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Editorial

Legal market overview

 

Turkey is a market of huge promise which is currently dominated by inbound and domestic-only mandates, although much-reported political instability and civil unrest have tempered enthusiasm for cross-border investment and led law firms and businesses to adopt a wait-and-see strategy. Currently, there is little outbound work and the market’s restrictions – including limits on law firm size and the fact that foreign law firms may not practise Turkish law – have inhibited the number of international firms entering Turkey (the last entrant was Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, which is now known as Locke Lord Edwards). The main areas of activity continue to be large deals involving the domestic banks and state-owned conglomerates, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors, with the telecoms, FMCG and life sciences sectors also seeing a steady, if not prolific, flow of deals.

 

 

Big-ticket mandates are dominated either by local firms with foreign associations – Balcioglu Selcuk Akman Keki and Esin Attorney Partnership, member of Baker & McKenzie International being notable examples – or the established, traditional family names exemplified by the multi-partnership offerings of Hergüner Bilgen Özeke, Pekin & Pekin and Paksoy. Given that Turkey has, according to various tables, the second or third highest number of lawyers in the world, it is perhaps unsurprising that these players face a sizeable number of younger competitors which have often broken away from the very same firms – Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli and Bezen & Partners being notable examples.

 

 

In a market where boutiques are relatively rare, highly regarded exceptions are BTS & Partners, which has a niche in technology, and Boden Law, which focuses on the energy sector. Combinations are equally rare but that between Bener Law Office and Davutoğlu Attorneys at Law in September 2014 reinforced the already well regarded banking and finance practice of the former.

 

Firms in the spotlight

ADMD/Mavioglu & Alkan
www.admdlaw.com

ADMD / Mavioglu & Alkan is a full service boutique law firm focussing on foreign investments. ADMD is preferred by corporate and individual clients having sophisticated corporate and financial transactions and complex dispute resolution proceedings that require a more personalized and attentive approach. ADMD also serves as a preferred hub for new investors entering into Turkish market since it supports its clients directly or with reliable referrals for related non-legal services such as virtual office formations, outsourced accounting, bookkeeping and support for tax submissions.

Aksan Law Firm
www.aksan.av.tr/en/

The Aksan Law Firm was established in 1984 in İstanbul. Since then it has grown to become one of the largest and most pre-eminent law firms in Turkey, with more than 80 lawyers, consultants and other professionals. Aksan provides legal services to a broad spectrum of local and international clientele. Aksan Law Firm has established offices under Aksan name in the UK (London), Kazakhstan (Almaty) Azerbaijan (Baku), Georgia (Tbilisi), Japan (Tokyo) and established strategic presence in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) and Russia (Moscow).

Bener Law Office
www.bener.com

Bener Law Office was founded by Erim Bener in 2001 and has grown to its current size through careful selection of partners, associates and support based on strong ethics, technical excellence and a business-minded approach. The firm’s growth has been driven by the needs of its clients, which include many leading international and local companies, as well as the opportunities in the market.

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Legal Developments in Turkey

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Ancillary Status of Non-Compete Obligations in the Cement Sector: Issues of Geographic Scope

    In Turkey, non-complete obligations may be evaluated under the scope of "agreements that restrict competition" or "abusive conducts of dominant undertakings" (Article 4 and 6 of Law No. 4054 on Protection of Competition ("Law No. 4054"), akin to Article 101 and 102 of TFEU, respectively).
  • Notification Requirement of Foreign-to-Foreign Transactions under the Turkish Merger Control Regime

    Per the general application of the effects theory, transactions that do not directly or indirectly  impact Turkish markets are outside the scope of the Turkish merger control regime. The Turkish Competition Board (" Board ") applied the effects theory in some of its decisions regarding highly exceptional foreign-to-foreign transactions. However, the precedent line of the Board suggests that a mandatory merger control filing will be required, as long as the parties exceed the turnover threshold applicable under Article 7 of Communiqué No. 2010/4 on the Mergers and Acquisitions Subject to the Approval of the Competition Board (" Communiqué No.2010/4 "), regardless of whether the contemplated post-transaction entity will have operations and/or generate turnover in Turkey. This interpretation of the effects theory and the Board's current understanding of this concept are closely related to the notifiability of foreign-to-foreign transactions with extremely low or even no effects in Turkey.
  • Another Patchwork Amendment to Turkish Internet Law

    There has been a new amendment to the recent legislative proposal ("Proposal") on amendment to the Law No. 5651 on Regulation of Broadcasts via Internet and Prevention of Crimes Committed through Such Broadcasts ("Law No. 5651"), which is known as "Internet Law". The amended Proposal is submitted to the Turkish Grand National Assembly ("TGNA") on January 23, 2015.
  • Assessment of the Turkish Competition Board Decisions Regarding Restriction of Online Sales

    Online sales numerous advantages have rendered them increasingly popular during the past years. The internet, due to its unique characteristics, provides companies with an enlarged geographic scope, thus enabling them to promote their products widely, avoiding, at the same time, the operational costs of a brick and mortar shop. From the customers' perspective, it enhances consumers' variety of choice and their ability to virtually compare prices from several stores.
  • Turkey: Mitigating Anti-Corruption Risks In Emerging Markets

    With the execution of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and the increasing enforcement of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"), multinational companies are more aware of the consequences of corrupt behavior than ever. Due to historically high fines imposed for corrupt behavior, compliance is of crucial concern for companies. This becomes an even bigger issue, when a company begins to conduct business in emerging markets. This is because, emerging markets may be more risky for anti-corruption risks due to the difference in anti-corruption laws and perceptions. Therefore, the adoption of a compliance program and engaging in rigorous third party due diligence as a part of this compliance program becomes mandatory for multinational companies active in emerging markets.
  • Construction for Allotment Agreements: Distinction between Incomplete Work - Defective Work

    I. Introduction to Construction for Allotment Agreements A. Definition and Elements In practice, especially in Turkey, there are numerous types of construction agreements relying on various terms and principles by virtue of the " freedom of contract " principle governing law of obligations. Construction for allotment agreement is the most common one among agreements that diverges from traditional construction agreements. [1] On that note, a traditional construction agreement can be specified as an agreement, pursuant to which the contractor undertakes to construct a specific structure whereas the client undertakes to pay a certain amount in consideration thereto.  
  • Review of the Constitutional Court Decision on the Cancellation of Article 42/1 (C) of Law No. 556

    Introduction
  • Liabilities of Primary Employer and Subcontractors in case of a Collusive Contract

    Growing economy and competitive environment in Turkey has been leading companies to seek more profitable ways to conduct their business. Therefore companies have chosen to engage in subcontracts for the purpose of reducing their costs. Yet, to serve such purpose, at some point companies have started utilizing subcontracts to limit employees' entitlements through collusive contracts. Labor Law numbered 4857 (the " Labor Law ") and Bylaw on Subcontractor dated September 27, 2008 (the " Bylaw ") regulate which services or works may be subcontracted and strictly prohibit collusive contracts. According to Article 2/7 of the Labor Law, a collusive subcontract is considered null and void. Such nullity of subcontract automatically results in primary employers being redefined as main and sole employers of employees assigned to subcontracted work. Consequently, primary employers are solely responsible for employees' rights arising from subcontracted works and technically, primary employers would not have the option to recourse to subcontractors in order to claim any compensation due to their sole responsibility.
  • Boundaries of the Turkish Competition Authority’s Investigative Powers

    Boundaries of the Turkish Competition Authority's Investigative Powers: Case Handlers vs. Personal Property
  • Potential Consequences of Acquisitions of Minority Shareholdings under Turkish Competition Law

    The acquisition of a minority shareholding may come under the Turkish Competition Authority's (" Authority ") scrutiny in two ways, mainly: 1) it may result in de facto or de jure sole or joint control, depending on the rights possessed by the minority shareholders and/or shareholding structures and past voting patterns; and 2) it may not result in control but in cross-shareholding structures amongst competitors in a concentrated market which may raise questions about coordinated effects. This article discusses the circumstances under which the abovementioned consequences may arise under Turkish competition law with references to the relevant legislation and the most noteworthy cases in this regard.

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