Usman Tariq

Year of Call: 2011

0131 260 5674
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Legal 500’s Scottish Junior of the Year 2019

Legal 500’s UK Awards 2019

“He is responsive, user-friendly and very bright. His advocacy skills are impressive and it is clear that he has the ear of the court.” (Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide 2019, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

“Highly impressed by his abilities and personality. He is excellent value.” (Chambers 2019, Intellectual Property)

“He is extremely bright, very sharp and very personable. He is a star of the future.” (Chambers 2018, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

“He has an excellent legal mind and is very good at finding arguments, but he’s also very good with clients.” (Chambers 2018, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

“He is very user-friendly, up to speed with everything, and he’s got a real understanding of the area of law.” (Chambers 2018, Intellectual Property)

“Very good on his feet.” (Legal 500 2019, Commercial Litigation)

“He has the ear of the court.” (Legal 500 2019, Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Media)

“Tariq undertakes more IP activities than any other junior; solicitors profess themselves to be dazzled by his opinion work.” (World Trademark Review 1000 2018)

Usman Tariq is an Advocate specialising in commercial and public law. He is a graduate of the Universities of Glasgow and Cambridge. 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 awarded the title of “Advocate of the Year” at the Law Awards of Scotland 2017. He was named the Legal 500’s Junior of the Year 2019 for the Scottish Bar at the Legal 500’s UK Awards 2019.

Since calling to the Bar, Usman has been instructed in litigation and advisory work across the commercial spectrum. He is recognised in both the Chambers and Legal 500 rankings for his expertise in commercial dispute resolution. He has extensive experience of contractual disputes, intellectual property law, insolvency law, company law, banking law, property law and professional negligence claims. Chambers 2019 describes him as having “broad experience across a range of high-value commercial and contractual disputes” who “elicits praise for his strong work ethic and approachable style during cases”. He regularly appears on behalf of the Advocate General for Scotland in judicial reviews in the Court of Session.

A significant area of his practice is intellectual property disputes. He is recognised in the Chambers, Legal 500, Legal Who’s Who (UK Bar) and World Trademark Review 1000 rankings for his expertise in this area. Chambers describes him as a “junior counsel with a highly active IP practice, who demonstrates acumen in such areas as design rights, trade mark disputes and passing off matters” and who “impresses with his role in high-profile IP matters”. He is currently instructed on behalf of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. and Rockstar Games Inc. in proceedings in respect of the Grand Theft Auto V video game. He acts on behalf of PPL and PRS, the bodies responsible for the licensing of music in the UK, and Sky PLC in their IP enforcement work in the Court of Session. He has gained substantial experience in interim interdicts, breach of interdicts and contempt of Court hearings as a result. He acted for the successful respondent in the first substantive appeal under the Trade Marks Act 1994 from the UK Intellectual Property Office to the Court of Session in CCHG Ltd t/a Vaporized v Vapouriz Ltd. He is one of the few Scottish counsel who has experience of conducting proceedings in the UK Intellectual Property Office. An example of his work before the UK Intellectual Property Office is the case of Robert Wilson v Enviromax Ltd in which he acted for the successful defender in entitlement proceedings in relation to a patent. He is particularly interested in cases involving IT and acted for the successful defenders and respondents in Worbey v Campbell, a dispute over ownership of dating apps.

A substantial proportion of his work relates to personal and corporate insolvencies. He has acted for liquidators, administrators, judicial factors, trustees and those subject to insolvency proceedings. He represented the successful appellant before the UK Supreme Court in the case of the Henderson (Liquidator of Letham Grange Development Co Ltd) v Foxworth. He acted for the successful liquidator in Paton (Liquidator of Ricky (Martin) Racing Ltd) v Martin which was a rare action brought against a company’s directors for wrongful trading. He was instructed for the Liquidator of Heather Capital Ltd, a hedge fund with investments exceeding $400 million before its collapse, in several actions arising from the fraudulent diversion of investor funds to third parties.

Usman is the founder of the Scottish Ethnic Minority Lawyers Association (SEMLA), a group focuses on the support of ethnic minority lawyers and law students in Scotland. SEMLA is jointly supported by the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates. He is on the Scotland leadership group of Mosaic Network which is a mentoring initiative for disadvantaged young people founded by HRH The Prince of Wales. He also mentors Diploma students at the University of Glasgow.

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