How has your role / involvement in client facing work changed since becoming managing partner/setting up your firm?
Since becoming managing partner of SSEK several years ago, I have taken on multiple responsibilities, especially related to the internal management of the office and external relations with clients and third parties. Internally, we not only manage work distribution and setting goals and objectives for our lawyers, but we also mentor them and nurture the core values of the firm to ensure its long-term sustainability. Externally, our role is to maintain the trust of and positive, collaborative relationship with our clients, and expand the firm’s network at the regional and international levels. Ultimately, we believe that SSEK’s role to be not just that of legal representative to our clients, but also that of a trusted partner ready to help each client grow and achieve their goals.
What are the biggest challenges facing firms in Asia Pacific and specifically the market in which you operate in?
One of the biggest challenges we face in working with firms in the Asia Pacific is not only building but maintaining trust and collaborating as efficiently as possible with international counterparts to meet and surpass clients’ expectations. In a market that is ever-changing and dynamic, we know that the ability to adapt to every situation and address concerns directly is key to becoming a recognized and trusted firm in the regional and international legal markets.
The global pandemic has clearly changed the way in which organizations tend to operate. What impact has this had on your clients and your approach to advising clients?
The way we work and coordinate with colleagues, clients and employees has certainly changed substantively over the last nine or ten months in the wake of COVID-19. For instance, we now have significantly fewer physical meetings and more work is being done online from our homes.
However, this has not changed our values and principles, and our commitment to ensure that we continue to deliver our services to the clients at the highest standard. We will always maintain the highest level of professionalism both online and offline. Long before the global pandemic, SSEK had developed and maintained a significant network of contacts in government departments and agencies and extensive computerized databases of Indonesian laws and policies. This has allowed us and will continue to allow us to effectively and comprehensively advise clients on laws and regulations as well as unwritten administrative policies and decisions in many sectors of Indonesian law during the pandemic and as we enter the post-COVID-19 era.
What do you do differently from other firms? What do you think separates you from your competitors?
SSEK gives clients not just legal solutions, but also strategic solutions and creative commercial solutions to real-world business problems through the careful analysis of the risks associated with the client’s proposed business plan or transaction. SSEK is one of the largest, if not the largest, independent law firms in Indonesia. We do not have a foreign affiliate, allowing us to work with law firms in jurisdictions across the globe and provide a comprehensive service for clients wherever their business or transactions take them. SSEK is a full-service law firm with experience and expertise across a wide range of specialist areas.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in light of the ever-changing legal landscape in Indonesia, our main objective, as always, is to deliver the highest level of service in terms of quality, responsiveness and reasonable fees. We will continue to provide in-depth expertise across practice areas and economic sectors, ensuring the client’s best interests. We certainly anticipate that the enactment of the Omnibus Law will raise questions and concerns among clients about how best to approach their business plans or compliance issues.
Looking ahead three years, we see SSEK still as a leading independent full-service law firm in Indonesia, continuing to provide the best service to domestic and international clients.