HIGGS & JOHNSON hosted its annual client seminar on Wednesday 1 October 2014 under the theme ‘Bankruptcy, Inheritance & Taxes’. Welcome remarks were given by Dr. Earl A. Cash, Partner and Chair of the Private Client & Wealth Management group. Minister of State for Finance, the Hon. Michael Halkitis, in his opening remarks noted that The Bahamas would be entering into a new era once Value Added Tax (VAT) is introduced but emphasized that the government would also focus efforts on the more efficient collection of existing taxes.
The first session, ‘Insolvency: A Tale of Two Islands’ was co-presented by Partner, Tara Cooper Burnside (Bahamas) and Senior Associate, John Harris (Cayman Islands). This joint presentation reviewed both the Bahamian and Caymanian statutes on international insolvency and recognition of foreign proceedings. The speakers explained the development of English common law as it relates to insolvency matters and gave relevant case law examples.
Bahamian Associate, Alexandra Hall spoke on the topic ‘VAT: Facts for Financial Services.’ She highlighted the impact of VAT in the financial services area and discussed the likely challenges to be faced by the sector.
Gennette Faust, Associate of Greenberg, Traurig spoke on the topic ‘Practical FATCA’. She elaborated on the practical aspects of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and discussed FATCA classification of non-US trusts and their underlying companies. Gennette focused on issues facing practitioners making such classifications and the compliance options which exist once an entity has been classified.
The seminar concluded with an interactive segment called ‘Family Feud: Disputes Over the Last Will & Testament of Henry Higgins-Johnson.’
In its ongoing effort to promote education in The Bahamas, Higgs & Johnson sponsored the attendance of faculty and students of both the UWI/COB Law Degree program and the Eugene Dupuch Law School.