Jacy Whittaker

For Jacy Whittaker, the key to winning cases is being abundantly overprepared. Jacy gears up for war on everything. The litigator never walks into a courtroom without more research, more evidence, and more potential angles than warranted.

This over-preparation allows him to think on his feet, building confidence—and the court’s regard—through each winning application, writ, submission, and hearing. Rather than being exhausted by sheer volume, the youthful lawyer becomes even more invigorated. After all, he lives to argue—and win.

Jacy enrolled in law school (University of Buckingham, and later Inns of Court School of Law), then joined Callenders & Co., where he worked side-by-side with a legendary Queens Counsel on multiple matters—including one of the Bahamas’ most monumental matters. Six years later, he and partner Arthur K. Parris, Jr. left to form ParrisWhittaker.

Jacy has since added commercial transactions, probate law, admiralty law, and corporate structuring, re-structuring, and formation to his list of capabilities. He acts as local counsel for a handful of international companies.

In addition to his practice, Jacy is one of the most active members of the Grand Bahama business community. He is director, advisor, or committee chair for numerous boards, including the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Rotary International, Freeport Law Society, and Salvation Army. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, and Bahamas Bar Association and a member of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Bar.

Qualifications:

– Inns of Court School of Law, 2005
– University of Buckingham, LLB (Hons), 2004

Memberships:

– England & Wales, Barrister (2005)
– The Bahamas, Attorney-at-Law & Notary Public (2007)
– American Bar Association, Associate Member (2007)
– Ontario Bar Association, Associate Member (2008)
– Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Bar, Attorney-at-Law (“BVI”) (2013)

Industry Associations:

– Council Member, Bahamas Bar Association (2017 to present)
– Director of Legal & Foreign Affairs, Bahamas Federation of Performing Arts (2017 to present)
– Legal Advisor, Hope Ball Committee (2016 to present)
– Director, Freeport Law Society (2015 to present)
– Advisory Board, The Salvation Army (2014 to present)
– International Services Committee Director, Rotary International (Grand Bahama Sunrise Club) (2011-2012)
– Chairman of Public Relations, Rotary International (Grand Bahama Sunrise Club) (2011-2012)
– Director, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (2011-2013)
– Ethics & Legislative Committee, Chairman, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (2011-2013)
– Police Liaison, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (2011-2013)
– International Trade Committee, Member, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (2011-2013)
– Fundraising Committee, Member, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (2011-2013)

Firm Overview:

ParrisWhittaker is a local law firm founded by two top lawyers: Arthur Parris, real estate/commercial expert, and Jacy Whittaker, a litigator with extraordinary energy and an outstanding track record. With the addition of partner Kenra Parris-Whittaker, the firm has a combined 70 years of experience, and brings a new level of energy and commitment to the Bahamian legal market.

Vivienne M. Gouthro

Mrs. Vivienne M. Gouthro is a corporate and commercial lawyer with experience in chambers in England, Spain, Gibraltar and The Bahamas. She is chair of the firm’s Maritime and Aviation Practice Group and specializes in ship and international finance, acting primarily for financial institutions and providing legal advice on complex international finance matters and commercial acquisitions and sales. She also assists ship owners with the registration of pleasure yachts and large commercial vessels on the Bahamian Register of Ships.

Vivienne is also a part of the firm’s Commercial Law Practice, Real Estate and Development Practice, Private Client and Wealth Management Practice and Intellectual Property Practice Groups and counsels clients in the sale and purchase of real estate and related financing as well as on matters relating to Wills, Probate and Administration of Estates, Intellectual Property and Immigration Law. She acts for some of the major local banks and local hotels and has assisted in the purchase and financing of large developments.

After four years at Higgs & Johnson’s Nassau chambers, Vivienne moved to Freeport to reopen the firm’s offices in Freeport, Grand Bahama. She became a Partner of the firm in 2002 and currently serves as the managing partner of the Freeport office. Her practice extends to provide a full range of corporate services to clients through the firm’s affiliate, H&J Corporate Services Ltd., including the incorporation and licensing of local companies.

Vivienne earned an LL.M. from Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London and a B.A. (Hons) in English and Spanish Law from the University of Kent in England and Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. She was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1993 and completed her pupillage in Gibraltar. In December 1995 she joined Higgs & Johnson’s Nassau office as a Registered Associate. Vivienne was called to the Bahamas Bar in September 2007

Shipping Law Practice:

The Bahamas is the world’s third largest shipping registry and clear leader in tonnage of passenger ships. The firm has acted in the registration and financing of much of the tonnage presently on the Bahamian Registry. The Cayman office is also experienced in registering pleasure yachts and commercial vessels and has strong links with the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry Member of the Red Ensign Group of British Registries and holds a Category 1 status, which facilitates the registration of vessels of any size or type provided that quality standards are met.

The firm works with the leading shipping Firms in London and elsewhere to provide efficient and cost effective service to shipping clients. With an awareness of time pressures which usually accompany these transactions, the Shipping department is organised to accommodate these time constraints

Higgs & Johnson:

Higgs & Johnson, a leading law firm in The Bahamas, is also one of the country’s oldest and largest, with an international reputation for sound legal advice that spans more than half a century. Distinctive among top Caribbean law firms, Higgs & Johnson is a full-service commercial practice that gives personal and reliable service to our clients built on exceptional experience, insight and excellence.

On 1 January 2009, Higgs & Johnson became the first Bahamian law firm to expand outside of The Bahamas through its merger with the Cayman law firm Truman Bodden & Company. This merger showcases the first law practice to straddle both The Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. The Cayman office is a general legal practice and has particular expertise in mutual funds, offshore investment vehicles, captive insurance and capital markets transactions, insolvency, civil litigation and real estate.

Since its independence from Great Britain in 1973, The Bahamas has been governed by a written constitution that proclaims it a Sovereign Democratic State, establishes requirements for citizenship and guarantees fundamental human rights. The Bahamas is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. The system of Government is based on the British Westminster model. The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, including a Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, with final appeals to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in England.

The firm’s affiliates, H&J Corporate Services, Ltd., H&J Corporate Services (Cayman) Ltd., H&J Management Services Ltd., and H&J Fiduciary Services Ltd. provide a full range of company formation and estate management services, respectively.

Languages: English, Spanish, French, Bahasa Malaysia, Afrikaans, Mandarin

Diane Stewart

Diane Stewart is an experienced litigation partner, and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, whose areas of expertise include Commercial and Civil Litigation, Liquidations, Banking, Trusts, Insurance and Family Law.

Following her education at York University in Toronto, Canada and the University of the West Indies, Mrs. Stewart entered articles of clerkship with Mr. Winston Saunders and was called to the Bahamas Bar in 1985.

Mrs. Stewart regularly advises the firm’s institutional as well as individual clients in domestic and cross border disputes and on administrative and public law matter. She has frequently appeared before the Courts of first instance and the Bahamian Appellate courts in a broad range of commercial and civil matters. Mrs. Stewart also has an extensive family law practice.

Mrs. Stewart is an Associate Lecturer and Tutor at the Eugene Dupuch Law School. Further she has regularly been throughout her career the guest speaker and presenter of papers on varied public and private law issues.

She currently serves as a Director of FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas) Limited and FirstCaribbean Finance Corporation and is a former member of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission of the Bahamas.

About McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes:

McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes is one of the largest and oldest firms in The Bahamas and conducts an extensive international and domestic practice from its offices in the cities of Nassau and Freeport.

Each client of the firm is the responsibility of an individual lawyer, through whom the collective expertise and resources of the firm become available. While each client’s work is handled on a personal basis, the high degree of interchange of information and cooperation between individual attorneys ensures that the client’s work is effectively supervised and guided within the firm to the appropriate areas of expertise.

The firm is The Bahamas member of Lex Mundi, a Global Association of 118 Independent Law Firms that represent over 60 countries. High professional standards of performance and quality representation are the main membership selection criteria. Through the effective and efficient professional association of Lex Mundi, the firm is able to respond to requirements for legal services throughout the markets of the world and virtually every country.

The firm is engaged in the General Practice of Law and is well equipped to advise on and deal with the widest range of legal matters and services.

Simone Fitzcharles

Simone Fitzcharles is a Partner in the Litigation and Insolvency and Restructuring Groups. She specialises in commercial law and is regularly instructed by leading international law firms and diverse clients to handle matters involving the law of trusts, contract, company, insolvency, banking, enforcement of foreign judgments, civil aspects of commercial fraud and asset recovery. When required, she acts in multi-jurisdictional cases which call for careful coordination of talents with foreign legal or other professional teams.

Simone commenced her studies at Florida Memorial University in Miami, Florida where she graduated in 1989 with a First Class Honours B.A. degree in Criminal Justice in 1989. She went on to earn an LL.B. degree with Honours from the University of the West Indies, Barbados. Thereafter, she did Bar School training and in 1994 obtained a Certificate of Legal Education with top academic awards in Trial Advocacy from the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad. In 1994 Simone was admitted to The Bahamas Bar.

Before joining Lennox Paton in 1998, Simone worked at another Bahamian firm with a wide practice range encompassing both civil and criminal aspects of the law. She also worked at Cititrust (Bahamas) Limited handling Latin American trust issues.

She has been a Partner at Lennox Paton since 2003.

Simone is a member of The Bahamas Bar, INSOL and the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation.

She is an accomplished speaker and writer. She has been a guest panellist at a number of trust and financial services conferences over the last 7 years, organised by English chambers and solicitors for presentation in The Bahamas. She is also the author of several internationally published articles on aspects of insolvency and trust law for such publications the INSOL World Quarterly Journal, International Law Office and the Global Insolvency and Restructuring Yearbook.

Simone is an enthusiastic supporter of the performing arts in The Bahamas. She acts as corporate counsel and secretary for The Nassau Music Society, a charitable organisation. She is also a tutor for Project Read Bahamas, a Rotary Club-sponsored project for the promotion of adult literacy

Litigation Law Practice:

The Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group at Lennox Paton specialises in chancery and commercial litigation and disputes. The Litigation Group is focused on providing practical solutions to complex problems. Clients benefit from the firm’s vast experience in complex commercial litigation.

By reason of our recognised “proactive and responsive” service, the team is consistently recommended by Chambers Global.

Members of the team appear regularly at First Instance, Court of Appeal and Privy Council level. The team has been involved at all levels in some of the largest offshore cases in recent times.

The depth and experience of our team of lawyers and paralegals, including a presence in London, enables the firm to lead and co-ordinate complex multi-jurisdictional disputes. We have long standing working relationships with many of the leading international law firms and leading firms in offshore jurisdictions in which we do not have a presence.

Equally, our specialisation, flexibility and focused approach allows us to tailor our services to suit individual clients’ needs and resources. The same expertise that we bring to the large cases is applied to the benefit of all clients, regardless of the size of the matter.

Members of the Litigation Group have appeared on behalf of a broad range of clients including bank and trust companies, foreign governments, government agencies, multinational corporations and financial institutions, as well as private clients, domestic companies and individuals

Lennox Paton:

Lennox Paton is a leading offshore commercial law firm with offices in The Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, and London. It is widely recognised for its expertise, professionalism, responsiveness and commitment to excellence. We have a team of multi-faceted lawyers whose diverse backgrounds and talents contribute valuable knowledge, experience and creativity to the firm and its clients.

The firm’s thorough knowledge of the business and legal environment enables it to attend professionally and effectively to its client’s affairs. Lawyers in the firm are frequent contributors to various professional journals, speakers at conferences and seminars, members of Government and industry appointed task forces, committees and statutory bodies and are published authors.

The firm represents numerous financial institutions, both domestic and international, which complements the firm’s large and diversified private client practice.