Our rationale and the work we do
Lex Caribbean’s Entrepreneurial Business Unit (“EBU”) was conceived in response to a lobby mounted by the Business Facilitation Pillar of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) for responsive, right-priced service delivery by professional advisers to entrepreneurs. The BEF’s vision is that Barbados will be the #1 entrepreneurial hub in the world by 2020. We at Lex Caribbean fully subscribe to that vision.
Among small start up entrepreneurs for whom financial constraint can be a dominant theme, the inclination is often to cut corners in areas such as legal work. This sometimes leads to catastrophic results, especially when the business becomes worth more than just sentiment. Even for larger, more experienced entrepreneurs, preoccupation with other priorities such as finance, research and development can lead to omissions with respect to critically important legal issues which can often be time-sensitive and expensive to rectify. Through our EBU Lex specializes in advising entrepreneurs on the myriad of legal and regulatory issues arising , within the context of the specific circumstances and objectives of the relevant venture, to facilitate proper planning and determination of priorities. Where appropriate we also offer discounted rates to empower entrepreneurs towards early and continuing engagement with the legal imperatives that must be managed so as to maximize prospects for success.
The EBU typically advises and facilitates the entrepreneur client on a number of legal corporate, regulatory and related matters including but not necessarily limited to the following:
- Incorporation and ongoing maintenance of corporate vehicles (conducted from our full service corporate administration unit);
- Provision of Company Secretary;
- Licensing of international business entities;
- Structuring of ventures, including corporate, ownership and operating structures;
- Corporate Finance, including debt, equity and convertible securities;
- Project Finance, including projects involving Government;
- Commercial contracts and pre-contractual documentation such as Memoranda of Understanding;
- Employment and pensions;
- Immigration including work permits and special entry permits;
- Real Property, including commercial and residential sale, purchase and leasing as well as real estate development ventures;
- Intellectual Property including trademark, patent, copyright and licensing;
- Introduction to well respected, senior independent governance professionals;
- Introduction to tax, audit, accounting and other professionals if required;
- Interface with relevant Government bodies, statutory corporations, such as Invest Barbados and regulators, such as the Central Bank, Financial Services Commission and others.
The key objectives of the EBU are:
- to encourage entrepreneurs to manage their legal affairs properly;
- to offer entrepreneurs at all stages in the business cycle sound legal advice at rates which are affordable within the context of their particular endeavour;
- to facilitate and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit embodied in a wide array of ventures;
- to promote and enable the development of the entrepreneurial business sector in Barbados; and
- to assist in creating a strong legal and regulatory infrastructure for the entrepreneurial business sector in Barbados.
We expect the realization of these objectives to translate into significant socio-economic augmentation for the country including, but not necessarily limited to: increased job opportunities; a higher standard of living; more new business ventures; a higher rate of business survival and success; higher efficiency and productivity in the goods and services sectors; an improved national attitude to entrepreneurship; the creation of a more competitive economic environment and, of course, an increase in the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The type of business facilitation offered by the EBU is extremely important to us because we recognize the important role entrepreneurs play in the social and economic framework of a country. It is therefore our intention to do all we can to support and guide the development of this critical sector. The EBU is a very tangible way of doing this. By offering sound legal advice at affordable rates, the EBU directly facilitates and nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit embodied in a wide array of ventures. As such, what we are determined to make it easier to do business in Barbados so that Barbados will be the #1 entrepreneurial hub in the world by 2020.
We recognize that entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes and fields of endeavour. Therefore, we do not determine eligibility for the EBU on the basis of a simple means test or solely by consideration of the nature of the venture or type of client. Instead, each potential client is assessed on a case by case basis, taking into consideration all relevant factors in order to properly exercise the purely discretionary act of accepting anyone as an EBU client.
In addition Lex Caribbean reserves the right to increase its rates with respect to any EBU client on 30 days written notice, to ensure a mutuality of opportunity and interest as particular clients enjoy growing success and as we seek to ensure that the resources of the EBU are engaged and costed in a flexible, adaptive manner so as to support the maximum number of intended beneficiaries.
Melanie Jones is the Partner responsible for the overall conduct of all matters under the EBU as well as its general management.
In addition to Melanie, the core team comprises Senior Associate, Tara Frater, Associate, Sade N. Jemmott, Corporate Administrator, Dennice Bend and Senior Legal Assistant, Jacqueline Phillips. Collectively this group houses a broad range of corporate commercial capabilities and extensive experience in domestic and international transactions. Consistent with the rich array of capability across our firm, other attorneys within the firm may be deployed to input specific expertise such as conveyancing and intellectual property or to contribute additional resources on very large transactions.