At Equinox Business Law Group, our mission is to provide business owners and CEOs balance in business and law. As our client, you work with a business lawyer who is an extension of your management team, offering sound business counsel from a legal perspective.
- Michelle Bomberger
- Victoria Bartow
- Jennifer Modak- Construction Litigation Attorney Of Counsel
- J.D. Houvener- Patent Attorney Of Counsel
- Dawn Nelson
- Kelly Svihus
- Other Legal Counselors
Michelle Bomberger is a corporate business attorney who founded Equinox Business Law Group with the vision that all businesses deserve responsive and pragmatic legal counsel to help them grow. With a focus on business first, Michelle brings a General Corporate Counsel perspective to clients looking to make smart business decisions while minimizing and mitigating risk.
Michelle’s background and experience as a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and business lawyer enables her to talk with clients about their needs across the organization and craft alternatives and solutions that make sense for that particular business in light of its goals. Some key areas of practice are general contracts, business purchase and sale transactions, partnership and owner agreements, and financing transactions.
Michelle’s desire to work with small businesses and entrepreneurs began at Northwestern University, while she was pursuing dual graduate degrees in law and business. Michelle was a founding member and served as President of the Small Business Opportunity Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law, where she provided both legal and business advice to nonprofit and for-profit small businesses.
Before attending graduate school, Michelle was a business operations and technology consultant with Ernst & Young LLP, where she found her work with her smaller clients most rewarding. Michelle also worked at Cingular Wireless as senior manager of auditing services, where she worked directly with C-level executives to implement process improvements across business functions.
After graduate school, Michelle moved to Seattle to join Venture Law Group, a law firm focused on high tech startups. In 2005, Michelle launched Equinox Business Law to put her legal and business prowess to use for growing businesses. An experienced entrepreneur herself, Michelle knows what it’s like to walk in her clients’ shoes firsthand. In addition to launching and growing Equinox Business Law Group, she and her husband owned and managed two restaurants in the Seattle area.
Michelle was honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of its 40 Under 40 nominees in 2012. In addition, Michelle and Equinox Business Law Group were award the King County Executive’s Woman Small Business of the Year Award in 2013.
Michelle is a member of the King County Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association, where she speaks regularly about law office management. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound (CAMPS).
Outside the office, Michelle offers pro-bono legal services to local businesses and non-profits through Seattle University’s Community Development and Entrepreneurship Clinic and Washington Attorneys Assisting Community Organizations.
In addition to her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law (cum laude) and M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Michelle also holds a B.S. in Finance and Computer Applications from the University of Notre Dame (cum laude).
Born and raised in Panama, Michelle paddled in the annual Ocean-to-Ocean Cayuco Race through the Panama Canal during her sophomore year in high school, winning the women’s category of the race. If you want to know more about the race, check out this video.
When she is not advising small business owners and entrepreneurs, Michelle is the mother of two children, who keep her very busy. She also enjoys cooking, entertaining friends, and travel.
“By providing a law firm that supports the business’ objectives, we become a part of the extended management team of our clients, learning about what they are doing and helping them do it right. It’s a very fun and rewarding way to work together.”
—Michelle Bomberger, Founder
Victoria Bartow is a bilingual business attorney with Equinox Business Law Group who helps businesses thrive by distilling the law into useful knowledge in both English and Spanish. Her extensive business knowledge stems from her experiences managing restaurant franchises, engaging in human resources consulting, and working for diverse entities such as e-commerce startups and non-profit organizations. Victoria began her legal career litigating in immigration courts at a Seattle-based legal foundation. After several years, her interests carried her to business school where she was able to combine her love of advocacy with various disciplines such as managing people, finance, and marketing. She has continued to advocate by helping business owners create protected, healthy, and growth-oriented businesses.
Victoria’s primary area of focus includes business formation, contracts, employment, immigration and administrative law. She has helped foreign nationals understand their visas and entrepreneurship opportunities, assisted clients in appealing tax assessments, advised businesses on the implications of hiring foreign workers, drafted corporate governance documents, and engaged in negotiations and strategic planning.
Victoria holds a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law, an M.B.A from Albers School of Business and Economics, and a B.A. in Spanish and International Affairs (cum laude) from the University of Puget Sound. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Washington State Bar Association, and American Bar Association. Victoria is fluent in Spanish and brings international experience to her work having lived in Cuba, Brazil, and Switzerland.
When Victoria isn’t in the office, she indulges her lifelong travel bug. She also enjoys working in her greenhouse with her husband and French bulldog, spending time with family, participating in Iron Chef-style cook-offs with her friends (once winning for Spam cookies), and hiking the Northwest to make up for eating things like Spam cookies.
“There is nothing better than getting to know a client and watching the empowerment that comes with providing meaningful knowledge that is balanced and accessible.”
Jennifer M. Modak is an of counsel attorney that focuses on construction and business litigation at Equinox Business Law Group. Jennifer brings to her clients litigation experience that involves the full range of construction issues from dirt work to construction defect claims. Jennifer has argued before the Court of Appeals, division II, and written a Petition for Review before the Washington Supreme Court. She has focused her practice on working with general contractors, subcontractors, developers, and suppliers to resolve contract disputes and construction claims.
Jennifer also represents businesses in contract disputes, representing LLC’s, non-profit and for-profit corporations, and also solo-practitioners. Jennifer’s litigation experience provides her with an intimate knowledge of construction and business disputes for all sizes of companies, and as a result she can provide realistic and workable options to resolve issues prior to litigation stages. Jennifer’s legal work has involved lien claims, lien notices, contract disputes, leases, board of director disputes, article of incorporation disputes, among many others.
Jennifer is admitted to practice in the state, appellate, and federal courts of Washington. She is a member of the Snohomish County Bar Association, Construction Law Association, and Washington Women Lawyer’s.
Jennifer earned her J.D. from Seattle University School of Law, and a B.A. in Chemistry from Scripps College, in Claremont, California. Before joining Equinox, Jennifer worked for Miller Law Office, P.S. in Thurston County, Washington. Also, prior to law school, she worked as a research chemist for Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development.
Jennifer and her family are active in local schools and the community. She enjoys getting outside and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and trips overseas.
“Trial is never the desired goal. It is expensive and can be drawn out, and I pride myself in my ability to come to alternative solutions when possible.”
J.D. Houvener- Patent Attorney Of Counsel
J.D. Houvener is a Patent Attorney Of Counsel with Equinox Business Law Group, who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses a unique perspective to their patent needs. J.D. works with clients that are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patent in the market.
J.D.’s background in business and experience as an engineer and patent attorney empowers him to clearly communicate to a broad range of clients about their immediate and long-term needs for patenting in order to protect assets, leverage opportunities, and limit liabilities. Some key areas of the patent prosecution practice are: patentability searches, patent applications, office actions, infringement opinions, post-grant actions and consultation on patent strategy and portfolio management.
J.D.’s passion for business and technology started well before he began his legal career. J.D. worked as an engineer at Boeing for nearly 10 years. J.D. spent his time at Boeing in payloads design, regulatory compliance, systems integration and project management on the new 787 airplane. J.D. brings this experience earned at the cutting edge of technology to his clients by recognizing the complexities and subtleties of the problems being solved today.
Academically, J.D. has earned a law degree and an MBA from Seattle University. J.D. earned his law degree in the evening program, while working full-time at Boeing. He focused his coursework on intellectual property law and clinic courses where he applied his newfound knowledge to help small businesses. Even so, J.D. found time to take a leadership role as the secretary for the Intellectual Property Law Society at the University and to study for and pass the Patent Bar while in law school. Prior to starting his legal education, J.D. earned his B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Washington and then a MBA from the Albers School of Business at Seattle University where he focused on entrepreneurship and lean operations management.
J.D. is a member of the King County Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association, where he is an active member in the Intellectual Property Law sections. J.D. is also a licensed professional engineer through the state of WA in industrial engineering. Outside the office, J.D. offers pro-bono legal services to the Washington CASH organization in South Seattle, who helps those with little to no means with their business startup ideas.
From the small mill-town of Camas, Washington, J.D. hasn’t always lived in the big city. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, traveling, running, and playing his favorite sports flag football and basketball.
“I enjoy working with Bold people and their Bold ideas! I love entrepreneurs, technology, the arts and business.”
Dawn Nelson joined Equinox Business Law Group in June 2010 and serves as the firm’s Chief Operating Officer. Dawn gravitated to Equinox because of her desire to redefine clients’ experiences in working with legal counsel. Her current work includes client services, operations, marketing and communications. In her role, she is the point person for new clients to ensure their business and legal needs are fully understood and to share how Equinox partners with clients. She also leads the firm’s marketing and educational events, which are aimed at bringing practical business information to business owners throughout the Puget Sound region.
Dawn’s previous work experience includes providing legal support and direction for individuals facing financial crisis through the WSBA Home Foreclosure Legal Aid clinic. In this role she was recognized for her ability to research and analyze critical legal issues. She has also served as a Director for a nonprofit organization that focused primarily on resourcing low income families where she organized teams of up to 150 volunteers, planned large scale community events, developed strategic plans to aid in resourcing low income families in Federal Way, and led efforts to focus the organization on fund raising and marketing.
Dawn is active in the community of Federal Way where she lives with her husband of 16 years and their four children. She is a volunteer with Special Olympics to serve the special needs population and also currently serves as Marketing and Communications Chair for the Federal Way Coalition Against Trafficking.
“By getting to know our clients, and their businesses, we can serve as a true partner and resource. We are able to give them sound advice and celebrate their victories. It creates a truly dynamic relationship..”
Kelly Svihus is the Office Administrator at Equinox Business Law Group. Kelly joined the Equinox team in 2012 and loves serving both our business clients and our legal team, taking pride in providing great service. Her background in finance, administration, customer service and management makes her a great asset for clients and Equinox team members alike. Kelly was instrumental in Equinox’s victory in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Social Madness Competition in 2013 where we saw her friendly competitiveness come to life!
Kelly holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and Accounting and has ten years of experience in customer service, the last four in a management position at a major retail chain which demonstrated her passion for problem solving, organization and business growth.
Kelly has always been an advocate for community involvement including serving in the Everett Thanksgiving Drive, volunteering as a volleyball coach for the YMCA, acting as Community Leader in her previous company, and serving as a Bountiful Basket volunteer every Saturday.
Among her many hobbies, Kelly greatly enjoys making crafts and cooking. However, her true passion is around sports. Both an avid sportswoman and fan, Kelly is loyal to the Seattle Mariners and Seahawks. She enjoys going to weekend games with her husband and doting upon their Russian Blue cat which they have raised together since he was a tiny kitten.
“Working with local businesses is not only rewarding, but gives us a real sense of community. We serve our clients as our community members and want to help them through their wins and losses. We want to help them reach their goals and continue to grow..”
Other Legal Counselors
As our services emphasize business transactions, we leverage business lawyers and other legal counselors in the Bellevue, Seattle and Western Washington regions, as necessary and appropriate, to ensure our clients receive the highest quality of legal service to meet any needs we elect not to offer within our office. This structure allows us to pick those attorneys who have experience and expertise to serve you in areas we elect not to emphasize our practice such as estate planning, litigation, tax and real estate transactions.
Federal Way| Seattle| Bellevue Business Lawyer/ Business Attorney| Corporate Counsel Equinox Business Law