From the Board: Q&A with Nabeel Peermohamed

Nabeel Peermohamed, an associate with Brownlee LLP, is the CBA Board member from Alberta.

Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done as a board member?

The most interesting opportunity I have had so far is participating in the CBA Leadership Forum which took place in February 2018. I was tasked with bringing the perspective of the Alberta Bar to the Forum where we discussed the priorities and direction for the CBA as a national organization.

The Forum itself provided me the unique opportunity to meet with other board members, current and past presidents of each individual branch of the CBA, the CCCA, executive directors and other members involved with the administration of this great organization. A significant number of ideas were discussed in addition to lowering membership fees which has been a priority for the organization. The additional ideas form part of the CBA’s agenda for the upcoming year.

After the Leadership Forum, I was privileged and honoured to represent my colleagues at the annual Supreme Court of Canada dinner. I was fortunate enough to meet all nine justices of the Supreme Court. Conversing with these titans of the legal community was an incredible opportunity.

Q: What has surprised you about being a board member?

Instead of having to fight for an opportunity to speak at our Board meetings, I have been asked for my view. In fact, all board members are encouraged to participate. Our past and current presidents have both run the meetings to ensure everyone expresses their point of view on every matter of the agenda. It has been a pleasant surprise to find out other members of the Board and the organization at large want to hear from me.

Q: How are you able to balance your board responsibilities with your practice and your personal life?

It has actually been quite easy to serve on the board and balance the obligations that come with a busy litigation practice and a personal life because of the support I receive from my firm and my family.  They see the benefit of such a role and have encouraged me to continue with my community service. Given that support, I have been able to act on my passion for serving the legal community and improving the CBA as an organization for all legal professionals in Canada. That passion has made it easy to serve on the board, attend to my growing practice, and nurture my personal relationships.

Question: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about running for the board?

Do it! Serving on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Bar Association has been a very gratifying experience and I expect that to continue as I take on more responsibility with the Board as Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the Investment Steering Sub-Committee, and a senior member of the Board of Directors. While the time commitment at first glance may seem daunting, it is actually quite manageable if you have the support of your firm and family. While at times you are required to travel, you will have the opportunity to meet with extraordinary people, making the time away from work and family worth it. I wholeheartedly recommend all of you to consider running for a board position or any other position within the CBA so that you gain the same fulfillment serving your legal community as I have.