HIGGS & JOHNSON hosted its annual client seminar on Thursday, 10 November, 2016 under the theme ‘Best Practices for Success in Challenging Times’. Welcome remarks were given by Oscar N. Johnson, Jr., Global Managing Director. Minister of Financial Services, the Hon. C.V. Hope Strachan, in her opening remarks, noted that The Bahamas is in a competitive fight for its very existence as an international financial centre and success can be achieved if all stakeholders fight together to remain effective in protecting the integrity and soundness of the industry.
Bahamian Partner, Paul Davis, spoke on the topic Survival of Offshore Businesses. He highlighted the current challenges faced by offshore businesses with respect to the Automatic Exchange of Information and the opportunities that are available to clients.
Tara Cooper Burnside, Partner (The Bahamas), spoke on the topic Corporate Insolvency in The Bahamas – Where are we Now?. She elaborated on the current developments in Bahamian insolvency law, including recent legislative changes and cases. She addressed the concern as to whether or not the laws are sufficiently sophisticated to address the needs of financially distressed companies.
Gonzalo S. Zeballos, Partner at Baker Hostetler in New York was invited to speak on Universalism and the US Cross-Border Insolvency Law. He provided some history of insolvency law as it pertains to cross-border issues, the elements and shortcomings of territorialism and how universalism in a modified state may be better suited for future cases. He also elaborated on the use of Chapter 15 as a way to facilitate cooperation between US courts and foreign bankruptcy proceedings.
The seminar concluded with a panel discussion on Data Protection & Cyber Security for the Future. Panelists included Portia J. Nicholson, Partner and Kendrick Knowles, Systems Administrator of Higgs & Johnson along with Gowon Bowe, Group Financial Officers for Fidelity Bank & Trust International Limited. This discussion centered around the fact that as we continue to operate in a digital world, decreasing risks of exposure to client data remains a top priority. Each panelist shared from their unique perspective as attorney, information technology specialist and client in tackling this ever present issue.
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.
Sponsors of the Higgs & Johnson seminar included H&J Corporate Services Ltd. and H&J Fiduciary Services Ltd., both of which are affiliates of Higgs & Johnson.