Interview with: Ira A. Eddymurthy, Senior Partner
SSEK Legal Consultants | View firm profile
SSEK founding partner Ira A. Eddymurthy explains how the firm acts as a trusted legal and business partner for clients navigating the Indonesian market.
What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability?
I think helping to found SSEK in 1992, with three other women lawyers, growing the firm over the next 28 years into one of the largest and most highly regarded corporate law firms in Indonesia, and having the opportunity to work with and even serve as a mentor to the next generations of Indonesian lawyers, would stand as one of my greatest achievements, both professionally and personally. I am also extremely proud of the recognitions I have received over the years for my work with clients, one of the greatest of those being recognized for 13 years by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific as a leading lawyer in Indonesia for banking and finance. Another achievement that stands out for me is being chosen as the only lawyer from Indonesia to be included in the panel discussion for the inaugural US-Indonesia Women’s CEO Summit, in October 2017 in Washington, D.C., with Indonesian Finance Minister Ibu Sri Mulyani, who was the keynote speaker.
What do you do differently from your peers in the industry?
I do not see that I do things differently from my peers in the industry. What I try to give the client is not just a legal solution, but also a commercial solution based on an expert understanding of the Indonesian context and a careful analysis of the risks associated with the client’s proposed business plan.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Never give up on your dreams, work hard and there is no glass ceiling you need to break through in Indonesia, at least in the legal profession. Women lawyers receive the same treatment as their male counterparts, so there is no reason a woman in Indonesia cannot pursue a career in the Indonesian legal sector and rise to the top of the profession.
Can you give me a practical example of how you helped a client add value to the business?
On many occasions the lawyers at SSEK have helped companies navigate serious crises. You have to understand the industry in which your client operates and be able to give them advice and solutions that take into account both the legal and business aspects of the matter at hand. We analyze the risk and work with the client and the financial advisor to craft the best solution for their business.
Within your sector, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for clients over the next 12 months?
Unfortunately, people around the world are facing the same problem with the unprecedented situation brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, we are all going to have to work hard and be prepared to assist clients in responding to the economic slowdown brought about the pandemic. There will, I’m sure, be a greater focus on cost savings and I think a larger focus of our practice will be restructuring and bankruptcy advice.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Different clients look for different things from their law firm. They all have specific needs and expect different things. That being said, I believe that all clients are looking for responsiveness and quality legal service. Looking ahead three years, I see SSEK still as the leading independent corporate law firm in Indonesia, providing services to multinational clients and domestic com