One to One with Keith Vaz

Tuesday 14th January 2020 06:53 EST

Miles Sriharan is second generation British. His parents spent their childhood and thereafter qualified as lawyers in Sri Lanka before migrating to UK.  Miles grew up in Buckinghamshire and schooled at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Elstree, Hertfordshire before continuing his further education at The University of Nottingham and The College of Law. Subsequently he has been practising at his family's firm - Sriharans Solicitors - and qualified as a fourth-generation lawyer in 2013. He specialises in bridging finance and debt recovery, areas that he has practised for over 6 years and has recently opened an office in the City (Bank) to further develop this. Alongside practising law, he joined his local law society, Middlesex Law Society, in 2015 and subsequently was elected Vice-President in 2018, a position which he continues to serve as. Outside of work, he loves to travel - having been to various parts of the globe although visiting Sri Lanka always has an extra special place in him which, he does annually. Miles is also an avid musician and cricketer having learnt the piano, guitar, drums and trumpet and played for the 1st XI during his school days.

1. Which place, city or country do you feel most at home in?


Whilst Sri Lanka will always have a special place in my heart, having been born and raised for the entire duration of my life in UK, I would have to say London is my home.


2. What are your proudest achievements?


I am never actually proud of anything I do, as I always think I can do better and improve. Nevertheless, I am pleased with becoming a lawyer and striving and succeeding in improving a business that has already been established for over 30 years.


3. What inspires you?


My parents and anyone else who has been successful in whatever they do. Furthermore, I take inspiration from the pride I have in the integrity and nobility of the English legal profession and system which, is fundamental to the rule of law.


4. What has been the biggest obstacle in your career?


Joining my family's firm which, at that time had been practising for nearly 25 years with a team established for many years and adapting to their dynamic whilst also managing to encourage and implement new ideas and directions to the team.


5. Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?


My parents - Father (Ariya Sriharan) as a tremendously successful Immigration Lawyer and litigator and Mother (Renuka Sriharan) as a successful Property Lawyer.


6. What is the best aspect about your current role?


I really like the fast-paced nature of bridging finance. There is a particular focus on efficiency and productivity without processes being dragged on. I am a person who loves to run at 100mph in anything I do, hence the concept of the parties needing finance asap and thus matters completing very quickly from the time of instructions greatly suits me. Anything that happens slowly frustrates me!


7. What is the worst aspect about your current role?


The concept of always being 'on call'. What underpins bridging finance is the notion of funds being required quickly and therefore I need to be ready to hit the ground running with a matter as soon as I receive instructions however, there is no method of accurately predicting when a new matter will arise! So, I need to be available to work any time on any day - 365 days per year!


8. What are your long term goals?


As aforementioned, I always want more in anything I do and am never satisfied. Thus my long term goals are to simply grow my practise area more and the firm (Sriharans Solicitors) to greater heights each and every year – with no stagnation and certainly no downwards curve!


9. If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?


It would have to be taxation - either significantly reduce or remove altogether! In particular Inheritance Tax which is fundamentally a burden on families who have worked hard and paid their taxes already during their lifetimes yet cannot freely pass on what they have earnt to their next generation.


10. If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why?


Nelson Mandela. I would love to learn and grasp as much as possible from a man who spent 27 years imprisoned (18 of those 27 years on Robben Island) and have the strength and courage to survive such a period and upon freedom, encourage forgiveness, compassion and become President of the country! "It is not where you start but how high you aim that matters for success"

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