Lex Caribbean was launched in 1997 in Barbados, but it is only since 1 July 2000, when the firm merged with Trinidad and Tobago’s De Nobriga Inniss & Co, that it really hit its stride.
“We wanted to be the first truly integrated, pan-Caribbean commercial law firm in terms of structure and pay,” says Marjorie Nunez, the country managing partner in the Trinidad practice. “Although the region is small there are several countries and a lot of differences between them. It’s quite a challenge trying to span them all, but it’s full of rewards.”
Lex Caribbean is a full-service commercial firm but, according to Nunez, it is best known for its work as purchaser’s counsel. The office in Trinidad tends to produce a lot of work connected to the country’s oil-based economy, while the Barbados locale often sees a significant amount of offshore and capital markets work come the firm’s way.
Nunez describes how the firm worked alongside Allen & Overy on the administration of Courts Plc, which had interests in 13 Caribbean jurisdictions.
“This was a good example of where we were able to be the face and voice of a client across the Caribbean,” says Nunez. “We had the experience of dealing with less well-known jurisdictions so we were able to tell other lawyers what to look out for and guide them through the deal.”
According to Nunez, the firm’s philosophy has always been to expand. In 2001 the firm opened an office in Jamaica. More recently the firm has been looking beyond the Caribbean, opening a satellite office in London in 2010. It hopes to do the same in New York soon in a bid to give the firm’s increasingly international clients a more personal touch abroad.
“We’re also thinking about opening in St Lucia,” says Nunez, “but we haven’t done the due diligence on that yet. And we’re looking at franchising in countries where we don’t have any lawyers, such as the Caribbean’s Dutch law jurisdictions.”
Managing partner: Marjorie Nunez
Turnover: $20m (£12.2m)
Number of partners: 13
Number of equity partners: 10
Number of lawyers: 36
Number of fee-earners: 36
Number of offices: Four
Locations: Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, London
Main practice areas: Capital markets, commercial litigation, corporate and commercial, project finance, property, restructuring
Key clients: Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Digicel, HSBC, Standard Bank