Godfrey Winston Hinds

Corporate law is the body of laws, rules, regulations and practices that govern the formation and operation of corporations. It’s the body of law that regulates legal entities that exist to conduct business. The laws touch on the rights and obligations of all of the people involved with forming, owning, operating and managing a corporation.

What’s a corporation?

A corporation is a legal entity that exists to conduct business. It’s a separate legal entity from the people who make it. A corporation can conduct business in its own name just like any person can. When a person owns a part of a corporation, their liability is limited to their ownership in the corporation. They can’t lose more than their investment in the corporation.

The major characteristics of corporate law

There are five principles that are common to corporate law:

1. Legal personality

Corporation owners pool their resources into a separate entity. That entity can use the assets and sell them. Creditors can’t easily take the assets back. Instead, they form their own entity that acts on its own.

2. Limited liability

When a corporation gets sued, it’s only the corporation’s assets that are on the line. The plaintiff can’t go after the personal assets of the corporation’s owners. A corporation’s limited liability allows owners to take risks and diversify their investments.

3. Transferrable shares

If an owner decides they no longer want a share in the corporation, the corporation doesn’t have to shut down. One of the unique features of a corporation is that owners can transfer shares without the same difficulties and hassles that come with transferring ownership of a partnership. There can be limits on how shareholders transfer ownership, but the fact that ownership can be transferred allows the corporation to go on when owners want to make changes.

4. Delegated management

Corporations have a defined structure for how they conduct their affairs. There’s a board of directors and officers. These groups share and split decision-making authority. Board members hire and monitor officers. They also ratify their major decisions. The shareholders elect the board.

Officers handle the day to day operation of the company. They’re the leaders for conducting transactions and making the business run each day. With a defined leadership structure, parties that do business with the corporation have the assurances that actions of officers and the board of directors are legally binding on the corporation.

5. Investor ownership

Owners have a say in making decisions for the corporation, but they don’t directly run the company. Investors also have the right to the corporation’s profits. Usually, an owner has decision-making authority and profit sharing in proportion to their ownership interest. Owners typically vote to elect board members.

Why do corporate laws exist?

The laws and rules that govern corporations keep all corporations operating on a level playing field. Corporate law is meant to be friendly for business. It’s not meant to make it harder to get things done. The laws exist to make it easier for corporations to do business. Rules that govern forming a corporation and rules for how to take corporate actions are meant to help business and make things fair for everyone. They make sure that corporations act in predictable ways that others can rely on.

Who are the people involved in a corporation?

A corporation has many different players. Not everyone who works for or interacts with a corporation is an owner. Some of the key people involved in the operation of a corporation include:

  • Owners – A person who invests in a corporation is an owner. Typically, the larger share of the corporation that you own, the more say and control you have over decisions. Owners are also often called shareholders.
  • Directors – Directors oversee the activities of the corporation. Usually, they vote on major decisions. They’re typically elected by the owners, but they don’t necessarily have to follow popular opinion when they vote.
  • Officers – The officers in a corporation handle the most significant day to day decision making. They take direction from the board of directors on major decisions.
  • Employees – Employees carry out the day to day functions of a corporation for pay.
  • Creditors and debtors – When people and other companies do business with a corporation, they’re the corporation’s creditors and debtors.

Corporate law is civil

Corporate law is civil law. It’s not generally not criminal law. When there are disputes, the corporation’s officials can go to the appropriate civil court in order to resolve the dispute. Of course, officers and employees can still face criminal liability for fraud and other criminal acts. However, the laws that govern the formation and operation of corporations are generally a civil body of law with civil remedies.

Who practices corporate law?

Most corporate lawyers work for medium or large law firms. That’s because the legal needs of a corporation of appreciable size are significant. A corporation may need advice and help with a diverse set of issues. A large law firm typically has the resources and attorneys with diverse skill sets in order to meet whatever needs the corporation might have. A corporation might call on their lawyers to know every aspect of the laws that might impact the corporation including the formation of the corporation, governance, contracts, shareholder activity and making the appropriate reports to the Security and Exchange Commission.

Corporation leaders typically prefer to have one-stop shopping for their corporate needs. They also tend to prefer a long-term relationship with the attorneys they work with. Medium and large law firms allow large corporations to meet their needs conveniently through a long-term relationship with their law firm.

With corporations throughout the United States and the world, corporate lawyers work everywhere. It’s also one reason why large firms might have multiple offices throughout many jurisdictions in the country and in the world. Lawyers who focus on corporate law must know the subtleties that might apply in the various jurisdictions where the corporation has offices or conducts business.

In house counsel

Because all corporations of any appreciable size have significant corporate needs, some corporations choose to meet this need by employing lawyers directly with the company. Hiring lawyers to work as employees and work exclusively for the company is called using in-house counsel. A lawyer who works as in-house counsel for a corporation may advise the corporation on a wide variety of matters that relate to corporate law and business activity. A large corporation might find it convenient to have lawyers in offices down the hall who are personally invested in the well being of the corporation.

Solo and small firm corporate lawyers

There are some corporate lawyers who work by themselves or in a small firm. They might focus on the business needs of smaller corporations or start-ups. A corporate lawyer in a small or solo practice might build their client base with smaller corporations who operate in the geographic area. They might help a corporation get started but refer litigation to another firm. A corporation might want to use a smaller law firm if it’s compatible with their needs.

Why become a corporate lawyer?

Corporate lawyers help companies conduct business. They help corporations do business better. Lawyers who like to read and write might enjoy corporate law. Lawyers in this area of practice have to understand and use a complex body of rules and regulations. For lawyers with great reading and reasoning skills, corporate law can be a challenging fit.

A corporate lawyer may represent a corporation throughout the lawyer’s entire career. They might see the corporation through many years of business. Lawyers who prefer a long-term client base might appreciate the long-term working relationships that can form with corporate leaders in this area of practice.

Practicing corporate law

Corporate law is a foundation of economic activity. Corporate lawyers help corporations form and help them do business. A lot of their work is foreseeing problems before they start and helping the corporation take steps to avoid things that can be problematic. Practicing corporate law offers a challenging and sound career for attorneys who can tackle complex concepts and exercise sound judgment.

Rita Evans

Rita Evans was admitted to the Bar in October, 2000. Rita practices Criminal Law, Wills & Estates, Conveyancing and Mortgages, Family Matters, Personal Injury Matters, Civil Litigation (Magistrates & High Court), Company Incorporation and Small Business Registration, Debt Collection.

Education:

The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), Law
1995 – 1998

Harrison College, St. Michael, Barbados
1984 – 1990

Wills & Estates Law Practice:

A term used by the law to describe that part of the law which regulates wills, probate and other subjects related to the distribution of a deceased person’s estate.

Although the term ‘estate’ is not restricted to the law of property; it relates to the deceased, the term ‘estate law’ has evolved to refer, primarily, to the law as it relates to:

– The property of the deceased;
– Of persons who cannot manage their affairs because of age (child), physical or mental infirmity and who would have their estate extracted from their person and managed separately; or
– The management of property which is being held beneficially for a person (trusts).

A law firm which professes to specialize in estate law is one who deals mostly with wills, probate and trust cases.

Distinguished from real estate law which focuses on the law as it relates to real property.

Godfrey Winston Hinds

Corporate law is the body of laws, rules, regulations and practices that govern the formation and operation of corporations. It’s the body of law that regulates legal entities that exist to conduct business. The laws touch on the rights and obligations of all of the people involved with forming, owning, operating and managing a corporation.

What’s a corporation?

A corporation is a legal entity that exists to conduct business. It’s a separate legal entity from the people who make it. A corporation can conduct business in its own name just like any person can. When a person owns a part of a corporation, their liability is limited to their ownership in the corporation. They can’t lose more than their investment in the corporation.

The major characteristics of corporate law

There are five principles that are common to corporate law:

1. Legal personality

Corporation owners pool their resources into a separate entity. That entity can use the assets and sell them. Creditors can’t easily take the assets back. Instead, they form their own entity that acts on its own.

2. Limited liability

When a corporation gets sued, it’s only the corporation’s assets that are on the line. The plaintiff can’t go after the personal assets of the corporation’s owners. A corporation’s limited liability allows owners to take risks and diversify their investments.

3. Transferrable shares

If an owner decides they no longer want a share in the corporation, the corporation doesn’t have to shut down. One of the unique features of a corporation is that owners can transfer shares without the same difficulties and hassles that come with transferring ownership of a partnership. There can be limits on how shareholders transfer ownership, but the fact that ownership can be transferred allows the corporation to go on when owners want to make changes.

4. Delegated management

Corporations have a defined structure for how they conduct their affairs. There’s a board of directors and officers. These groups share and split decision-making authority. Board members hire and monitor officers. They also ratify their major decisions. The shareholders elect the board.

Officers handle the day to day operation of the company. They’re the leaders for conducting transactions and making the business run each day. With a defined leadership structure, parties that do business with the corporation have the assurances that actions of officers and the board of directors are legally binding on the corporation.

5. Investor ownership

Owners have a say in making decisions for the corporation, but they don’t directly run the company. Investors also have the right to the corporation’s profits. Usually, an owner has decision-making authority and profit sharing in proportion to their ownership interest. Owners typically vote to elect board members.

Why do corporate laws exist?

The laws and rules that govern corporations keep all corporations operating on a level playing field. Corporate law is meant to be friendly for business. It’s not meant to make it harder to get things done. The laws exist to make it easier for corporations to do business. Rules that govern forming a corporation and rules for how to take corporate actions are meant to help business and make things fair for everyone. They make sure that corporations act in predictable ways that others can rely on.

Who are the people involved in a corporation?

A corporation has many different players. Not everyone who works for or interacts with a corporation is an owner. Some of the key people involved in the operation of a corporation include:

  • Owners – A person who invests in a corporation is an owner. Typically, the larger share of the corporation that you own, the more say and control you have over decisions. Owners are also often called shareholders.
  • Directors – Directors oversee the activities of the corporation. Usually, they vote on major decisions. They’re typically elected by the owners, but they don’t necessarily have to follow popular opinion when they vote.
  • Officers – The officers in a corporation handle the most significant day to day decision making. They take direction from the board of directors on major decisions.
  • Employees – Employees carry out the day to day functions of a corporation for pay.
  • Creditors and debtors – When people and other companies do business with a corporation, they’re the corporation’s creditors and debtors.

Corporate law is civil

Corporate law is civil law. It’s not generally not criminal law. When there are disputes, the corporation’s officials can go to the appropriate civil court in order to resolve the dispute. Of course, officers and employees can still face criminal liability for fraud and other criminal acts. However, the laws that govern the formation and operation of corporations are generally a civil body of law with civil remedies.

Who practices corporate law?

Most corporate lawyers work for medium or large law firms. That’s because the legal needs of a corporation of appreciable size are significant. A corporation may need advice and help with a diverse set of issues. A large law firm typically has the resources and attorneys with diverse skill sets in order to meet whatever needs the corporation might have. A corporation might call on their lawyers to know every aspect of the laws that might impact the corporation including the formation of the corporation, governance, contracts, shareholder activity and making the appropriate reports to the Security and Exchange Commission.

Corporation leaders typically prefer to have one-stop shopping for their corporate needs. They also tend to prefer a long-term relationship with the attorneys they work with. Medium and large law firms allow large corporations to meet their needs conveniently through a long-term relationship with their law firm.

With corporations throughout the United States and the world, corporate lawyers work everywhere. It’s also one reason why large firms might have multiple offices throughout many jurisdictions in the country and in the world. Lawyers who focus on corporate law must know the subtleties that might apply in the various jurisdictions where the corporation has offices or conducts business.

In house counsel

Because all corporations of any appreciable size have significant corporate needs, some corporations choose to meet this need by employing lawyers directly with the company. Hiring lawyers to work as employees and work exclusively for the company is called using in-house counsel. A lawyer who works as in-house counsel for a corporation may advise the corporation on a wide variety of matters that relate to corporate law and business activity. A large corporation might find it convenient to have lawyers in offices down the hall who are personally invested in the well being of the corporation.

Solo and small firm corporate lawyers

There are some corporate lawyers who work by themselves or in a small firm. They might focus on the business needs of smaller corporations or start-ups. A corporate lawyer in a small or solo practice might build their client base with smaller corporations who operate in the geographic area. They might help a corporation get started but refer litigation to another firm. A corporation might want to use a smaller law firm if it’s compatible with their needs.

Why become a corporate lawyer?

Corporate lawyers help companies conduct business. They help corporations do business better. Lawyers who like to read and write might enjoy corporate law. Lawyers in this area of practice have to understand and use a complex body of rules and regulations. For lawyers with great reading and reasoning skills, corporate law can be a challenging fit.

A corporate lawyer may represent a corporation throughout the lawyer’s entire career. They might see the corporation through many years of business. Lawyers who prefer a long-term client base might appreciate the long-term working relationships that can form with corporate leaders in this area of practice.

Practicing corporate law

Corporate law is a foundation of economic activity. Corporate lawyers help corporations form and help them do business. A lot of their work is foreseeing problems before they start and helping the corporation take steps to avoid things that can be problematic. Practicing corporate law offers a challenging and sound career for attorneys who can tackle complex concepts and exercise sound judgment.

George Adolphus Bennett

The Constitution of Barbados is the supreme law of the nation. The constitution was ratified on November 30th 1966 when Barbados became an Independent nation.

As Barbados was a British colony from 1625 to 1966, much of Barbadian law is based on English law. After Independence in 1966 the Barbados parliament became responsible for the passage of new laws and amendments.

The Barbados court system is comprised of: Magistrates’ Courts; Supreme Court (High Court and Court of Appeal); and the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Criminal Laws:

Visitors to Barbados should particularly note these activities which are illegal:

  • Dressing in, or carrying, items made of camouflage material
  • Drugs (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc)
  • Topless sunbathing
  • Prostitution
  • Gambling (excluding slots and lotteries)

What is General Practice Law?

It means that the attorney does not limit their law practice or specialty to one particular area of law. Instead the attorney will practice law in several areas such as criminal law, accident and personal injury law, bankruptcy, business law, family law, estate planning, insurance law, litigation, and real estate.

Roland Jones

Roland Jones is the Founder of Axebridge Corporate Services Limited and has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of Banking, Trusts, Accounting, Wealth Management and International Financial Services. As CEO and Managing Director for the Group, Roland is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the Group. Roland sits on the board of the Axebridge Group of Companies and STEP Caribbean Conference Limited.

He is a chartered accountant, banker and a professional trust professional. Roland is a member of the Certified General Accountants of Canada (CGA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB), the Institute of Canadian Bankers (ICB), the Canadian Tax Foundation. Roland is the Regional Chair of STEP Caribbean and Latin America and was a recent recipient of the STEP Founder’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. Roland has published several articles on trusts and corporate issues for the STEP journal.

Firm Overview:

The Axebridge philosophy is to become a global partner for our clients through various initiatives including structuring and wealth management corporate and private client solutions based on respect, risk management and a thorough understanding of each client’s business and planning model.

We understand that our international clients are driven by the need to continuously grow and understand, creating and sustaining wealth for their families and shareholders and are willing to examine alternative, sometimes out-of the-box solutions to achieve cost efficient and reliable efforts in this regard. We also understand that a partner means not only sharing the successes but helping to resolve some of the failures where is most needed.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson provides innovative solutions for complex legal problems in Barbados. If you require Shane’s services, please use the contact details which are listed above.

Experience:

Principle Attorney
Self employed (Capital Law Chambers)
March 2017 – Present

Attorney at Law
Holder & Co
June 2009 – March 2017 (7 years 10 months)

Education:

The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus
Bachelor of Laws – LLB, Legal Studies, General
2004 – 2007

Queen’s College, Barbados
CAPE Spanish, Literature, History
1997 – 2004

About Barbados:

Barbados is a sovereign island country located in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. It is known around the world for having a strong educational system and a literacy rate near 100 percent, one of the top in the world. It is one of the leading tourist stops in the Caribbean and is one of the region’s most developed islands, so it is no wonder that this is the island of choice for those looking to pursue legal training who want to enjoy the island lifestyle.

The legal system in Barbados follows the British common law legal system. It has a Supreme Court of Judicature as its highest court, and under the Supreme Courts sit magistrate courts. The courts ensure due process is followed in criminal proceedings and help enforce civil rights for the people of Barbados.