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A Conversation with ...Usman Tariq

I look at my SEMLA WhatsApp group chat and the last message from Usman is a photo of his 3-year-old son, Hasan, standing tall on top of Usman’s desk playing superhero. Ordinarily, this may mean very little. Just one day in the life of a toddler, but when I think of his father and what he has accomplished, I can see why Hasan is aiming high.

You wouldn’t know it, given Usman’s humble nature, but he’s one of Scotland’s finest Advocates specialising in the very up and coming area of Intellectual Property law, as well as in commercial litigation and public law. He joined the Bar at the age of 24 having completed his traineeship. This made him the youngest Advocate at that time.

“I didn’t enjoy some parts of the traineeship. I didn’t find my seats in commercial property and projects particularly interesting and with the financial crash in 2009, the whole market was pretty quiet but I did really enjoy my seats in commercial litigation and IP. I loved the contentious part of the job, to be able to research the law and analyse a case, to solve problems, it was much more appealing to me than filling in forms and tailoring templates which appeared to be a large part of my work as a trainee in the non-contentious seats. The Faculty seemed like a good option for me.”

Usman took a leap of faith and with it some real risks when deciding to train as an Advocate, the lack of financial security being one of them. So, how did he find the first few years in establishing his reputation and securing a steady flow of income?