Escape Manor’s Neil Schwartz joins Mann Lawyers' business law team

Neil Schwartz
Editor's Note

This article is sponsored by Mann Lawyers.

After helping launch one of Ottawa’s most successful new wave entertainment companies, Escape Manor, lawyer Neil Schwartz is taking his unique blend of entrepreneurial, business and legal expertise to Ottawa-based Mann Lawyers LLP. 

“The Escape Manor project has been an unbelievable success,” says Schwartz. “We had the right team at the right moment to take a relatively new concept and scale it into an international brand – what a wild ride! But with the maturing of the business, I realized the time was right for a change.” 

Having first set out in private practice, then gaining in-house counsel experience at a federal Crown corporation, Schwartz decided to step into the business world and assume first-hand the risks and rewards that lawyers provide advice on every day. 

“I remember a funny moment when our creative team was designing an escape room based on a lawyer’s office and I thought to myself: “This is such a natural fit, I’ve been trying to escape the billable hour for years!’,” he says. “But in reality, I have a passion for the law and a return to private practice was inevitable for me as a calling. I have always relished the role of trusted advisor and so it was just a matter of time and opportunity.”

That opportunity arrived with Mann Lawyers. 

Invited into the practice as a senior lawyer within the firm’s Business Law group, Schwartz’s arrival will help strengthen what is already one of the region’s fastest growing full-service law firms. 

In his new role, Schwartz will help businesses navigate transactional matters (M&A), as well as legal issues of the day affecting the hospitality, entertainment, franchise and professional services sectors, while continuing to act for Escape Manor in an advisory capacity. 

“Having worked with a large international law firm, and a large international hotel company prior to that, I knew that I was looking for something more local, more community-focused,” he says. “Escape Manor has always been keyed in on integrating with the people and places that make up its surroundings, and I recognized that same commitment at Mann right away; the reputation that Ted (Mann) has created for the firm and that is now carried forward by the larger partnership spoke to me.” 

“I suppose another reason for the draw is that I have been in the small business trenches over the past few years, and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. I immediately recognized that Mann was serving the sector that I felt most connected with and wanted to help.”

Andre Martin, co-managing partner and head of the firm’s Business Law Group shares Schwartz’s excitement.

“We are delighted that Neil has joined the Mann Lawyers team,” he says. “His stellar entrepreneurial and legal background will serve our clients well.”

Schwartz lives in Ottawa with his wife Dr. Caitlin Schwartz, an active physician and entrepreneur, and their three boys (and dog Sunny).