Bahamas: Celebrating 50 Years of Success and Independence
Cultivating a close working relationship that understands the importance of listening, sensitivity and responsiveness to clients has served Higgs & Johnson exceptionally well over three quarters of a century, as Oscar N. Johnson, Jr., K.C., Co-Managing Partner, explains.
PR: What is the history of your firm and its strengths and competitive advantages?
ONJ: Higgs & Johnson is a full-service law firm, and we practice in four principal areas: dispute resolution; real estate and development; private client and wealth management; corporate and commercial. The firm has grown to 104 members, 37 lawyers, and 19 partners. The firm is committed to practicing at the highest level providing exemplary client service with the highest level of technical proficiency. The firm doesn’t look at its activity as just being of a professional nature, but it looks at its activity as being of a community based nature, whereby we view ourselves as being an integral part of the community, engaging the community at various levels. We look forward to continued growth, but the growth and success of the firm is really predicated upon its core activities which are expressed through values that have been imbued to all the members of the firm over many years; which is to give exemplary client service at the highest level of technical expertise, and we think that has been the principal reason why the firm has developed the way that it has.
PR: What opportunities do you see emerging for your firm in 2023 and beyond?
ONJ: We are looking internally to adjust our corporate philosophy to align with new global realities that are emerging. We always seek to ensure that we capitalize on all the competencies within the firm because we have a very skilled base of members who have particular skill sets or have developed particular experience that is important to the growth and development of the jurisdiction. We practice on an international level and with the large multinational law firms from around the world. In particular, we are looking to ensure that we focus on client centered services by leveraging the technology that is present and is developing, without losing the rapport and positive relationships with our clients. The key strengths really are that the Bahamas is, and always has been, very focused on ensuring that the businesses which operate from within the Bahamas have the means and the environment within which to thrive by reducing unnecessary regulation, ensuring that infrastructure is in place that enables business to thrive be it technological infrastructure, or the service based human capital, and the legislative framework that facilitates the growth and development of businesses and businesses being nimble and able to react to changes in the external environment. Those factors are the strengths which have enabled businesses to thrive from within the Bahamas and within the domestic economy of the Bahamas, and certainly those are some of the principal factors that have enabled Higgs & Johnson to thrive and to grow; and we seek to take advantage of that environment to grow and to expand our services. We have four offices within the Bahamas in the principal business centers. We look to do our part in ensuring that the legal services that are required to engender the growth in the economy are readily available and provided at the highest level.
PR: Why is the Bahamas such a popular choice for investors and developers of real estate?
ONJ: A principal reason is the weather is fantastic year-round. There are beautiful beaches and great food, all within an environment that is clean and pristine. Many people come for those reasons; and when they arrive and get situated, they find communities that meet all of their needs, that provide all of the amenities that a high-net-worth individual would look to have to complement their lifestyle.
PR: What is your final message to readers about choosing the Bahamas as their next investment and business destination?
ONJ: The Bahamas is a wonderful place to live, work and invest. Notwithstanding that we are a small emerging market country, we have always been viewed as one of the leading international business and financial centers and we welcome FDI. The financial services sector of the Bahamian economy is marked by the strong PPP. This partnership has contributed to keeping the associated legal framework current and responsive thereby accommodating the changing requirements of investors and enabling the country to foster increased business activity. We offer a well regulated, stable and attractive investment climate by ensuring the ease and effectiveness of doing business in the Bahamas.