Meet the Team

Mandy Cheema
Mandy K. Cheema
Lawyer
Email: mcheema@synergylaw.ca

Mandy K. Cheema (B.A. (Hons.) SFU 1998, LL.B. Osgoode 2001) is an experienced business lawyer who practices real estate, financing, corporate and commercial law.

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Mandy advises residential and commercial real estate developers with respect to the acquisition, disposition, development, marketing, leasing and financing of residential and commercial real estate developments. Her lending practice includes advising institutional lenders, private lenders and borrowers in commercial and real estate transactions. She assists business owners with sales and acquisitions by way of asset or share transactions, corporate reorganizations, partnerships, joint ventures, corporate governance and other corporate and commercial matters. She also provides general corporate advice to societies and not-for-profit corporations and has experience in dealing with registered charity status applications.

In her spare time, Mandy enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and fitness training.

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Mandy Cheema
Elaine Choi
Lawyer
Email: echoi@synergylaw.ca

Elaine Choi (B.Comm UBC 2011, J.D. UBC 2015) is a lawyer with a business background and a Finance Major.

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Elaine worked in the legal department of a large North American women’s fashion boutique prior to joining Synergy Business Lawyers LLP. While studying at the University of British Columbia, Elaine was the recipient of several awards including the David Roberts Prize in Legal Writing.
Elaine maintains a general business practice with a focus on corporate and commercial law. Elaine has assisted clients with mergers and acquisitions of various private businesses. Elaine has also assisted clients with employment law matters, including drafting and negotiating employment and independent contractor agreements. Additionally, Elaine has advised both tenants and landlords on commercial leasing matters and has experience in acting for both lenders and borrowers in commercial lending transactions.

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Natanya Garcia
Natanya Garcia
Lawyer
Email: ngarcia@synergylaw.ca

Natanya Garcia (LL.M McGill University 2003 (Technology Law), NCA 2008) focuses mainly on technology and corporate commercial law. She advises companies, including software companies, internet retail companies and

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service companies on a variety of technology based issues. She also specializes in drafting trademark and software licensing agreements, enterprise agreements and Software as a Service (“SaaS”) agreements. Her aim is to assist companies in navigating the ever-evolving technology driven legal issues related to setting up and running an online business.

In addition to technology law, Natanya has extensive experience in the buying and selling of businesses. She has assisted clients in the purchase and sale of various businesses throughout British Columbia and Alberta including the complex sale of several interrelated companies in a single transaction worth over $70 million. She has also acted as lead associate on an $18 million cross border share purchase transaction.

Natanya also works closely with landlords and tenants for the lease of commercial buildings and regional shopping centers throughout the Lower Mainland. She is experienced in drafting and reviewing master lease agreements for landlords and negotiating lease terms with anchor and non-anchor tenants and has acted for various tenants regarding negotiating commercial leases with their landlord.

 

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Stephen Holmes
Stephen D. Holmes
Senior Counsel
Email: sholmes@synergylaw.ca

Stephen D. Holmes (B.Com. (Dean’s List), UBC 1977, LLB JD, UBC 1978) focuses on cross border tax for business people, securities, business, and estate planning law. His international clients range from

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governments, trusts, and banks to entrepreneurs.

Stephen has a TEP designation from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and has lectured and written extensively in Europe, Asia and North America in regard to tax, estate planning, immigration and corporate governance. In the past, he practiced with the two largest firms in Canada, he had his own internationally recognized firm and he was global VP of a large international legal network. At Synergy Business Lawyers LLP, Stephen assists clients with tax planning through the use of non-resident corporations, tax treaties and change of residency. Stephen also helps clients negotiate for the sale of private companies, as well as assisting business owners with the protection of intellectual property, employment contracts, shareholders agreements and holding companies.

Stephen is an Honorary Consul of Malta and speaks Spanish. He has represented Canada at the Triathlon World Championship on many occasions as a member of the National Team. He was also president of Triathlon Canada and a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

He has also been active in many charitable activities including as a board member of the Vancouver Aquarium.

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Mandy Cheema
Carl P. Jacobson
Partner
Email: cjacobson@synergylaw.ca

Carl P. Jacobson (B.Sc. 1989, M.B.A. 1993, LL.B. 1993) is a founding partner of Synergy Business Lawyers.

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He is an experienced business lawyer who works with businesses, business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals from a variety of professions in the set up, operation, management, growth and sale of their business. Carl has particular experience in the area of structuring and restructuring of private companies, including the associated business, personal and family planning, trust and estate planning issues. Carl has a demonstrated ability to work effectively with his client’s team and enjoys seeing his clients succeed in their personal and professional lives.

Outside of the office, as a former multiple time British Columbia champion road cyclist, Carl spends his free time on the Board of one of Canada’s largest amateur cycling teams. He also enjoys skiing, fishing and road and mountain biking.

*Incorporated Partner

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Hailey Laycraft
Ellen S. Kief
U.S. Immigration Lawyer
Email: ekief@synergylaw.ca

Ellen S. Kief practices US immigration law with a focus on business immigration for corporate
clients and businesses in Canada, the United States and worldwide. 

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Based in Vancouver, Ellen’s practice involves U.S. cross-border travel, business visas, investor visas, family visas, permanent residence, and citizenship. Ellen is a national speaker and educator on U.S. immigration law. As an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) she served as Chair of U.S. Canada Chapter, Chair for New England congressional meetings in Washington DC, U.S. Canada Immigration Liaison, Vancouver U.S. Consulate and CBP Liaison, and served on the Global Migration Committee, Chair of the Boston Bar Association (BBA) Immigration Section and Education Law Practice Committee She serves on the Board of the National American Chamber of Commerce, and the Executive Board and Board of New England U.S. Canada Business Council.

 

Ellen is a dual U.S./Canadian national. She is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar, U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, and Practitioner of Foreign Law of BC. Ellen holds certifications in mediation and conflict resolution.

 

Education

  • Juris Doctor (JD) Massachusetts School of Law
  • Foreign Law Practitioner (BC), U.S. Immigration Lawyer
  • Master of Laws (LLM CL), Peter A. Allard School of Law
  • Bachelor of Science Finance and Management, Bentley University
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) Curriculum and Teaching, Boston University

 

Ellen is active and passionate about community involvement. She is the recipient of the Denis Maguire Award Honoring Extraordinary Commitment to Equal Access to Justice. Outreach activities include Ride to Conquer Cancer, Rider for Hearing Impaired, sighted guide runner for visually impaired, Boston Marathon run for cancer research. She is a certified fitness trainer/instructor and a previously certified Paramedic.

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Hailey Laycraft
Hailey Laycraft
Lawyer
Email: hlaycraft@synergylaw.ca

Hailey Laycraft (B.Comm. MRU 2014, J.D. TRU 2018) is a lawyer with a primary focus on real estate, development, and corporate commercial matters.

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Her practice includes advising on property development, commercial leasing, sales and acquisitions of real estate, financing, and zoning. She also assists clients with corporate and commercial matters, such as incorporations, asset and share purchase agreements, and shareholder agreements.

In her spare time, Hailey enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, cooking and traveling.

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Mandy Cheema
Robert Lee
Partner
Email: rlee@synergylaw.ca

Robert Lee is a knowledgeable corporate lawyer that has advised clients on a wide range of business law issues across many industries.

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Robert’s experience has been focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and general corporate governance, and he has acted for purchasers and vendors in connection with the acquisition and sale of assets and companies in the technology, film and movie, and marine transportation industries, amongst others. He has also advised borrowers and purchasers on the financing of the purchase and construction of containerships and worked with founders in the set-up of private equity and venture capital funds, and Robert is familiar with limited partnership structures and venture capital/debt investments. He has also advised purchasers in the acquisition, financing, and development of mixed-use real estate projects.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Robert was a researcher in the field of molecular genetics and investigated lipid biosynthesis in plant systems.

*Incorporated Partner

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Mandy Cheema
Amy Lowe
Partner
Email: alowe@synergylaw.ca

Amy Lowe (B.B.A. (First Class Honours) 2008, J.D. UBC 2012) is a knowledgeable real estate lawyer with a background in business and finance.

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Amy’s experience has been focused on real estate, secured lending, corporate law, and business immigration. Amy routinely advises developers, investors, buyers, and sellers of real estate in various stages of real estate project development or any type of real property transactions. Amy is also familiar with providing legal services to financial institutions and private lenders offering financing to borrowers in different industries. Additionally, Amy assists corporate clients with mergers and acquisitions, commercial leasing, and foreign worker recruitment. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Amy gained her business and real estate knowledge from her experience as a real estate licensee, business consultant, and retail banker. Amy is also conversationally fluent in Cantonese.

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Quinn Marceil
Quinn Marceil
Lawyer
Email: qmarceil@synergylaw.ca

Quinn Marceil (B.A. (with Distinction) SFU 2016, J.D. (Business Law Concentration) UBC 2020) is a corporate lawyer with a transactional and advisory business law practice.

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Quinn has assisted clients with a variety of business law matters including mergers and acquisitions, restructuring of corporate entities, commercial agreements, commercial lending transactions, corporate governance, shareholder’s agreements, intellectual property, worker mobility, and employment law. Quinn participated in the UBC Corporate Counsel Externship where he worked in the legal team of a large organization, assisting with intellectual property, contract drafting, policy consultation, and governance. Quinn enjoys hiking and playing bass guitar.

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Jennifer Noone
Jennifer Noone
Lawyer
Email: jnoone@synergylaw.ca

Jennifer Noone (B.B.S. DCU 2004, NCA 2019) is a lawyer on our wealth planning team and specializes in the area of estates and trusts law. Jennifer is originally from Ireland and was admitted as a solicitor in both Ireland and England & Wales in 2010.

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Jennifer moved to Vancouver in 2013 and was called to the bar in British Columbia in 2020. Jennifer has a TEP designation from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Jennifer assists individuals and families with their estate, trust, incapacity and post-mortem planning wishes, including planned charitable giving. She also assists business owners with business succession planning matters. In addition, Jennifer advises executors, trustees and professional fiduciaries regarding their duties and powers in estate and trust administration. Jennifer assists clients with preparing wills, powers of attorney, representation agreements for healthcare, and the documentation required to establish various trust arrangements. Jennifer also assists clients with estate administration matters such as obtaining grants of probate.

In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys skiing and hiking the vast mountains of British Columbia.

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Mandy Cheema
Brian E. Rudy
Partner
Email: brudy@synergylaw.ca

Brian E. Rudy (B.Sc. McGill 1989, LL.B. UBC 1994) is a founding partner of Synergy Business Lawyers LLP.

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He is an experienced corporate lawyer who practices corporate commercial law, with a focus on privately held corporations and entrepreneurs. Brian assists clients with mergers and acquisitions, business succession, technology licensing, distribution channels and franchising, internet and software law, corporate governance, private equity financing, employment law, commercial leasing, foreign worker recruitment, and other legal matters that arise in the course of business.
Brian was chair of the course “Private Company Structuring” and he was a speaker at the Advanced Mergers and Acquisitions Course, both for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia. Brian regularly lectures throughout British Columbia on the topics of structuring businesses, purchasing businesses, healthcare law and preparing businesses for sale. Brian’s clients range from professionals and emerging software companies, to construction companies and multinational resource companies.

*Incorporated Partner

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Mandy Cheema
Raymond D. Schachter
Senior Counsel
Email: rschachter@synergylaw.ca

Ray is an Associate Counsel, with more than 40 years’ experience advising clients in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario on complex corporate and commercial matters.

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His diverse client base includes private education providers, private liquor stores, hydroelectric power producers, development companies, and numerous significant British Columbia private companies. He advises such clients on the full range of corporate and commercial matters, assisting with their day to day requirements and with matters such as acquisitions, dispositions, agreements, reorganizations, business planning, construction contracts and project development agreements. He also writes and lectures on legal ethics and has delivered many educational seminars. Ray has been doing community and voluntary work throughout his career.

Articles:

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Harry
Harry Tomyn
Senior Counsel
Email: htomyn@synergylaw.ca

Harry Tomyn has a diverse commercial and real estate practice.

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His extensive experience includes real estate development, joint ventures, partnerships, shareholder agreements, leases, business acquisitions and sales, financing, employment matters, business reorganizations, trusts, and other business contracts. Harry has a wide range of clients, from business owners, entrepreneurs, developers and investors to major financial institutions.

Harry is often involved in complex corporate reorganizations, real estate development projects, and contract drafting.

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Dalene Visser
Dalene Visser
Lawyer
Email: dvisser@synergylaw.ca

Dalene Visser (B.A. McGill 2011, J.D., TRU 2015) is a lawyer who practices real estate
corporate structuring and corporate commercial law.

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Dalene advises business owners in many aspects of their business including buying and selling a business, corporate governance, shareholder agreements, leases, residential and commercial conveyancing, financing and drafting bespoke contracts. Dalene completed the CPA In Depth taxcourse and assists individuals and business owners with estate freezes, corporate reorganizations and other wealth management matters.

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Mandy Cheema
Howard D. Wong
Senior Counsel
Email: hwong@synergylaw.ca

Howard D. Wong (B.Sc. 1977, LL.B 1981) is an experienced commercial and real estate lawyer.

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In addition to assisting business people with their ongoing operational matters, Howard assists clients with sophisticated real estate issues, business transactions and trusts. Howard’s work includes real estate development, heritage residential, low and high rise residential, shopping centres, mixed-use projects, air space subdivisions, commercial leasing, and sales and acquisitions of real estate and businesses. Howard also enjoys applying his experience to estate planning and wealth management.

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