Mrs Vivienne Gouthro > Higgs & Johnson > Freeport, Bahamas > Lawyer Profile

Higgs & Johnson
PO BOX F-42519

Work Department

Commercial Transactions, Real Estate and Maritime & Shipping


Partner and chair of the Maritime & Shipping practice group, Vivienne is a corporate and commercial lawyer with experience in chambers in England, Spain, Gibraltar and The Bahamas. Specialising in ship and international finance, Vivienne acts primarily as local counsel for major international financial institutions in the European and Asian markets, providing legal advice on complex international finance matters and all aspects of international maritime transactions and commercial acquisitions and sales. She also guides ship owners through the registration of pleasure yachts and large commercial vessels on the Bahamian Register of Ships.

In addition to her maritime practice, Vivienne has extensive experience in commercial law, real estate and development, private client and wealth management and intellectual property law. She counsels diverse corporate and private clients in the sale and purchase of real estate and related financing, as well as on matters relating to wills, probate and administration of estates, intellectual property and immigration law. Her practice also extends to provide a full range of corporate services to clients, including the incorporation and licensing of local companies and obtaining of all governmental and regulatory approvals. She acts for major domestic banks, hotels and local institutions, and has assisted in the purchase and financing of large developments on the Island of Grand Bahama.


Vivienne earned an LL.M. from Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London, and a B.A. (Hons) in English and Spanish Law from the University of Kent in England and Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. She was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1993 and joined Higgs & Johnson in 1995. She became a Partner of the firm in 2002 and was called to the Bahamas Bar in 2007 when she became a citizen of The Bahamas. 

Vivienne is a Director of FIDA (Bahamas chapter) and Lucaya International School.


Spanish and English


  • The Bahamas Bar Association
  • The Bar Association of England and Wales
  • The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Grand Bahama Chapter- Director since 2004
  • Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA)


  • University of London ,Queen Mary and Westfield College, London, England — LL.M. Commercial and Corporate Law
  • University of Kent, Canterbury, England -B.A.

Lawyer Rankings

Bahamas > Corporate law (including banking, finance and M&A)

(Leading individuals)

Vivienne GouthroHiggs & Johnson

Higgs & Johnson leverages its experience in commercial cross-border transactions to be a go-to name in the Bahamas for a broad range of mandates, with particular knowledge of the finance sector; the group has been notably involved in the development of legislation relating to the financial services and casino gaming industries and has advised on investment fund and trust company regulations. Financing projects also make up a sizeable proportion of the team’s workload along with regulatory and anti-money laundering mandates. Zarina Fitzgerald heads up the commercial transactions group and has recently handled structured finance transactions, M&A and restructuring work, while Freeport office managing partner Vivienne Gouthro leads the maritime and aviation practice. Christel Sands-Feaste leads the financial services and securities, investment funds and fintech groups and is praised as ‘a dynamic attorney‘. Tax practice leader Portia Nicholson and head of the government and regulatory affairs group Alexandra Hall are also active in the practice. Andre Hill was promoted to senior associate in early 2023.

Bahamas > Real estate

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.

Comparative Guides

Bahamas: Aviation Finance & Leasing August 2023 This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of Aviation Finance & Leasing laws and regulations applicable in Bahamas.