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PETOŠEVIĆ People: Q&A with Taras Kulbaba

Senior Associate Taras Kulbaba has been with the firm for almost nine years. Based in our Brussels office, he handles cases across 30 jurisdictions and regularly represents the firm at conferences. We asked Taras about his work, his hidden talents and skills, his favorite dishes, and much more.

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

I just went through my agenda for the day and took care of urgent tasks. I will have lunch afterwards.

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

My love for IP started at university when I decided to write a thesis on the legal protection of folklore. Also, I had an excellent civil law professor whose primary specialization was intellectual property. After university, I never considered practicing in any other area of law but IP.

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

As I work on cases in more than 30 jurisdictions, each of them has its own challenges. Hopefully, one day I will write a book about all of them.

4. What do you most enjoy doing at work?

I enjoy complex cases that resemble puzzles. Puzzles and other brain-training games have been my passion since early school days.

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

I wouldn’t be working in any other field of law. I could have been a surgeon.

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

I wouldn’t call it very strange, but a copyright case concerning a Tarot card deck in Ukraine I worked on a few years ago was something out of the ordinary. I learned a lot about Tarot cards back then.

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

Spending time with my daughter and wife, especially visiting zoos and aquariums.

8. What book did you read last?

Probably the last 50 books I read were children’s books that I was reading to my daughter. The last book I read myself is called “Інтернат” (“Boarding School” in Ukrainian) by Serhiy Zhadan. It is a fictional book centered around the current armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

9. What is your favorite song at the moment?

“This is me” from “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack (I especially like the official video).

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

That would be halušky made with cottage cheese and sour cream in my mother’s interpretation. In Ukrainian, it is also called “linyvi varenyky”, which is translated as “lazy dumplings”.

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

Foreign literature. Each new book was a new world for me.

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

I play the violin. I studied Arabic at Cairo University in Egypt. I am a great cook (at least my wife and my daughter think so).

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

Meeting my wife. Choosing London as the city to do my LLM. The birth of my daughter.

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

I would travel, more than I do now.

15. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Inexperienced, arrogant drivers.

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

How to be a father. Still learning, every day.

17. What do you wish you could have told yourself as a teenager?

That university exam marks are not as important.

18. What cities/countries have you lived in?

Tlumach (my native town in Ukraine), Kyiv, London, and Brussels.

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

I would pick Georgia. Georgian wine, Georgian cuisine, nature and, of course, the most hospitable people.

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

It depends (see answer 18). If someone came to my native town in Ukraine, I would take them for a trip to the Carpathian Mountains or the Dniester river. If it was Brussels, my answer would probably depend on the time of the year as there are a lot of seasonal events in Brussels and you can never plan ahead with Belgium’s weather. Bruges is a nice destination in Belgium no matter what the weather is like though.

Read more PETOŠEVIĆ People interviews.