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Turkey > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals

For some, Balcioglu Selçuk Akman Keki provides ‘the best advice at excellent fee rates’. Managing partner and head of corporate and M&A Galip Selcuk advised Bridgepoint on acquiring Peyman, a Turkish dried fruit, nuts and seeds producer, from its founders and Esas Holding. In another highlight, Selim Keki advised OMV on the sale of shares in OMV Petrol Ofisi and certain subsidiaries, including conducting due diligence and jointly drafting the share purchase agreement. Doğan Eymirlioğlu is ‘a highly knowledgeable and experienced lawyer, who inspires confidence at all times’, and Müfit Arapoğlu, who joined the firm in October 2015 from Clifford Chance, has experience advising local and international companies on M&A, particularly in the banking, cement, tobacco, media, manufacturing and food sectors. Other clients include Amway and Lesaffre.

The team at Bezen & Partners has ‘impressive business acumen and provides thorough and appropriate advice’. It has vast experience in the local market and a growing international client base, where it acts for names such as Bain Capital and Trelleborg. Serdar Bezen heads the corporate team, which operates from offices in Istanbul and Ankara. Murat Soylu brought substantial M&A and capital markets experience from his previous firm Pekin & Bayar Law Firm. Associate Uğur Sebzeci is also recommended.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Sengün & Sengün and Partners Law Firm

Founded by Nedim Korhan Sengün, attorney at law, in 1990 in Istanbul, Sengün & Sengün and Partners Law Firm currently offers legal consultancy and advocacy services in a wide range of areas to many local and foreign clients, and works together with its strong solution- oriented partners both throughout the country and abroad, with the aim of providing the most convenient legal solutions to its clients in the most diligent way.

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FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ADMD Law Office

Corporate and M&A is the largest practice at ADMD and the firm offers a very wide range of services. Lawyers of ADMD have abundant knowledge for drafting and assessing contracts and providing legal support. The firm offers a unique protective approach and refrains from 'over-lawyering' in contract drafting and negotiations and its experience in contract litigation gives it an insight to evaluate even the most negligible issues very carefully.

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The ‘very responsive’ team at Çakmak-Gökçe Avukatlik Bürosu has ‘very good English language capabilities’. Recently promoted partner Emre Özşar, experienced M&A practitioner Rozita Nigrin-Borden, local partner Ceylan Kara and senior associate Tuğçe Tatari are the key names. Tatari advised Gama on the sale of a combined 30% stake in Gama Enerji, a power and water infrastructure company, and Kara advised BBVA on its €1.9bn acquisition of a stake in Turkey’s Garanti Bank. Other clients include Cukurova Investments, and Dexter Axle.

The team at Esin Attorney Partnership, member of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein is ‘comprised of very smart lawyers, who deliver high-standard work’. Duygu Turgut has ‘an excellent understanding of the law and the market, and is among the go-to people at the firm’ for corporate matters; she and Eren Kursun are ‘very bright, sophisticated partners’. Turgut advised Abraaj’s Anatolia Growth Capital Fund on acquiring a stake in Yu-Ce Tibbi Gerecler Ithalat Ihracat Mumessillik Sanayi ve Ticaret (Yu-Ce Medical), and also assisted Petgaz with transferring its bottled liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business to İpragaz in an asset transfer deal involving two of Turkey’s leading LPG companies. Managing partner Ismail Esin is also noted. Other clients include Toyota and Cargill.

Hergüner Bilgen Özeke’s team is ‘very good in M&A work and can also handle corporate compliance matters’. Practice head Ümit Hergüner assisted Gulf Insurance Group with purchasing Turkish insurance company Turins Sigorta; Kayra Üçer advised Fiba on the $1.6bn sale of its shares in Fina Liman; and Kemal Mamak handled beIn Sports’ $1.2bn purchase of Digitürk.

Paksoy acts for clients such as BAE Systems, Symantec, MetLife and Comdata; Togan Turan advised the latter on all aspects of its acquisition of Win Bilgi İletişim Hizmetleri, a call centre services provider in Turkey. In another highlight, Sera Somay assisted Migros Ticaret with its acquisition of Tesco Kipa from Tesco Overseas Investments, handling due diligence and the drafting and negotiation of the share purchase agreement. Elvan Aziz advises sellers, strategic buyers and private equity clients in M&A matters, and Stephanie Beghe Sönmez is also highly regarded.

Pekin & Pekin’s team frequently handles investments and potential investments in Turkey for major multinational corporations. Senior partner Kemal Serdengecti, Yegân Liaje and senior associates Erenalp Rencber, Okan Or, Irmak Samir Yorukoglu, and Zeynep Sener are the names to note. Clients include Citibank and Turkish manufacturer Mutlu Akü.

Bener Law Office’s department head Erim Bener advised Selge on its joint venture partnership with Verifone’s Turkish subsidiary, Verifone Elektronik ve Danismanlik Limited Sirketi. In another highlight, Onur Kordel handled Fluidmaster’s acquisition of Keyteknik. Onur Küçük and Ali Cem Davutoglu recently left the firm.

Birsel Law Office’s team is adept at handling due diligence and day-to-day legal advice, as well as M&A in sectors including banking, real estate, insurance and telecoms. Recent work for the practice includes a due diligence exercise for GKN, a multinational automotive and aerospace components company, pertaining to its $776m acquisition of Fokker Technologies Group, a Dutch aerospace company. Hikmet Fadillioglu advises corporate clients including Sephora and Etam. Begüm Durukan Özaydin recently left to found Durukan+Partners.

Çaga & Çaga provides ‘quick responses and good advice at reasonable rates’. Idil Çaga Degerli advised Lufthansa on the renegotiation of its shareholder agreement and articles of association with Turkish Airlines concerning the joint venture SunExpress. She and Erdem Değerli ‘have local and international experience and in-depth knowledge of all aspects of corporate and commercial law’.

Çakmak Avukatlik Bürosu provides day-to-day corporate advice, and also handles M&A. Clients include Gates Corporation, Sikorsky and APWireless. Zeynep Çakmak, Mesut Çakmak, and Çağdaş Evrim Ergün are the key names.

Cerrahoglu Law Firm’s team is ‘reputable and well informed’. Ayşegül Yalçınmani, Seda Akipek and Özge Esin Soley advised Pegasystems on its share purchase of Ultima Bilgi Teknolojileri.

ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law provides ‘excellent support, particularly in terms of response times, appropriateness of advice and depth of the team’. The firm’s sector expertise spans the retail, manufacturing and machinery, education and digital media industries, among others. New client wins include Pandora and Hutchinson. Nazlı Nil Yukaruç, who was promoted to partner in 2015, is ‘responsive and always keen to help’. Senior partner Tunç Lokmanhekim, Gönenç Gürkaynak and Kemal Korhan Yıldırım have ‘excellent knowledge and communication skills’.

The team at PAE Law Office has ‘solid knowledge of insurance, corporate and commercial transactions, and adds value to projects’ due to its ‘dedication and hard work’. Work highlights saw the firm advising Cigna Corporation and Cigna Finans on Cigna Group’s proposed $54.2bn merger with Anthem. Gokhan Enkurunderstands the needs of the business sector and thinks outside the box’, and Kerim Pelister and Emre Atayilmaz are other names to note.

Turunç has notable expertise handling private equity matters. Noyan Turunç and Kerem Turunç are the practice co-heads; they advised Borsa İstanbul on its partial share sale to the EBRD. In another highlight, the team assisted the same client with purchasing all shares owned by the London Metal Exchange in LCH.Clearnet, a clearing house. Clients also include Camper Shoes, General Motors and Nissan.

At CCAO, Halide Çetinkaya Yılmaz’s work highlights have included advising Akbank on the senior, secured €158m debt facilities required to finance Actera’s acquisition of the Standard Profil group in Turkey and Spain.

The ‘extremely professional and responsive’ team at Çigdemtekin Dora Cakirca Aranci Law Firm includes the ‘kind of lawyers you want to have with you when negotiating a deal or contract’. Gamze Çiğdemtekin advised Astronergy Turkey on purchasing a number of solar power plant portfolios and Tuna Çakırca assisted Verifone with the sale of its technical services business to IQOR. Kağan Dora is also recommended.

At Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants, practice head Zihni Bilgehan is ‘a high-calibre lawyer who separates himself from the challenging Turkish market by providing results-oriented legal services in a timely manner’. He and senior associate Kerem Ersoy advised a major US hospital chain on its application to conduct medical research in luxury fitness centres in Turkey. İlknur Pekşen is active in the green energy sector and senior associate Leyla Ulucan is also recommended.

Goksu Safi Isik Attorney Partnership advises international and domestic clients on joint ventures and M&A, and provides day-to-day corporate assistance. In one highlight, Emre Ulcaylı drafted and negotiated a joint venture agreement between Kalyon and Malaysian company SapuraKencana TL Offshore pertaining to an underwater natural gas transmission pipeline in Turkey. Ali Göksu is ‘an outstanding lawyer with excellent contractual skills’, and Hasan Akıcıoglu, Fatma Gözde Akansel and Başak Göksu Gürbüz are other names to note. Gürallar and Ciner are also clients.

Gün + Partners’ lawyers are ‘efficient, clear and commercial in their advice, which they provide in excellent English’. Practice head Pelin Baysal is ‘excellent and very responsive’, and managing associate Ozan Karaduman and associate Ilgaz Onder are also noted.

Güner Law Office provides ‘an excellent’ service and is known for its strength in the TMT sector, while increasingly focusing on the mining industry. In one highlight, managing partner Ece Güner and managing associate Emir Jami advised Webhelp on acquiring majority stakes in Turkish call centre operators Callpex and Bin Çağrı. Ömer Erdoğan handled several matters for Platinum Group Metals, including assisting with a shareholder loan agreement, two share transfer transactions and share capital increase procedures.

The team at Gür Law Firm provides ‘fast responses and good advice’, assisting clients in the insurance, transportation, software and technology sectors. Practice head Sena Apakasuccessfully leads a strong team of lawyers’: counsel Evren Guldogan is the firm’s competition specialist, associate Berk Can Biren is ‘diligent, persistent and responsible’, and Tevfik Gur is also noted. Ahmet Akguloglu joined ATG Law Firm in 2016.

Moroglu Arseven’s team is ‘always available whenever a last-minute change requires a quick response’. Founding partner Seyfi Moroğlu has ‘great project management skills and excellent knowledge of M&A and corporate law’. Counsel Ülkü Solakalways exceeds expectations due to her technical skills, negotiation tactics and counter-party management abilities’, and Benan Arseven is also highly regarded. Clients include British American Tobacco, Samsung and Klinger Group.

Pekin & Bayar Law Firm advises sellers and purchasers on domestic transactions. Şefika Pekin heads the corporate practice, and Selin Bayar, Deniz Altınay and Ferhat Pekin are other names to note.

Baspinar & Partners Law Firm’s Ali Ceylan has ‘a deep understanding of corporate law matters’ and provides ‘practical solutions’. Gökmen Başpınar is also recommended. Global denim manufacturer Baykanlar Tekstil is a client.

Bilgiç Attorney Partnership often handles matters involving development banks and state agencies such as the IFC, the EBRD and Turkey’s Privatisation Administration. In one highlight, Haluk Bilgiç and recently promoted partner Ekin İnal advised majority shareholder Bank Audi and the nominee shareholders on the issuance of a $350m minority stake in Odea Bank to, among others, the IFC and the EBRD. Çağdaş Selvi left the firm.

Erdem & Erdem Law Office advises Turkish companies and investment groups that are active globally. Clients include Yıldırım, Akfen, Yingli Solar and Yılport; Ercüment Erdem and Özgür Kocabaşoğlu advised the latter on a share purchase agreement to acquire seven container terminals in Portugal, two container terminals in Spain and one in Peru. Gaye Spolitis and Tuna Çolgar were promoted to partner in 2016.

Gokce Yarali Attorney Partnership handles joint ventures and cross-border M&A deals, and has particular expertise in acting for small to medium-sized companies in the internet and technology sector. Practice head Gorkem Gokce and Ali Pasli advised Nevtron on a share purchase agreement.

Moral Law Firm’s ‘service is equal to global standards’ and it has notable strength in the renewable energy sector. Vefa Reşat Moral, Serkan Pamukkale and Bilge Binay Kanat are other key names.

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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
  • New Industrial Property Law

    The Industrial Property Law abrogating the patchwork of decrees that governed intellectual and industrial property rights has been published in the Official Gazette and entered into force on January 10, 2017.
  • Privatization of Domestic Coal-Fired Power Plants in Turkey

    The privatization tender of Çayırhan-2 coal reserve area and the construction of a coal-fired power plant project (“Çayırhan-2 Project ”) was concluded on February 6, 2017, which has been the first of the new wave of privatization of coal reserves and construction of lignite coal-fired power plants in Turkey in line with the recent incentives regarding utilization of domestic coal reserves for electricity generation. This client alert outlines the main novelties in relation to this new wave of lignite-fired power plant tenders, which is expected to continue with several other privatizations in 2017 as explained below.
  • Important Changes to the Electricity Market Licensing Regulation

    On February 24, 2017, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (“EMRA ”) published a Regulation (“Amending Regulation ”) containing important changes to the Electricity Market Licensing Regulation (“Licensing Regulation ”), including the removal of the share transfer restriction at the pre-license period for transfers to foreign companies and foreign-capital companies, and changes related to the Renewable Energy Resource Areas (“YEKA ”). Highlights of major changes are as follows:
  • The New ICC Arbitration Rules

    As of 1 March 2017, the new Arbitration Rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (“New ICC Rules ”) have come into effect and superseded the former version of the ICC arbitration rules, which have been in effect since 2012.
  • Novelties Introduced by the Movable Pledge Law

    As of January 1, 2017, Law No. 6750 on Pledge over Movable Assets in Commercial Transactions ("Movable Pledge Law"), which was enacted on October 20, 2016, entered into force and abolished Law No.1447 on Commercial Enterprise Pledge ("Commercial Enterprise Pledge Law"). The Movable Pledge Law introduces significant changes and offers more practical methods for establishing pledge over movable assets as explained below.
  • Determination of Injury in Anti-Dumping Investigations: Turkey’s Side of the Story

    I - Introduction
  • Turkish Health PPP Projects

    The Turkish health sector has undergone major reforms over the past ten years as part of the health transformation program. The most important pillar of such program has been the development of public-private partnership (“PPP ”) model health campus projects. More than twenty health campus projects with an investment amount of more than € 10 billion have been developed through PPP model in Turkey. They are currently at different stages ranging from tendering to operation, and more than ten health PPP projects are still in the pipeline.
  • Infrastructure REIC: An Alternative Source of Funding for Infrastructure Projects

    With the start of operation in certain BOT and other PPP model infrastructure projects in Turkey, refinancing alternatives have become more attractive and diversified. Capital market instruments and institutions are likely to have a greater share in the refinancings of projects which have become operational and the construction risks have been removed. Over the last few years, the use of capital market instruments in the infrastructure financings have gained a new impetus with the introduction of various incentives and financing solutions in this aspect. Most recently, the removal of the 1/3 and 1/5 bond issuance limits for healthcare PPP projects on 18 February 2017 represented an important step towards incentivizing the use of bonds in the healthcare sector. In line with this overall strategy, the government has also adopted various measures to make the Real Estate Investment Companies (“REICs ”) more attractive for the financing/refinancing of infrastructure projects such as BOT, BLT and other PPP projects.
  • Ankara-Niğde Highway Project

    Tender process for 330 km Ankara-Niğde Highway Project has been launched by the General Directorate of Highways upon publication of the tender announcement in the Official Gazette on December 30, 2016.
  • Establishment of the Natural Gas Spot Market in Turkey

    In line with the government’s objectives to make Turkey a regional hub for natural gas trading, a natural gas spot market has been established by the Natural Gas Organized Wholesale Market Regulation published in the Official Gazette on 31 March 2017.

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