Centrosome separation is critical for bipolar spindle formation and the accurate segregation of chromosomes during mammalian cell mitosis. Kinesin-5 (Eg5) is a microtubule motor essential for centrosome separation, and Tiam1 and its substrate Rac antagonize Eg5-dependent centrosome separation in early mitosis promoting efficient chromosome congression. Here we identify S1466 of Tiam1 as a novel Cdk1 site whose phosphorylation is required for the mitotic function of Tiam1. We find that this phosphorylation of Tiam1 is required for the activation of group I p21-activated kinases (Paks) on centrosomes in prophase. Further, we show that both Pak1 and Pak2 counteract centrosome separation in a kinase-dependent manner and demonstrate that they act downstream of Tiam1. We also show that depletion of Pak1/2 allows cells to escape monopolar arrest by Eg5 inhibition, highlighting the potential importance of this signalling pathway for the development of Eg5 inhibitors as cancer therapeutics.