Mar 11, 2021
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our dear friend, partner and mentor, Brian McCann.
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our dear friend, partner and
mentor, Brian McCann, on February 17, 2021.
Brian was called to the bar in Ontario in 1972 and for most of his career has practised
exclusively in the area of family law. He joined the firm in 1989 after having practised in
a small partnership in Guelph for many years and has been a key member and part of
the fabric of our firm ever since. Brian worked from and was responsible for managing
the Sorbara, Schumacher, McCann LLP (SorbaraLaw) Guelph office which he
transformed into a formidable family law department. Under his guidance, our Family
Law Group has developed into a highly-regarded team of eight lawyers and five clerks
located in Guelph, Waterloo and Fergus.
Brian developed a strong reputation with clients, counsel and the judiciary as a fierce
and tenacious advocate, an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer and someone with
an honest, no-nonsense approach to the practice of law. It is fair comment to say that
he was a legendary family law lawyer within southwestern Ontario and beyond. Brian
worked tirelessly on behalf of his clients to secure the best possible results. While he
was pragmatic whenever possible, he was no stranger to the courts wherein he would
advocate aggressively for his clients. Since 2015, Brian has been selected by his peers
for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Canada® for Family Law.
Brian was a loyal and dedicated mentor, colleague and partner. He gave willingly of his
time to help train and mentor students and young lawyers and played a key role in the
growth and development of many lawyers currently practising with our firm and
elsewhere. Brian’s influence expanded beyond the firm’s Family Law Group – he always made time to share his wisdom and experience with any of our lawyers and clerks on
legal, business and personal matters. As a partner, Brian was constantly focused on the
best interests of the firm and often put those interests before his own. He also gave
willingly of his time to many charitable and other community organizations including the
United Way Social Planning Council, the Community Relations Committee of the
Children’s Aid Society and the Bench & Bar committee of the Ontario Court of Justice
(Family Division). In addition, Brian adjudicated for the Public Guardian and Trustee for
the Province of Ontario and was a long-standing and active member of the Advocates’
Although Brian was known as an aggressive advocate, we all knew his softer side. Brian
was a larger-than-life personality who had a mischievous sense of humour and was not
afraid to have a good time. Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him is not likely to
have forgotten that meeting. We enjoyed many good times with Brian at firm social
events, retreats and in our day-to-day interactions. His smile and laughter will be missed
by all of us.
Brian was a kind, caring and compassionate man who took a real interest in the lives of
his friends and colleagues. These qualities were never more evident than in his
relationship with his family. He was a loving and devoted husband to his ever-supportive
wife, Cathy Alexander, and a proud and ceaselessly dedicated father to their wonderful
daughter Eliza. It was a blessing and an inspiration to watch the three of them together.
We are grateful for everything Brian has done to promote and grow our firm. He is a
large part of the success of this firm and SorbaraLaw is a much better place because of
Brian will be fondly remembered and missed by all of us.