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Cayman law firm Truman Bodden to merge with Bahamas’ Higgs & Johnson

Cayman Islands law firm Truman Bodden has announced a merger with Higgs & Johnson of the Bahamas as of the beginning of next year.

Cayman Islands law firm Truman Bodden has announced a merger with Higgs & Johnson of the Bahamas as of the beginning of next year. The Cayman practice will be known initially as Higgs Johnson Truman Bodden but will subsequently adopt the name of the Bahamian firm.

Based in the capital George Town, Truman Bodden has been practicing law for more than 35 years. ‘We are pleased to be joining Higgs & Johnson, which we believe will enhance and broaden the range and depth of the legal services we provide for our clients,’ says the firm’s founder Truman Bodden.

A former Cayman acting attorney-general, legislator, minister and leader of government business (forerunner to the position of chief minister), Bodden will become a consultant for the combined firm.

Chris Narborough of Truman Bodden will become country managing partner in Cayman while John Delaney will remain managing partner for the Bahamas based offices and take overall leadership responsibility for the two jurisdictions.

The merger of the two firms is the first between legal practices in Cayman and the Bahamas. Both firms are founding members of TerraLex, a worldwide network of 158 law firms represented in 98 countries.

The firms say that central to their decision to merge was the identification of business synergies between the Bahamas and Cayman as financial centres and the opportunity to offer clients complementary services across jurisdictions.

The firm will continue to concentrate in civil and commercial law, including business transactions, litigation, banking and trust company matters, securities, real estate transactions and private client business.

The Bahamas practice of Higgs & Johnson brings strength in complex litigation, banking and estate planning vehicles such as trusts and foundations, while the Cayman practice has expertise in mutual funds, offshore investment vehicles, captive insurance and capital markets transactions.

‘The merger will help to raise the profile of our firm,’ says Narborough, who has practice experience in Saudi Arabia and the US. ‘There has been a history of close links between our two jurisdictions as regards banks and other financial service businesses, and we look forward to extending those links to the practice of law.’

Higgs & Johnson, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, is one of the largest full-service corporate and commercial law firms in the Bahamas, serving international financial service providers, real estate developers and private clients.

‘Expanding to the Cayman Islands is a logical step for Higgs & Johnson,’ Delaney says. ‘There are similarities between the jurisdictions that will give the firm important economies of scale in several financial services-related practice areas, yet the difference in business emphasis – the Bahamas being better known for private client business, Cayman for institutional business – will give Higgs & Johnson the opportunity to expand the depth of its product specialisation and its market.’

Subject to regulatory approval, the merger will also bring together the firms’ respective corporate service provision companies, Trulaw Corporate Services and H&J Corporate Services. Trulaw will temporarily become as H&J Trulaw Corporate Services but eventually will be renamed H&J Corporate Services (Cayman).

In addition to the Cayman office in George Town, the combined firm will have Bahamian offices at Ocean Centre and Lyford Cay in Nassau, Freeport (Grand Bahama) and Marsh Harbour (Great Abaco).

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