Practice groups

N. Leroy Smith is a Partner in the firm’s Litigation practice group in The Bahamas. He joined Higgs & Johnson in 2000, and since that time, Leroy has developed a robust traditional and commercial chancery litigation practice with a particular specialization in trust and estates, complex commercial disputes and employment law.

Leroy is recognised for his thoughtful analysis, judgment and industry; he has earned a reputation for being a formidable advocate who frequently achieves successful outcomes in the most complicated, high value cases. He has significant experience in all stages of litigation including urgent, interim applications, trials and appeals.

His clients include trust companies, investment and retail banks and HNWI’s. The strength of his profile in the legal sector sees him regularly instructed by leading international law firms.

Leroy routinely represents fiduciaries in non-contentious, confidential proceedings (including applications for trustee directions, variation (reformation) of trusts, rectification of Trust documents, interpretation of Wills and for the abolition of perpetuities periods applicable to ‘pre-RAPAA’ trusts) and contentious proceedings (including claims involving allegations of breach of trust/fiduciary duty, fraud, tracing and disputes over the validity of wills and trusts).

Leroy also regularly acts in disputes concerning: (i) the interpretation of and/or performance of commercial contracts, joint ventures, distribution and agency contracts; (ii) banking (iii) real property (including disputes concerning purchase/sale contracts and options, joint ownership, landlord and tenant, trespass, adverse possession and other prescriptive rights and construction disputes); (iv) companies (including shareholder disputes/minority oppression); and (v) defamation.

Leroy’s employment practice is primarily in the Supreme Court in cases involving wrongful/unfair dismissal, claims for contractual bonuses, restraint of trade clauses and breach of confidence and breaches of fiduciary and contractual duties).

Leroy obtained an LL.B. at the University of Southampton and read the Bar Vocational Course at BPP Law School. He was called to Bar of England and Wales and the Bar of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in June 1998 and September 1998, respectively. He subsequently attended University College London where he obtained a Master in Laws (LL.M.) in 1999.

Leroy is a member of The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn. He is accredited by the London School of Mediation as a Civil and Commercial Mediator and he has contributed to Tolley’s International Succession Laws and International Trust and Divorce Litigation. He is ranked by Legal 500 Caribbean.

Education

  • University College of London (LL.M.), London, England
  • University of Southampton (LL.B.) (Hons), Southampton, England

Executive training

  • Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator, London School of Mediation
  • Advanced Certificate in Company Law and Practice, STEP

Bar admissions

  • Bahamas, 1998
  • England and Wales, 1998

Professional memberships

  • The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
  • Bahamas Bar Association

Experience

Recent illustrative examples of his representation leading to successful outcomes include applications/proceedings:

  • for Orders setting aside transactions pursuant to Section 91C of the Trustee Act 1998 (which essentially codifies the ‘Hastings-Bass’ jurisdiction as it obtained pre-Pitt v Holt);
  • for trustee directions variously sanctioning proposals for restructuring of trusts, division and distribution of assets and Beddoes relief;
  • for the variation of trusts including the simultaneous abolition of applicable perpetuities periods;
  • defence of securities transfer agent (for publicly listed company) at Trial in respect of alleged breaches of securities exchange rules;
  • defence of major financial institutions at Trial and on Appeal in respect of alleged constructive dismissals following organisational restructuring;
  • for Norwich Pharmacal relief/disclosure in order to compel governmental agency to release CCTV footage;
  • for permanent injunction orders to restrain interference with resort-owned property;
  • for orders for the committal of trespassers.

Publications

Bahamas chapter, International Trust and Divorce Litigation (3rd Edition, 2019)

Bahamas chapter, Tolley’s International Succession Laws (Tolley, 2005)

 

Recognition

  • The Legal 500 Caribbean, Recommended Lawyer (2020)

N. Leroy Smith is a Partner in the firm’s Litigation practice group in The Bahamas. He joined Higgs & Johnson in 2000, and since that time, Leroy has developed a robust traditional and commercial chancery litigation practice with a particular specialization in trust and estates, complex commercial disputes and employment law.

Leroy is recognised for his thoughtful analysis, judgment and industry; he has earned a reputation for being a formidable advocate who frequently achieves successful outcomes in the most complicated, high value cases. He has significant experience in all stages of litigation including urgent, interim applications, trials and appeals.

His clients include trust companies, investment and retail banks and HNWI’s. The strength of his profile in the legal sector sees him regularly instructed by leading international law firms.

Leroy routinely represents fiduciaries in non-contentious, confidential proceedings (including applications for trustee directions, variation (reformation) of trusts, rectification of Trust documents, interpretation of Wills and for the abolition of perpetuities periods applicable to ‘pre-RAPAA’ trusts) and contentious proceedings (including claims involving allegations of breach of trust/fiduciary duty, fraud, tracing and disputes over the validity of wills and trusts).

Leroy also regularly acts in disputes concerning: (i) the interpretation of and/or performance of commercial contracts, joint ventures, distribution and agency contracts; (ii) banking (iii) real property (including disputes concerning purchase/sale contracts and options, joint ownership, landlord and tenant, trespass, adverse possession and other prescriptive rights and construction disputes); (iv) companies (including shareholder disputes/minority oppression); and (v) defamation.

Leroy’s employment practice is primarily in the Supreme Court in cases involving wrongful/unfair dismissal, claims for contractual bonuses, restraint of trade clauses and breach of confidence and breaches of fiduciary and contractual duties).

Leroy obtained an LL.B. at the University of Southampton and read the Bar Vocational Course at BPP Law School. He was called to Bar of England and Wales and the Bar of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in June 1998 and September 1998, respectively. He subsequently attended University College London where he obtained a Master in Laws (LL.M.) in 1999.

Leroy is a member of The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn. He is accredited by the London School of Mediation as a Civil and Commercial Mediator and he has contributed to Tolley’s International Succession Laws and International Trust and Divorce Litigation. He is ranked by Legal 500 Caribbean.

Education

  • University College of London (LL.M.), London, England
  • University of Southampton (LL.B.) (Hons), Southampton, England

Executive training

  • Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator, London School of Mediation
  • Advanced Certificate in Company Law and Practice, STEP

Bar admissions

  • Bahamas, 1998
  • England and Wales, 1998

Professional memberships

  • The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
  • Bahamas Bar Association

Experience

Recent illustrative examples of his representation leading to successful outcomes include applications/proceedings:

  • for Orders setting aside transactions pursuant to Section 91C of the Trustee Act 1998 (which essentially codifies the ‘Hastings-Bass’ jurisdiction as it obtained pre-Pitt v Holt);
  • for trustee directions variously sanctioning proposals for restructuring of trusts, division and distribution of assets and Beddoes relief;
  • for the variation of trusts including the simultaneous abolition of applicable perpetuities periods;
  • defence of securities transfer agent (for publicly listed company) at Trial in respect of alleged breaches of securities exchange rules;
  • defence of major financial institutions at Trial and on Appeal in respect of alleged constructive dismissals following organisational restructuring;
  • for Norwich Pharmacal relief/disclosure in order to compel governmental agency to release CCTV footage;
  • for permanent injunction orders to restrain interference with resort-owned property;
  • for orders for the committal of trespassers.

Publications

Bahamas chapter, International Trust and Divorce Litigation (3rd Edition, 2019)

Bahamas chapter, Tolley’s International Succession Laws (Tolley, 2005)

 

Recognition

  • The Legal 500 Caribbean, Recommended Lawyer (2020)