©2019 by STEP Caribbean Conference. All rights reserved.

SPEAKERS BIOS

2019 CARIBBEAN

CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Matthew is a Bahamian explorer, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of PO8 the 2018 Inter-American Development Bank Recipient for most innovative Startup. He is also the co-founder FORT NFT PROTOCOL— The Bahamas’ first Blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. Most recently he has also co-developed the first reward based on chain off chain NFT digital collectable called Skully. Matthew is a member of The Non-Fungible Alliance and Stable Coin Association. Prior to PO8 and FORT Matthew was the co-founder of sendmetickets.com, the first English language online ticketing platform in China, acquired by a private equity group in 2012. Subsequently, he turned his interest to cryptocurrencies and became an early adopter by investing in Bitcoin mining. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Matthew has served in various China market-entry advisory roles for the likes of Uber and Wework, as well as advising trade missions from The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Panama and Chile in his role as Council General for Sino-Latam in Beijing. Matthew is an avid public speaker and has lectured on China business culture at leading universities in China and the U.S. He is a graduate of the Tsinghua-MIT Global MBA program and former Vice President Of The Student Union of The University of The Bahamas.

Fort NFT Protocol

MATTHEW ARNETT

COUNSEL

Adam advises on all aspects of Bermuda corporate law. His particular specialisms lie in debt finance transactions, the formation and maintenance of investment funds and the FinTech sector.

Adam has considerable expertise in the areas of fund finance, leveraged and acquisition finance and general lending, whether secured or unsecured. He has also worked on asset finance and structured finance transactions.

In the funds sphere, Adam's practice is largely focused on the formation and maintenance of private equity, infrastructure and real estate funds, including related downstream deal work, although he also has experience in hedge funds and hybrid funds.

Adam is ranked as a "rising star" in IFLR1000.

 

CAREER

Prior to joining Carey Olsen, Adam practised with Mourant Ozannes in the Cayman Islands and Clifford Chance in London and Munich, where his practise was focused on leveraged and acquisition finance and general bank lending. Adam was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, from which he holds a first class degree, and the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität, Bonn.

Adam was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2006 (currently non-practising) and as an attorney in the Cayman Islands in 2010.

Carey Olsen Bermuda

ADAM BATHGATE

Dayra is an attorney by the Catholic  University of Santa Maria la Antigua Law School, in Panama.  In addition to STEP´s Diploma in International Trust Management, (T.E.P 2002) she attended the Yale University School of Management Program for Lawyers (2006) the Quality Management Program at the Universidad Autónoma de Mexico and more recently, in 2018, was Certified in AML by STEP.

 

In 2016, she established AXIOS Law and Axios Trust, a boutique law firm & Trust company based in Panama, where, in her capacity as partner and Managing Director, she advises clients in estate planning instruments, commercial trusts and corporate law.  

 

Her experience in the area of corporate law and estate planning comes from 20 years with the Morgan & Morgan Group (where she served as Director and Deputy Manager of MMG Trust) and 8 years as Managing Director of Icaza Trust Corporation, a licensed trust company affiliated to the law firm of Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán.  During this time, she also served as Executive Director of FINDEC, a Trust funded by the Panamanian Government and the Interamerican Development Bank aimed at the financing of projects for the development of small enterprises in Panama.

 

Dayra also served for 5 years as Chair of the Panama Banking Association´s Committee on Trusts until May 2016, and as Panama´s Banking Association designated Representative before the Latin American Committee on Fideicomisos (COLAFI), where she was elected Deputy Chair in October 2014 and served as Chair from October 2008 through September 2010.  

 

A founder and Chairperson of STEP, Panama Branch, she was later elected as member of the Caribbean and Latin America regional Board, and, in December 2010, she was elected as member of  STEP´s Worldwide Council. In November 2016, Dayra became the first Latin American to be elected as member of the Worldwide Board of Directors of STEP.

 

STEP awarded her the Founder´s Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2010, and the specialized Mexican publication Mundo Fiduciario, selected her as Personalidad Fiduciaria de Latinoamérica in 2014.

 

Through her participation as founder and Director of STEP Latam Conference, she fosters opportunities to train and update Latin American professionals in estate planning related topics.

 

She has contributed to Trusts & Trustees “World Foundation Survey” and is a frequent lecturer on Estate Planning Trusts, Foundations and Commercial Trusts in Panama and abroad.

Axios Law Services

DAYRA BERBEY DE ROJAS

Over the last 20 years Katie Booth has managed the consolidation, preservation and succession of the assets of some of the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs.

Katie is a qualified British solicitor and practised as a private client lawyer with Kingsley Napley in London and Graham Thompson in Nassau, Bahamas. She went on to become a senior director at MeesPierson, NM Rothschild and Butterfield Bank and in the latter role established Butterfield International Private Office in Mayfair, London.

She established her own private client consultancy in London in July 2011 and moved back to the Bahamas in 2014 to develop an independent trust company and family governance advisory practice. She is now the Managing Director of Amber Trust Ltd which she operates from the new Financial Centre at Albany in New Providence.

Katie has been appointed to act as Protector, Private Trust Company Director or family governance advisor for clients from a variety of different geographies and backgrounds.  She provides practical and strategic advice on asset structuring and succession arrangements, leveraging her exceptional experience in this field.

In structuring her clients’ personal and business assets, Katie has ensured not only the mitigation of taxation and the protection of such assets from the vagaries of litigation but she has facilitated the seamless succession of wealth from one generation to the next. Through the establishment of private trust companies, foundations, family governance vehicles and independent single family offices, Katie has given her clients the opportunity to enjoy a significant measure of influence and control over the administration and succession of their assets whilst ensuring that they avail themselves of the tax mitigation and other benefits associated with sophisticated financial planning. Via her network of specialist advisers, Katie is able to assist her clients with every aspect of their personal planning from immigration visas and residence applications through to the establishment of every type of asset holding vehicle designed to accommodate real estate, private equity, public market investments, chattels and any other personal or business assets that her clients own.

Ranked Citywealth Woman of the Year in 2009, Expert Advisor in Spears Wealth Management Index and member of the Institutional Trust Company Team of the Year at the 2010 STEP Awards, her reputation in the private client advisory community is both established and celebrated.

Katie lives at Albany on the island of New Providence in The Bahamas with her husband and three daughters. She founded the Bahamas branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) in the early 1990s, sat on the Global STEP Council for many years and was instrumental in setting up and running the STEP Caribbean Conference programme.

Amber Trust Ltd 

KATIE BOOTH

Anthony Bristol is a British trained Barrister having passed the English Bar exams with Honours in 1997. Since his admission to the Bar, Anthony has practiced in St Lucia and Barbados and has been admitted to practice in the BVI and Grenada. In 1997 after graduation, he joined the St Lucian firm of Floissac Fleming & Associates.  In 1998 he joined the Ernst and Young associated law firm of Lex Caribbean in Barbados where he worked primarily in the areas of trusts, mutual funds and offshore corporate law.

Prior to reading law, Anthony obtained a BSc. Management Studies with First Class Honours from the University of the West Indies in 1991 and worked in a senior management capacity from 1991 to 1995 with the M&C Group.

Anthony returned to St Lucia in 1999 and has maintained a selective private client base which includes some of the largest companies in St Lucia and commercial banks. In his practice he has specialized in mergers and acquisitions, tax structuring, joint ventures, reorganizations and receiverships.

Anthony is also a Director of Financial Centre Corporation, the private sector company charged with the responsibility for promoting St Lucia as an offshore center. At Financial Centre Corporation, Anthony was involved in drafting the entire suite of international financial services legislation for St Lucia and introduced the 1% tax election which is now being used by many regional companies to take advantage of the benefits of the CARICOM Double Tax Treaty.  Anthony also serves as a director of IFWIC, a government owned company that owns and operates the International Business Companies Registry.

Saint Lucia IFC

ANTHONY BRISTOL

Theo Burrows is a Partner at Graham Thompson who practices in the firm’s Corporate and Financial Services Practice Group. Theo’s practice areas include, private client and wealth management, commercial transactions, financial services, insurance law and regulation. In particular, he specializes in trusts, wills, estate planning, foundations, private trust companies, company law and international commercial law. Theo regularly provides advice to trust companies on the development of new services, issues arising in trust administration and regulatory issues.

Theo is a Director of the STEP Bahamas Branch and has a passion to help increase the attendance and promote the active engagement of millennials in the trust and estate planning industry through the Millennial Initiative. In 2018, he was recognized as The Bahamas Financial Services Board’s (BFSB) Millennial of the Year.

Graham Thompson

THEO BURROWS

Specialising in Trusts and Estates and Banking Law, Dr. Earl A. Cash is chair of the firm’s Private Client & Wealth Management practice group and services major trust companies in The Bahamas. He has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1979, and The Bahamas Bar since 1982. He holds a PhD in English from the University of New Mexico as well as a JD and LL.M in International Law from the University of Miami School of Law.

Earl spent the 1990s as a temporary Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrate for Night Court in the Bahamas and served as a member of the Ethics Committee of the Bahamas Bar Association. He is a member of STEP and an occasional delegate at IBC’s Annual International Trust and Tax Planning Conference. He has also travelled to the United States and England with the Bahamas Financial Services Board to assist in the promotion of The Bahamas as a choice international jurisdiction. He was named a pre-eminent adviser in Euromoney’s ‘Guide to the World’s Leading Trusts and Estates Lawyers’ (2009); listed as a leading lawyer by the International Financial Law Review (IFLR1000) in 2010, Chambers Global (2014-2019) and Chambers High Net Worth (2017-2018); and recommended in the Citywealth Leaders List (2010-2012).

 

Earl has lectured and written articles on the Trustee Act and related legislation. His publications, which reflect his interest in the law and in literature, include articles in International Financial Law Review; Journal of International Planning; and Trust and Trustees. He has made contributions to the text, Asset Protection: Domestic and International Law and Tactics. His Nassau Escapades is a collection of short stories about Bahamian life.

Higgs & Johnson

EARL CASH Ph.D.

Peter Cotorceanu is CEO and Founder of GATCA & Trusts Compliance Associates LLC (G&TCA) and creator of the website www.gatcaandtrusts.com. The website is tailored specifically to the fiduciary industry and to those who interact with the fiduciary industry, such as bankers and advisors. Its sole aim is to assist with the implementation of FATCA and CRS.

 

Peter is also Of Counsel to Anaford Attorneys at Law in Zurich. Peter specialises in FATCA and CRS compliance for the fiduciary industry and U.S. tax and cross-border issues. Before returning to private practice in 2014, Peter worked for UBS in Zurich as Head of Wealth Structuring for UHNW clients and Head of Product Management for Trusts and Foundations. In the latter role, Peter was responsible for implementing FATCA for UBS’s trust companies in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Jersey, and Singapore. Prior to working for UBS, Peter worked as an attorney at Baker & McKenzie’s Zurich office. Peter was also a law professor, both full-time and part-time, for several years in the U.S. He is an attorney licenced in Maryland and Virginia and before the U.S. Tax Court. Peter is also a New Zealand barrister and solicitor. All of Peter’s law licences are active.

GATCA & Trusts Compliance Associates

PETER COTORCEANU

Cherise Cox-Nottage is presently the Head of the Legal, Compliance and Operational Risk Departments for UBS Trustees (Bahamas) Ltd., which is a role that entails similar responsibilities for the other UBS Regional Group Trust Company, namely, UBS Trustees (Cayman) Ltd. and the provision of services to the, UBS Cayman AG, branch.
Prior to joining the UBS group in 2004, Cherise was recruited from private practice with Messrs. Higgs & Johnson, in The Bahamas, to assume the position of Head of Legal, Risk & Compliance for a rival Swiss Bank. Before returning to The Bahamas in 1993, Cherise practiced in a commercial set in London for 2 years post qualification.

Cherise is a graduate of the University of Kent at Canterbury, (UKC), Canterbury, Kent, England and The London School of Economics Political Science (LSE), London University obtaining an undergraduate degree in law and an LLM (Master of Laws) degree, respectively.

Cherise is a Member of the Bars of England and Wales and The Bahamas, a TEP (Trust and Estate Practitioner) with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP); Certified CAMS, with the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists; She holds an International Diploma in Compliance (with distinction), Int. ip (Comp), and an International Diploma in Anti-money laundering (with distinction) Int.Dip (AML) from the ICA (International Compliance Association) in the U.K. and the University of Manchester U.K. In 2013 Cherise obtained the certification of CAMS-Audit Specialist and was elevated to the level of Fellow of the ICA. In 2016 Cherise completed a certification programme on Utilities Regulatory Oversight with PURC and in 2018 she was also P3 Level One Certified.

On 2 occasions, (2002 and 2012) Cherise was elected as President of BACO, (The Bahamas’ Association of Compliance Officers). Notably, under her leadership BACO spearheaded the formation of the CRCA (The Caribbean Regional Compliance Association), established the Northern Bahamas Compliance MLRO Annual conference, secured national weekly publication of compliance matters in the Nassau Guardian, established a scholarship a Founding President's Award and instituted a High School speech competition. Cherise is the First Vice President of   CIArb, The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Bahamas Branch , a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors ( IIA) and a Director of the New Providence, Bahamas Chapter of FIDA, an international association of Women lawyers.

Cherise has published internationally in such publications as “The Cayman Review”, and “ACAMS TODAY” and is a contributor to BACO’s bi-annual publication on AML and Compliance matters for the jurisdiction and region. She previously contributed the section on Banking Law in The Bahamas in the Banking compendium edited by Dennis Campbell

Cherise’s article on "Arbitration law and Practice in The Bahamas" and changes regarding the same with respect to amendments to The Bahamas’ new Trustee Act, was accepted by the IBA's (International Bar Association) publications committee and was published in the international legal publication “IBA Arbitration News". She participates as a featured speaker in national and international Conferences in the Caribbean region, the USA, Europe and in the Middle East.

In 2012 Cherise was awarded the “Minister's Cup” by The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) for her contributions to the Financial Services Industry in The Bahamas.
Cherise has served on the Advisory Board for ACAMS for the Caribbean and Latam Region and also on several financial services committees and advisory boards of The Government of The Bahamas, including the Attorney General Chaired committee on Financial Products and the FATCA and CRS Advisory Committees.

 

UBS Trustees (Bahamas) Ltd.

CHERISE COX-NOTTAGE

Linda Beidler-D’Aguilar joined Glinton Sweeting O’Brien in 2015, both as a partner and as head of the firm’s Financial Services practice in 2015. She specializes in the creation and structuring of investment funds for both institutional and private clients. Linda also advises on corporate transactions, insurance, regulatory compliance, banking and securities law, public and private offerings, structured financing and general commercial matters.

Linda graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service, and received her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.  She was called to the bar of the State of Illinois in 1988.  After working in a top tier Chicago firm and at Kelley Drye & Warren’s Washington D.C. office, she moved to The Bahamas in 1991.  Linda was employed by two major trust companies before she was recruited to serve as in-house intellectual property counsel to Bacardi & Company Limited; she returned to private practice in 2003.

Linda served as a Director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board from 2010 to 2014, and continues to be active in BFSB’s regulatory, legislative and product development initiatives.  She speaks regularly at financial services conferences worldwide, most recently at the 2014 and 2015 Bahamas Landfall events in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the 2015 Private Wealth Brazil Forum, the 2013 Bahamas Landfall event in London and at the Third Annual Caribbean Conference on the International Financial Services Sector.

GSO Legal

LINDA D'AGUILAR

Dwana Davis is the Principal of the newly established Amicus Chambers, a boutique law firm which offers litigation and chamber services over a wide range of practice areas.

 

Dwana has over 11 years of legal experience, having served in active practice at reputable partnerships in The Bahamas (Higgs & Johnson, Munroe & Associates) and as a full-time lecturer at the local Bar School.

 

While at Higgs & Johnson, Dwana was a member of the Private Client/Wealth Management and Litigation practice groups and specialized in trusts and estate planning and civil and commercial litigation.  Relevant accomplishments include her participation on the Higgs & Johnson team which won the STEP Bahamas Moot competition in 2012 and her successful applications before the court on trusts and estate matters including applications to abolish the perpetuity period of certain trusts, under the Rule Against Perpetuities (Abolition) Act.

 

In addition to serving as a faculty member of the local Bar School and Course Director for 3 subjects at the School, Dwana, in her capacity as Coordinator for the school’s Commercial and Financial Services Law Clinic envisioned a local Moot with an emphasis on topical issues related to the law of trusts.  Other equally important goals of the Moot were to expose the law school’s students to local experts with a view to learning the law and best practices, refining written and oral advocacy skills and making meaningful professional relationships.  To achieve these goals, the Law Clinic partnered with STEP Bahamas Branch to execute and host the now annual Joint Moot to which CPD credits are applied.  This is an accomplishment of which Dwana is very proud.

 

Dwana has been an active member of the local Bar, having served on various Committees as Chairperson and as the Bar’s Representative on the Bahamas Financial Services Board.

Amicus Chambers

DWANA DAVIS

Paul Dennis is the firm’s senior partner and head of the Litigation Department. The breadth of his experience as an advocate, since first being called to the Bar in his native Jamaica in 1984, includes a two-year tenure as Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in that jurisdiction.

Since 1993, when he was called to the British Virgin Islands Bar, Paul’s practice has focused mainly on commercial litigation, corporate insolvency, and shipping and admiralty law. He has appeared in many leading international commercial cases at all levels of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London the BVI’s highest appellate court. In recognition of his outstanding accomplishments as an advocate, Paul was appointed one of Her Majesty’s Counsel on March 18, 2013.

Paul formerly served as a judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, on temporary assignment to the twin-island Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis, hearing a wide variety of commercial cases. He is a current member of the BVI International Arbitration Centre’s arbitration panel.

A past President of the BVI Bar Association and a former Council Member of the Eastern Caribbean Bar Association, Paul has served on numerous advisory committees concerning the law, the legal profession, and the administration of justice in the BVI and the wider Eastern Caribbean region.

Paul is a graduate of the University of the West Indies & the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. He has served for many years as a lecturer in law at the BVI campus of the UWI’s School of Continuing Studies.

He is a Notary Public.

O'Neal Webster

PAUL DENNIS QC

Check out this 60 second interview with Tara Frater!

Tara E. Frater is the Principal and Founder of FT Legal, a boutique legal practice and consulting service based in Barbados serving clients seeking to do business in the Caribbean. Her practice areas include: Corporate and Commercial, Finance, FinTech, Securities Regulation, Trust & Estate Planning, Immigration and Real Estate.

 

She is an experienced attorney at law with over 15 years of experience working at leading firms in international financial services centres in the Caribbean, such as Walkers and Harney Westwood & Riegels in the British Virgin Islands. She moved on from Lex Caribbean, a firm based in Barbados, as a Partner in 2019 to found FT Legal.  She has lectured in various fora on legal issues and her speaking engagements include various Caribbean and Latin American conferences hosted by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and other organisations. 

 

Tara actively engages on issues affecting the international financial services sector in the Caribbean and serves as the Chairperson of the STEP Barbados Branch and is a former Director of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA). She made the Citywealth IFC Power Women Top 200 List in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014, which recognises women of influence in government, private wealth, private client advisory and philanthropy across international financial centres.  She has keen interest in cryptocurrencies and the transformative potential of blockchain technology.

Tara is a passionate believer in the power of entrepreneurship and technology as a catalyst for the development of the Caribbean and advocates for youth empowerment in this context.

FT Legal

TARA FRATER

James is one of the UK’s foremost family lawyers. He operates at the top of the market and thrives on the most complex and high-value cases. He specialises particularly in cases involving significant private businesses, complex trust and/or corporate structures (often offshore) and international jurisdiction disputes. James is a fluent French speaker and often advises on Anglo-French cases. He also acts for Trustees, interveners and other third parties embroiled in divorce proceedings.


His clients are drawn from many spheres including industry, finance and the arts, and from many parts of the world. He is well versed in working with a wide range of other legal experts as his cases often spill beyond the strict confines of family law. He was shortlisted for Family Lawyer of the Year by Spear’s Magazine in 2016 and has been described in the legal directories as “ferociously bright” and “a phenomenal lawyer.”
 

Charles Russell Speechlys

JAMES FREEMAN

- A lawyer and solicitor or the Supreme Court of England and Wales

- The former Head of City law firm Simmons & Simmons Private Client department for 15 years

- A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation

- A respected specialist with a wide network of experts on whom she can call for anything at any time,

- The draftsperson of legislation she proposed to the Bahamas and which became law in 2011; the   Executive Entity Act 2011

- A pioneer in non-dom tax planning in the UK

- A contributor to the FT Weekend on Tax and Trusts which lasted 12 years

- A frequent speaker on BBC television and radio, published author and speaker at numerous   conferences and events around the world

- Author of two books - 'When you are Super-Rich, who can you trust' and 'Winning Business from   Private Clients'.

Garnham Family Office Services

CAROLINE GARNHAM

Richard is involved in tax and estate planning for individuals, families and related advice for trustees, both in the UK and overseas.

 

Richard has assisted a broad range of clients, from family offices and the trustees of large trust structures, to individual clients with complex cross-border succession planning issues.

Macfarlanes

RICHARD GIANGRANDE

Paul Gibney is a senior partner of the Toronto office of Thorsteinssons LLP, Tax Lawyers.  He received his B. Comm. from the University of British Columbia and his LL.B. from the University of Toronto.  Paul is called to the bar in both Ontario and British Columbia.  In 1996 and 1997, Paul spent eighteen months in Ottawa where he was the Policy Advisor to the Minister of National Revenue.

 

Paul’s practice is restricted to income tax matters including corporate tax planning, estate planning, international taxation, taxpayer representation and litigation.  His focus is mainly on private clients, both domestic and international.

 

Paul has spoken on taxation matters at numerous conferences including the annual Canadian Tax Foundation Conference, the annual CBA Tax Law for Lawyers Conference, the Corporate Management Tax Conference, the annual STEP National Conference, the STEP Caribbean Conference, the International Bar Association, the CBA Will, Estate and Trust Fundamentals course for Estate Practitioners as well as a number of programs put on by CCH Canada, Infonex, Strategy Institute, STEP, CALU, Canadian Institute and Canadian Importers Association.  He has written materials for the Law Society of British Columbia’s Continuing Legal Education program and is a contributor to various tax publications, such as the Key Developments in Estates and Trusts Law in Ontario and Euromoney Corporate Handbook. He has also been an instructor for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Bar Admission Course and the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants.  Paul is also an advisor and director of numerous private foundations.

Thorsteinssons 

PAUL GIBNEY

Mark Harper is a partner at Hughes Fowler Carruthers in London.  Mark is a divorce specialist, particularly international cases / involving trusts.  Mark acted in the leading Court of Appeal cases of Charman and Crossley, on trusts on divorce, and on a new procedure where there is a pre-nup on divorce.  He has also given English divorce advice in three reported Jersey trust cases.  Mark was ranked in the Top 10 divorce lawyers in Spear’s Family Law Index 2013-2018: stated to be “without doubt the best technician in London...Mark has the intellectual vigour to outwit every opponent in a jurisdiction case” and “he does not care whose toes he treads on in pursuing his clients’ objectives”.  In Chambers 2017: “One of the best solicitors out there in dealing with cross jurisdictional issues…an extraordinary technician who really immerses himself in the case” and “a partner of the highest class.  I just think Mark is hugely capable.  He’s very clever”.  In Chambers 2018 Mark was described as “very clearly respected for his experience” and noted for his “enormous knowledge of international law and trusts.”  He is “one of the foremost high net worth matrimonial finance practitioners at the London Bar​”.​

 

Mark was European Chapter President of the International Academy of Family Lawyers from 2014 - 2016.  He is the co-author of the leading textbook, International Trust & Divorce Litigation (Jordans)

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

MARK HARPER

Matthew Howson is a member of our London office, specialising in BVI and Cayman trust law, general private client and estate planning matters. His clients include individuals and families, trust companies and family offices, as well as institutional clients such as banks.

Prior to joining us in 2016, Matthew worked at leading London private client firm Penningtons Manches LLP. His current practice includes creating, administering and advising on often complex trust structures. He also drafts wills covering BVI assets, and administers BVI estates. His work invariably has an international and multi-jurisdictional dimension.

Matthew is a full member of STEP, and has contributed to publications such as the Trusts & Estates Law & Tax Journal, Private Client Adviser, and LexisNexis Seminars.

Click HERE for an interview with Matthew Howson

Harneys

MATTHEW HOWSON

Nick is a partner in our Private Client department. He advises on sophisticated private wealth planning, putting together plans that provide for family succession, the protection of the family business, the avoidance of family disputes, and all aspects of international family governance. He is a trusted adviser to a number of globally significant families and is well recognised for his understanding of family governance psychology.

He has a particular focus on acting for families in Asia, spending time in the region every month. His clients include trustees, overseas investors, family offices and many very wealthy entrepreneurs. A significant amount of his work is for international families, with a particular focus on SE Asia, China, Russia, Switzerland and the Channel Islands.

Nick advises on estate plans to provide efficiently for assets and family members in multiple jurisdictions, and is a specialist in all aspects of trust planning, especially in relation to trusts holding family businesses, and in relation to planning to avoid losses on divorce.  He also specialises in UK taxation for individuals and trusts, and cross-border taxation co-ordination and advises banks and trust companies on technical aspects and practical application of the Common Reporting Standard.

He lectures throughout the world on private wealth issues. He has been classified in Who's Who as one of the top ten private client practitioners in the world. Nick is recognised in the Chambers HNW Guide as a leading individual in Private Client law and for his expertise based abroad for Singapore.

Nick joined Forsters with the rest of the Gowling WLG London Private Client team in May 2017.  Prior to this, he was at Gowling WLG and its predecessor firms since 2002.  Nick qualified as a solicitor in 1982.

Click HERE for an interview with Nick Jacob

Forsters 

NICK JACOB

Samantha has practiced as a commercial attorney for over 20 years. She has the benefit of having served as a legal counsel and manager at the Securities Commission of The Bahamas and more than fourteen years in the private sector at leading firms. At the Securities Commission she was a member of the task force for the drafting of the Investment Funds Act & Regulations, 2003 and the Investment Funds (SMART Funds) Rules.

Citywealth Magazine, in its May 2014 edition, recognized Samantha as one of the up and coming leaders of The Bahamas’ financial services industry.

Delaney Partners

SAMANTHA KNOWLES-PRATT

Mr. Martin Litwak is the Founder of Litwak & Partners and he currently occupies the position of Managing Partner of the firm.

 

He has dedicated his over fifteen years of experience in the legal industry to advising high net worth (HNW), ultra-high net worth (UHNW) and institutional Latin American families in respect of trust and fiduciary structures as well as to establishing investment funds for Latin American fund managers. Martin’s investment funds practice focuses on the establishment of, and on-going advice to, offshore hedge funds, private equity funds and real estate funds for a range of investment managers and financial institutions and it covers he whole spectrum of fund structures, strategies, and situations. Mr. Litwak has also been active in international cross border transactions, such as multi-jurisdictional mergers and acquisitions.

 

Mr. Litwak obtained his law degree cum laude from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 1998. A few years later he was admitted as a lawyer both in England and Wales and in the British Virgin Islands. He holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Law.

 

Mr. Martin Litwak has successfully established Litwak & Partners into an award-winning, offshore law firm that is highly specialized in multi-jurisdictional transactions, private clients, investment funds and corporate matters. Under the direction of Mr. Martin Litwak, Litwak & Partners has emerged as one of the premier boutique, regional law offices in Latin America.

 

Mr. Litwak has authored and co-authored several articles published in legal publications and journals in Latin America, the United Kingdom and the United States on a wide variety of issues in the investment funds and wealth management industries. He is also a frequent speaker at regional and international conferences and seminars and media collaborator.

 

Mr. Litwak is an active member of the American Bar Association (International Section) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (where he currently serves as the chairman of the South America branch). He is also the head of the “Team BVI LatAm”, a board of advisors to BVI Finance and a regional director of the Hedge Fund Association for Latin America.

 

During his extensive career, Mr. Litwak was recognized by prestigious publications such as Who’s Who Lawyers, Chambers & Partners, Legal Week, Euromoney and IFLR1000.

 

Only in 2017, Mr. Litwak was featured in the editions of the "Who's Who Legal" for Private Funds and Mergers and Acquisitions and included in the Legal Week‘s “Private Client Global Elite” list.

Litwak and Partners

MARTIN LITWAK

Metta is recognised as a leading commercial and civil litigator in the Bahamas. Held in high regard by the judiciary and her peers, her submissions in several cases have precipitated amendments to the law. She regularly appears before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal and has also appeared before the Privy Council in the UK.

Although her experience and practice covers the full spectrum of civil and commercial litigation Metta is particularly well known in the Bahamas legal arena when it comes to insolvency, especially in relation to trust assets held by insolvent companies, in which her approach in the leading Bahamian case – Dominion Investments – was approved by the Court and incorporated in the Bahamian Insolvency legislation.

In addition to insolvency she has developed particular expertise in Proceeds of Crime Act and Mutual Legal Assistance proceedings; Insurance litigation involving high value catastrophic injury, death and property claims, professional negligence indemnity claims; Asset recovery and all forms of Interlocutory relief including injunctions (including Worldwide Freeze orders) disclosure orders (including Norwich Pharmacal orders; electronic discovery); as well as in many less well known areas such as issues involving the Computer Misuse Act and Listening Devices Act in the context of civil proceedings.

 

Recognised as a leading Family law specialist she is frequently instructed for high net worth international clients who have retired to The Bahamas or have assets here. She deals with divorces, financial provision claims, custody and access disputes and is frequently engaged to negotiate and prepare Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements.

Lennox Paton

METTA MACMILLAN HUGHES

Robert Madden is the Managing Director of Alexandria Bancorp Limited and oversees Alexandria’s operations in Barbados and Grand Cayman. Robert provides personalized trust and global investment management services to high net worth families and their advisors. Prior to joining Alexandria Robert specialized in tax law with Thorsteinssons LLP and previously was Executive Vice-President of a family office based in Toronto and a Senior Accountant with KPMG.

A member of the Executive Committee of the Cayman Islands Bankers Association, Robert is admitted to the Ontario Bar, a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and also is a Chartered Accountant. Robert has authored papers for STEP and the Canadian Tax Foundation. He is a former co-editor on the OBA tax section executive and a speaker at STEP and other estate planning seminars. Robert studied law at the University of Toronto and received his Commerce degree from Queen’s University.

Alexandria Bancorp

ROB MADDEN

Darcy is the co-Chair of Bennett Jones’ tax and estates department and has a broad based tax practice focused on corporate reorganizations, mergers & acquisitions, take-overs, debt financing transactions, transactions involving partnerships and other flow-through vehicles, asset-based financings, and cross-border financing and leasing transactions. His practice also includes personal and estate tax planning and residency matters, foreign tax planning for Canadian residents and structuring investments for non-residents into Canada.  Darcy is a former chair of the National Taxation Section of the Canadian Bar Association and past co-Chair of the CBA-CPA Joint Committee on taxation. He served on the Canadian Tax Foundation’s Board of Governors and is a past director and president of the Canadian Petroleum Tax Society. He has presented a number of papers on a variety of tax related topics at national, international and local tax conferences. Darcy has been frequently recognized as a leading tax lawyer by numerous well-known legal publishers including Lexpert®, Chambers Global, Chambers Canada, Legal 500, Who's Who Legal.

Bennett Jones 

DARCY MOCH

Jo is a graduate of Law and French from Cardiff University. She qualified as a solicitor of England and Wales in 2008, working as a private client solicitor in the UK before beginning her trust career in Geneva in 2011. Jo has a wide range of experience in trust and company management, within which a wide range of real assets are managed, including fine art, vintage cars, shipping fleets, yachts, private equity and commercial and residential property. Jo manages an administration team providing bespoke private client trusteeship to ultra high value, complex international trust structures. In May 2018, Jo won Trustee of the Year at the Citywealth Magic Circle Awards held in London. Jo speaks English and French.

Click HERE for an interview with Joanne Morse

Summit Trust International SA

JOANNE MORSE

Ryan Pinder has been a partner in the law firm of Graham Thompson and member of the firm's Corporate and Financial Services Practice Group since January 2016. His practice comprises banking law, corporate and commercial law, investment funds, securities law, capital markets, taxation, trusts and estate planning and structuring. He specialises in financial services solutions, planning and wealth management for high net worth private clients. 


A former Member of Parliament (2010-2017), Ryan Pinder has previously served as Minister of Financial Services and Trade (2012-2015), in The Bahamas Government. During his time as Minister the Investment Condominium (ICON) legislation was developed and enacted, in addition to other key product innovations and industry developments including the SMART Fund Model 007. He continues in various policy advisory capacities, which has included the BFSB’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS) Legal Committee and the organisation’s industry effort to review the Multinational Entities Financial Bill 2018, and related international initiatives impacting financial services in The Bahamas. His Bar Admissions include The Bahamas Bar and Florida Bar, as a Board Certified Tax Attorney. Ryan Pinder is also recognised by the prestigious London-based Chambers and Partners, as a leader in the High Net Worth, Trusts Sector.

Graham Thompson

RYAN PINDER

Matthew Queen serves as General Counsel for Venture Captive Management, LLC, and is a regular speaker at domestic and international captive insurance and alternative risk financing conferences. He consults with middle market chief executive officers and business owners regarding taxation, risk financing, insurance defense litigation, and international business transactions. His practice focuses on corporate regulatory and transactional matters for a variety of captive insurance companies and risk retention groups. Matthew authored the treatise Captive Insurance: The Building Blocks of Better Business available through the American Bar Association. In addition, he authored several technical articles exploring applications of captive insurance to emerging markets and navigating captive insurance companies through changes to the tax code.
 

A band nerd at heart, Matthew graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and then completed his Juris Doctorate and Masters of Taxation at Georgia State University. He is happily married and Olympic lifting as well as hiking through the Georgia mountains.
 

Venture Captive Management

MATTHEW QUEEN

Ziva Robertson is Head of McDermott Will and Emery’s London private client practice, and is a solicitor-advocate who advises clients on dispute resolution matters, including complex trust disputes, contested estates and commercial disputes containing fiduciary elements. She counsels individuals and companies on the conduct and the avoidance of disputes and has extensive experience in cross-jurisdictional and international litigation. She recently led and won the high-profile Court of Appeal Data Protection Act case of Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing, on behalf of her beneficiary-client regarding access to personal data.

Ziva also brings her wealth of experience in litigation to advise on trust and estate planning to minimise the risk of future disputes. She ensures that the structure will meet the beneficiaries' evolving needs, that the choice of jurisdiction best suits the individual circumstances of the client and that the structure includes appropriate litigation deterrents.  When disputes arise, Ziva will advise on and conduct mediations as well as other forms of alternative dispute resolution. In cases when litigation has been threatened or commenced, Ziva has successfully pursued and defended cases in the UK and abroad, including the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, the Channel Islands and the Middle East.

Ziva writes frequently for numerous legal and business publications. Her speaking engagements include Legal Week Forums, Butterworths, IBC and Lexis conferences, and various Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) conferences in the UK and abroad.

Ziva is recognised in some of the world’s most eminent legal guides and directories including Chambers Global, Chambers UK, The Legal 500 and Citywealth.

 

McDermott, Will & Emery

ZIVA ROBERTSON

E. Jay Saunders is an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working and succeeding in the telecommunications and FinTech industries. Skilled in launching and managing start-ups and greenfield networks, Go-to-market Strategy, Marketing, Media and Communications, Negotiating, Government/Politics, and Cognitive Science/Artificial Intelligence (AI). Strong operations and commercial professional (who dabbles in Angel Investing) with a background in Computer Science.

Demus Semo Sancus

E. JAY SAUNDERS

Vanessa is a partner and Group Head of the Private Client & Trusts Practice group in Bermuda. She first qualified as a solicitor in the UK and is admitted to the bars of Bermuda and the BVI.

Vanessa has extensive experience on a wide range of trust and estate planning matters including the use of Bermuda private and commercial trust structures, PTCs, the administration of complex and large estates and all areas of probate and equity matters in Bermuda.  She drafts and reviews all forms of trusts and ancillary documentation, wills, enduring powers of attorney and other estate planning documents and is responsible for general practice within the Private Client & Trusts team.

She is a member of STEP, ITPA and the Bermuda trusts law reform committee. 

Vanessa has been awarded professional accolades throughout her career. She is most recently recognised in Chambers Global 2018 High Net Worth guide as a ‘notable practitioner’,  she is a Legal 500 – ‘Leading Individual’, and is named on the Citywealth Leaders List, the Citywealth IFC Power Women Top 200 list, Expert Guide's Women in Business Law 2018 and The International Who’s Who of Private Client Lawyers 2018.

Click here for an interview with Vanessa Schrum

Appleby

VANESSA SCHRUM

Arthur is head of the firm’s Trusts and Foundations Group.

He has vast experience of the Bahamian legal system and government departments. He started his career as an assistant crown counsel at the Office of the Attorney General, doing both chambers and court work on a wide range of corporate, property and commercial matters.

Arthur has an established local and international clientele, consisting of both private individuals and financial and other institutions.  His reputation and work in private wealth has been recognised in the recent Chambers High-Net-Worth Guide 2018, he is ranked as a leading individual and described by clients as “smart, insightful, experienced, diligent and very professional“.

LennoxPaton

ARTHUR SELIGMAN

Heather Thompson is a recognised leader in the private client sector, advising individuals, trustees and beneficiaries in international trust and company creation and ownership structures. She counsels individuals on estate planning matters and advises a diverse clientele on all aspects of wills, probate applications, estates administration, foundations, private trust companies, and issues in company law.

 

A sought after conference speaker and contributor to the STEP Journal, Heather has received the STEP Founder’s Award for Outstanding Achievement (2009); the Bahamas Financial Services Board ‘Executive of the Year’ Award (2003); and the International Law Office Client Choice Award in Offshore Services (2012). She is ranked by Chambers Global in General Business Law (2010 – 2018) and Chambers High Net Worth Guide (2017-2018) and recognized in Who’s Who Legal Private Client (2018). Heather has been named to Citywealth Leaders List (2012 – 2013); Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law (2012); and the IFC Power Women Top 100 list (2013).

 

Heather is a founding member and past chairperson of the STEP in The Bahamas and a former member of STEP’s Council. Heather has served as a consultant on several important pieces of financial services legislation, including Acts relating to trusts, purpose trusts, foundations, private trust companies and executive entities.

 

Heather was educated in the United Kingdom at the University of Lancaster (B.A.) (Hons) and University of London (LL.B.) (Hons), and qualified as a member of the Law Society of England and Wales (non-practising). She attained the Chartered Institute of Bankers Trustee Diploma in 1981 following a year-long secondment to National Westminster Bank’s Trustee Department, West End Branch, London, and was called to The Bahamas Bar in 1994.

Higgs & Johnson

HEATHER THOMPSON

Light Townsend is the Chief Legal Officer for Green Point Research and a former attorney with Drummond, Wehle, Yonge, LLP. At Green Point Research he works to manage compliance and risk initiatives throughout the organization. In his legal practice, Light’s clients ranged from small to medium sized businesses and his practices serves the individuals who own them. His expertise is in assisting business owners with complying with complex federal tax planning, estate planning, business planning, wealth preservation, succession planning, risk management, and asset protection.

 

In addition to co-authoring the treatise Captive Insurance: The Building Blocks of Better Business, Light has written a number of technical advice memoranda for the Florida Bar Tax Section. Finally, as a graduate research assistant for Philip Postlewaite, Light edited the eighth edition of Professor Postlewaite’s West-published treatise Partnership Taxation. Light received his Master of Laws in Taxation with Honors from Northwestern University Pritzker College of Law, his Juris Doctorate from Florida State University, and his Bachelor of Science from Auburn University.

Green Point Research

LIGHT TOWNSEND

Judith is a specialist in finance for development including financial market development, private investment and financial macroeconomics. 

Topics of her research at ODI includes private investments, co-financing between public and private investors, banking and capital markets and risk management relating to cross-border capital flows and financial stability. Recent work has included focus on the mobilisation of private finance for infrastructure and climate action. 

Her work regularly attracts media coverage including from the BBC, CNN and the Financial Times as well as numerous national media organisations in Asia and Africa. 

Clients include the UN Economic Commission for Africa, DFID and the European Commission as well as national governments including in Africa (Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania) and Asia (China, Japan). She also regularly advises private clients including the Currency Exchange (TCX), Prudential and BVI Finance. 

Judith has more than two decades' experience as an investment banker including as board member for JP Morgan Asia. She worked in emerging markets in Asia for 17 years and has an extensive knowledge of the regions economy and business environment. She holds a PhD in financial sector development in Africa from the School of Africa and Oriental Studies at the University of London. 

Overseas Development Institute

JUDITH TYSON

Kathryn von Matthiessen is a partner in Katten's Trusts and Estates practice and a member of the Private Client Services group. She focuses primarily on sophisticated personal and estate planning for high net-worth individuals and the administration of complex estates and trusts, including the representation of trust companies on fiduciary matters. Kathryn handles extensive estate planning for both domestic and international families with assets ranging from hedge fund interests to real estate to intellectual property and artwork, utilizing a wide variety of techniques (both charitable and non-charitable in nature) to minimize taxes and achieve her clients' goals.

Kathryn's experience in international private client work is extensive. With regard to inbound matters, she regularly advises clients on pre-residency planning, creating trusts for these clients to fund prior to their US residency start date, and pinpointing opportunities to step up the basis of assets for US income tax purposes and/or provide US income tax deferral. She also specializes in cross-border planning for foreign families with US members through the use of foreign grantor trusts and domestic receptacle trusts, providing tax efficient generational wealth transfers for the US family members, while minimizing US gift and estate tax exposure for the foreign settlors. She also helps to structure global succession plans. She provides guidance concerning structuring for holding companies owned by foreign trusts after the demise of the foreign settlor and options for post-mortem tax optimization through entity elections and further instructs clients regarding UNI minimization techniques for foreign nongrantor trusts with US beneficiaries. She also counsels foreign clients on tax efficient structuring for purchasing US situs assets, taking into account relevant treaties and preparing US situs wills with qualified domestic trusts, when necessary. With regard to outbound matters, she regularly advises clients regarding expatriation planning and the best use of their exemptions against US gift tax before their departure.

Kathryn also has an expansive background in both domestic and international business succession planning through the use of trusts, private trust companies, buy-sell agreements and shareholder agreements. Kathryn has advised clients on jurisdictional planning with respect to trusts as well. She has counseled clients on the existence of foreign estates for optimal US income tax planning and represented heirs of deceased foreign nationals in connection with the preparation and filing of 706-NAs with respect to US situs assets.

In addition, Kathryn instructs US clients regarding options for US tax compliance and represents international trust companies with regard to reporting obligations for US beneficiaries of their trusts.

Katten Muchin Rosenman 

KATHRYN VON MATTHIESSEN

Penny is a partner in the private client and tax team.

She focuses on estate planning for private clients in both the UK domestic and international arena. She is based in London after spending three years on secondment to Withers’ offices in the US.

In her 23 years at Withers Penny’s client base is primarily within three main areas: ‘non-doms’ who are living in, or looking to relocate to, the UK; families living in the UK with US and UK issues who need help with their estate planning concerns; and international families who are looking for effective governance structures through which to organise the long term transition of wealth. In the latter context Penny’s client base is mostly located in Latin America.

Penny is part of Withers’ US/UK team in London and has developed US/UK estate planning models designed to demystify the complex arrangements that are required to avoid potential double taxation for families with US and UK connections.

Penny was one of just three Family and Private Client lawyers to be listed in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2015, a report which listed individuals working at the forefront of their practice areas.

Withers

PENELOPE WARR

John Fritzgerald Wilson is an accomplished commercial litigator who is renowned for his problem-solving skills and ability to advocate effectively for his clients.  He completed his LLB with honours at the University of Buckingham in England. John then attended BPP Law School, where he became one of the few Bahamians to ever receive honours on the Michalemus Bar exams. He was admitted to the English Bar in July of 1994 and called to Bahamas Bar in September 1994.

John is widely respected by his peers, and his experience is extensive. He is known for his unmatched ability to advocate on behalf of his clients and his specialties include trust and commercial litigation and private client advisory. John has proven himself to be an accomplished attorney over the years.

In 2006, John became the first non-English Barrister to appear as lead counsel before Her Majesty’s Privy Council during a landmark case. In the Judgment of the Privy Council, Baroness Hale commented that John presented the case with “skill economy and charm.”  These comments highlight why John is one of the most sought after commercial litigators in The Bahamas.

Despite his accomplishments and dedication to his trade, John is not all brain and the law. He enjoys spending time with his family and coaches soccer. John is also a member of the Salvation Army and The Bahamas Red Cross Society.

Mckinney Bancroft & Hughes

JOHN F. WILSON

Shawn concentrates his practice in the area of U.S. Federal income taxes, international and domestic estate planning and corporate matters.  He devotes a large part of his practice to the U.S. Federal income tax rules applicable to U.S. taxpayers doing business abroad, as well as foreign persons passively investing in the United States or those foreign persons who are looking to invest in more active business opportunities.  As part of his practice, Shawn is also involved in the formation and operation of domestic and foreign business entities (such as corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies), as well as the drafting of domestic and foreign trusts.  Furthermore, Shawn has guided high net worth U.S. citizens and so-called “Green Card” holders with respect to the U.S. Federal income and estate tax issues relevant to relinquishing such status.  Finally, Shawn is also experienced in advising high net worth U.S. and foreign individuals with respect to domestic and international estate planning matters.

CLICK HERE to view an interview with Shawn P. Wolf.

Packman Neuwahl Rosenberg P.A

SHAWN P. WOLF

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The 2019 STEP Caribbean Conference is presented by

The Bahamas Ministry of Financial Services

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