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Our People

At Baptiste & Co., we are a team of passionate people committed to helping you succeed! Our team is easily accessible and highly responsive. Contact us today to have the legal expertise of our team to strengthen your legal stance!

Our Attorneys

Rene M. Baptiste

Rene M. Baptiste (Senior Partner)

C.M.G LL.B (Hons.), L.E.C. ACIArb
“Reason is the life of the law, nay the common law is nothing else but reason.” – Sir Edward Coke

Rene M. Baptiste is the managing partner of Baptiste & Co. She has been practising at the Bar of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bar for over 40 years. She has also been called to the Bars of Antigua and St. Kitts.

Rene M. Baptiste began her undergraduate studies at the then one-year-old faculty of Law of the University of the West Indies to read Law at the Cave Hill Campus, Barbados as the recipient of a prestigious WSIA Scholarship in 1971. She graduated with an LLB(Hons) degree in 1974. She then proceeded to the newly established Hugh Wooding Law School where she received her Legal Education Certificate in 1976.

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From 1976-1986, she served as the pioneer manager of the St. Vincent Trust Authority. In March 1986, Rene M. Baptiste opened her private law firm and was actively engaged in the practice of law from 1986-2001. She was also fortunate enough to appear before the Privy Council during that time.
Rene M. Baptiste has been a notary public since 1991. She became a member of both the offshore institute in 1996 as well as the International Bar Association. She was also a member of the American Bar Association (International Associate) and the International Tax Planning Association.

She was elected to the Parliament of Saint Vincent in 2001 and served as Minister of Tourism and Culture up to 2005. She was re elected in 2005 and served as Minister of Urban Development, Culture, Labour and Electoral Matters up to 2010.

On December 31st, 2010, Rene M. Baptiste was the recipient of the CMG honor from Her Majesty Queen, the Queen in New Year’s Honours list for 2011.

She returned to her law practice in 2011 and since then, she has become an associate member of CIARB, Member of the SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce and South East Chamber of Comm. She is a current Member of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, and the Caribbean Medicolegal Society founded in 2020 and SouthEast Chamber of Industry and Commerce. She continues to serve as the Chairman of the Board of St. Vincent Electricity Services Ltd.

Michaela Ambrose

Michaela Ambrose (Senior Associate)

LLB (Hons)
Law is order, and good law is order.”– Aristotle, Politics

Ms. Michaela N. Ambrose was born in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago to Dr. Rosalind Ambrose and Mr. Dennis Ambrose. The elder of two children, Michaela grew up in St. Vincent & the Grenadines in the capable hands of her maternal grandmother and aunt, Ms. Beryl Baptiste and Hon. Rene M. Baptiste.

Michaela attended the Petersville Primary School at an early age from 1988 – 1996. At Petersville, she was the Head Girl for two consecutive years before sitting the Common Entrance examinations with a passing grade to attend the St. Vincent Girls’ High School.

 

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She attended the St. Vincent Girls’ High School from 1996-2002 where she sat the Caribbean Examination Council exams (also known as GCSEs) attaining 9 subjects with distinctions in I.T. and English Language. During her time in High School, having been an avid participant in the Girl Guide Association, Michaela and a friend started the first Brownie Pack at the Windsor Primary School. In the summer of 2002, Michaela participated in the Girl Guide Association’s Duke of Edinburgh awards in Southhampton, U.K..

Upon completion of High School, Michaela enrolled in the University of Wolverhampton’s LLB (Hons) program from 2003-2006 and graduated with 2nd class honours.

Michaela then graduated with a Diploma in International Business.

The City Law School facilitated her enrollment on the (then) Bar Vocational Course from 2008. She is a Member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn. Having completed her examinations there and sitting Dinners, Michaela was Called to the Bar of England and Wales in November, 2010.

Michaela returned to St. Vincent in December, 2010 and was subsequently Called to the Bar of St. Vincent & the Grenadines on 4th February, 2011. As expected, she joined this law firm, Baptiste & Co.

During her time at Baptiste & Co Law Firm Inc., Michaela has honed her Criminal Litigation practice to one area of her specialism. With a busy Magistrates Court and High Court practice; including bail, bail review, preliminary inquiries, police station representation and contested trials.

She is the Head of the Criminal Litigation Department within the Firm and has litigated to conclusion several reported cases.

Michaela is currently on sabbatical as she seeks dual qualification in Ontario, Canada. In 2018, she received her Certificate of Qualification from the National Committee on Accreditation of the Federal Law Societies of Canada. Currently, she is studying for the Bar examinations offered by the Law Society of Ontario in Ontario, Canada.

Email: mambrose@baptistecolawfirm.com

Michaela Ambrose
Mikhail A.X. Charles

Mikhail Charles (Barrister)

Mikhail Charles is an experienced litigator across the Caribbean Region with a broad cross-border commercial disputes practice, including insolvency and regulatory litigation. He is intimately involved with the representation of companies and high–net worth individuals globally, in matters relating to trusts, cross– border insolvency, international judgment enforcement and asset recovery.

He has litigated to a successful conclusion several reported cases.
He has substantial international comparative legal experience and consultancy having worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat (headquartered out of London on specific aspects of regulatory and legal reform across many parts of the world. This has included delivery of anti-corruption and related forfeiture training) and the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (as in-house Counsel and sole support lawyer).

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He has also lectured at a regional university on matters of corporate and insolvency law.
With Baptiste & Co. Chambers, delivery of fast, effective and commercially driven litigation solutions is our focus.

Credentials:

LL.B (Hons) – University of Wales

LL.M Corporate and Insolvency Law – Nottingham Law School

Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes – Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)

Certificate in International Investment Law and Dispute Resolution – British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL),

In respect of matters in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, it is the “home jurisdiction” of Mr. Charles, he completed a 6-month common law pupillage with these Chambers and was admitted to the Bar in 2013.
He quickly established a busy practice appearing in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in 2015 for the (then) largest money laundering case in its history, challenged the sentencing of an accused person with severe mental health issues and tested the newly passed Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Saint Vincent with the first ever recognition of a ‘foreign liquidator’ application.
He regularly provides written advice for Vincentian corporate entities and on matters of Vincentian law generally.

Some select engagements he has undertaken include:

• Expert evidence on Nevis law issues of civil conspiracy and unlawful means conspiracy, in the context of a US 1782 application (discovery to assist foreign / non-U.S. proceeding).
• Antonio Gellizeau v The State SVGHCRAP2013 / 0058: determining the width of the anti-money laundering offence in defended proceedings concerning substantial funds in cash found in the hull of a yacht; considering the weight of circumstantial evidence in money laundering matters and the probative value of financial experts who are qualified by experience.
• Digital Wings Limited v Diliana Roussev SVGHCM2016 / 0214: Ongoing matter re construing the proper law applicable to a company’s director and shareholder register of a foreign domiciled company.
• Martin Trott (RHSW BVI Limted) SVGHCM 2017 / 0190: Ongoing matter re recognition of a foreign liquidator in defended insolvency proceedings.
• Counsel defending proceedings regrading the share issuance of a Vincentian offshore company
• Counsel representing the efforts of 10 depositors in the liquidation of the largest offshore bank in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Public / Civic Engagement:

Mr. Charles was a former appointed member of the National Accreditation Board of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a Director of the SVG Young Professionals Association.
He is a decorated martial artist, holding black belts in Taekwondo (Third Degree) and Shotokan Karate (Second Degree) and has represented Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the finals of the Pan American Games, Central American and Caribbean Games, Cuban Open, Dominican Republic Open and the US Open among others.

In addition, he practices Brazilian Jiu – Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, is a trained close protection officer / bodyguard and also enjoys cricket.
He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and is a founding member of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Chapter of the Chartered Institute.

Recent Publications and Presentations:

• Masterclass on Corporate Insolvency Law (UWI Mona Law, 2020) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqMXytXwKj4
• Cybersecurity in the OECS – Your Duties as a Practitioner (June 2018 – Presentation to the Saint Lucia Bar Association for their CPD)
• Evaluator of the Seychellois Anti-Corruption Commission (Legislation and associated Infrastructure, 2017)
• The Civil and Criminal Asset Recovery Framework (Presentation to Senior Nigerian Judges and Prosecutors) (May, 2017 – Lagos, Nigeria) https://thecommonwealth.org/media/news/commonwealth-assists-nigerian-judiciary-tackling-corruption
• Judicial Bench Book on Violence Against Women in Commonwealth East Africa, Contributor on Chapter re Directions in Court of Superior Record (Commonwealth Secretariat Publication 2017) ISBN: 978-1-84929-161-3
• Common Law Legal Systems Model Legislative Provisions on Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing, Preventative measures and Proceeds of Crime, Contributor (Commonwealth Secretariat, UNODC, IMF, 2016) ISBN: 978-1-84929-150-7
• Changing the Law: A Practical Guide to Law Reform (Contributor, Commonwealth Secretariat, 2017) ISBN: 978-1-84929-174-3
• Commonwealth Legislative Drafting Manual (Roger Rose, Commonwealth Secretariat (Contributor) 2017) ISBN: 978-1-84929-169-9
• Contributor, Brooke’s Notary (Chapter on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 14th Edition, Sweet & Maxwell ISBN 9780414028388)

Bar Admissions:

• England and Wales: non–practicising
• Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Barrister, Solicitor and Notary Public
• Saint Lucia: Barrister, Solicitor and Notary Royal
• Grenada: Barrister and Solicitor
• British Virgin Islands: Barrister
• Saint Kitts and Nevis: Barrister and Solicitor
Email: mcharles@baptistecolawfirm.com

Dr Jason K. Haynes

Dr Jason K. Haynes (OF COUNSEL)

PH.D
“Success through faith and discipline.”

Dr Jason K. Haynes is National Scholar, 2011 British Chevening Scholarship recipient and a 2012 Commonwealth Scholarship recipient. He holds a first class honours degree from the University of the West Indies (LLB) as well as a Master of Laws (with distinction) from the University of Nottingham and a Postgraduate certificate in Academic Practice from Durham University in addition to a Doctorate in International and European Law from Durham University. He was awarded the Durham University Teaching and Learning award for excellence in teaching.

Dr Jason K. Haynes is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Authority and has contributed to several journals, including the Journal of International Dispute Settlement, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, European Human Rights Review, European Intellectual Property Review, and the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, amongst others.

 

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He is currently a lecturer of Family Law, Human Rights Law and Integration Law at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus, Jamaica, and is the first person to develop and offer the courses Investment Law and Sports Law at the university. He also lectures EU Law via distance learning at Arden University, UK. He graduated from the Norman Manley Law School with the Legal Education Certificate in 2017.

At present, Dr Jason K. Haynes is on sabbatical from the firm.

Email:  jasonhaynes@hotmail.com

Our Support Staff

Joan Cunningham

Joan Cunningham (Chief Clerk)

Joan Cunningham joined the law firm in March 2011. She holds the position of Chief Clerk. Her duties extend to include the preparation of conveyances, mortgages, lease agreements, bills of sale, alien landholding licences, and probate.

Joan Cunningham
Lakita P. Harry

Lakita P. Harry (Legal Executive)

Lakita Patricia Harry serves the firm as a Legal Assistant and Social Secretary. She enrolled into Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Cadet Force in her early years as a secondary school student and in Mijé Personal Development and Advertising Agency. There she learned to utilise her confidence to the best of her ability when dealing with customers, poise, dependability, commitment, and ability to overcome obstacles.

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After receiving her secondary education at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School, she took it a step further and studied at Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Community College Division of Arts, Science and General Studies. She then pursued her Associate Degree in Applied Science in Business Studies: Sales and Marketing at Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Community College Division of Technical and Vocational Education graduating on Jun 25th, 2013.

Upon the completion of her Associate Degree, Lakita P. Harry interned at our local Caribbean airline, LIAT 1974 (LTD). She was also certified as a Seamstress on December 12th, 2015. She continues to strive for excellence.

Rayshawn Adams

Rayshawn Adams (Office Assistant)

Rayshawn Adams joined the law firm in November 2014. He currently holds the position of Office Assistant. His duties include filing documents at the high court and providing process service.

Rayshawn Adams
Susan Barbour

Susan Barbour (Filing Clerk)

Susan Barbour has been with the firm from its initial inception in 1986 as Rene Baptiste’s Law Chambers. She originally served as a messenger and was later promoted to her current position of Filing Clerk.

Rayshawn Adams

Bianca Hooper (Senior Paralegal)

 

Rayshawn Adams
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Baptiste & Co. Law Firm is the collaborating firm of Andersen Global logo in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

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