Canadian Lawyer

September 2022

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 28 of 51 27 Passing the baton Being a mentor and role model can be a powerful influence on others – especially on those with shared experiences. Not only can they take inspiration from who that is and what they represent, but the role model is also a shining light as a beacon of hope. Kikelomo Lawal, a winner in the in-house category and the first Black general counsel at a major financial institution in Canada (CIBC), is that person. And she wants to use her influence to motivate others. "My goal is to remain true to myself and true to my goal of paying it forward, recognizing the opportunities I've had, the mentoring and advice I've received, and the work and life experiences that I hope others can learn from." As CIBC's GC, Lawal wears many hats. She is the global leader for the bank's legal and government relations, as well as the corporate secretary and ombudsman. She also performs privacy law functions. She has been through major litigation and significant transactions and also released CIBC's ESG strategy and climate transition plans. Lawal has also served on the executive committee of the National GC Network, which supports Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour legal leaders. Asked what influence means to her, Lawal replies, "In a professional setting, I consider it to be knowing when and how to use any power or sway I may have so as to achieve good outcomes for the bank, for the teams I lead, and for those who may look to me as an example, adviser or mentor." HILLCOUNSEL.COM A reputation built on trust. A litigation boutique for over 30 years, the firm continues to be sought after in the fields of litigation, arbitration and mediation.

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