Ivar Kurvits

Ivar Kurvits

Toughest thing at Sorainen? The Bar exam! And a couple of Summer Days parties…
Alumni interview (7 September 2016)
General Counsel of Inbank
2010-2015 General Counsel of Eesti Energia
2005-2009 Sorainen, associate and senior associate, practised corporate law, competition law, commercial contract law, energy law and M&A


Message to ex-colleagues

In words of Steve Jobs: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

What has happened in your life since you left Sorainen?

In 2009 I received an offer that I couldn’t refuse – to become General Counsel at Eesti Energia, the Estonian state-owned energy provider with over 6000 employees. I held this position for six years, where my main goal was to help implement an EUR 2 billion investment programme.

What are you doing at the moment?

When Eesti Energia’s investment programme came mostly to an end in 2015 I decided to take some time off. You can call it a sabbatical which I think that everyone should do once in a while. I had worked 24/7 for 11 years, so I knowingly spent nine months travelling, reading, spending time with the family. I spent time with my two lovely boys, an 11-month old and a 2.5-year old. Quite recently I decided to get back into the saddle again and at the moment I hold the position of general counsel at Inbank.

Your hardest day at Sorainen?

It was the day I took the bar exam, in 2009. It was a tough and an exciting day, which came to a good end. Something that I had been preparing for while working at Sorainen and especially the three weeks prior to the exam. Probably one experience that I wouldn’t like to go through again, ever.

What do you value most in people?

Trustworthiness, keeping one’s promises. Getting to the point. Openness.

Where have you set your goals in 5 years’ time?

There is an excellent video that I would recommend to everyone, the commencement speech given by Steve Jobs at Stanford University in 2005. My aim would also be to stay hungry, stay foolish.

Name a good book to read.

Just now, I am reading a great book, “Confession of the Pricing Man” by Hermann Simon. The author speaks from a 30-year long experience as a pricing consultant about how price affects everything. You can really maximize value through pricing, and you can also mess the company up completely by doing it wrong.

Name a good place to travel.

People are always looking for the new and exciting. I think Estonia is a great place to live. Having travelled extensively during my years at Eesti Energia, I have really come to appreciate that. We have clean nature and lots of space. Sometimes the grass is greenest right where you are. Estonia is the place to be!

What makes you happy?

Having the freedom to choose.

When did you last want to come back to Sorainen?

I’ll be happy to come back to chat with people anytime. Otherwise, I think life is made up of chapters. My five years at Sorainen was a great chapter, because the firm gives you everything you need to become a really good lawyer. You just have to be a sponge and make the most out of it for yourself!

Once you’ve learned the ropes, though, there is this moment to think. While some aim to become partners, I feel I took the most out of my time at Sorainen to move on to things that for me are even bigger and more exciting.

What was your greatest achievement at Sorainen?

The foundation I acquired in order to be a great lawyer. No one deal or memo, but the helicopter view.

How do you keep in touch with Sorainen?

Invite me to your events and I will come! :) Also, I get together with the people I worked with.

Would you be a Sorainen client?

I would and I have been, but there is an important distinction to make – the legal profession is based on relationships and people. Having been the subscriber of legal services for quite some time, I can say that the brand is less important than the competence of the person who will actually do the work. Top lawyers are the ones I will gravitate to.

What would you wish for your former colleagues?

What Steve Jobs said... Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

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