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Litigation Department


Senior Lawyer

John D. Nelson is the co-creator of the Swiftsure Law Brand. He is a skilled legal strategist. Uniquely suited for complex and contentious matters as his approach cuts through the chaos and helps everyone to focus on resolution. He is a powerful speaker, with hundreds of hours of court time and many successful judgments. John has a vast knowledge of Canadian Law and its interpretations, and he uses it to advocate for his clients.


Raised in Victoria BC, with an undergraduate degree in Political and Environmental Sciences from The University of Victoria. John obtained his Juris Doctorate from the Peter A. Allard School of Law in Vancouver, where he did an externship with the Provincial Court. John was called to the BC Bar in 2011 after articling with the Attorney General's office. He spent many years working as a litigator in Vancouver honing his skills both inside the courtroom and out. An active member of the Canadian Bar Association as well as the BC Bar Association. John is constantly striving to learn and grow through professional and personal learning opportunities. He is particularly proud to mentor his articled students and works closely with legal training programs. 

John is dedicated to the quest for justice on behalf of his clients. Navigating an often-difficult legal system he guides his clients through the maelstrom until they achieve resolution and can move on with their lives from a position of strength.  

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. He is an avid fly fisherman and a life-long environmentalist. John is a passionate advocate for local families.


Associate Lawyer

Adam B. Pawlovich joined the Swiftsure Law team in August 2022 as an Associate Lawyer to complement the litigation team. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2016 and was called to the B.C. bar in 2017 after completing his articles at a small boutique firm.


Adam has practiced primarily in the area of family law since being called to the bar and has conducted trials at both the Provincial Court and Supreme Court of
British Columbia. Adam brings his practical approach to solving family law problems by focusing on what matters most: the best interests of the children. Adam is a strong advocate for parents who desire practical advice during one of the most chaotic times in their lives.


Adam also brings over a decade of experience as an educator and IT consultant with WorkSafeBC. His professional activities include acting as the legislative liaison for the Canadian Bar Association, the British Columbia Branch immigration section, and member of the Victoria Bar Association and Law Society of BC.


Adam and his young family enjoy all the Victoria community has to offer in terms of outdoor activities and a community mindset. Adam looks forward to bringing his prairie charm in providing guidance and good representation to his clients.

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Stephanie Weidmann
Associate Lawyer

Stephanie A. Weidmann joined the Swiftsure Law Team in the summer of 2020 as John D. Nelson’s articled student and is now an Associate Lawyer. With a Bachelor of Communications from Mount Royal University and a Juris Doctorate from Thompson Rivers University, Stephanie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Swiftsure Law Team. 


She has worked with leading scholars on the issue of Trans Legal Rights, has published an article, and assisted the guest editor of a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society on legal issues facing Trans folks in Canada. She is the recipient of the Grace McDonell Scholarship for her commitment to enhancing the diversity of Canadian society. Stephanie’s sense of humour and vibrant personality are a pleasure to work with. She is a tenacious and intelligent advocate; she shines in the courtroom while also maintaining a gentle touch for negotiation.


In her spare time Stephanie enjoys theatre, good books, knitting, and time with her friends and family. 

Kellisha Calliste


Kellisha comes to us from Toronto Ontario where she has worked as a paralegal for 5 years. She has obtained her professional certification from Humber College Institute of Technology and Advance Learning in 2012, along with an Honours Degree in Criminology with a Minor in Psychology from York University in 2019.


Kellisha is passionate about helping families achieve a resolution to their family law legal matters. Her strong family ties and commitment to excellence in law are what give Kellisha her unique perspective on client experience.


As John Nelson’s Paralegal, Kellisha is looking forward to focusing on supporting Swiftsure Clients through the complex world of family law. Kellisha enjoys time outdoors with friends and is looking forward to exploring beautiful Vancouver island in the coming months.


Jocelyn Marais
Legal Assistant

Jocelyn Marais is originally from the mainland and is now proud to call Victoria home. With her Legal Administrative Assistant Certificate from Camosun College and a degree in English and History from the University of Victoria, she is a valuable asset to the Swiftsure Law Team. Jocelyn is currently pursuing her Paralegal Certification through Capilano University.

Jocelyn is focused on document and file management. She keeps us all organized and all the essential documents carefully archived and at our fingertips. 


In her spare time, Jocelyn enjoys spending time with her husband and extended family as well as exploring our beautiful province.


Solicitor's Department

Nouredeen Abouhamra


Nouredeen Abouhamra joined the Swiftsure Law team in January 2023 as an Associate Lawyer in our Solicitors department. Nouredeen completed his Bachelor of Commerce in finance as well as his Juris Doctor at the University of Saskatchewan, and a Masters of Global Business at the University of Victoria. After completing his articles at a boutique firm in Ontario, he was called to the Ontario Bar in 2022 and to the British Columbia Bar in 2023.

Nouredeen’s practices in the areas of Real Estate, Wills and Estates, and Immigration. He prides himself on tailoring his services to the needs of his clients. His notable business background provides him with a unique perspective when advising in both real estate and succession planning.

Nouredeen is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur. When he’s not in the office, he can often be found exploring local cafes with his favorite book.


sandra Patzwald
Senior Paralegal

Sandra Patzwald is a senior paralegal in the solicitor department. She joined the Swiftsure team in 2023 and brings over 30 years of experience.

Sandra was born and raised on the island and has spent most of her life providing her community with legal services.  She is passionate about her work and takes great pride in her organization and precision when assisting with both simple and complicated files.

In her spare time, Sandra can be found hiking, going for long walks with her husband, learning to golf, and loves cooking for friends and family.


Kylaina Bellman

Legal Assistant

Born in Northern BC and growing up in the Okanagan, Kylaina followed the call to the ocean after graduation and put down roots.  After some time at the University of Victoria, she joined the legal community in 2009 administration.  She realized here that her innate organizational skills and eye for detail were invaluable in this industry.  The transition to becoming a legal assistant happened organically and she has had the fortune of learning from senior lawyers and legal assistants. 


Kylaina enjoys the personal side of legal transactions and meeting a wide variety of people through her job. 


When she is not in the office, she enjoys playing board games with friends, running, camping, and hanging out with her husband and feline kids.


Office Manager


Danielle L.R. Nelson is the co-creator of the Swiftsure Law Brand. With a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Vancouver Island, Danielle has a broad range of experience and expertise. A dedicated entrepreneur Danielle has a strong background in business, accounting, planning, and human resources.  She is keenly focused on client care and business management. A skilled communicator and editor, Danielle uses her eye for detail to ensure all Swiftsure Documents meet exacting standards.

Married to our senior lawyer and a proud mother of four, she brings a unique perspective to our team. Danielle is passionate about local BC families and she works tirelessly to ensure that Swiftsure Law meets the goal of effectively helping its clients navigate the legal system to achieve resolution.  


When she is not in the office, you can find Danielle reading a good novel or playing with her children. 

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