Before joining PETOŠEVIĆ in 2017 as an associate in our Moscow office and focusing her practice on trademarks, Mayya Pak worked in the litigation and dispute resolution department of a finance and real estate company and headed the legal department of a Moscow IT company. We asked Mayya about her work, her hobbies, the most important thing she learned in the last five years, and much more.

1. What did you just finish doing before starting to answer this questionnaire, and what will you do afterwards?

I went through new emails and organised my to-do list for the day. Afterwards I will get lunch and start preparing a written opinion on a copyright matter.

2. How come you started a career in the IP field?

Right before joining PETOŠEVIĆ I worked for an IT company. It is there where I realised that I enjoyed IP-related and contentious work the most.

3. What makes IP protection challenging in your jurisdiction (and how do you overcome that challenge)?

Where do I begin?

4. What do you most enjoy doing at work?

Untangling complexities and putting things in order. I find it very satisfying.

5. What would you be working in, if you weren’t working in IP?

In litigation and dispute resolution.

6. What was the strangest job you’ve ever had?

Technically it is not a job, but the strangest assignment I have ever had. Once my Russian language teacher in high school said that anyone can master Russian literacy by re-writing the entire “War and Peace” by hand. She suggested this for a summer exercise for students who wanted to improve their punctuation. It took me about four months to complete the task. I am still not sure how this affected my literacy, but I certainly learned how to be patient and disciplined and how not to be naive.

7. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?

Going somewhere new.

8. What book did you read last?

“Jamila” by Chingiz Aitmatov. I am currently on “The House of Islam” by Ed Husain.

9. What is your favorite song at the moment?

“Hunger” by Florence + the Machine.

10. If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Garden salad with chicken and avocado.

11. What was your favorite subject in school and why?

English Literature. It was a perfect way of travelling and meeting people without leaving the room.

12. Tell us three things most people don’t know about you.

I am a tireless walker and hiker. I used to be into gothic music. I once won an international photo competition.

13. Tell us three moments or events that have been turning points in your life.

Moving to Moscow, moving from Moscow, moving back to Moscow.

14. What would you do if you won the lottery?

Depends on the amount, but if the prize was big enough, I would probably invest in real estate.

15. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Arrogant tone.

16. What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.

17. What do you wish you could have told yourself at age 13?

Say ‘yes’ to braces now. It is cheaper, faster and easier than in your mid-twenties.

18. What cities/countries have you lived in?

Kyrgyzstan, Russia and the UK.

19. If you could live in another country of the 30+ countries where PETOŠEVIĆ operates, which would you pick and why?

Probably Belgium for its good chocolates and transport links to everywhere in Europe.

20. If someone came to your city for 24 hours, where would you take them?

Depends on the season. It is hard to walk a lot, if at all, in wintery Moscow. But if the weather is good, I would start with breakfast at Patriarch Ponds, then a walk past the Red Square and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour to get lunch around the Red October area. Then I would stroll through the Muzeon, Gorky Park and Neskuchny Garden, drop into the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, and polish the day with a dinner somewhere in Khamovniki district.

Read more PETOŠEVIĆ People interviews.