Usman Tariq

Year of Call: 2011

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Legal 500’s Scottish Junior of the Year 2019

Legal 500’s UK Awards 2019

Usman Tariq has extensive experience of high-value and complex commercial disputes and public law litigation. His core areas of practice include contractual, intellectual property, insolvency, banking, company and professional negligence disputes. He also specialises in administrative and public law, including judicial reviews. He is appointed as a Standing Junior counsel to the UK Government. He has appeared at all levels of the Scottish court system, including the UK Supreme Court.

He was recognised as Advocate of the Year at the Law Awards of Scotland 2017 and the Legal 500’s Junior Counsel of the Year at the Scottish Bar at the Legal 500 UK Awards 2019, as well as being shortlisted again in 2020. He is ranked as a leading individual in the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide 2022 in seven practice areas which is the joint highest number of individual rakings for the Scottish Bar.

He is described in the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide 2021 as being “universally respected at the Bar, including by opponents and the judiciary” and in the 2022 Guide as being a “very highly regarded practioner” at the Scottish Bar who has “the ear of the court“. The breadth of his expertise is recognised in his rankings in the legal directories. He is ranked in the Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2022 for the following seven practice areas: (i) commercial dispute resolution; (ii) intellectual property; (iii) information technology; (iv) restructuring / insolvency; (v) professional negligence; (vi) administrative and public law; and (vii) civil liberties and human rights. He is also ranked in the Legal 500’s UK Bar Guide 2022 for commercial disputes and administrative and public law.

He acts in cases across the commercial spectrum. He is described in the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide 2022 as having “broad experience across a range of high-value commercial, insolvency, banking and contractual disputes”. Chambers & Partners has noted that he is a “standout performer” who is “consistently impressive in commercial disputes”. The Legal 500 has noted that “his advice and knowledge is consistently of the highest standard” in commercial disputes. His expertise in professional negligence claims is recognised by Chambers & Partners who note that he has a “reputation for his handling of professional negligence claims, primarily against firms of solicitors”. He also undertakes a significant amount of work in the field of personal and corporate insolvency. Chambers & Partners note that “he is regularly instructed to act for administrators, liquidators and trustees, among other parties, in complex corporate and personal insolvency cases”.

He has developed a market-leading reputation for intellectual property disputes. He has been described by the Legal 500 as “The best all-round IP junior in Scotland”. Chambers & Partners has noted that he is “now regarded as the leading all-round IP junior in Scotland” and that he “continues to impress with his unrivalled knowledge of all issues of IP as well as his excellent manner with clients.” In addition to appearing in most of the leading IP cases in the Court of Session over the past decade, he has experience of conducting proceedings in the UK Intellectual Property Office.

He also has a leading reputation for Information Technology disputes. He has the distinction of being the only junior counsel in Scotland recognised by Chambers & Partners for expertise in this practice area. Chambers & Partners note that he “garners critical acclaim in the market for his abilities in a host of cases including those involving the IP rights in games, television and related merchandise.”

He also has significant expertise in administrative and public law as well as civil liberties and human rights. He is ranked in both the Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 UK Bar directories for administrative and public law. In his role as a Standing Junior counsel to the UK Government in Scotland, he has advised and represented a number of UK government departments including the Cabinet Office, Home Office, Department of Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Defence. He is described by Chambers & Partners as having a “busy public and administrative law practice, in which he acts mostly for central government”. He is also described as a “well-regarded civil liberties and human rights advocate” who is “particularly adept at judicial reviews concerning EU, human rights and immigration law”.

He is the Contributing Editor of the “Banking, Money and Commercial Paper” title of The Laws of Scotland: Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia, the authoritative and comprehensive guide to the laws of Scotland. The new title is due for publication in 2022.

He has experience of alternative dispute resolution as counsel in mediations and arbitrations. He has been appointed as the arbitrator in commercial disputes. He also sits as a legal member of the Scottish Football Association’s Judicial Panel.

He is passionate about improving diversity and inclusion in the legal profession in Scotland. He co-founded the Scottish Ethnic Minority Lawyers Association (SEMLA). SEMLA aims to improve ethnic diversity in the legal profession in Scotland. The group is supported by the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates. SEMLA has collaborated with some of the largest law firms and organisations across the UK on events and work placements for law students from ethnic minority backgrounds.

He is also on the Scotland leadership group of Mosaic Network which is a mentoring initiative for disadvantaged young people from ethnic minority backgrounds which was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales and now sits within the Prince’s Trust.

He called to the Bar as the Faculty’s Lord Reid scholar for 2010/2011. This scholarship is awarded annually to the outstanding candidate to the Bar. He is a graduate of the University of Glasgow and the University of Cambridge.

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