financial Services, Insurance & Regulation: The group has extensive experience in the regulatory and anti-money laundering fields and is well versed in the laws and regulations governing the financial services industry of the Bahamas, currently advising a substantial number of local and international banks, trust companies and securities firms.

Private Client & Wealth Management:
Several of the firm’s attorneys are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), an international organisation of trust practitioners. The firm is accustomed to liaising and working with offshore legal advisors to ensure efficient tax structures, and is an industry leader in Asset Protection Trusts, Private Trust Companies (PTCs), Purpose Trusts, Foundations and Executive Entities.

Insolvency & Corporate Restructuring:
The firm’s comprehensive insolvency group regularly advises on matters concerning the rights of creditors, the best solutions for recovery of creditors’ debts in insolvency matters, and the powers and duties of liquidators and receivers.

Maritime & Aviation
The Bahamas is the world’s third largest shipping registry. The firm has acted in the registration and financing of much of the tonnage presently on the Bahamian Registry. This practice also covers a variety of matters involving clients’ aviation concerns including acquisition and registration of aircraft, aircraft mortgages and the use of corporate structures in multi-jurisdictional transactions to facilitate aircraft leasing and financing, consistent with Western & Middle Eastern financial institutions.

Intellectual Property:
This group focuses on the regulation of rights regarding ideas, trademarks, patents and copyrights. Attorneys are able to advise on the rights to transfer these ideas, and compensation for transaction through licensing fees.

Commercial Transactions:
The Bahamas is a premier International Financial Centres, having a real connection with many large international financing projects. The firm has substantial experience as advisers on all aspects of financing projects.

Company Formation & Management:
H&J Corporate Services Ltd. is a premier provider of corporate administrative services both to local and international clients. H&J Management Services Ltd. provide company formation and property management services. H&J Fiduciary Services Ltd. provides registered representative services for PTCs in The Bahamas. Visit

The firm’s clients are local and international banks, global law and accountancy firms, trust companies, investment firms, multimillion dollar touristic developments, multinational companies, and high networth individuals.

International Work:
Coupled with strong connections with leading firms in New York, London, Zurich, Geneva, Hong Kong, São Paulo and other commercial centres, Higgs & Johnson has a talented and knowledgeable team of experienced attorneys, with additional administrative, financial and technical support to deliver timely, accurate and relevant service to clients around the world.

Department Name Email Telephone
Litigation Oscar N. Johnson, Jr. 242 502 5200
Photo Name Position Profile
Mrs Tara Archer-Glasgow photo Mrs Tara Archer-Glasgow Tara supervises the Asset Recovery Unit and chairs the Intellectual Property group.…
Mr Sterling Cooke photo Mr Sterling Cooke Partner and chair of the Real Estate and Development practice group, Sterling has…
Ms Surinder Deal photo Ms Surinder Deal Corporate and commercial law, banking law, securities, gaming law, real estate law;…
Ms Zarina Fitzgerald photo Ms Zarina Fitzgerald Chair of the Commercial Transactions group having acted in all aspects of commercial…
Mr Audley Hanna photo Mr Audley Hanna Audley specialises in various areas of Civil and Commercial Litigation, with a…
Mr Oscar Johnson, Jr.  photo Mr Oscar Johnson, Jr. Global Managing Director
Mrs Portia Nicholson photo Mrs Portia Nicholson Portia is a Corporate and Commercial lawyer with over 31 years’ experience.…
Mrs Christel Sands-Feaste photo Mrs Christel Sands-Feaste Experience in corporate and commercial law, asset financing, resort development and operations,…