Melanie Jones is an attorney-at-law and a partner based in the Barbados office of Lex Caribbean. She leads the firm's international business practice, its corporate services as well as its entrepreneurial business unit. Melanie also founded and leads Lex's two sister entities: Lex Caribbean Corporate Services Inc., which is licensed to conduct corporate services pursuant to the Corporate and Trust Service Providers Act; and ISM Sponsor Services Inc., which has been certified by the International Securities Market of the Barbados Stock Exchange as one of five approved listing sponsors in Barbados.
Melanie was born in Barbados and grew up on the island until leaving at age 18 on a Barbados Scholarship, to read law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Melanie has 27 years' experience in private practice, having begun her career in England at the London office of international law firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where she practiced for some years before relocating to the Cayman Islands to work with Maples and Calder for six years before returning home to Barbados to join Lex Caribbean in 2003. Melanie has qualified and been admitted to practice law in England and Wales, the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.
Melanie specializes in international business transactions. Her clients are international conglomerates and financial institutions, foreign governments and high net worth individuals. Most of this business originates in Canada, England, Europe, the Far East, the Middle East, Latin America and the USA. In addition, through the Entrepreneurial Business Unit, Melanie and her team advise clients from Barbados and overseas on entrepreneurial ventures. In this context Melanie specializes in commercial and corporate finance law with emphasis on business structuring, risk management, private equity and finance as they relate to start up or early stage businesses.
Melanie serves on the board of directors and is a past President of the Barbados International Business Association ("BIBA"). In the latter capacity she also previously sat on the board of the Barbados Private Sector Association and was a member of the Sub Committee of the Social Partnership. Melanie has also constituted and currently chairs the BIBA Legal Profession Committee.
Melanie has been actively involved in several national consultations with Barbados government departments and regulators including in relation to: the OECD initiatives against Base Erosion and Profit Shifting; immigration policy and procedure, securities law and policy reform around a private placement regime; legislation for limited liability partnerships; companies law reform; employment rights legislation; regulation of corporate and trust service providers and the Barbados economy. Melanie also speaks and writes on Barbados legal and business issues regularly and publishes frequently in local and international magazines and professional journals. Melanie has been ranked for multiple consecutive years by the International Financial Law Review and Chambers Global.
Melanie undertakes various charitable initiatives in the education arena. In addition, she is pro bono legal adviser to the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation ("BEF") as well as a board member and champion of its Business Facilitation pillar.
Topically, Melanie recently provided expert evidence in a major tax litigation conducted in the Canadian courts, involving the Loblaw Group and the Canada Revenue Authority ("CRA"). A pivotal issue in the case (not previously tested before any court) was whether entities licensed under the International Financial Services Act of Barbados ("IFSA") are "banks" under Barbados law. The CRA and their Barbados law expert asserted they are not. The Court was ultimately guided, however, by Melanie's expert testimony. It concluded, in a landmark decision that IFSA licensees are indeed "banks" under Barbados law.