New merger strengthens local law firm

Truman Bodden & Company is the latest law firm to recently announce a merger with an overseas law firm. Business Editor, Lindsey Turnbull speaks with senior members at Truman Bodden to find out more and reports.

As from 1 January of this year Cayman law firm Truman Bodden & Company has merged with Bahamas law firm Higgs & Johnson, forming Higgs Johnson Truman Bodden & Co. In due course the newly merged firm will simply be known as Higgs & Johnson.

Truman Bodden has been providing its clients with legal services for the past 35 years and the firm’s partners are delighted to enhance the firm’s service offering with this latest key move.
Founder of the local law firm, Truman Bodden is now a consultant for Higgs Johnson Truman Bodden & Co and says that the merger of the two firms “will enhance and broaden the range and depth of legal services that we provide for our clients.”

As Country Manager for the newly created firm here in Cayman, Chris Narborough says he is delighted to be joining one of the leading law firm’s in the Bahamas and says, “The merger of the two firms is the first between legal practices in Cayman and the Bahamas. This merger will help raise the profile of the firm.”

Higgs & Johnson celebrated its 60th anniversary in the Bahamas last year and is one of the largest full-service corporate and commercial law firms in the Bahamas. There has been a long standing relationship between the two law firms which stretches back many years, as Narborough confirms, “Both firms are founding members of TerraLex, a worldwide network of 158 law firms represented in 98 countries. We have both used this network to refer work back and forth to each other, thus forging a strong working history together.”

He adds, “I know that Cayman has been a goal of Higgs & Johnson for quite a while now.”

Country Managing Partner for the Bahamas, Mr. John Delaney reiterates this point, “Expanding to the Cayman Islands is a logical step for Higgs & Johnson. There are several similarities between the jurisdictions that would give the firm important economies of scale in several financial services related practice areas, yet the difference in business emphasis between the jurisdictions (the Bahamas is better known for private client business while Cayman is well known for its institutional business) will give Higgs & Johnson the opportunity to expand the depth of its product specialisation and its market, among other synergies.”

Narborough agrees, “Competing in today’s marketplace means you need a certain critical mass from which to operate. We now have a strong base from which to operate, with fifty attorneys and a total staff of 164. In an uncertain economic environment we have been fortunate to see no contraction of business. We firmly believe such a merger will help to soften any blows that the jurisdiction as a whole may have to face in the future. I believe there will be lots of opportunities available once we have ridden the worst of the recession.”

Following regulatory approval the merger will also bring together the corporate interests between Trulaw Corporate Services Ltd and H&J Corporate Services Ltd. Initially Trulaw will trade as H&J Trulaw Corporate Services Ltd for the initial transition period and thereafter it will be known as H&J Corporate Services (Cayman) Ltd.



Seated (L – R) Gina Berry – Partner, Higgs Johnson Truman Bodden & Co, Heather Thompson – Partner, Higgs & Johnson, Vivienne Gouthro – Partner, Higgs & Johnson, Surinder Deal – Partner, Higgs & Johnson