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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’ Society.

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 his involvement.

Brian will be fondly remembered and missed by all of us.