Sean McWeeney QC, is a senior partner and Chair of the firm’s Financial Services, Private Client, Trusts and Estates Practice Group. He specializes in trusts and corporate law.

He represents domestic and international high net worth individuals and fiduciaries in a broad range of complex matters including trusts and estates administration and litigation and family business governance. In addition, Sean advises institutional and private families on complex corporate matters including restructurings and Bahamian tax matters. He is a recognised author on both legal and historical matters and regularly speaks at national and international conferences.

Sean is recognised by the prestigious London-based Chambers and Partners as a top ranked attorney in the High Net Worth (HNW) Offshore Trusts Sector and Chambers Global General Business Law. He holds the distinction of a Band 1 ranking in both areas, which is the highest individual ranking.

Chambers Review (HNW): Sean McWeeney QC, is a “well-established name” in the market. One peer says: “He is one of the best offshore lawyers across the board and certainly the go-to person for Bahamas work. He has handled some huge cases and the market unanimously sees him as the best private client lawyer in the Bahamas. He is very sophisticated, has great judgement and is very thoughtful and charismatic.” A market insider enthuses: “He is remarkable. He is hands-down still the guru. He is a champion of the industry and the island.”

Chambers Review (Global): Sean McWeeney QC remains a widely respected figure, and is particularly known for his skills in trusts and estates and private wealth matters. Industry sources praise his way of “very proficiently manoeuvring clients through bureaucratic systems.” One commentator added: “He’s in a class of his own.”

Recent engagements include:

  • Trust re-structuring for ultra-high-net worth Australian family for succession-enhancement purposes (tax neutral), involving complex underlying corporate structures, and complex bespoke trust provisions requiring original (non-template) drafting.
  • Trust structuring for HNW client with progressive illness; personal asset transfers into trust with new command-and-control structures (including special enduring powers of attorney and new pour-over Will, and discretionary trust with customized features) in anticipation of his complete incapacitation.
  • Complex variation of trust preparations (which will require court approval) for re-domiciliation of trust from Cayman Islands to The Bahamas for ultra-high-net worth family and involving co-ordination with attorneys in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Leading counsel for major ongoing trust litigation in The Bahamas involving complex claims of breach of trust and breach of beneficiary information rights (with landmark decision on the latter already). Close co-ordination with interests in four other jurisdictions.
  • Acting for major international trust companies in relation to formal variation-of-trust applications to the Bahamas Supreme Court.
  • Acting for a number of ultra-high net worth families in relation to the succession-oriented re-structuring of their trust and corporate affairs.
  • Acting for a major international bank and trust company in relation to the re-structuring of its domestic operations in The Bahamas.
  • Acting for a number of banks in relation to the regulatory aspects of their re-structured ownership.
  • Acting as the Bahamian legal adviser to a British-based petroleum company in relation to its proposed exploration activities in the Bahamas.
Graham Thompson Partner, Sean McWeeney QC, WSG 2018 Annual Meeting

Graham Thompson Senior Partner Sean Mcweeney, QC, presents at the 2018 WSG Annual Meeting.

Practice Areas
Admissions
  • The Bahamas Bar, 1978
  • The Inner Bar (Queen’s Counsel), 2009
Awards
  • Chambers and Partners, Leading Lawyer (Band 1), High Net Worth (HNW) , Offshore Trusts Sector (2020)
  • Chambers and Partners, Band 1 Attorney, Chambers Global – General Business Law (2020)
  • Chambers and Partners, Band 1 Attorney, Chambers Global – General Business Law (2019, 2018, 2017)
  • Chambers and Partners, Leading Lawyer (Band 1), High Net Worth (HNW), Offshore Trusts Sector (2019, 2018, 2017)
  • Chambers and Partners, Band 1 Attorney, Chambers Global – General Business Law (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012)
  • 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
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
  • “Some Reflections on the Reality and the Vision for Bahamian Financial Services”, AML/CFT Conference, Baha Mar, Nassau, The Bahamas [September 2018]
  • “What Now? Survival and Adaptation Strategies for Offshore Financial Centres” (STEP Caribbean Conference, 2014)
  • “Getting Rid of Trusts and moving Towards Companies Limited by Guarantee Without a Share Capital as Trust Substitutes” (STEP, 2013)
  • “Protectors and Trust Disputes” (OPC Trust Law Conference, 2011)
  • “Trust Fundamentals – Back to Basics”, (STEP Trust Immersion Seminar, 2010)
  • “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)
  • “The Rule in Hastings-Bass – Help for Trustees Who Make Mistakes” (STEP Bahamas, 2007)
Publications
Membership
  • The Bahamas Bar Association
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
Chambers HNW 2020, SMcW
Chambers Global 2020, SMcW QC