“The best way to predict our future is to create it.”
That is the most suitable quote to describe Alta Mahandara. Born in 1988, since his childhood this man has manifested his parents’ message not to rely on others and build his brilliant career.
“My parents did not ask me in detail to pursue a particular profession. But they clearly asked me to develop my own future success and stay independent in living my life,” Alta Mahandara said in an interview recently.
Spending his youth in Jakarta, it is inconceivable for Alta to become the capital city’s reliable lawyer. Even during his study at the faculty of law of the University of Indonesia (UI), Alta had not been able to convince himself to become a lawyer.
“Everything changed just by the end of my study. At that time, I noticed how my college friends worked in law firms. One thing I realized was the fact that what they did to help their clients professionally could make them happy and satisfied,” he said.
At the time he realized it, he decided to become a lawyer. “Initially, I had no idea. But then I found myself feeling happy and full of contentment, a feeling that I had never felt before. Now, I still have that feeling every time I manage to fulfill my responsibility as a lawyer in many cases,” he said.
He sees a necessity for a lawyer to have a high empathy and not only understand the regulations that govern clients’ core business, but also understand clients’ interests, especially when representing clients before counterparts. “I think becoming a lawyer is not only aimed at mitigating legal risks, but also business and operational risks. Every time I managed to defend clients’ interest, I felt something that made me very happy,” he said.
A. Various Transactions from Mining to Construction
Alta Mahandara has been pursuing his legal career as a lawyer for more than 12 years. As a partner, he has succeeded in finalizing many transactions from various industries i.e., transactions of manganese and iron mining acquisitions by a Chinese company in Aceh; private equity transactions in Singapore with funds sourced from the Middle East in coal and nickel trading in Kalimantan and Sumatera; negotiation on sharia financing with a total financing of US$9,000,000 for a logistic company in Indonesia by a financing company in Brunei Darusallam; development of mini-hydropower plants in Indonesia, especially those with generation capacity of 9 MW in West Sumatera and generation capacity of 12 MW in West Java by an investment holding company in Malaysia through its subsidiary in Singapore.
Alta was also involved in assisting a Singapore-based private equity company with financing sourced from the Middle East to file an arbitration process against several buyers in relation to violations of a coal sale and purchase contract with a total lawsuit value of around Rp8.7 billion. His expertise in negotiating also makes him trusted by various state-owned companies (BUMN) in various sectors. He was involved in solving a legal case with Telkom’s Trade-In Trade-Off sub-contractor; assisting BUMN in the field of construction and technology on the tender process of the light rail transit (LRT) project in West Java; assisting the consortium of BUMN and French company in the sector of construction, concerning the legal case of the process of the EPC of gas production facility in Central Sulawesi with a projected production capacity of 50 MMSCFD; assisting a German company in a consortium agreement with a construction BUMN to provide mobile power plants and gas-machine power plants of the permanent type of package-IV – PLTMG Maumere 40MW – PLTMG Bima 50 MW – PLTMG Sumbawa 50 MW and in negotiations with PT PLN; and many more.
Asked about the key to his success in handling various transactions in mining, energy, and construction, Alta said that having a thorough understanding is something that cannot be ignored.
“I believe many have understood that negotiation is an important aspect in transactions, especially in mining. In its process we need a thorough understanding on the business process in the mining industry. Such understanding is the key for lawyers to enable them to ask the right questions or to deliver the right answers. The right questions or answers will certainly result in the right information to be utilized during the negotiation process,” he said. “That’s why I always remind myself and my fellow lawyers to always enrich ourselves with the latest developments of mining information and regulations. I believe this is a must for lawyers,” he added.
His believe is not without reason. According to Alta, mining regulations in Indonesia have undergone a constant metamorphosis over the past decade.
“It’s interesting to keep monitoring government policies, especially those related to global environmental trends, which also affect Indonesia,” he said.
Alta himself admitted that he continues to follow the news of the issuance of Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 112/2022 on accelerating the development of renewable energy for power plants and its impacts on the mining sector in Indonesia. According to him, the issuance of the Perpres has eliminated a number of main issues concerning the use of new and renewable energy in Indonesia, especially in relation to procurement mechanisms and tariffs.
“This will accelerate the development of new and renewable energy-based power plants. The regulation will also stand as the legal basis for the preparation to stop the operations of coal-fired power plants,” he said.
Alta sees the Perpres as something interesting as the impact on the mining sector will be significant, especially on the mining commodity e.g., coal that is the mainstay of power generation in Indonesia.
B. Compromise and Communication: Key to A Balanced Life
As a person, Alta Mahandara’s role is not only limited to his profession as a lawyer, but now Alta is also carrying out his role as a father and husband. To him, raising a daughter is the greatest gift.
“One thing that I’m most grateful for in my life is being a father,” Alta said with a smile. “I’m more blessed as I and my wife has managed to align our principles in raising our child; there is no limitation or differentiation in our tasks. When I have time for our child, then I will be in charge, and vice versa with her. The most important thing for me and my wife is to see our child happy and healthy,” said Alta.
Alta sees compromise and communication as the two key principles in carrying out his role as a father and husband. He believes that by understanding his spouse’s condition and often by engaging in discussions will minimize what he calls ‘konflik kepentingan’ (self-interest) in the family. “I and my wife really avoid being ‘hitung-hitungan’ (reciprocal calculations) in carrying out our roles as parents. Children are ‘amanah’ (bestowed trust). Even for me and my wife, our child is our gem,” said Alta.
To maintain balance in his life, he often turns to doing his hobbies such as playing games, listening to music, and cooking. He admitted often preparing breakfast for his wife and child.
“My main menus are pasta and Japanese curry. Don’t be surprised; I’ve been through various trials and errors to achieve the taste of pasta and curry that I and my wife like,” Alta said with a laugh.
C. Alta Mahandara’s Integrity
Alta’s decision to join ADCO Law is part of his journey towards his successful career. Indeed, at his age of 34 years old, he has been through various transaction experiences at one of Indonesia’s leading law firms before finally joining ADCO Law in October 2022.
“I see ADCO Law as a law firm with a variety of integrated legal services, which is growing rapidly with experiences in mining, energy, and construction. This is a new page in my life being part of a very progressive and energetic team,” he said.
He confidently expressed his appreciation to all team members in ADCO Law. “I see great passion in this firm. Many smart youngsters are involved in its activities, and I see them as strong assets of the firm,” he asserted. “Client Focus, Collaboration, Growth. Those three values adopted by ADCO Law were directly permeated into me soon after I joined in the law firm,” he said.
As a young partner, Alta advised his fellow lawyers, especially those new to ADCO Law, to prioritize integrity. For Alta, integrity is the key to success that cannot be ignored.
“Seen from all aspects of work life, integrity is the key. When you are able to maintain your own highest standards of integrity – regardless of what others may do – you are destined for greatness. Ignore your self-satisfaction but prioritize common benefits because the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy,” Alta concluded. (*)
This article has been published in the October 2022 issue of CoalMetal Asia Magazine, on pages 60-61.
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