His Excellency Sean McWeeney QC, is a specialist in trusts, corporate restructurings, and bank regulatory law. He is also generally acknowledged as the leading expert in The Bahamas on the law relating to stamp duty, a major source of revenue in the Bahamas.

A member of the Bahamas Bar since March 1978, Sean served as Attorney General of the Bahamas from January 1989 to August 1992. He also served as a Senator from 1985 to 1992, and as Leader of the Government in the Senate between 1991 and 1992.  In 2012 he was appointed as the Chairman of the Constitutional Commission, the body responsible for recommending and overseeing implementation of reforms to the national constitution of The Bahamas. In 2014 he was also appointed as the first-ever (non-resident) Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of The Bahamas to the Holy See (The Vatican).

During his tenure as Attorney General, the company laws of the Bahamas were modernized with the introduction of the International Business Companies Act. Important additions to the trust legislation of the Bahamas were also introduced.

Sean is consistently ranked annually as a BAND 1 ATTORNEY by CHAMBERS GLOBAL:  "Sean McWeeney, QC is a seasoned practitioner who enjoys a stellar reputation for his in-depth knowledge of trust and estate planning. Sources commend his strong knowledge of the local regulatory framework and say he is a great lawyer - intellectually and practically." (Chambers Global 2015) "Sean McWeeney, QC is a highly regarded for his knowledge of trusts. One client also commended his big-picture viewpoint... as his greatest strength." (Chambers Global 2014) and "Sean McWeeney, QC, is a go-to lawyer for trust matters. Sources describe him as very astute and very aware of the needs of his clients – he works assiduously to make sure they are met." (Chambers Global 2013)

Recent transactions include:

  • Acted for major international trust companies in relation to formal variation-of-trust applications to the Bahamas Supreme Court;
  • Acted for a number of ultra-high net worth families in relation to the succession-oriented re-structuring of their trust and corporate affairs;
  • Acted for a major international bank and trust company in relation to the re-structuring of its domestic operations in The Bahamas;
  • Acted for a number of banks in relation to the regulatory aspects of their re-structured ownership; and
  • Acted as the Bahamian legal adviser to a British-based petroleum company in relation to its proposed exploration activities in the Bahamas.
Awards

Appointed one of Her Majesty’s Counsel (Queen’s Counsel), 2009

Bahamas Silver Jubilee Medal for “Outstanding Contribution to National Development in the Area of Law”, 1998

Citiwealth Offshore Leaders List as one of the Caribbean’s leading lawyers in wealth management

Leading Lawyer (Band 1) in field of Trust and Estate Planning, Chambers and Partners, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Chambers and Partners, Leading Lawyer (Band 1) in field of High Net Worth Advisors for Trusts, 2017

Community Involvement

Chairman, The Clifton Heritage Authority, Bahamas, 2003-2007

Public Service

Attorney General of the Bahamas, 1989–1992

Bahamas Senator, 1985–1992

Leader of the Government in the Bahamas Senate, 1991-1992

Chairman, The Bahamas Judicial Review Commission, 2000 and 2005

Chairman, The Steering and Implementation Committees for the Re-Structuring and Modernization of the Royal Bahamas Police Force

Chairman, Transition Team for the new Government of the Bahamas, 2002, and 2012

Member, Bahamas National Security Council, 2003-2007

Chairman, Bahamas Constitutional Commission, 2012-2017

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the Holy See (The Vatican) 2014 -  

Speaking Engagements

“Financial Institutions as Constructive Trustees” (Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers, 2000)

“The Rule in Hastings-Bass - Help for Trustees Who Make Mistakes” (STEP Bahamas, 2007)

“International Asset Protection Planning and Domestic Creditor Recovery Tactics: Two Mock Trials” (STEP Canada, Osgoode Hall, University of Toronto, 2008 – served as trial judge)

“The Effectiveness of Statutory Provisions Outlawing Forced Heirship Claims” (STEP Caribbean Conference, Panama, 2008)

“Trust Fundamentals – Back to Basics”, (STEP Trust Immersion Seminar, 2010)

“Protectors and Trust Disputes” (OPC Trust Law Conference, 2011)

“Getting Rid of Trusts and moving Towards Companies Limited by Guarantee Without a Share Capital as Trust Substitutes” (STEP, 2013)

“What Now? Survival and Adaptation Strategies for Offshore Financial Centres” (STEP Caribbean Conference, 2014)

Publications

“Creditor Protection Trusts under Bahamian Law” (monograph, 1993)

Memberships

The Bahamas Bar Association

Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)

Practice Areas
Admissions

The Bahamas Bar, 1978

The Inner Bar (Queen’s Counsel), 2009

Awards

Appointed one of Her Majesty’s Counsel (Queen’s Counsel), 2009

Bahamas Silver Jubilee Medal for “Outstanding Contribution to National Development in the Area of Law”, 1998

Citiwealth Offshore Leaders List as one of the Caribbean’s leading lawyers in wealth management

Leading Lawyer (Band 1) in field of Trust and Estate Planning, Chambers and Partners, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Chambers and Partners, Leading Lawyer (Band 1) in field of High Net Worth Advisors for Trusts, 2017

Community Involvement

Chairman, The Clifton Heritage Authority, Bahamas, 2003-2007

Public Service

Attorney General of the Bahamas, 1989–1992

Bahamas Senator, 1985–1992

Leader of the Government in the Bahamas Senate, 1991-1992

Chairman, The Bahamas Judicial Review Commission, 2000 and 2005

Chairman, The Steering and Implementation Committees for the Re-Structuring and Modernization of the Royal Bahamas Police Force

Chairman, Transition Team for the new Government of the Bahamas, 2002, and 2012

Member, Bahamas National Security Council, 2003-2007

Chairman, Bahamas Constitutional Commission, 2012-2017

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the Holy See (The Vatican) 2014 -  

Speaking Engagements

“Financial Institutions as Constructive Trustees” (Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers, 2000)

“The Rule in Hastings-Bass - Help for Trustees Who Make Mistakes” (STEP Bahamas, 2007)

“International Asset Protection Planning and Domestic Creditor Recovery Tactics: Two Mock Trials” (STEP Canada, Osgoode Hall, University of Toronto, 2008 – served as trial judge)

“The Effectiveness of Statutory Provisions Outlawing Forced Heirship Claims” (STEP Caribbean Conference, Panama, 2008)

“Trust Fundamentals – Back to Basics”, (STEP Trust Immersion Seminar, 2010)

“Protectors and Trust Disputes” (OPC Trust Law Conference, 2011)

“Getting Rid of Trusts and moving Towards Companies Limited by Guarantee Without a Share Capital as Trust Substitutes” (STEP, 2013)

“What Now? Survival and Adaptation Strategies for Offshore Financial Centres” (STEP Caribbean Conference, 2014)

Publications

“Creditor Protection Trusts under Bahamian Law” (monograph, 1993)

Memberships

The Bahamas Bar Association

Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)

http://www.iflr1000.com/Firm/Graham-Thompson-Bahamas/Profile/2239#profile

Chambers Band 1