Corporate counsel, Cognition LLP
Called to the bar in 2005
One evening, at a networking event, Ronan Levy met an entrepreneur involved in a law- suit and walked away with a life-changing business idea. “He had no idea if he’d been getting sound advice from his lawyer,” recalls Levy. “Or if he even had a good lawyer.”
Levy made an astute observation: entrepreneurs need someone to guide them through the minefield that is the law. “Most lawyers tell entrepreneurs, ‘Here is what you can and cannot do,’” Levy explains. “But to grow a business, you need your lawyer to say, ‘What do you want to achieve? Let’s find a way to do that.’”
So, last year, Levy founded Mayfair Seven, where he provides strategic legal consulting for entrepreneurs, drawing on his experience in commercial law. If they need a lawyer — say, to apply for a patent — Levy finds them the best lawyer, at the best price, act- ing as a legal concierge service. If they just want a referral, they can visit AbeLegal.com, another one of Levy’s babies. The website — named after Abraham Lincoln, who Levy calls “the most well-respected lawyer who ever lived” — connects entrepreneurs to lawyers who come recommended by other business owners.
Levy also has innovative business solutions in mind in his work at Cognition. The fact that all of Cognition’s lawyers have in-house experience — Levy has worked at CTV and Avid Life Media, parent company to the infamous Ashley Madison cheating website — is, according to Levy, the firm’s competitive advantage: “We know what it’s like to run a business.”
In the future, Levy expects Mayfair Seven and AbeLegal to merge into a one-stop shop for entrepreneurial legal services. As a serial-entrepreneur himself, he’s found the right niche. Indeed, his fiancée has seen him start four businesses, including Toronto Gold, a precious metals brokerage. “I think like an entrepreneur,” he says. “So I can relate to my clients who, like me, think big.”