Interview with: Lia Alizia, Managing Partner

Makarim & Taira S. | View firm profile

The Managing Partner explains how the firm is differentiating itself from competitors and adapting to clients’ changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Makarim& Taira S. from your competitors?

We provide trustworthy, timely, efficient, transparent and value-creating legal solutions and services for our clients, so that they can confidently achieve their business objectives. To do so, we believe that knowledge and expertise alone are not sufficient. As legal advisors, we also need to have wisdom, particularly local wisdom and customs that most of our foreign clients seek. Wisdom is something that is built up over time and our firm has 40 years experience building up the kind of wisdom that will help us provide the most effective and efficient solutions for our clients. Having wisdom also means that we value compassion and ethics and we care for our clients and their needs wholeheartedly and always have their best interests in mind.

To ensure the sustainalibity and consistent delivery of our services, we see our freshly recruited trainees as our future partners. Therefore, we prioritize developing and growing our lawyers through personalized mentoring programs that allow a transfer of knowledge, expertise as well as the firm’s culture from generation to generation with a clear career path. This means that our clients can rest assured that Makarim & Taira S. will continue to consist of highly competent lawyers, who have the wisdom of the past, grasp the knowledge of the present and seek to uncover the insights of the future.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Many changes have occurred in the past 8 months due to the pandemic, which have impacted various aspects of life and business in general. Certain regulations may be changed to accommodate this unprecedented experience such as those that require physical meetings or presence, electronic transactions etc. As the impact of this pandemic, we expect to see potential in litigation regarding disputes, employment and restructuring work. Also, we anticipate a flow of legal works in the form of new inbound investment, M&A and Project Financing deals and adjustments to the existing businesses in Indonesia due to the upcoming Job Creation Law or UU Cipta Kerja (Omnibus Law).

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

We are an organization that believes in integrating the wisdom of the past with the theoretical and practical knowledge of the present and future insights. Therefore, learning and continuous improvement are important parts of our firm’s culture. Moving forward, we would like to focus on sharing the knowledge, expertise and wisdom that we have developed over time with the law and business community as well as the public in general through thought leadership, journals, articles, seminars/webinars and other ways available, such as the M&T Learning Center.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

We believe that the ability to adapt to external changes, particularly ones related to our clients’ needs and expectations, is very important to ensure our sustainability. The pandemic has also forced the changes to happen more rapidly and has actually transformed the way business is done in general. From virtual meetings, webinars, to the digitalization of documents, we expect to further see and incorporate limitless innovations in our services for our clients.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

We position ourselves not only as advisors, but also as partners of our clients. This means that we have their needs and best interests in mind at all times and we try to anticipate incoming challenges and identify opportunities for them ahead of time. We send regular updates on new regulations/policies that might impact their business and from time to time open for direct discussions with our clients on particular new legal issues. We also try to be flexible in delivering our services to adapt to their needs and this includes providing flexible ways of financing their legal needs.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Stability and strategic direction are crucial for clients, but over the past 40 years, we have proven that stability does not necessarily mean having the exact same people in the firm. When a firm has an effective development program for its lawyers, it allows it to ‘regenerate’ its expertise and services without comprimising the quality. Therefore, in three years’ time, we see ourselves as an independent leading Indonesian law firm that provides a wide range legal services with highly qualified lawyers who are not only knowledgeable and skilled in their areas, but also have the wisdom to help our clients deal with any challenges that may come their way and provide them trustworthy, timely, efficient, transparent and value-creating legal solutions and services, so that they can confidently achieve their business objectives.