Skip to main content
Patrick McCann Ottawa Lawyer

Patrick F.D. McCann

Counsel Fasken
Federal government contractors should implementing comprehensive compliance programs to mitigate the possibility of harm from improper conduct by their employees.
Jurisdiction Ontario, 1971
Language(s) English
Office(s) Ottawa


Patrick McCann’s practice is focused on white collar crime litigation. He has represented clients in all trial and appellate courts in Ontario, and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has been lead counsel in numerous major criminal trials and has handled over 60 homicide cases. Other cases involve drug trafficking, commercial fraud, regulatory offences and prosecutions under the Income Tax Act, the Competition Act and the Lobbying Act.

Patrick McCann has been practicing at the forefront of criminal law for over 40 years. In 1989 he was among the first group of lawyers in Ontario to be certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in criminal law. He has been and currently is listed in Best Lawyers in the category of “Criminal Defence”.

Patrick has also practiced before military tribunals. He defended a Canadian Airborne soldier charged with murder while deployed in Somalia. This case, which received national media coverage, contributed to several changes to the military justice system.

Patrick has been appointed to the list of Special Advocates, a group of Top Secret cleared lawyers capable of representing the interests of outside parties in closed national security matters. He has appeared in the Federal Court of Canada representing Government officials in national security litigation and has been appointed Amicus Curiae to a designated Federal Court judge in other national security litigation. He has also acted for public officials involved in police investigations as well as businessmen facing investigation and charges under the Competition Act and Income Tax Act.

Patrick represented several individuals involved with public inquiries, including the Somalia Inquiry, the Gomery Inquiry and the Cornwall Public Inquiry. Recently Patrick has appeared as lead counsel in two high profile appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Patrick is a founding member and past president of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa, one of the first organizations in Canada formed to advance the interests of criminal defence lawyers. He has lectured extensively at the Ontario Bar Admission Course on Criminal Procedure and related criminal topics. He has also been a guest lecturer at University of Ottawa, Carleton University and the Canadian Police College. Patrick has presented at a number of conferences and seminars conducted by organizations like the National Judicial Institute, the Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa. He has also provided services to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.

Over the course of his career, Patrick has acquired unparalleled experience in all aspects of criminal trial procedure. Clients rely on Patrick’s extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system, charter litigation, the law of evidence, appellate litigation, forensic science, investigative procedures, and prosecutorial conduct and policy.

Patrick is a silver medallist and magna cum laude graduate of the University of Ottawa Law School.



  • Recognized in Criminal Defence in Ottawa, The Best Lawyers in Canada 2016 to 2024
  • Honoured with the William J. Carroll Award for Advocacy in Criminal Defence, County of Carleton Law Association and Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa 2022
  • Recipient of the John Mirsky scholarship in Criminal Law, University of Ottawa, 1967 , University of Ottawa 1967
2022 County of Carleton Law Association and Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa Honoured with the William J. Carroll Award for Advocacy in Criminal Defence Presented in recognition of lifetime contribution to the Ottawa criminal defence bar
1967 University of Ottawa Recipient of the John Mirsky scholarship in Criminal Law, University of Ottawa, 1967

Client Work

  • First ever acquittal issued under Canadian anti-bribery and corruption legislation, Ongoing since January 2020
  • R. v. Jones, 2017 SCC 60,
  • Advised Tristin Jones as Supreme Court of Canada considers legality of seizure of text messages,
  • Successfully reinstates security clearance revocation for the client,
  • TPG Technology Consulting defended massive criminal bid-rigging case,
  • Acted to reinstate revoked security clearance threatening millions of dollars in contracts for tech company and its principles,
  • OPG Plant Group Manager acquitted following lengthy trial,
  • Ottawa Hospital v. Guy Lapierre,
  • Over 60 homicide cases including the Court Martial of the only member of the Airborne Regiment tried for murder in the death of a Somali prisoner during UN peacemaking operations in Somalia,

Career & Education


  • LLB University of Ottawa
  • BA University of Saskatchewan
  • Certified Specialist, Criminal Law, Law Society of Upper Canada

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Appointed by the Minister of Justice to the list of persons who may act as Special Advocates under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, 2008
  • Member of Court Martial Appeal Court Seminar Planning Committee, National Judicial Institute, 2003
  • Appointed by Minister of National Defence as a member of the Military Judges’ Selection Committee, 2000
  • Founding Member and Past President, The Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa (DCAO)


Fasken Institute



Speaking Engagements

Lecture on advising clients under arrest post R. v. Sinclair, DCAO 5 o’clock series
Legal Aid Issues Presentation to the Ontario NDP Caucus
Opening Addresses to Jury Lecture at C.C.L.A./D.C.A. Criminal Law Conference location location Montebello


    Receive email updates from our team