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“I take it as a compliment when someone says, ‘You don’t seem like a lawyer,’” Claire Sykora laughs, “People think of lawyers as old men in bow ties … and that’s definitely not me!”

Claire spent several years as a chef before deciding to set her apron aside and enrol in law school at Dalhousie University. And while the shift from chef to lawyer isn’t a typical career path, the law had always interested her and law school fostered her love of learning.

“I could see myself being a professional student,” she says, “And, since the law is always changing, it allows me the opportunity to keep learning.”

Following law school, Claire worked in television and radio for a year. She then spent eleven years with a firm in St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia, before joining Burchell MacDougall’s Halifax office in 2015. Her area of focus is residential real estate law, as well as wills and estates.

“I didn’t aspire to be part of a huge law office,” she explains, “so the close-knit nature of Burchell MacDougall is important to me. We have the personal feel of a small office, but with access to the experience and resources of a large firm.”

That personal feel extends to her clients.

“There’s a perception that working with a lawyer is an intimidating process,” she goes on, “but I try to make my clients as comfortable as possible. My goal is simply to service their needs the best I can.”

Claire still loves spending time in the kitchen, especially during the winter months, cooking for her family and friends.

Practice Areas
  • Real Property
  • Corporate Commercial
  • Wills and Estates

Professional Qualifications & Education:

  • Nova Scotia Bar Admission (2003)
  • Dalhousie University, LL.B. (2002)

Professional Associations & Membership in Community Organizations:

  • Member, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association

Real Property

  • Representing buyers and sellers of residential and commercial real property
  • Representing lenders/borrowers in mortgage and refinance transactions
  • Representing new home contractors
  • Negotiating and preparing various agreements relating to real property such as agreements of purchase and sale, mortgages options, easements, etc.

Corporate Commercial Law

  • Assisting in the establishment of sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations
  • Assisting in the financing of businesses and placing of security on assets
  • Providing advice on corporate and commercial matters
  • Representing clients in the purchase and sale of businesses
  • Assisting in the amalgamation of companies and the voluntary wind-up of companies
  • Drafting agreements respecting commercial matters

Probate, Estates, Wills and Trusts

  • Providing advice for Executors and Administrators
  • Probating of wills and administration of intestate estates
  • Preparation of wills
  • Preparation of enduring powers of attorney and living wills
  • Assisting in ancillary probate matters for non-residents with assets in Canada