Solicitors governing body: The Bahamas Bar Association
Financial regulator: The Central Bank of The Bahamas
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
The Bahamas is a tax haven, with no income or corporate tax and only a slight levy on payrolls, and its legal system is based on English common law. The Securities Commission of the Bahamas has trained employees, with help from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, in the detection of financial crimes. For all these reasons, The Bahamas is considered a good place for companies, banks, and funds to undertake financings and corporate transactions.
The jurisdiction has a flourishing offshore banking sector and a small number of sophisticated law firms specialising in banking, corporate, commercial, funds, and regulatory matters. Although the Bahamas is geographically large, encompassing over 700 islands, its professional services and sectors are highly integrated.
The country is on the threshold of regulatory changes whose ramifications are hard to exaggerate. The implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) in 2018 means that The Bahamas will no longer provide financial data to partner jurisdictions upon request, as it has done under Tax Information Exchange Agreements, but will do so automatically.
Higgs & Johnson is a regional firm with a strong local office that is active in lending, capital markets and M&A work.
The firm’s recent work is confidential but included a mix of lending work, where it had roles for borrowers and lenders, M&A deals including real estate transactions, and debt capital market transactions.
“Good. Zarina Fitzgerald, my main contact, is commercial and a pleasure to deal with. I therefore recommend her to colleagues who need assistance with other matters in The Bahamas.”
“Very practical legal knowledge combined with astute legal view of the local environment.”
“The firm's work is of the highest quality. They understand the sector and because they have worked with us for so many years, they understand our relationships with our customers. They take this point of view into their interactions with our customers and our customers' attorneys.”
“Karen's work is of very high quality. Her advice is practical. She doesn't over service which is appreciated. I am very satisfied with her work and her availability to assist us when needed.”
“Outstanding general practitioner. He knows his stuff in general. Able to advise on a wide variety of issues affecting doing business in the Bahamas. His advice is always practical. He's a go-to lawyer for resolving / progressing local matters.”
Lennox Paton is a tier one financial and corporate firm.
In recent banking work the firm also advised a borrower on a real estate financing and lender on a financing in a confidential sector.
M&A has been an active area for the firm this research period. The firm has advised buyers, sellers and joint venture parties on deals in oil and gas, consumer goods and services and tourism.
Recent Deal Data highlights
• Hemisphere International Properties €774.8 million financing
• Parkland Fuel $1.21 billion acquisition of SOL
• Sapura Energy / OMV joint venture
Financial services regulatory
"We are very pleased with the quality of services provided by Lennox Paton. They are very responsive in matters. We have access to several associates and partners within the firm. They continue to provide us with ongoing legislative updates via seminars and they do an excellent job in keeping us informed of industry developments."
"The firm has a very strong financial services practice the broad experience in banking and finance, private client work and regulations."
"Very good, clear opinion and practical."
"Very efficient and knowledgeable. We have had a few delays on matters recently, so he may need some assistance with his workload."
"Practical, useful, clear advice."
McKinney Bancroft & Hughes is a top tier firm for financial and corporate work. Work over the research period includes advising a buyer on due diligence related to an acquisition in the oil sector, a mortgagee on a credit facility, a shipping company on promissory notes, and a collateral agent on a financing.
“Service is great. Very knowledgeable, professional, creative and most of all you feel they have your back and on your side in all aspects. They endorse and keep you in line with everything and not just do their job. You feel they care above than mandatory. Couldn’t find any weaknesses as much as I am usually a criticiser and finds flaws easily. I can appreciate a good package of service when it comes because it hardly exists.”
“Extremely objective, efficient and highly professional litigation team with profound knowledge of trust and commercial legal matters.”
“Great accessibility. Easy to reach.”
“Explain the issues very well.”
"Highest standard of client servicing, professional, objective and efficient management of litigation matters with the highest level of legal knowledge and strategic thought process."