Melanie Jones is an attorney-at-law and Managing Partner in the Barbados office of Lex Caribbean. Lex Caribbean is multidisciplinary law firm advising on the laws of several English-speaking territories in the Caribbean. Melanie leads the firm's International Business Group, as well as its Entrepreneurial Business Unit. Melanie also founded and leads Lex Caribbean’s four sister entities, each of which renders complementary client services alongside the law firm. Lex Caribbean Corporate Services Inc. and Lex Corporate Services (Bim) Ltd., are both corporate services providers, licensed pursuant to the Corporate and Trust Service Providers Act. ISM Sponsor Services Inc., is one of five approved listing sponsors in Barbados as certified by the International Securities Market of the Barbados Stock Exchange. Eureka Relocation Concierge Services Inc. (Eureka Barbados) provides bespoke services to support individuals, families and corporates seeking to relocate, set up or headquarter, as applicable, in Barbados.
Melanie specializes in international business transactions with Barbados elements, originating and conducted in a multitude of jurisdictions around the world. Her clients include international conglomerates (public and private) and financial institutions, foreign governments, global private equity firms and high net worth individuals. Within the international business arena, Melanie’s practice most often features corporate, private M&A, institutional finance and financial services regulatory matters. She works on deals across a variety of industry sectors including, energy, mining, hospitality, food, pharmaceuticals, technology and media.
Additionally, through the Entrepreneurial Business Unit, Melanie and her team advise clients from Barbados and overseas on entrepreneurial ventures conducted in or through Barbados. In this context Melanie specializes in corporate, commercial and finance law with an emphasis on business structuring, risk management, private equity and finance, as they relate to start up or early stage businesses.
Melanie has also provided expert evidence as to matters of Barbados law in litigation conducted in the Tax Court of Canada.
For several years Melanie has been continually involved, as an expert and thought leader, in Barbados public-private sector consultations on law and policy. These projects have covered: immigration; securities law, especially the creation of a private placement regime; a limited liability partnership regime; companies law revision; employment rights legislation; regulation of corporate and trust service providers; taxation in the international business sector; economic substance; sweeping legislative and regulatory changes within Barbados’ business regime, arising in the context of OECD and EU initiatives which have transformed the business of offshore international financial centres; business facilitation; and the Barbados economy. Melanie undertakes this work, without remuneration, by way of her commitment to sustainable social and economic development in Barbados.
Since early 2018, Melanie has similarly devoted considerable time, pro bono, to work on the private sector task force constituted by BIBA (the Task Force), which undertook a detailed analysis of the implications for Barbados of its execution of the OECD’s multilateral treaty on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The Task Force drafted and delivered to the Government an extensive report, including recommendations on changes to be made to Barbados’ legal and regulatory infrastructure, in order to secure the OECD’s endorsement of Barbados’ new business regime, which was ushered in, pursuant to sweeping legislative and regulatory changes within Barbados’ business regime, effective on , or since, 1 January 2019. This has marked a new era for both domestic and international business conducted in or from Barbados, and presents new opportunities in the entrepreneurship context. During 2019 Melanie also worked intensively within a sub-group of the Task Force on the development of Barbados’ economic substance regime, another major initiative necessitated by pressure exerted on the jurisdiction by the OECD and the EU.
Melanie speaks and writes on Barbados legal and business issues regularly and has published in local and international magazines and professional journals. She also sits on the editorial board of Business Barbados (https://BusinessBarbados.com/). Melanie has been highly ranked for multiple consecutive years by the International Financial Law Review and Chambers Global.
Melanie has served for over ten years on the board of directors, and is a past President, of the Barbados International Business Association ("BIBA"). Melanie is also a member of BIBA’s Business Facilitation Committee, which focuses on facilitation issues, and legislative and regulatory enhancements for Barbados’ business ecosystem.
Melanie undertakes various other non-profit, charitable and social entrepreneurship initiatives. For a decade she has been pro bono counsel and a board member of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation ("BEF"). She led the BEF’s Barbados Free WiFi project, from inception in 2011, and continues to advocate for many other critical aspects of business facilitation in Barbados. She is pro bono legal adviser to Barbados Helps, whose brainchild is a dedicated digital portal which will raise funds for Barbados charities. She also sits on a working group focussed on renewable energy projects generating yields for re-investment in Barbados’ third sector. She is also a member of the Lex Caribbean group’s CSR Committee, which shapes and executes upon the group’s third sector projects in alignment with the UN’s sustainable development goals. Melanie mentors a number of young Barbadian entrepreneurs, creatives and professionals. Recently, Melanie was invited to join the Barbados chapter of the International Women’s Forum, and has been a member since February 2021.
Melanie was born in Barbados, grew up on the island and undertook her secondary education at Queen’s College. There, she earned a Barbados academic scholarship at age 18, making it possible for her to attend university overseas. Melanie read law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and then attended law school at the Guildford College of Law in England. Several years later Melanie also attended the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad, as a prerequisite to admission to practice in Barbados and Trinidad. Melanie has 29 years' experience in private practice. She began her career in England at the London office of international law firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where she practiced for over 5 years, before relocating to the Cayman Islands to work with Maples and Calder for 6 years, prior to her return to Barbados in 2003 to join Lex Caribbean. Melanie qualified and has been admitted to practice law in England and Wales, the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.