Firm Profile > McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes > Freeport, Bahamas

McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes
PO BOX F-40437

Corporate law (including banking, finance and M&A) Tier 2

Working in conjunction with the firm’s litigation department, the corporate team at McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes has considerable experience across a range of commercial and corporate law matters. In addition to day-to-day advice including assisting with entity establishments and management issues, the group handles regulatory compliance matters relating to liquidations, estate and tax planning work, credit facilities, bond reductions, debt restructurings and corporate restructuring. Names to note are senior partner John Wilson QC, transactional specialist Campbell Cleare III and Kimberley Rolle, who sits as chair of the corporate and commercial transactions practice. The team’s client roster ranges from ultra-high-net-worth individuals and domestic corporations to large multinational companies. April Turner, who leads the financial services and regulation practice, and senior associate Gia Sands are also key names to note.

Practice head(s):


‘We have always received a fully professional service, especially in respect to the companies law. We have always received competent and precise support in respect of our actions. The team of McKinney Bancroft & Hughes consist of the qualified persons, who complement each other. That makes us feel fully supported and secured and we are more than happy to entrust McKinney Bancroft & Hughes with our matters. Undoubtedly, McKinney Bancroft & Hughes are a recommendable firm.’

‘April Turner’s conscientiousness makes her stand out. She pays attention to the point of her clients view and always provides the favourable solution to them.’

‘Efficient and all work together well with clients interest at heart. They consult with each other to provide the best possible service and have members on the team that specialise in different areas.’

‘I came to MB&H because of Campbell Cleare who I’ve know for many years. When I began to need legal advice and assistance I knew there was nowhere else for me to go but to this man who had built an outstanding career and reputation. I trust no one more with my personal legal needs. Campbell is well respected in the community and give solid well thought out advice and follows thru in a timely manner.’

‘Gia Sands has become a lawyer that I am very comfortable with and trust. Gia is always available to discuss issues. I can call on her day or night. Gia is quick to respond and quick to see things get done. Gia is kind but firm and operates with caution to ensure advice given is good and proper. I am extremely pleased with Gia’s work and her work ethic.’

‘Deal with Campbell Cleare, Gia Sands and April Turner. They are all knowledgeable in how to address matters and find solutions in a very friendly, responsive, knowledgeable manner.’

‘My lawyer Mr Campbell Clear is someone I trust and respect. I know he works on my behalf. Mr. Cleare has given me sound advice and acts quickly to deal with my various issues. Along with Mr. Cleare I am grateful for Gia Sands who is always available , gives good sound advice in a timely manner. I trust them both completely with any and all my business and personal affairs.’

Key clients

RAV Bahamas Ltd.

Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation

Lyford Holdings N.V.

Neworld One Bay Street Limited

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Led by the experienced John Wilson QC, who has carved out a strong arbitration practice in the region, McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes specialises in commercial litigation. Shareholder disputes, contractual claims, trust litigation and insolvency mandates are key pillars of the practice, which also has particular expertise in the insurance, financial services and construction sectors. Acting as chair of the firm’s trust and private client practice, Sean Moree represents multinational corporations and ultra-high-net-worth families in a range of commercial and trust disputes including derivative actions, third-party claims and restructurings. Other key names include Genell Sands, who is active before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and Kevin Moree, who co-leads the tax and trade practice group.

Practice head(s):


‘Partner Vanessa Lee Smith is not only an outstanding solutions oriented lawyer, she is very responsive to all our legal needs.’

‘I have found that my representation is done with my interest at heart. Good sound advice is always offered and recommendations made to help resolve issues rather than prolong them.’

‘Extremely pronounced technical skills. Solution driven approach Client management skills.’

‘The quality of service rendered by John Wilson QC and the tenacity and dedication with which he inspires his direct Associates to roll up their sleeves and defend the clients’ best interest.’

‘Prompt access and profound knowledge of local legislative framework. Solid strategic thought process and positioning of the appropriate case law for the positive outcome of the disputes.’

‘I think they have the most respected litigation practice in the country, decades of experience and therefore great research capacity. They do thorough work and you get what you pay for. Hardly any firm in the Bahamas can match their set of skills and capacities.’

‘Sean Moree – very fast, great wealth of knowledge, especially on Bahamas jurisdictional issues. Despite his fairly young age he already has great experience and ties his firm’s specialists well into a case team if needed.’

‘Kevin Moree worked hard in the case. He always kept the client updated on the matter. Kevin deserves recommendation for sure.’

Key clients

Private Trust Corporation Limited

Lyford International Bank

EFG Bank Bahamas

Executors of the Estate of James Martin

Butterfield Trust

First Caribbean International Bank (Bahamas) Ltd.

Real estate Tier 2

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):


‘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


McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes is one of the largest and oldest firms in The Bahamas

McKINNEY, BANCROFT & HUGHES is one of the largest and oldest firms in The Bahamas and conducts an extensive international and domestic practice from its offices in the cities of Nassau and Freeport. Established in 1945, the Firm’s philosophy of delivering superior levels of service by industry specialists was established by its founding partners, Donald McKinney, Sir Oswald Bancroft and Sir Leonard Knowles. Dr. Colin A. Hughes joined the partnership in 1947 following the departure of Sir Leonard Knowles and the Firm was restyled McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes.

Since its inception McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes has grown from a small practice of three attorneys with a support staff of three to a team of over thirty attorneys with a support staff of more than one hundred.  Originally housed in a single office in the Boyle Building, downtown Nassau, in 1990 the firm moved to offices located on George Street in the heart of Nassau. McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes also has offices at Lyford Cay in Western New Providence and in Freeport, the nation’s second city, on the Island of Grand Bahama.

Each client of the firm is the responsibility of an individual lawyer, through whom the collective expertise and resources of the firm become available. While each client’s work is handled on a personal basis, the high degree of interchange of information and cooperation between individual attorneys ensures that the client’s work is effectively supervised and guided within the firm to the appropriate areas of expertise.

The Firm is The Bahamas member of Lex Mundi, a Global Association of over 160 Independent Law Firms that represent over 60 countries. High professional standards of performance and quality representation are the main membership selection criteria. Through the effective and efficient professional association of Lex Mundi, the Firm is able to respond to requirements for legal services throughout the markets of the world and virtually every country.

Founded principally as a corporate and commercial firm, today McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes is engaged in the general practice of law and services its clientele through the expertise of its attorneys in over 35 practice areas.

Department Name Email Telephone
Trusts & Private Client John F. Wilson 1 (242) 322-4195
Competition Law Kimberley A. Rolle 1 (242) 322-4195
Family Law Justine A. Smith 1 (242) 322-4195
Real Estate Lourey C. Smith 1 (242) 362-7723
Admiralty, Shipping & Aviation H. Campbell Cleare, III 1 (242) 322-4195
Banking & Finance J. Oliver Liddell 1 (242) 322-4195
Tax & Trade Beatrice E. Miranda 1 (242) 322-4195
Immigration H. Campbell Cleare, III 1 (242) 322-4195
Litigation & Dispute Resolution John F. Wilson 1 (242) 322-4195
Corporate & Commercial Lourey C. Smith 1 (242) 362-7723
Foreign & Local Investment H. Campbell Cleare, III 1 (242) 322-4195
Labour & Employment Justine A. Smith 1 (242) 322-4195
Financial Services & Regulation April N. Turner 1 (242) 322-4195
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Aisha Smith  photo Ms Aisha Smith Aisha Stuart-Smith is the Resident Managing Partner at the Freeport Office of…
Lex Mundi
The Legal 500
Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)

John F Wilson QC, Senior Partner at McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes

We are delighted that our Senior Partner John F Wilson QC has once again been named as one of the top Wealth Management lawyers in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas by Chambers & Partners High Net Worth (HNW) Guide.

Having a BABY and WORKING from home during COVID

For most of us, the pandemic has been a time of change. Many switched to working from home with little or no notice; we were mandated to stay inside for most of the day and could not see the friends and family we rely on for support. But for three of the attorneys at McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes, there was an extra challenge in the form of a new baby.

Having a BABY and WORKING from home during COVID 2

For most of us, the pandemic has been a time of change. Many switched to working from home with little or no notice; we were mandated to stay inside for most of the day and could not see the friends and family we rely on for support. But for three of the attorneys at McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes, there was an extra challenge in the form of a new baby.

Having a BABY and WORKING from home during COVID

For most of us, the pandemic has been a time of change. Many switched to working from home with little or no notice; we were mandated to stay inside for most of the day and could not see the friends and family we rely on for support. But for three of the attorneys at McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes, there was an extra challenge in the form of a new baby.