HIGGS & JOHNSON hosted its annual client seminar on Thursday 18 October 2012 under the theme ‘Changing Times: Ensuring Success in a New Era’. Welcome remarks were given by Oscar N. Johnson, Jr., Managing Partner of the firm. The Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, Prime Minister, then gave a speech emphasizing what is needed for ensuring success of the financial services industry and outlined new legislation which will allow The Bahamas to meet the needs of its clients.
The first session, ‘Requests for Financial Information: Appropriate Responses’ was presented by Tara Cooper Burnside, Partner at the firm. She provided insights with regard to suitable responses to different types of request for financial information typically received by clients. She also discussed protective provisions in current legislation for financial institutions which have to disclose information.
Higgs & Johnson’s Senior Partner, Philip C. Dunkley, QC, spoke on the topic ‘Asset Recovery from Complex Trust Structures’. He discussed the use of trusts and vehicles by fraudsters and explained how trusts are broken down to enable asset recovery. He indicated the jurisdictional barriers and challenges faced and provided practical considerations that should be taken into account by practitioners.
Associate, Dwana Davis-Imhoff, elaborated on the topic ‘Decoding “Dishonest” Investment Directions: Interpreting the Meaning through Case Studies’. She explained the difference between ‘dishonesty’ and ‘fraud’ as set out by the Trustee Act and provided examples of dishonesty and analyzed a case study showing how to identify a dishonest investment direction.
Jillian Chase-Jones, Senior Associate, discussed ‘The Best of the BEE: Its Uses and Advantages’.She gave an overview of the new financial services structure the ‘Executive Entity’ also known as the BEE. She illustrated practical applications of the BEE, highlighted its flexibility and a variety of advantages and benefits to clients./p>
The seminar concluded with a panel discussion on ‘Increasing Transparency and Information Exchange – What Does This Mean for the Future of Financial Services in International Financial Centres.’ The moderator for this segment was Heather L. Thompson, Partner at Higgs and Johnson. Panelists were James Smith CBE, JP – Chairman of Colina Financial Advisors Limited; Mark Scheer – Shareholder of Gunster Law firm in Miami; and Tom Mylott – Senior Associate in the Cayman Islands office of Higgs & Johnson. The panelists answered a number of questions posed by the moderator pertaining to a multitude of international and inter-governmental initiatives. The panelists exchanged ideas and discussed experiences garnered in their respective jurisdictions.
In its ongoing effort to promote education in The Bahamas, Higgs & Johnson sponsored the attendance of faculty and students of both the College of The Bahamas Law Degree program and the Eugene Dupuch Law School.
Sponsors of the Higgs & Johnson seminar included H&J Corporate Services Ltd. and First Bahamas Title Insurance Agency.