First Bahamian firm launches in London

Lennox Paton is the first Bahamian law firm to open an office in London

The introduction in the Bahamas of anti-money laundering and fraud regulations and legislation has led to a significant growth in the volume of multinational companies using the jurisdiction. Lennox Paton has won many clients which it believes will be better serviced with a London, as well as Bahamian, presence.
Charles Crowe, the firm's sole London partner, said: “We felt rather than clients coming to us [in the Bahamas] and having quite a small operation, we can service them better if they come to a major financial centre. We can refer work back to the Bahamas where we can get it done more economically.”
Lennox Paton specialises in shipping, litigation, trusts, corporate, general banking and finance. It was tight-lipped about which clients it had on its books, although it does represent some Brazilian banks.
The London operation is small, comprising Crowe and a recently qualified associate, but the office will be visited frequently by the firm's other five partners.
The Bahamas has recently been taken off the OECD's (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) blacklist. In October, the island's bar association voted in favour of judicially reviewing a government attempt to carry out an audit of all law firms on the island as a precaution against money laundering.
The island's relatively new regulations include professionals reporting suspicious transactions, a ban on bearer shares where the owner is not identified, and restrictions on establishing companies.