Exclusive: There really is a barrister called Zane Malik

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By Judge John Hack on

One Direction April Fools’ joke comes true (sort of) as Legal Cheek unearths a young barrister in Lincoln’s Inn who could be the boy-bander of the law


There really is a barrister called Zane Malik, as Legal Cheek’s hugely popular April Fools’ joke from last week turns out to have a toe in reality.

And the irony is the London-based lawyer also seems to fancy himself as at least the boy-bander equivalent of the Inns of Court. He’s big on social media, has his own hip website and is not averse to publishing smooth photographs of himself.

Called in 2007, Malik practises at Lincoln’s Inn chambers 12 Old Square, where he specialises in the rock ‘n’ roll fields of immigration, human rights and general public law work.


His counterpart (and potential alter ego) — Zayn Malik — last month kissed good-bye to pop sensation band One Direction, and was briefly rumoured to be headed to a fast-tracked pupillage at a leading commercial set of barristers.

While that turned out to be a jolly wheeze, the real barrister Malik (whose Facebook fan page is pictured below) achieved notoriety three years ago when he was The Times newspaper’s lawyer of the week.

He won that accolade — the legal equivalent of taking The X Factor prize — for appearing in a landmark Supreme Court case involving a former student whose visa extension was refused. The judges ruled that because Parliament had not scrutinised the Home Office’s point-based rules, they were unlawful.


And while Zayn has yet to pick up a university degree, Zane has just presented a PhD dissertation at King’s College London on the UK’s asylum and human rights law, focusing on claims based on sexual orientation and gender persecution.


Former One Direction star Zayn Malik to be fast-tracked to bar pupillage (April Fool!) [Legal Cheek]