Practice groups

...a ‘very strong player’ who is noted as ‘very intelligent and has a good reputation.’
Chambers Global 2020

Christel Sands-Feaste is a partner in the law firm of Higgs & Johnson, based in The Bahamas, where she leads the firms practice groups in financial services, securities, investment funds, and Fintech.

A highly regarded lawyer for her specialist expertise in advising on financing transactions, securities (in The Bahamas and international capital markets), securitisations, and investment fund structuring, Christel has also developed a keen interest and expertise in emerging digital assets and related Fintech.

In addition to transactional work, Christel regularly advises clients on company legal issues including licensing and compliance matters as well as general corporate and operational activities.

Christel is ranked Tier 1, Band 1 in the General Business Law Category in Chambers Global legal directory, as a “Highly Regarded” attorney in The Bahamas in IFLR1000, and is included in the IFLR1000 Women Leaders List for her outstanding contribution as a female lawyer. She has been recommended as a ‘leading individual’ by Legal 500 Caribbean (Commercial Transactions) and Global Law Experts (Mergers & Acquisitions Law).

In 2014 Christel was honored to receive The Bahamas Financial Services Board’s (BFSB) award for ‘Financial Services Development & Promotion’ in recognition for her work as a member of the working group responsible for introducing the Bahamas Investment Condominium (ICON) a groundbreaking and innovative legal structure.

Christel is a Director of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation, and Co-chairperson of its’ Ease of Doing Business Division and a member of the Fiscal Responsibility Council. She is a member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors, the Investment Funds Working Group of the Bahamas Financial Services Board and the Nassau Chapter of Links Incorporated. She previously served as a Director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board and as Vice Chairman of the Bahamas Hospitals and Health Care Facilities Licensing Board. Christel has also served as Vice President – legal for a family office and a leading Bahamian development company.

Industry sectors

  • Banking
  • Financial Services
  • Investment Management
  • Fintech
  • Hospitality
  • Utilities

Education

  • University of Reading (LL.B.), Reading, England
  • London School of Economics & Political Science (LL.M.), London, England

Bar admissions

  • England and Wales, 1998
  • The Bahamas, 1998

Professional memberships

  • The Honorable Society of the Middle Temple
  • Bahamas Bar Association
  • International Association of Gaming Advisors
  • Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (Director)
  • Bahamas Financial Services Board (former Director)

Languages

English

Community

The Nassau Chapter of Links Incorporated

Experience

Recent transactions in which Christel has been involved include:

  • Acted for the issuer and a public utility in a proposed $535,000,000 securitization transaction that will be the first of its kind in the country.
  • Acted for lenders in a £85,000,000 refinancing transaction secured in part by a world renowned sporting facility.
  • Acted for the issuers in a US$45,000,000 letter of credit facility involving a publicly listed company in the energy sector.
  • Acted for a financial institution in connection with the restructuring of a group of investment funds to comply with the recently enacted Investment Funds Act, 2019 and the Investment Funds Regulations, 2020
  • Advised a prospective purchaser on the acquisition of a financial services business in The Bahamas.
  • Advised a vendor in connection with the management buy-out of a multi-jurisdictional financial services business, with a presence in The Bahamas.
  • Acted as Bahamian Counsel for a client acquiring a stem cell therapy clinic; involved in advising on all aspects on the transaction including contractual review and advising on regulatory and tax matters; obtaining all required approvals.
  • Acted as Bahamian Counsel in connection with a transaction involving (i) a $500MM first priority secured note facility and (ii) a $134MM second priority secured note facility. Involved with advising the Note Purchasers on all Bahamian matters relating to both facilities including: reviewing loan, security and corporate documentation, drafting security documentation and perfecting security.
  • Counsel for the Developer on Bahamian issues relating to a resort development, including government and regulatory approvals, real estate and other issues. Phase 1 of a multi-phased Project is estimated at $100,000,000. The Project will be operated by a five star hotel operator and will be the largest of its kind on the relevant Island in The Bahamas.
  • Advised on the formation and establishment of a Cryptocurrency Investment Fund.

Recognition

  • IFLR1000 Women Leaders (2021-2022)
  • Legal 500 Caribbean, ‘Leading Individual’
  • Top ranked by Chambers Global
  • Top ranked by IFLR1000
  • Recommended by Global Law Experts in Mergers & Acquisitions Law
  • Bahamas Financial Services Board’s (BFSB) award for Financial Services Development & Promotion
Praised by clients for ‘showing great skill and capability in working with multidisciplinary teams of both local and foreign personnel’.
IFLR1000 (2021-2022)

Christel Sands-Feaste is a partner in the law firm of Higgs & Johnson, based in The Bahamas, where she leads the firms practice groups in financial services, securities, investment funds, and Fintech.

A highly regarded lawyer for her specialist expertise in advising on financing transactions, securities (in The Bahamas and international capital markets), securitisations, and investment fund structuring, Christel has also developed a keen interest and expertise in emerging digital assets and related Fintech.

In addition to transactional work, Christel regularly advises clients on company legal issues including licensing and compliance matters as well as general corporate and operational activities.

Christel is ranked Tier 1, Band 1 in the General Business Law Category in Chambers Global legal directory, as a “Highly Regarded” attorney in The Bahamas in IFLR1000, and is included in the IFLR1000 Women Leaders List for her outstanding contribution as a female lawyer. She has been recommended as a ‘leading individual’ by Legal 500 Caribbean (Commercial Transactions) and Global Law Experts (Mergers & Acquisitions Law).

In 2014 Christel was honored to receive The Bahamas Financial Services Board’s (BFSB) award for ‘Financial Services Development & Promotion’ in recognition for her work as a member of the working group responsible for introducing the Bahamas Investment Condominium (ICON) a groundbreaking and innovative legal structure.

Christel is a Director of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation, and Co-chairperson of its’ Ease of Doing Business Division and a member of the Fiscal Responsibility Council. She is a member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors, the Investment Funds Working Group of the Bahamas Financial Services Board and the Nassau Chapter of Links Incorporated. She previously served as a Director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board and as Vice Chairman of the Bahamas Hospitals and Health Care Facilities Licensing Board. Christel has also served as Vice President – legal for a family office and a leading Bahamian development company.

Industry sectors

  • Banking
  • Financial Services
  • Investment Management
  • Fintech
  • Hospitality
  • Utilities

Education

  • University of Reading (LL.B.), Reading, England
  • London School of Economics & Political Science (LL.M.), London, England

Bar admissions

  • England and Wales, 1998
  • The Bahamas, 1998

Professional memberships

  • The Honorable Society of the Middle Temple
  • Bahamas Bar Association
  • International Association of Gaming Advisors
  • Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (Director)
  • Bahamas Financial Services Board (former Director)

Languages

English

Community

The Nassau Chapter of Links Incorporated

Experience

Recent transactions in which Christel has been involved include:

  • Acted for the issuer and a public utility in a proposed $535,000,000 securitization transaction that will be the first of its kind in the country.
  • Acted for lenders in a £85,000,000 refinancing transaction secured in part by a world renowned sporting facility.
  • Acted for the issuers in a US$45,000,000 letter of credit facility involving a publicly listed company in the energy sector.
  • Acted for a financial institution in connection with the restructuring of a group of investment funds to comply with the recently enacted Investment Funds Act, 2019 and the Investment Funds Regulations, 2020
  • Advised a prospective purchaser on the acquisition of a financial services business in The Bahamas.
  • Advised a vendor in connection with the management buy-out of a multi-jurisdictional financial services business, with a presence in The Bahamas.
  • Acted as Bahamian Counsel for a client acquiring a stem cell therapy clinic; involved in advising on all aspects on the transaction including contractual review and advising on regulatory and tax matters; obtaining all required approvals.
  • Acted as Bahamian Counsel in connection with a transaction involving (i) a $500MM first priority secured note facility and (ii) a $134MM second priority secured note facility. Involved with advising the Note Purchasers on all Bahamian matters relating to both facilities including: reviewing loan, security and corporate documentation, drafting security documentation and perfecting security.
  • Counsel for the Developer on Bahamian issues relating to a resort development, including government and regulatory approvals, real estate and other issues. Phase 1 of a multi-phased Project is estimated at $100,000,000. The Project will be operated by a five star hotel operator and will be the largest of its kind on the relevant Island in The Bahamas.
  • Advised on the formation and establishment of a Cryptocurrency Investment Fund.

Recognition

  • IFLR1000 Women Leaders (2021-2022)
  • Legal 500 Caribbean, ‘Leading Individual’
  • Top ranked by Chambers Global
  • Top ranked by IFLR1000
  • Recommended by Global Law Experts in Mergers & Acquisitions Law
  • Bahamas Financial Services Board’s (BFSB) award for Financial Services Development & Promotion