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Lorne MacLean, Q. C.


Practising family law is more than a career – it’s my calling. I thrive on helping people move forward. I have and will go to the Supreme Court of Canada to achieve a fair and positive result for my client.


Lorne MacLean, Q.C. (Queen’s Counsel) is the founder of top-rated MacLean Law and one of Canada’s most experienced and highly rated family lawyers dedicated to family law and divorce in British Columbia. Lorne has successfully protected clients’ rights since 1983 in the field of high net worth and complex family law disputes, including such aspects as spousal and child support, property division, child custody, guardianship and access, and marriage-like relationships. He has earned a reputation as a tough yet thoughtful advocate for his clients.

Lorne MacLean’s Q.C. designation is an honour that recognizes his exceptional merit and contribution to the BC legal profession.

Lorne has had the rare honour of making two appearances before the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of the appellants in complex family law cases. Young v. Young remains the leading case on child custody in Canada and Leskun v. Leskun established key principles to be applied to spousal support decisions and when support can be reviewed. He also successfully represented Juanita Nott in Canada’s first frozen embryo custody dispute.

Lorne’s most recent high net asset victory was Lightle v. Kotar, where spousal support was nearly tripled and for the first time, a stock broker’s book of business was deemed family property.

In addition to his courtroom work, Lorne has published prolifically on numerous topics relating to BC family law and BC divorce. He is a video and blog author and frequent guest on radio and television shows, including Judge Harvey Brownstone’s popular legal education show “Family Matters.” A sought-after resource for both Canadian and US magazines and newspapers, he has also served as a guest lecturer at the UBC Law School and has lectured and been interviewed about his multiple innovations in the efficient delivery of client-based services that increase clients’ participation in–and reduce clients’ costs of–their cases. He also provides considerable free family law information to the general public.

Lorne MacLean lives life to the fullest, loves jazz music, strategy games, and travelling with his family. He especially loves to find the “hidden gems” in the city he visits on his world travels. Along with keeping his mind sharp, Lorne is likewise avid about keeping physically healthy with bootcamps and crossfit.

Recent Cases

  • A successful Anton Pillar raid that discovered millions in missing cash.
  • Successfully obtained a forensic audit at the expense of the non-disclosing party to get to the bottom of their real income and assets.
  • Successfully obtained a world wide freezing order called a “Mareva Injunction” in an international and interjurisdictional dispute case involving income and assets around the world.
  • Obtained a Western Canadian record high interim support payment of over $83,000 per month.
  • Obtained a record Trial award of support of over $116,000 per month.
  • Obtained a record high lump sum support payment in excess of $5 million.
  • Jailed a non disclosing spouse for contempt on an interim basis.
  • Obtained a number of special costs awards against spouses who acted egregiously in their family matters.
  • Obtained an interim order protecting frozen embryos from destruction.
  • Helped establish principles on how void marriages are treated under the Family Law Act.

Vancouver Sun – Ian Mulgrew: Wife wins $100,000 monthly support, plus millions more
BNN Bloomberg – How wealthy singles can protect their riches from partners looking for a payout
Business in Vancouver – Superboomers go bust


1982: Juris Doctorate (J.D.), Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, ON
1979: B.Sc., University of British Columbia


1983: British Columbia Bar

selected decisions
Baryla v. Baryla, 2019 BCCA 22 - Record breaking international divorce and family law trial judgment. Client obtained $20M+ family property, $100,000 a month spousal support, nearly $17,000 child support for 1 child, retroactive $ lump sum support of roughly $6M and 100% indemnity for special costs of $1.5M.
Devathasan v. Devathasan, 2017 BCSC 1010 - Record setting family law financial and special costs award. International divorce and family law trial award with wife obtaining $20M family property, $100,000 a month spousal, nearly $17,000 child support for 1 child, $6 million retroactive, lump-sum support,100% special costs of $1.5M.
Devathasan v. Devathasan, 2019 BCSC 661 - Record breaking international divorce and family law Trial judgment with client obtaining 20 million plus of family property, $100,000 a month spousal support, nearly $17,000 child support for 1 child, retroactive and lump sum support of roughly $6 million and 100% indemnity for special costs in the amount of 1.5 million.
Lightle v. Kotar, 2014 BCCA 69 – Stock broker's book of business deemed family property.
Leskun v. Leskun, 2006 SCC 25 – Established key principles for spousal support decisions.
Young v. Young, 1993 4 S.C.R. 3 – Successfully represented wife on leading Canadian case on child custody, guardianship and special costs.
A.R.J. v. Z.S.J., 2009 BCSC 1662 – One of BC's highest combined support judgments.
Mills v. Eglin, 2009 BCSC 1595 – Termination of spousal support.
Johnston v. Embree, 2013 BCCA 74 – Biological father ordered to meet child support obligations while child is with a step-parent.
Richardson v. Richardson, 2013 BCCA 378 – Successful appeal to increase retroactive award for support and to establish law in Canada on how corporate income related to real estate holdings is calculated.
professional community
Vancouver BC Access Pro Bono volunteer
Vancouver BC Access Court of Appeal Pro Bono volunteer
Guest lecturer UBC Law School on spousal support and Leskun Supreme Court of Canada decision
Featured Host of Family Matters Family Minute
Presents: Is there Freedom After 55, to Freedom 55 Financial
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada volunteer
Legal Advocacy Program (VLAP) volunteer
Is honoured to be a former member of the Judicial Council of BC

"Lorne MacLean knows the law. That is how he wins. He doesn't make promises he can't keep. He develops a plan, bolsters it with all the legal necessities, and sets out to get the best outcome. He is an extraordinary lawyer."

MacLean Law Client