Latest updates

Extinguishment of purchasers' rights – importance of priority in unregistered land systems
  • Real Estate
  • Bahamas
  • 21 June 2019

The Bahamas has an unregistered land system that is based on the conveyancing laws of England and Wales issued before 1925. Therefore, deeds and documents should be recorded in the Registry of Records in The Bahamas as soon as possible. Priority becomes particularly important in high-net-worth commercial and condominium development transactions.

Extinguishment of purchasers' rights – importance of priority in unregistered land systems
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 20 June 2019

The Bahamas has an unregistered land system that is based on the conveyancing laws of England and Wales issued before 1925. Therefore, deeds and documents should be recorded in the Registry of Records in The Bahamas as soon as possible. Priority becomes particularly important in high-net-worth commercial and condominium development transactions.

Government reopens negotiations on overflight fees and airspace management
Callenders & Co
  • Aviation
  • Bahamas
  • 19 June 2019

The Bahamas' flight information region airspace comprises tens of thousands of miles and is subject to significant overflight activity. Moreover, it is one of the most important airspaces and is worth millions in revenue. To further enhance the civil aviation sector, the government is seeking to create a self-funded and sustainable management programme in order to collect overflight fees, while paying the US Federal Aviation Administration a fee for the management of its airspace.

Register of Beneficial Ownership Act: a new day for beneficial owners
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 09 May 2019

Since 2001 international organisations such as the Financial Action Task Force have pressured offshore financial centres to pass legislation in order to increase transparency within their financial services sectors. As such, the Register of Beneficial Ownership Act recently came into effect in The Bahamas. The act seeks to create a private search registry containing details of beneficial owners of domestic and international companies in The Bahamas.

Great strides made towards enhancing aircraft registry and ratifying Cape Town Convention
Callenders & Co
  • Aviation
  • Bahamas
  • 27 March 2019

The Bahamian government continues to make progress towards enhancing its aircraft registry and ratifying the Cape Town Convention. For example, the Aviation Steering Committee (ASC) recently presented draft legislation to implement the Cape Town Convention to the Attorney General's Office. The ASC expects this draft legislation to be approved and presented to the Cabinet before the next government budget communication in Summer 2019.

Bahamian insolvency regime continues to promote judicial efficiency
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 28 February 2019

The Bahamian legislature continues to examine its existing legislation for ways to promote judicial efficiency by amending and implementing new procedures in its insolvency regime. As the global economy continues to grow and foreign companies and investors increasingly face obstacles arising from the use of offshore structures, the need for cross-border insolvency proceedings and the use of protection afforded to investors will likely continue to increase.

Buying real estate – when to engage an attorney?
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 21 February 2019

After finding the ideal property to purchase, what is the next step? Engage an attorney. An attorney can help to connect real estate buyers with key service providers in order to arrange, among other things, home inspections or insurance. Involving an attorney will make the difference between a smooth transaction that meets the expectations of the buyer versus one that is fraught with issues, unrealistic expectations and other obstacles which could have been avoided with the benefit of early advice and proper planning.

Foreign direct investment in real estate market
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 14 February 2019

Foreign direct investment (FDI) remains one of the key catalysts to the Bahamian economy's growth and sustainability. The Bahamas National Investment Policy seeks to boost the economy through investments and provide favourable returns for investors. To this end, it encourages FDI in key areas in the real estate market, including tourist resorts, upscale condominiums, timeshares and second-homes and marinas.

Change is in the air: implementation of national aviation policy and ratification of Cape Town Convention
Callenders & Co
  • Aviation
  • Bahamas
  • 19 December 2018

For the first time, The Bahamas has embarked on an ambitious project to develop a national aviation policy to better coordinate and facilitate civil aviation activities to, from and within the country. Further, the ratification of the Cape Town Convention will better position The Bahamas as a key player in the global industry in terms of financing and leasing aircraft and will allow the country to compete in the aviation industry on a global level.

Offshore drones: a broadening horizon
Callenders & Co
  • Aviation
  • Bahamas
  • 24 October 2018

The Bahamas is ripe with opportunity and well positioned in what has become a new global industry within the civil aviation sector. The numerous remote islands in the country afford many possibilities regarding the operation and testing of drones as they become more sophisticated and start to be used for various operations. Drone operators, whether commercial or recreational, must be mindful of privacy, data collection and use and nuisance.

Preparing for take-off: transforming the civil aviation sector
Callenders & Co
  • Aviation
  • Bahamas
  • 12 September 2018

The Bahamian authorities recently embarked on an ambitious project to reform and enhance the country's civil aviation sector. These efforts will enhance the country's standing in the global arena, where aviation is experiencing considerable and dynamic growth. Such growth will benefit not only the country's civil aviation sector, but also its financial services and private sectors.

Supreme Court evaluates scope of trustees' protection in contentious trust litigation
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 09 August 2018

The Supreme Court recently assessed the protection afforded to trustees by virtue of Section 83 of the Trustee Act 1998, which provides that a trustee cannot be bound or compelled by way of discovery to disclose information and documents about a trust. In Dawson-Damer, a trustee had used Section 83(8) as a basis to refuse a disclosure request. The applicant's case was built primarily on the allegation of a breach of duty (ie, the trustee had failed to consider the applicant's needs).

Supreme Court evaluates scope of trustees' protection in contentious trust litigation
Lennox Paton
  • Litigation
  • Bahamas
  • 07 August 2018

The Supreme Court recently assessed the protection afforded to trustees by virtue of Section 83 of the Trustee Act 1998, which provides that a trustee cannot be bound or compelled by way of discovery to disclose information and documents about a trust. In Dawson-Damer, a trustee had used Section 83(8) as a basis to refuse a disclosure request. The applicant's case was built primarily on the allegation of a breach of duty (ie, the trustee had failed to consider the applicant's needs).

Payment of preferential debts out of assets subject to floating charge not permitted
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 26 October 2017

The Supreme Court recently considered whether preferential creditors have any claim against the moneys received by receiver-managers for the sale of assets subject to a charge. The court determined that a floating charge which crystallised before the making of a winding-up order takes priority over other creditors.

Privy Council clarifies Bahamian law on appealing interlocutory judgments
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 15 June 2017

There has been some debate over the lack of clarity regarding the concurrent jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal as to where and when applications for leave to appeal and stays should be made. A recent Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ruling has clarified this area of the law and given attorneys clear guidance regarding the proper procedure for appealing interlocutory judgments and applying for a stay pending appeal in the Bahamas.

Remittal of assets in cross-border insolvency proceedings
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 20 April 2017

The Bahamas Supreme Court recently considered the relationship between the statutory provisions in recognition proceedings which permit the turnover of property to a debtor (a foreign corporation or other foreign legal entity subject to a foreign proceeding in the country in which it is incorporated or established) and the common law power to direct remittal of assets to the foreign main proceedings where an ancillary liquidation is underway.

Hastings-Bass rule enshrined in law
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 13 April 2017

The recently enacted Trustee (Amendment) Act has clarified the law relating to trustee indemnities and given statutory effect to the rule in Re Hastings-Bass. With the passing of the act, the Bahamas has fortified its position as a leading offshore financial centre. It is expected that the codification of the rule will benefit trustees, protectors, beneficiaries and other persons who can apply to the court to unwind any perceived hard consequences flowing from an exercise of a fiduciary power.

Receiver-managers obtain court's blessing: self-dealing and fair-dealing rules not violated
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 15 December 2016

The joint receiver-managers of the assets of Baha Mar applied to the Supreme Court for a direction that the intended sale of Baha Mar's secured assets to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) would not amount to self-dealing or infringe the fair-dealing rule. The court was satisfied that the sale to the SPV was pursued by the joint receiver-managers in good faith and achieved after adequate precautions were taken to achieve the best price reasonably obtainable at the time.

Bahamian law on disclosure of trust information
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 08 December 2016

The case of Dawson Damer v Taylor Wessing arose out of a dispute between a beneficiary of trusts governed by Bahamian law and a Bahamian trustee. The beneficiary made subject access requests under the UK Data Protection Act 1998 to the trustee's London solicitors who refused to provide the information. This resulted in the beneficiary applying to the court for an order requiring the law firm to comply with the subject access requests.

Legal proceedings stayed in favour of mediation in accordance with Arbitration Act
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 15 September 2016

The Supreme Court recently determined that legal proceedings should be stayed based on the construction of the dispute clause in an arbitration agreement. The court held that there is persuasive authority even where an arbitration clause is discretionary, and that a party retains the option of invoking this authority. It was therefore reasonable for the court to conclude that referral to mediation was contemplated before arbitration proceedings could be pursued.