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: Stewart McKelvey mourns the passing of Neil McKelvey

September 13, 2011

With great sadness, today we advise that Neil McKelvey, O.C., Q.C., C.D., has passed away. One of Stewart McKelvey’s founding fathers, his death marks the end of an important chapter in the history of our firm. 

Neil founded Saint John law firm McKelvey Macaulay Machum in 1955 with Wally Macaulay and Larry Machum. In 1990, the firm merged with Stewart MacKeen & Covert, Scales, Jenkins & McQuaid and Stirling, Ryan to become the regional law firm that is now known as Stewart McKelvey. We will forever be indebted to Neil for his role in creating and building Stewart McKelvey. His commitment to the firm was enduring and he continued to attend the office regularly, most recently to work on his latest book tentatively titled "Masters of Tides and Tugs".

Neil enjoyed an extraordinary career and took great pride in serving his profession and community with great distinction. Born in Saint John in 1925, he served in World War II following the conclusion of which he graduated in 1949 from Dalhousie Law School. Following graduation, he returned to Saint John and began practice with Porter, Ritchie & Riley. In recognition of his many accomplishments and contributions to the legal profession, Neil was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1960. He was also appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 1986 and received an honorary D.C.L. from the University of New Brunswick in 1980. Neil was president of the International Bar Association (the first Canadian to hold that office), the Canadian Bar Association and the Saint John Law Society. Neil was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was a member of the Law Society of New Brunswick, the Saint John Law Society, the American Bar Association, ADR Atlantic Institute, the American Arbitrators Association and ADR Chambers. During his career, Neil was renowned as a leading member of our profession—his name is synonymous with excellence and exemplary professional conduct.

Despite Neil's extraordinary accomplishments, he was a most humble and gracious man. His warm and gregarious nature endeared him to all of us. His warmth and affection for people was always obvious and his commitment to his family—devoted husband to Joan and loving father to Peter and Roger—was heartwarming.

We will miss Neil terribly. Our thoughts and prayers are with the McKelvey family. 
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