Higgs & Johnson’s Private Wealth practice is receiving honours from leading rankings agencies, underscoring the team’s longstanding reputation as a frontrunner in the private client arena in The Bahamas.
Higgs & Johnson has received a top tier ranking (Band 1) by Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) 2017 Guide, published by global legal services directory Chambers and Partners. Private wealth attorneys Philip Dunkley, QC; Earl Cash; and Heather Thompson are also recognised as leaders in the trust sector by the expert publication. Higgs & Johnson has been top ranked in sister publication Chambers Global (General Business Law and Dispute Resolution) since the publication started covering The Bahamas in 2003.
Citing international private wealth market insiders and clients who describe the firm as “first-class”, “very strong”, and “very highly regarded,” Chambers highlights the firm’s top quality advisory work for trust companies, particularly on the administration and creation of complex private trusts for high net worth individuals and businesses. The firm is “pretty big in private client work, and they’re very good estate planning lawyers,” one source told Chambers.
Market commentators also acclaimed the firm’s individually ranked lawyers.
Senior Partner Philip Dunkley, who is ranked in Band 1, is noted as “a leading litigator on trusts.” His broad practice spans commercial, civil and chancery litigation and private wealth management matters.
Band 2 includes two of the firm’s most widely published trust and estate authorities. Dr. Earl Cash, chair of the firm’s Private Client and Wealth Management group, who advises on the creation and ongoing administration of trusts, was commended for his work with prominent trust companies in The Bahamas, acting as what one client termed a “key adviser.” Chambers notes that Dr. Cash is “well recognised in the trusts and estates community, and lectures and writes on trusts-related subjects.”
Also ranked in Band 2 is Heather L. Thompson, Private Client consultant. Sources note that Ms. Thompson is “well versed in the industry” and “a highly regarded lawyer” with a strong reputation for both trust and company structuring and advisory on one hand and administration on the other. Described as the “mainstay of the firm’s private client section,” Ms. Thompson also has extensive experience with wills, probates, estate administration, foundations and private trust companies.
Partner Stephen Melvin has also been recognised by legal directory Who’s Who Legal – Private Client. For over 20 years, Who’s Who Legal has identified the foremost legal practitioners in business law based on comprehensive, independent research and analysis on the international legal services marketplace. Mr. Melvin has significant experience in foreign direct investment, working with developers and private high net worth clients on the sale and acquisition of hotels, marinas, mixed use resort developments, private islands and cays, private homes and condominium residences. He advises several large international financial institutions on Bahamian regulatory matters and corporate and trust advice on asset structuring through IBCs, PTCs and Family Trusts.