Dastid Pallaska (KAEF 07, Yale Law School 08) took a different path than most KAEF graduates. Whereas many fellows on the KAEF program arrange for post-degree Practical Training with U.S. companies and organizations, Dastid decided to look a little closer to home. In spite of offers for positions with New York, Washington DC, and Chicago law firms as well as with the Northern District of Illinois District Court, he took a position of Counsel with Wolf Theiss, a Vienna based international law firm, where he coordinates cross-border litigation for the firm’s 10 offices in SEE/CEE and handles white collar crime cases as well as arbitration.
The Practical Training program allows KAEF fellows to stay in the U.S. for up to a year after their graduation to get work experience in their chosen field. Typically it’s done in the United States, but Dastid wanted to work in a legal setting that would give him experience useful to his future plans in Kosovo. Vienna was, in this context, a much better fit.
Dastid is also involved in building and strengthening the firm’s litigation practice group in its SEE/CEE offices. Moreover, he is engaged in business development by facilitating the firm’s expansion into the Kosovar market. According to Dastid, this position enables him to build bridges between foreign investors seeking to enter the Kosovo market and local businesses that need the investment and the know-how. While describing the economic potential of Kosovo, Dastid says that Kosovo can serve as a hub for an emerging joint market that includes Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia. In this respect he notes that “interest is growing as companies learn more about Kosovo and as we slowly combat the myths surrounding the country – the myths of instability and ineffective institutions.”
Prior to joining Wolf Theiss Dastid built his own law firm in Kosovo, Pallaska&Associates, which has since been on the forefront of the emerging field of intellectual property law. “Before, international companies registered their trademarks in Belgrade. Following the declaration of Kosovo’s independence, most, if not all, of the ten to fifteen thousand trademarks have been transferred to Kosovo”. According to Dastid, due to the lack of intellectual property rights protections in Kosovo until 2008, the degree of trademark infringement is very high, which is why he now expects international companies to begin enforcing their intellectual property rights. In this regard Dastid (Pallaska&Associates) initiated the first, and the only, trademark infringement litigation case in the history of Kosovo’s justice system.
Besides intellectual property law, Dastid’s firm is also specialized in commercial law as well as regulatory law with a specific focus on telecommunications and energy.
Dastid’s ultimate goal is to return to the public sector and help usher Kosovo into the stream of Western democracies by strengthening its justice institutions.