Lucie Kubínyiová: “What I value most about Rockaway is true collegiality and friendship.”
“When I first read her CV, one thing was immediately clear to me: we have to get her into Rockaway as soon as possible!” That’s how Eva Livora from HR remembers the moment when the current Senior Legal Counsel Lucie Kubínyiová was coming in to Rockaway for meetings with the legal department to “get to know each other”, when both sides were exploring whether Lucie would make a good team member. Today, she’s been a permanent and reliable part of Rockaway for almost a half-year, and nobody doubts that back then our HR department made the right choice in picking a candidate.
As funny as it may seem to us, anything can be a source of motivation for an important life decision, even a TV series. “Some of my female classmates really did in part apply to study law because they loved Ally McBeal or the TV series Jake and the Fatman,” laughs Lucie
But her main motivation was different. “Since I was little I had a strong instinct for justice, a need to help, bring up important topics and discuss them. And this was also the case when I thought about mu future profession,” she says in explaining why she picked law after graduating from high school in Třebíč. As she adds, it wasn’t a family tradition that needed to be kept alive – her father was a soldier and her mother a teacher. She actually thought about being a teacher for a while, but in the end the Faculty of Law in Brno won out.
Today, at a young age, Lucie is already a seasoned lawyer specializing in M&A and corporate law. Her CV features prestigious law offices like Dentons, Eversheds Sutherland, or DLA Piper. She was working for international law offices since 2012 to gain experience and, as she herself says, “to overtake her classmates”.
“From today’s perspective, when most of us are trying to slow down, it may seem like too much, but back then I really had the feeling that something work-related was getting away from me and I didn’t want to waste time.” Here she is also referring to the year she spent attending Edgewood High School in Wisconsin, USA.
Self-confidence made in the USA
“For a 17-year-old an experience like that is absolutely game-changing, at least for me it was. Up till then I’d only been dealing with the problems of a small town, where it’s easy to feel comfortable, but at the same time to be a bit static and not make any progress anywhere,” she says, recalling how she decided to step out of her comfort bubble and submit an application to a school in the United States. Lucie was placed in a private Catholic institution with strict rules, where it was difficult to penetrate the relatively closed community of her classmates. Despite that, she thinks that it was one of the most important decisions of her life. “It was a trying, but for me absolutely necessary year. I came back more courageous, much more sure of myself, and actually also full of resolve and ideals.”
Although after that, Lucie says that the beloved alma mater – Masaryk University in Brno – prepared her very well for her career as a lawyer, at the same time she admits that the ideals and the lightness that she brought from abroad as valuable souvenirs declined a bit over the subsequent years. This is also related to working as an articled clerk and her subsequent career as an advocate at the aforementioned law offices: “Advocacy is a beautiful, but demanding path. I’m not surprised that some stop for a while or for good, but I’m glad that I had the opportunity to follow it. And perhaps I’ll return to it again someday,” she says.
Perhaps this aspect also contributed to her decision to lower the sails on a ship that had hitherto been aiming for known waters. “I already had a relatively large amount of experience and knew the entire system, it’s quite similar in large advocacy firms. And by then I wanted a change of environment. Back then I was sitting at Dentons with one partner, who mentioned that Rockaway could be a perfect fit for me – that it’s a group of young people who work with resolve, but efficiently, because they like their lives and a work-life balance is very important to them.
From pure advocacy to Rockaway
As is often the case with “fateful meetings”, everything then went smoothly and quickly. Lucie met with General Legal Counsel Jakub Krůta and Chief M&A Counsel Jakub Rod, and realized that almost all lawyers had been dealing with the same dilemma prior to coming to Rockaway. “Some of my future colleagues had had the same experiences as I had and were leaving advocacy for the same reasons. The fact that they’re still at Rockaway is proof that they did the right thing.”
Today, as part of the legal department, Lucie is responsible for transactions in the ventures fund as well as M&A transactions, and the commercial law agenda for the entire Rockaway group. For each deal, she usually reviews documentation from the very beginning (non-disclosure agreement, term sheet) until the very end (share transfer agreements or agreements between partners/shareholders).
They key thing for Lucie is probably Rockaway’s specific company culture, where she appreciates not only the oft-mentioned off-site and other joint events, which have become legendary at Rockaway, but above all collegiality combined with friendship and the willingness to help. And not just between colleagues in the legal team, but also when it comes to top management. “For me, it’s important that my immediate superiors are willing to set aside time and energy to listen to suggestions, and not only that – they are also willing to work together to solve any problem. That’s very uncommon and something I’m very grateful for,” says Lucie in closing.