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‘s commercial transactions practice advises on all Bahamian aspects of cross-border transactions, financings and M&A, with particular expertise in the finance, utilities, telecoms, hospitality and oil and gas sectors. The firm has also been active in drafting legislation and works closely with the relevant regulatory agencies to develop the jurisdiction’s financial services law; it also has notable expertise in issues relating to counter terrorist financing and anti-money laundering matters. Vivienne Gouthro, Zarina Fitzgerald and Christel Sands-Feaste jointly lead the practice; Gouthro also leads the firm’s maritime and aviation group, Fitzgerald is ‘very responsible and attuned to commercial practices‘ and Sands-Feaste leads the financial services and securities and investment funds practices. Other key individuals include Portia Nicholson, who leads the firm’s newly formed tax group; Alexandra Hall, who leads the recently established government and regulatory affairs group; co-managing partner Sterling Cooke and associate Andre Hill.

Bahamas > Real estate

Handling a wide variety of real estate transactions, Higgs & Johnson primarily acts for international and Bahamian developers on resorts, cruise ship developments, mixed-use developments, condos and marina properties. The team also counts financial institutions and private individuals on its client roster, which is advises on property sales and acquisitions and the related title work, and also leverages the expertise of the firm’s in-house search department, which handles conveyancing issues. Stephen Melvin now leads the real estate and development group, taking over from Sterling Cooke, who is now co-managing partner of the firm: Cooke still maintains an active real estate practice. Other individuals include Vivienne Gouthro, who leads the maritime and aviation group; and senior associate Sandy Lightbourn.

Comparative Guides

Bahamas: Aviation Finance & Leasing July 2022 This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Aviation Finance & Leasing laws and regulations that may occur in Bahamas.
Bahamas: Shipping November 2021 This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Shipping laws and regulations that may occur in Bahamas.