Stephen D. Holmes  

Senior Counsel

Executive Summary

Stephen Holmes is a counsel in the Tax and Family Wealth Counsel groups in our Vancouver office. His practice focuses on cross border business tax, securities and business law.  His international clients range from 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. 

Prior to joining BLG, Stephen worked at another large National Canadian law firm and subsequently operated his own firm for 34 years.

Representative Work

  • Advises financial institutions in Switzerland and Lichtenstein with Canadian depository in regard to voluntary disclosure, compliance and alternatives;
  • Assists clients to cease residency in Canada and obtain residency in Malta and Panama;
  • Assists clients in regard to minimizing global tax through the use of non-resident corporations and treaties;
  • Advises clients in regard to the formation of non-resident trusts for estate planning and distribution of assets to Canadians;
  • Negotiates for the sale of private companies. Advises in regard to restructuring to optimize after tax sale proceeds through the use of domestic trusts. Protection of intellectual property, employment contracts, shareholders agreements and holding companies.

Publications & Presentations

  • Author, "Law Firm Networks – Past, Present & Future," ABL (Association of Business Lawyers) Conference, Miami, November 2016.
  • Moderator/Panelist, "Shifting Legal Landscape and Doing Business with Cuba," ABL (Association of Business Lawyers) Conference, Miami, 2016.
  • Speaker/Author "Corporate Law Issues and Solutions for Family Business," Institute of Advanced Financial Planners Symposium, Richmond, BC, September 2016.
  • Speaker/Author, "Strategic Planning for Law Firms," ABL (Association of Business Lawyers), Bucharest, Romania , May  2016.
  • Panel Moderator, "Money Laundering, Tax Evasion & Financial Regulation," Alliance of Business Lawyers (ABL), Washington, DC, November 2014.
  • Panel Moderator, "Sale of Business and Cross Border Succession," Alliance of Business Lawyers (ABL), Moscow, Russia, May 2014.
  • Speaker, "Latin America is the Place to Be — 10 Reasons," The Latin American Business Conference in Canada (Expo Latina), Vancouver, March 2014.
  • Speaker/Author, "Doing Business in Canada, Visa and Immigration into Canada for Work and Canadian Structures to Carry on Business in Canada," Lorman Education Services, Renton, Washington, USA, November 2013.
  • Panel Moderator, "Should you be investing in Latin America," Alliance of Business Lawyers (ABL) Conference, Mexico, November 2013.
  • Speaker/Author, "The Voluntary Disclosure Program," Federated Press, Vancouver, March 2013.
  • Speaker, "The Ultimate Tax Plan – Retiring and Going Non-Resident Offshore," ZLC Financial Group, Vancouver, January 2013.
  • Speaker/Author, "Innovative Tax Planning — Non Resident Investment in Canadian Real Estate," Federated Press, Calgary, June 2011.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Named the 2014 Offshore Trust Lawyer of the Year — Canada by the Global International Awards.
  • Named the 2014 Cross-Border Estate Planning Lawyer of the Year — Canada by the ACQ Global Awards.
  • Selected in 2011 as one of the 50 Best Lawyers in Canada by Corporate INTL, for expertise in Tax Planning.