Founded on innovation… In January 1948 – at a time when other lawyers in The Bahamas were either in solo or father-and-son practices, Higgs & Johnson’s founders Hon. Godfrey W. Higgs, CBE and friend, Mr. Mervyn Johnson – a former Registrar-General of The Bahamas – established a novel legal partnership. In addition to a long and distinguished career in law and politics, Mr. Higgs holds a place in history for leading the successful defence of Count Alfred DeMarigny in the renowned Sir Harry Oakes murder case of 1943. Messrs. Higgs and Johnson were joined in 1950 by Mr. Geoffrey Johnstone (later Sir Geoffrey), the senior partner of the firm from 1968 to 1998.
The firm has grown steadily since inception, reflecting the development over the same period of The Bahamas itself which, due to the energy and foresight of a number of pioneers, was well marketed. These marketing efforts were directed to capture the imagination of estate planners, tax advisers and other offshore professions and directly led to The Bahamas’ success in realising the large volume of land and resort development, the domiciliation of trusts and management companies, and the provision generally of offshore financial services that has firmly taken hold here.
Strong from its inception in areas of property and commercial law, the firm was able to play a leading role in many of these developments with the legacy today of being eminently well placed to provide comprehensive services throughout a wide spectrum of commercial, trust and financial matters.
A few highlights follow: in 1999, the year that well respected commercial litigator, Mr. Philip C. Dunkley became Senior Partner, the firm re-opened its second office at Freeport, Grand Bahama; Higgs & Johnson opened its third office at Lyford Cay in 2001, an internationally renowned residential community and financial district at the western end of New Providence; in 2006, the firm moved its main offices to Ocean Centre, a state-of-the art business facility at Montagu Foreshore on East Bay Street; 2007 saw the opening of its third office in Marsh Harbour, Abaco. In 2008, Higgs & Johnson celebrated 60 years of continuous practice under the same name.
On 1 January 2009, Higgs & Johnson became the first Bahamian law firm to expand outside of The Bahamas through its merger with the Cayman law firm Truman Bodden & Company. This merger showcases the first law practice to straddle both The Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.
Truman Bodden & Company, located in the heart of George Town, Grand Cayman, started practicing law over 35 years ago when formed by a local attorney Mr. Truman Bodden. A prominent political figure, he was a former Acting Attorney General (1970 – 1972), variously a member of the Legislative Assembly, a Minister of a number of Government portfolios including Aviation (responsible for Cayman Airways) and Leader of Government Business (1976 – 1984 & 1992 – 2000). The Cayman firm is a general commercial practice and has particular experience in mutual funds, offshore investment vehicles, captive insurance and capital market transactions.
Higgs & Johnson is committed to remaining at the forefront of the profession, providing quality legal services. We continue to be proud of our history and faithfully adhere to the honoured values of the firm’s founder.