Spotlight on our solicitors is a series of interviews in which we showcase the talent of our solicitors who have joined us recently. In this series, we get to know more about the experts behind the advice. This time, we caught up with Tristan Johnston – one of our equity incentive solicitors here at Harper James. Tristan joined the equity incentives team in August 2022, after qualifying as a solicitor in 2020.
How did you start your career?
‘I studied law at the University of Glasgow. Throughout that time, I discovered an interest in corporate law.’ said Tristan. ‘Once I graduated, I went on to complete my training contract in London. Prior to Harper James I worked as a solicitor at Addleshaw Goddard LLP.’
What are the main areas of your equity incentives expertise? Will you cover a particular specialist or niche areas within the equity incentives team here?
‘I’ll be working across all areas of employee incentive arrangements at Harper James. So far, most of my work has been on EMI Share Options, growth shares and non-advantaged share plans.’
Can you recall any key moments from your career?
After graduating, Tristan completed a six-month internship at an international law firm based in China.
‘My experience in China taught me that being the best lawyer I can be goes beyond completing forms and just knowing the law. It’s about getting to know the client and their business; this enables me to provide truly meaningful client work and tailored advice that achieves the best result.’
What do you think your clients value most about how you work with them?
‘I strive to be as straightforward and as personable as possible while keeping the legal and technical jargon to a minimum. Many corporate concepts can be tricky to grasp, especially for new businesses - I always do my best to be as concise as possible and get to the point quickly.’
How have you found Harper James so far? Any first impressions?
‘The flexible and mature approach to working at Harper James is truly breathtaking. It’s refreshing to be part of such an innovative firm that very much focuses on being people driven, rather than policy driven.’ Tristan explained. ‘The firm’s flexibility has allowed me to study and self-develop without taking away any progression opportunities that come my way.’
Do you have any hobbies?
When Tristan’s not working, he keeps fit as an eager rugby player or, he can be found hill-walking in his spare time. ‘The Scottish Highlands are usually my go-to place for walking, but I enjoy traveling and seeing as much of the world as possible – I recently got back from a week of hiking in Banff and around Lake Louise in Canada. It’s an incredibly beautiful area which I would recommend to anyone who’s like me and enjoys the outdoors!’
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
‘I’d love to climb Machu Picchu in Peru, see the penguins in the Artic and learn Italian!’