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PETOŠEVIĆ People: Q&A with Tarik Prolaz

On his 11-year anniversary in the firm, we talked to Tarik Prolaz, head of our Bosnia and Herzegovina office. Besides being his eleventh year with PETOŠEVIĆ, 2018 is also the year Tarik was inducted into the Legal 500 Hall of Fame for the continued praise he receives from his clients. We asked Tarik what makes IP challenging in Bosnia, what his hobbies are, where he would take us in Sarajevo, and much more.

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

The usual morning sorting of emails. Right after I finish it, I hope to have a word with Ignacio, the Group CEO, about a potential copyright case.

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

I applied for a job at a copyright collective. They recommended me to one of their lawyers and that’s the first time I got a glimpse of industrial property. It was my second love at first sight.

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

Imagine a country smaller than West Virginia with slightly over three million people having: 13 constitutions, 13 governments, 13 prime ministers, almost 800 various MPs and almost 14% of all employed people working for the government. The best way to navigate this maze is to observe it as a game of Minesweeper. Plan every step carefully.

4. What do you most enjoy doing at work?

Navigating the above maze and looking for solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.

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

Corporate law.

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

I did not have an actual job that was strange. However, I did spend four years working for a market research agency. I was in contact with at least 30 different people from various backgrounds every day. There were at least a few very strange stories!

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

Biking and hiking. Currently it is not really proper mountain biking, more of an easy stroll with two toddlers, but I love it either way.

8. What book did you read last?

“The Bastard of Istanbul” by Elif Shafak.

9. What is your favorite song at the moment?

It is actually not of the music genre I like, but I have “6 Days” by Mahmut Orhan & Colonel Bagshot on repeat today.

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

A medium rare steak with grilled vegetables.

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

Quite odd for a lawyer – chemistry.

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

I used to be a vegetarian for over 10 years. Yes, I know how much this contradicts my answer to question number 10.

I read “a recent study has shown” articles religiously.

I’m a good cook.

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

Moving to or returning to Istanbul, Sarajevo and Edinburgh. Each time I moved between these cities meant that my life took a sharp turn towards the unknown and marked the beginning of a new era.

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

Nothing special. I’d live pretty much the same. A tad less worried, maybe.

15. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Very difficult to single out just one… Bad drivers, I guess.

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

To combat and suppress the initial fear of the new and unknown.

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

Take care of your bones, you’ll need them. Don’t ever light a cigarette.

18. What cities/countries have you lived in?

Turkey (Istanbul), Scotland (Edinburgh) and Bosnia (Sarajevo).

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

Until we set up an office in Scotland – it is Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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

Depends on the weather, but a guided tour and a lunch downtown are a must. Trebević cable car, connecting the old part of the city with the mountain Trebević, and a visit to Vrelo Bosne, a public park featuring the spring of the river Bosna, are definitely a must.

Read more PETOŠEVIĆ People interviews.