Attorney Derek Usman (left) of the Usman Law Firm, PA., and his marketing assistant Corinne Ishler, attended the Hillsborough Bar Association’s Judicial Food Festival. (Photo provided by Derek Usman)

When you have a local and approachable attorney like Derek Usman available, calling upon a lawyer for legal help in employment and business matters gets a little less stressful.

Outside of his offices or the courtroom, you may see Derek out and about in the area. He is a proud member of the Rotary Club of New Tampa. He regularly attends Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church in South Tampa’s Hyde Park neighborhood. You might even find him picking up kombucha or cold pressed juice at Nutrition Smart.

“People need somebody they can trust,” Derek says. “A lot of people don’t have someone in their social circles who is capable, ethical and competent to help with legal matters. The average person may only need someone like me once in a lifetime, so it’s important to always be trustworthy.”

After nearly a decade of practicing law in Chicago, Derek has been serving the Tampa Bay area since 2015, when he moved to Wesley Chapel. His Usman Law Firm, P.A., has two offices. The main office is on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in New Tampa, just south of Wesley Chapel and his newer office is in downtown Tampa. Derek specializes in business law (contracts, labor, company ownership structure, etc.), employment law (workplace disputes) and litigation.

 Derek’s education and experience make him especially well suited to the areas of business and employment law. He earned his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Business from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) in 1997. He became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Illinois shortly thereafter. Then, in 2001, he earned his Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) degree from the Northern Illinois University College of Law. After law school, he joined the Comptroller’s Office at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and, while working there, was able to earn a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation degree, at no cost to himself, from Chicago-Kent College of Law at IIT in 2005.

His experience with accounting and taxes helps him spot financial issues in contracts and transactions. “I can check if assets are depreciated, inflated, or valued properly,” he says. “In public companies versus private companies, ownership can be valued in different ways and I can help clients figure out which option is most advantageous for them.”

Your Litigation Specialist

What does it mean to specialize in litigation? It means Derek is capable of serving as a trial lawyer.

“As a lawyer, going to court is common,” Derek explains. “You have to go to court every time you file a motion. But, it’s unusual for business disputes to go to trial. It’s (usually more) economical to settle. But going to trial is something I am always prepared to do for my clients.”

For example, the Usman Law Firm recently emerged victorious in a three-day federal jury trial against Ulta Beauty, Inc., in which Derek was able to win $60,000 for his client in an employment law case. He also has represented Priatek, LLC, a startup company based in St. Petersburg, and two whistleblowers who filed a lawsuit against the Salvation Army.

Derek says many people would prefer to pick a large law firm versus a smaller practice like his for business legal matters.

“The so-called ‘white shoe firms’ — the well-established, large city firms — may feel less risky, especially if money is not an issue,” he says. “But, bigger firms also can mean double or triple the cost without necessarily getting a senior lawyer. You may get the new, less-experienced guy right out of law school.

He adds, “On the other hand, when you go against large companies that have in-house legal teams, they will have their experts for all types of cases. They definitely will have their own trial expert.” Either way, I have gone up against them.” 

The Usman Law Firm, P.A.’s New Tampa location is at 20701 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Suite 207, and the downtown Tampa location is at 505 E. Jackson St., Suite 305. For more information, please visit, call (813) 377-1197.

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