Bellevue-based firm Desh International Law was honored last week with the World Trade Center Tacoma’s Globe Award for Service Provider of the Year, and former diplomat and managing partner Pradnya Desh says her workload continues to grow.
The World Trade Centers Association is the largest business network in the world, and its Tacoma branch is the only one offering full WTC service in the Pacific Northwest.
Desh, a former diplomat with the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, said she wanted to use her expertise in international business law “to change the world,” her law firm focusing on “purpose-driven” companies as clientele. One client is improving the process of converting landfill waste into energy, she said.
DIL’s attorneys have either lived or practiced law in other countries, and all speak at least one other language – several speak three.
The firm has on-the-ground capabilities in China, India and Brazil, and Desh said a lot of what her team does is ensure companies are aware of tariffs, regulations and business practices in other countries.
“What we hear the most from people in China is, ‘Just send us projects. Send us projects and we know what to do with them,’ ” she said. “They know they want to diversify in the United States and they want to do it in a way that’s comfortable to them.”
Desh said she wants to do more in India, a market that has the potential for exponential growth with its new leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is trying to ease the country’s bureaucracy to improve international business relations.
“Right before our eyes, we see the business climate in that country changing,” she said.
Desh International is moving into a new office space at the Gateway One building in Bellevue on Nov. 1, with plans to expand again in the next several years.
Bellevue is also a growing international market, with big tech companies drawing in developers and engineers from India and China, Desh said. International investors are also coming to Bellevue, and Desh said domestic companies want their support.
“I’ve been surprised that startup companies sometimes come and see us about getting startup capital from other countries,” Desh said, “which we didn’t hear a few years ago.”