Paul Saguil // Precedent Setter Awards 2015

Paul Saguil
Meet the member of TD Bank's in-house team who is a champion for diversity in the profession

By Daniel Fish

On Tuesday May 26th, 2015

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Paul Jonathan Saguil

Counsel, TD Bank Financial Group
Called to the bar in 2008
Law school: Osgoode Hall

In late 2013, Paul Saguil started to feel bored. It had been a year since the young litigator left Stockwoods LLP to go in-house at TD Bank, where he began to instruct outside counsel on a range of lawsuits. But he wanted something more cutting-edge. And when he took that concern to management, they had the perfect job in mind.

The bank’s top brass assigned Saguil to what’s known at TD as “the hub,” an elite four-lawyer team that serves as a kind of internal police force.

Paul SaguilSitting in the spotless TD lunchroom, the 33-year-old sums up his role. Basically, if the bank suspects that one of its employees is acting up — by, say, manipulating financial statements or selling confidential data to criminals — it’s his job to find out if the allegations are true. “We’re not carpet sweepers,” says Saguil. “We want to have a disciplined fact-finding exercise, so that when we do have to defend ourselves we know what the story is.”

When asked if it can be awkward to play bad cop with colleagues, Saguil flashes a broad smile, as if to say, You have no idea.

“They don’t always see it as playing on their team,” he explains. “My personal challenge is to turn off the litigator, cross-examiner mode.”

Outside the office, Saguil is busy making the profession more inclusive. Today, he offers pro bono counsel to Out on Bay Street, mentors law students and co-chairs a committee on diversity at the Law Society. “We don’t always celebrate these behind-the-scenes efforts,” says Douglas Judson, a third-year law student at Osgoode Hall, who works with Saguil at Out on Bay Street. “They can seem brutally administrative, but they’re really important.”

All told, Saguil has to fight to spend time with his partner of six years, Calvin Cheng, let alone get some rest. But he refuses to complain: “I can put up with the sleepless nights because I’m working on a larger project — making the profession a better place for lawyers with diverse backgrounds.”


Don’t forget to read about our other amazing winners.

 

 


Photography by Jaime Hogge; Hair and makeup by Shawna Lee; Shot on location at Spin Toronto