The Bahamas is one of those most desirable destinations in the world, presenting significant opportunities for investors. Our legal expertise and local knowledge help your resort development aspirations become reality.
We are the country’s leading advisor in the development of mixed-use resorts and hotels with varied residential and amenity components, fractional and condo-hotel structures, timeshare, foreign direct investment and incentive legislation.
Our highly experienced team provides a complete range of advisory services tailored to your needs, including negotiating heads of agreement with the government of The Bahamas, investment incentive schemes, project financing and regulatory approvals. We are experts in the drafting of rental program agreements, condominium documents, master planning documents and a suite of other documents required for mixed use resort projects.
We represent the top-tier leaders in the hotel, resort and timeshare industry and some of the leading financial institutions and lender groups in the financing of development projects in New Providence and the Family Islands.
Our recent major projects include:
- The acquisition of the One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island
- The Export-Import Bank of China in the financing of the Baha Mar Resort in New Providence
- Starwood and Kerzner International on the Harbourside resort project, Paradise Island
- Four Seasons on a condo-hotel development in Exuma
- Mitsui and Hypoveriens Bank on a large credit insured secured financing of the Emerald Bay Resort in Exuma
- Morgan Stanley on a mixed-used resort on Grand Bahama
- Citigroup on financing the Albany development in New Providence
- Representation and master planning of mixed-use developments at Bimini Bay, Baker’s Bay, French Leave and Sky Beach Developments.
Areas of Focus
Heads of Agreements are agreements with the government of The Bahamas that outline the incentives and terms that the government has agreed to with the developer. They provide an overview of a project and set out the investment incentives that are afforded to hotels in The Bahamas’ various hotel and investment legislations.
We have advised, negotiated, drafted and executed a number of Heads of Agreements with the government. We ensure they are in line with current legislation while ensuring that the interests of the developer are protected and accurately reflected.
We are well-versed in current investment incentive legislation, help you to maximise the value of your developments. Our team assists in drafting the Hotels Encouragement Agreement and applying for exemptions under the Hotels Encouragement Act. Some of the current incentives include exemption from real property taxes for a period of twenty years and exemption from customs duty on items imported for the construction of the hotel.
We are skilled in drafting all documents necessary for the development of hotel, condominium and residential rental programs. Our team is adept in the structuring of rental programs and drafting of rental program agreements and management documents, ensuring the structure operates efficiently and effectively.
Currently, properties in rental programs receive certain exemptions and incentives. Property owners whose units are in the rental program are exempt from real property taxes. The government affords developers whose units are in rental programs with exemptions from customs duty on items imported for the construction of the unit. If a unit is removed from the rental program, the existing legislation states that the customs duty exemptions received by the developer must then be reimbursed to the government.
Thanks to our expertise in this area, we can identify and advise on program models that will ensure that developers and purchasers are aware of the incentives available to them within any given structure or model.
Some of our recent work in this area includes Bakers Bay, Bimini Bay, and the Four Seasons Emerald Bay
We advise Bahamian citizens, economic residents and foreign clients on all aspects of domestic financing—from first time buyers to second home-owners. With over 250 international banks in the Bahamas, we also advise on the practicalities of interbank transfers where foreign financing is more desirable. Over the years, our attorneys have developed working relationships with high-street banks and boutique lenders alike.
The Bahamas is a beneficiary of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and EXIMBANK financing is available. We advise numerous public and private companies on all aspects of project financing, including bind issues, security interests, credit transactions, foreign exchange agreements, syndicated loan agreements and share purchase agreements.
We provide legal master planning services to corporate clients throughout The Bahamas—from small condominiums to ultra-high-end condo-hotels and residential developments. From conception, we advise our clients on all relevant factors, including financing, national policy and regulation and legislative incentives, to provide for the most efficient and effective realisation of a project.
We have an enormous amount of experience in working with various government departments and bodies who oversee and manage foreign investment, including the Bahamas Investments Board, the Central Bank of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology Commission (BEST). Our attorneys have been involved in the structuring and planning of many of the most successful and well-known developments in The Bahamas.
Structuring of timeshares, fractionals and, in particular, condo-hotels, represents a significant proportion of the development work we undertake. The condo-hotel is a relatively recent concept that has been embraced and highly incentivised by Bahamian legislation. We have extensive experience in this area of law, including structuring and drafting the requisite condominium agreements, declarations and ancillary documentation. Our attorneys have worked with some of the world’s largest development brands on the largest projects in The Bahamas.