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Described as ‘a leading and well respected law firm both in the country and abroad,’ Higgs & Johnson is highly regarded in the areas of corporate law, dispute resolution and real estate in the 2022 edition of Legal 500 Caribbean. The Guide noted the firm’s capabilities and expertise in: (i) cross-border transactions, financings and M&A in the finance, utilities, telecoms, hospitality and oil and gas sectors; (ii) cross-border litigation, asset recovery claims, trust disputes, financial services and regulatory claims, insolvency and restructuring mandates, employment cases and tax proceedings; and (iii) representing international and Bahamian developers on resorts, cruise ship developments, mixed-use developments, condos and marina properties.

The Guide commended the Firm’s Commercial practice for its ‘great experience in how international business can be best conducted’ with clients praising the team for being ‘very responsive and commercially oriented.’ The ‘reactive and reliable’ Litigation practice ‘stands out by name and reputation’ and was lauded for being ‘responsive, adaptive, collaborative, creative and very easy to work with.’ Higgs & Johnson was noted for having ‘one of the best real estate legal teams in The Bahamas’ with the Real Estate practice reciveing further praise for its ‘sound reputation for professionalism, knowledge, experience and high levels of service.

Rankings & Recommendations

Senior Partner, Philip C. Dunkley, QC, remains one of the most distinguished dispute resolution practitioners in the country who has represented clients in their complex litigation and transactional matters for almost 50 years.

Ranked as a ‘leading individual’, Co-Managing Partner, Oscar N. Johnson, Jr., has close to 40 years of experience practicing a full range of Corporate and Commercial law specializing in complex commercial and civil litigation, admiralty law, insurance and employment law..

Co-Managing Partner, Sterling H. Cooke, is a ‘recommended’ corporate and real estate attorney who is praised by clients for being ‘always accessible’ and appreciated for his ‘understanding of the local real estate market and being available to talk to clients and other law firms if warranted.’

Seasoned litigation partner, Vann P. Gaitor, is a ‘recommended’ attorney with significant experience in the areas of commercial disputes, real property disputes, employment, banking, interlocutory applications of various kinds and civil procedural law.

Partner and Chair of the Maritime Practice Group, Vivienne M. Gouthro, is ranked as a ‘leading individual’ and described by clients as ‘very honest, hardworking and patient’ receiving further praise for her ‘thorough knowledge and prompt response.’

Zarina M. Fitzgerald, Partner and Chair of the Commercial Transactions Practice Group, is ranked as a ‘leading individual’ and praised by clients for ‘delivering careful and thoughtful advice in a timely manner’ and commended for being ‘very responsible and attuned to commercial practice.’

Partner and Real Estate Chair, Stephen J. Melvin, is a seasoned real estate attorney, recognized as a ‘leading individual’ and praised by clients as an ‘outstanding lawyer who provides the quality of legal work needed in a complex environment’.

Described as an ‘excellent litigator’, Partner and Chair of the Litigation practice group, Tara Archer-Glasgow is ranked as a ‘leading individual’ with clients describing her as ‘exceptional to work with’ and noting she has a ‘great personality.’ Tara is respected for her ‘openness and honesty as a lawyer’ and commended for ‘understanding the needs of the individual client, providing clear advice, grounded in the law, and for being extremely responsive.’

Recommended in the area of Dispute Resolution, Litigation Partner, N. Leroy Smith, is a chancery litigator with over 20 years of experience specializing in trust and estates, complex commercial disputes and employment law.

Chair of the Financial Services and Securities practice groups, Christel Sands-Feaste, is consistently ranked as a ‘leading individual’ in corporate law (including banking, finance and M&A) and has over 20 years’ experience in handling domestic and international asset financing mandates, complex corporate structuring issues, securities and investment fund matters.

Described as ‘top drawer’, Commercial Partner and Chair of the Tax Practice Group and Deputy Chair of the Securities Practice Group, Portia J. Nicholson, is lauded for ‘delivering clear and concise advice and utilizing creating thinking when resolving more complicated legal issues.’

Litigation Partner and Deputy Chair of the Insolvency practice group, Tara Cooper Burnside, is a ‘recommended’ attorney in dispute resolution with significant experience in the areas of litigation, insolvency law and financial services.

Karen S. Brown, Partner and Deputy Chair of the Litigation practice group, is a ‘recommended’ attorney in dispute resolution and specializes in Commercial and Civil Litigation, Admiralty Law, Industrial Relations & Employment law and Real Estate law.

Litigation Partner and Deputy Chair of the Trademark practice group, Audley D. Hanna, Jr., is a ‘recommended’ attorney in dispute resolution who is commended by clients for being ‘responsive, thorough and very valuable as an  attorney.’

Alexandra T. Hall, Commercial Partner and Chair of the Government & Regulatory Affairs Practice Group, is ranked as a ’next generation partner’ in corporate law and has over 12 years of experience in local tax law, corporate and commercial law, legal issues relating to resort development and operations and gaming law and regulation.

Senior Associate, Sandra J. Lightbourn, is a ‘recommended’ real estate attorney with over 15 years of experience in Real Estate Development and Conveyancing Transactions, Probate and Estate Matters.

Commercial Associate and Deputy Chair of the Government & Regulatory Affairs Practice Group, Andre Hill, is ranked as a ‘rising star’ in corporate law and his practice centers on Finance, Banking and Commercial Law.

Deputy Chair of the Maritime & Aviation practice group, Keith O. Major, Jr., is praised for his ‘persona, professionalism and legal astuteness’ with clients commending his ‘legal knowledge and understanding’ and noting that he has ‘a very bright future in the legal profession.’

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