Practice groups

Noted by market commentators “as one of the top real estate guys,” Stephen is recognised as one of the most prominent real estate lawyers in The Bahamas who regularly assists with high-value transactions.
Chambers Global 2019

Stephen Melvin is a Partner in the firm’s Real Estate & Development practice group and specialises in foreign direct investment and the sale and acquisition of hotels, marinas, and resort developments (mixed use projects). In this niche, Stephen’s clients are international Bahamian property developers, and he has been central to some of the most exciting and largest new projects of this kind presently under construction in The Bahamas. His experience includes involvement in all aspects of the master planning of cruise ports as well as all legal services related to Bahamas Government regulations and applications, including all aspects related to the successful negotiation of Heads of Agreements and obtaining Hotel Encouragement Act Concessions.

On individual sales and acquisitions, Stephen has over the last 20 years acted on behalf of numerous high net worth private clients in respect of their acquisition of private islands and cays, private homes and condominium residences.

Stephen has provided corporate and trust advice on asset structuring through IBCs, PTCs and family Trusts. He also has been involved in numerous matters related to the restructuring of assets for estate planning and tax purposes.

He has acted in matters involving complex real property tax issues and carried out appeals related thereto and has successfully negotiated with the Government on clients’ behalf. He has experience in the administration of local and international estates, specialising in the resealing of Grants issued out of both common law and civil jurisdictions. He also specialises in immigration law with an emphasis on permanent residency and work permit applications.

Stephen joined Higgs and Johnson as an Associate in 1998 and became a Partner in 2006. Based in Nassau, he currently oversees the firm’s Abaco office and has been involved with a number of resorts and developments completed on that island. He is a sitting member of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

Education

  • Bentley University (B.Sc.), Boston, Massachusetts
  • University of Westminster (LL.B. Hons); London, England

Bar admissions

  • England and Wales, 1996
  • Bahamas, 1997

Professional memberships

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

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish (Conversational)

Experience

  • Acted for an ultra-high net worth individual in the purchase of four private islands in The Bahamas at a total value of $90,900,000.00.
  • Acted for a developer of an exclusive high-end mixed use resort valued at $100 million.
  • Acted for an international financial institution, advising on all legal matters including real estate and regulatory issues relating to the introduction of a cross border mortgage product focused on ultra-high net worth clients valued at $100 million.
  • Acted for a major developer who converted a private island into a Cruise Port for a large cruise ship company valued at $180 million.
  • Acted for an ultra-high net worth individual in the purchase of a residential home located in a luxury gated community valued at $35 million.

Recognition

  • Recommended Lawyer, The Legal 500 Caribbean (2019)
  • Leading Lawyer, Chambers Global (2018-2019)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Private Client (2017)
Noted by market commentators “as one of the top real estate guys,” Stephen is recognised as one of the most prominent real estate lawyers in The Bahamas who regularly assists with high-value transactions.
Chambers Global 2019

Stephen Melvin is a Partner in the firm’s Real Estate & Development practice group and specialises in foreign direct investment and the sale and acquisition of hotels, marinas, and resort developments (mixed use projects). In this niche, Stephen’s clients are international Bahamian property developers, and he has been central to some of the most exciting and largest new projects of this kind presently under construction in The Bahamas. His experience includes involvement in all aspects of the master planning of cruise ports as well as all legal services related to Bahamas Government regulations and applications, including all aspects related to the successful negotiation of Heads of Agreements and obtaining Hotel Encouragement Act Concessions.

On individual sales and acquisitions, Stephen has over the last 20 years acted on behalf of numerous high net worth private clients in respect of their acquisition of private islands and cays, private homes and condominium residences.

Stephen has provided corporate and trust advice on asset structuring through IBCs, PTCs and family Trusts. He also has been involved in numerous matters related to the restructuring of assets for estate planning and tax purposes.

He has acted in matters involving complex real property tax issues and carried out appeals related thereto and has successfully negotiated with the Government on clients’ behalf. He has experience in the administration of local and international estates, specialising in the resealing of Grants issued out of both common law and civil jurisdictions. He also specialises in immigration law with an emphasis on permanent residency and work permit applications.

Stephen joined Higgs and Johnson as an Associate in 1998 and became a Partner in 2006. Based in Nassau, he currently oversees the firm’s Abaco office and has been involved with a number of resorts and developments completed on that island. He is a sitting member of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

Education

  • Bentley University (B.Sc.), Boston, Massachusetts
  • University of Westminster (LL.B. Hons); London, England

Bar admissions

  • England and Wales, 1996
  • Bahamas, 1997

Professional memberships

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

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish (Conversational)

Experience

  • Acted for an ultra-high net worth individual in the purchase of four private islands in The Bahamas at a total value of $90,900,000.00.
  • Acted for a developer of an exclusive high-end mixed use resort valued at $100 million.
  • Acted for an international financial institution, advising on all legal matters including real estate and regulatory issues relating to the introduction of a cross border mortgage product focused on ultra-high net worth clients valued at $100 million.
  • Acted for a major developer who converted a private island into a Cruise Port for a large cruise ship company valued at $180 million.
  • Acted for an ultra-high net worth individual in the purchase of a residential home located in a luxury gated community valued at $35 million.

Recognition

  • Recommended Lawyer, The Legal 500 Caribbean (2019)
  • Leading Lawyer, Chambers Global (2018-2019)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Private Client (2017)