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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Turkey > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial, corporate and M&A clients in Turkey using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Kekibrings dynamism, solid legal advice and problem-solving techniques to any negotiation table’ and is able to handle ‘the most complex and exhaustive deals’. The practice is led by Galip Selçuk and advises on transactions and contractual agreements, as well as inbound and outbound investment matters. In one recent highlight, the ‘creative deal structurerSelim Keki led advice to OMV regarding the €1.4bn sale of some of its subsidiaries, including OMV Petrol Ofisi, to VIP Turkey Enerji, a subsidiary of Vitol Investment of Holland. In other work, Doğan Eymirlioğlu assisted Pera Capital with its proposed acquisition of shares in Asset Medikal. Müfit Arapoğlu is also recommended.

Eren Kurşun heads the corporate and M&A department at Esin Attorney Partnership, Member of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein, which handles day-to-day commercial and corporate advice, due diligence and complex cross-border transactions. Recent work includes assisting BRF with the $318.5m acquisition of a majority equity stake in Banvit. In other work, Duygu Turgut led advice to Rheinmetall on the establishment of a joint venture with the Turkish BMC and the Malaysian Etika Strategi, which plans to invest into the defence industry. The firm’s clients include Vestel Electronics, Abraaj Group and Hitachi. İsmail Esin and Muhsin Keskin are other core members of the practice.


Sengün & Sengün and Partners Law Firm

Commercial law is the largest practice area at SENGUN&SENGUN AND PARTNERS, and the firm offers legal assistance to its clients in relation with various commercial and business matters.

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Despite the relatively calm M&A market in Turkey, GKC Partners continues to be involved in significant domestic and cross-border transactions. In one recent highlight, the team led advice to Qatar Holding as part of a joint venture acquiring approximately 79.5% of the shares of the country’s largest poultry producer, Banvit. Other key strengths of the practice are day-to-day corporate advice, drafting and review of contracts and agreements, as well as due diligence. Emre Özşar heads the team and Rozita Nigrin-Borden is another key figure. Ceylan Kara was made partner in January 2017 and is particularly experienced in the banking and insurance sectors.

Hergüner Bilgen Özeke provides day-to-day advice on corporate matters, assists with the drafting and negotiation of contracts and agreements, and handles consumer law issues. In addition, the team advises on transactions and post-M&A disputes. Ümit Hergüner heads the corporate practice; Kayra Üçer and Senem Denktaş are other names to note. Kemal Mamak left the firm in November 2016 to pursue an academic career and former name partner Ender Özeke departed in March 2016 to Selek Law.

Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli combines ‘vast industry knowledge and experience with in-depth knowledge of the local legislative and regulatory framework’. The highly recommended Umut Kolcuoğlu heads the practice with Serhan Koçaklı and advises on joint ventures, acquisitions, mergers, due diligence and day-to-day corporate matters. In one recent highlight, the team led advice to Vitol Group on the €1.4bn acquisition of OMV Petrol Ofisi. Other work includes assisting NEF regarding the formation of a joint venture with the EBRD, with the aim to develop student housing projects in Turkey. ‘Hardworking, diligent and pragmatic’ senior associate Begüm Inceçam is another name to note.

Elvan Aziz heads the department at Paksoy, which has ‘ample experience in the corporate and M&A sector’ and advises on day-to-day commercial and corporate matters, transactions, the drafting and negotiation of contracts and agreements, and due diligence. Competition law expert Togan Turan recently led advice to Klöckner Pentaplast on the acquisition of Farmamak, a Turkish market leader in the production of rigid film. In other work, Sera Somay assisted One Equity Partners with the sale of its 48% stake in Netaş Telekomünikasyon. Stéphanie Beghe Sönmez is another name to note.

Pekin & Pekin handles transactions, joint ventures, corporate restructurings and day-to-day corporate and commercial advice. In a recent highlight, practice head Yegân Liaje advised real estate investment trust Akiş on its merger with Saf GYO. Other clients include local and international companies from the banking, energy, life sciences and transport sectors. Okan Or and Zeynep Şener were made partner in December 2016; Kemal Serdengeçti left the firm in May 2017.

Bener Law Office’s team handles day-to-day corporate advice and corporate restructurings, and advises on the buy side and sell side of transactions in sectors such as energy, insurance, retail, real estate and e-commerce. In one recent highlight, Onur Kordel advised Polisan on the $113m sale of 50% of its shares to Kansai Paint. In other work, Gözde Esen Sakar assisted Hyundai Elevator with the acquisition of HMF Elevator from Cemaş. Other clients include AquaPower, IBM and Mitsubishi.

Bezen & Partners advises on general commercial and corporate law, the drafting and negotiation of contracts, corporate restructuring, transactions and joint ventures. Recent work includes advising Akfen Holding on the pre-sale corporate restructuring of its energy company portfolio. Serdar Bezen heads the practice and Murat Soylu is another key figure. The team is particularly active in the energy and healthcare sectors. First Solar, Akkuyu Nükleer and Trelleborg are clients of the firm.

Mesut Çakmak and Naz Bandik Hatipoğlu head the corporate and M&A practice at Çakmak Avukatlık Ortaklığı, which is particularly well known for its extensive experience in energy-related work. Recent highlights saw the team lead advice to Rönesans Holding on the sale of some of its shares in the Istanbul PPP Sağlık Yatırım to Sojitz Hospital. The firm’s client roster also includes Gama Holding, Fina Enerji Holding and Agco International.

Çigdemtekin Dora Cakirca Aranci Law Firm provides day-to-day corporate advice and handles cross-border acquisitions and mergers. In one recent highlight, practice head Gamze Çiğdemtekin and Tuna Çakırca led advice to the shareholders of Banvit on the sale of a majority of the shares to Brazilian food company BRF. The client base also includes Socar, Fujitsu and eBay. Kağan Dora is another name to note.

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law’s corporate and M&A practice has ‘deep knowledge and experience’ and provides advice on acquisitions, agreements, contracts, corporate restructuring and due diligence. Nazlı Nil Yukaruç heads the department alongside Gönenç Gürkaynak; Tunç Lokmanhekim retired in late 2016. The firm’s client roster includes L’Oréal Turkey, Edenred and Mobil Oil Turkey.

Gen Temizer Ozer is active on behalf of buyers and sellers in cross-border transactions and also advises on joint ventures and corporate restructurings. Practice heads Edmund Emre Özer and Baran Gen recently assisted Berggruen Holdings with the sale of its wind energy farm portfolio to Doğanlar and Akfen. In another highlight, the team advised Med Energy on the disposal of its remaining shares to joint venture partner Rubis Terminals. eBay, Bertelsmann and Earlybird are also clients of the firm.

Moroglu Arseven’s sizeable practice stands out for its ‘knowledge of the law, drafting skills and attention to detail’ and advises on day-to-day corporate matters, share transfers, due diligence, contracts, as well as contentious work. In one recent highlight, Seyfi Moroğlu led advice to GS Yuasa on the acquisition of local battery manufacturer İnci Akü through a joint venture with existing shareholders. Other core members of the practice are Burcu Tuzcu Ersin and Benan Arseven. Clients include Samsung Turkey, Peker Group and BAT.

Pelister Atayilmaz Enkur Law Office handles a wide range of commercial and corporate work, including M&A transactions, contentious matters, restructuring, joint ventures and day-to-day advice. The team continues to advise Cigna Insurance on its global restructuring, including the establishment of six companies as intermediate shareholders. The sale of non-performing loan portfolios is another strength of the practice. The ‘experienced and dedicatedGökhan Enkür heads the team alongside Emre Atayılmaz and Kerim Pelister, who is noted for his negotiation skills.

Akol Özok Namlı Attorney Partnership handles transactional matters, often with a cross-border aspect, and advises on various corporate matters. The team is led by Meltem Akol and Jonathan Clarke, who joined the firm in September 2016 from DLA Piper. Recent highlights include advising the seller in the auction sale of 85% of the shares in private equity company Korozo Ambalaj.

CCAO’s commercial, corporate and M&A practice is led by Halide Çetinkaya Yılmaz, who recently advised the shareholders of Burda Bebek Ürünleri and Darmagüç Plastik on the sale of both companies to a number of investors. Onur Taktak is another name to note.

Çaga & Çaga’s Erdem Değerli and İdil Çağa Değerli are the key contacts in the firm’s commercial, corporate and M&A department and advise on shareholder agreements, joint ventures, transactions and commercial law disputes. The team’s expertise spans a variety of sectors, including IT, telecoms, real estate and energy.

Ayşegül Yalçınmani and Onur Gülsaran are key people in the corporate and M&A practice at Cerrahoglu Law Firm, which advises on inbound and outbound transactions as well as cross-border joint ventures. Recent work includes advising Kale Holding on a joint venture with Rolls-Royce Overseas. In another highlight, the team assisted BMT International with the acquisition of Omco Istanbul Kalip from Anadolu Cam Sanayi.

Erdem & Erdem Law Office assists clients with cross-border acquisitions, share transfers, the drafting of contracts and due diligence. Practice heads Ercüment Erdem and Özgür Kocabaşoğlu recently led advice to Akfen Holding concerning the transfer of its shares in Mersin Uluslararası Liman Işletmeciliği to IFM Investors. Clients include Emaar Properties, Yılport Holding and Trakya Cam.

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants handles the drafting and review of agreements and contracts, transactions, corporate restructuring and due diligence. Ongoing work includes advising Ulusoy Shipping Group on the possible sale of its RoRo and port management activities. Zihni Bilgehan and İlknur Pekşen are the key figures.

Goksu Safi Isik Attorney Partnership provides day-to-day corporate advice and assists clients with transactions. In one recent highlight, Çiğdem Bal Ilgın and Emre Ulucaylı led advice to the Central Union of the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey on the acquisition of two domestic insurance companies. Other clients include Huawei Telecommunication, Socar and Akfel.

Gün + Partners handles transactions, corporate restructuring, joint ventures and day-to-day corporate and commercial advice. The practice is led by Pelin Baysal, and Mehmet Gün is another key figure. The client base includes local and international companies from the automotive, life sciences and retail sectors.

Güner Law Office provides advice on various contentious and non-contentious corporate and commercial matters, including transactions and contractual agreements. Recent work saw practice head Ece Güner lead advice to Webhelp on the acquisition of a majority stake in two Turkish call centre operators. Other clients include A&E Networks, General Electric and Ferro Corporation.

Gür Law Firm’s Sena Apak advises on M&A transactions in a multitude of sectors, including energy, real estate and transport. The team also advises on the negotiation, drafting and review of contracts. Recent work saw the team assist e-commerce website StilGiyin with operational agreements.

Moral & Partners handles M&A transactions, joint ventures, corporate restructuring and day-to-day advice, and has experience in cross-border matters. Highly recommended practice head Vefa Reşat Moral led advice to Borusan on the $62m acquisition of a wind power company from Aksa Energy. Serkan Pamukkale was made partner in 2017.

Pekin & Bayar Law Firm’s sizeable team provides day-to-day corporate advice and handles due diligence as well as mergers and acquisitions. Recent work includes advising Harsco Metals on the establishment of a joint venture with Tosyalı Holding. Ferhat Pekin, Selin Bayar and Deniz Altınay are core members of the team.

Noyan Turunç jointly heads the commercial, corporate and M&A practice at Turunç with Kerem Turunç. The team handles inbound and outbound transactions, as well as day-to-day corporate advice. The client roster includes General Motors, Nissan and Vansan Water Technologies.

Yegin Ciftci Attorney Partnership provides general corporate as well as transactional advice and has experience in cross-border acquisitions, share transfers and joint ventures. Recent work saw practice head Itır Sevim-Çiftçi lead advice to IFC on its €30m equity investment in automobile seat supplier Martur. Counsel Kemal Aksel is another name to note.

Bilgiç Attorney Partnership advises on the Turkish law aspects of cross-border M&A deals, investments and joint ventures. Haluk Bilgiç and Ekin Inal are the key contacts. Clients include Bank Audi, Sandstorm Gold and IFC.

Gökçe handles liquidations, company formations, transactions and share transfers and is particularly recommended for its expertise in commercial disputes. Görkem Gökçe heads the team and Ali Paslı is also active in the area.

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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
  • Court of Appeals Sheds Light on “Just Cause” for Termination, Exit Right and Squeeze-out

    The Court of Appeals Sheds Light on "Just Cause" for Termination, Exit Right and Squeeze-out of Shareholders

    2018 has been a turbulent year in the Turkish economy and by extension significant changes has taken place in the Turkish foreign exchange rules which was mainly triggered by the recent overshooting in the foreign exchange rates against Turkish lira.
  • Understanding the Registration Obligation under Turkish Data Protection Law

    I. Scope of the registration obligation under Turkish legislation
  • Quarterly Update on Trade Defense Cases in Turkey (September 2018)

    After Turkey's recent change to executive presidency, the President has made some changes in the government system.
  • Amendments Introduced through Law No. 7101 on Arbitration Proceedings

    State courts have very important functions concerning arbitration proceedings. These functions may aim to provide assistance to arbitration proceedings, such as collection of evidence through state courts, which would support the functions of the tribunal, or functions aimed at supervision of arbitration proceedings, such as set-aside actions. The legal provisions regulating these functions play an important role in the determination of whether a particular state has an arbitration-friendly legislation.
  • Restrictions on Use of Foreign Currencies in Certain Agreements between Turkish Residents

    The Presidential Decree dated September 12, 2018, on the Amendment of Decree No. 32 on the Protection of the Value of the Turkish Lira (" New Decree "), introduced significant restrictions on the use of foreign currencies in certain agreements between Turkish residents. Below, we explain the scope of the New Decree and discuss possible issues and problems that may arise in relation to the implementation of the New Decree. We also assess the potential effects of the Communiqué (2018/32-51) on the Amendment of the Communiqué on Decree No. 32 on the Protection of the Value of the Turkish Lira (2008/32-34) (" Communiqué "), which was published in the Official Gazette on October 6, 2018, and lists the exceptions to the restrictions imposed by the New Decree.
  • Amendment of ICSID Rules and Regulations

    At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Administrative Council, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ("ICSID") launched an amendment process on its' rules and regulations ("ICSID Rules and Regulations"). This has been the fourth amendment process since 1984, 2003 and 2006. As per Article 6 of the ICSID Convention, the amendments will only be effective upon the approval of two-thirds of the contracting states2. Hence, ICSID invited contracting states and the public3 to provide their amendment suggestions on topics worthy of consideration, which will be used as background papers throughout the process.
  • Trust Liability in terms of Groups of Companies

    Article 209 of Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102 ("TCC") has set forth obligations that are subject to damage caused by the trust and reputation of the parent company, as created with society and the consumer. Accordingly, "in the event that the reputation of the parent company and the group of companies reaches a certain level which provides trust to society or the consumer, the parent company is liable for the trust created by utilization of this reputation".
  • Possibilities and the Results of Trademark Confusion

    Trademarks are the vehicles that are used to differentiate companies one from the other. They help to capture the consumers' attention. It is essential and necessary to protect trademarks that are created and improved with capital and effort, from unrightful use by third parties, and to prevent the encroachment of trademarks through confusion. One of the most efficient functions of intellectual property law is to encumber imitations, and to halt improper benefit by using the popularity of the trademarks to their consumers. On the other hand, in our daily lives, we often see trademarks that are similar, and may wonder how they co-exist at the same time. In this article, we will shed light on the reasons why similar trademarks can be registered, the criteria that cause trademark confusion, and the remedies to prevent and/or remove these infringements.
  • Capital Markets Board Issues an Official Announcement on Initial Coin Offerings and Crowdfunding

    The Capital Markets Board (" CMB ") issued an announcement on September 27, 2018, on its website and addressed the much-disputed status of digital tokens and Initial Coin Offerings (" ICO "). In this announcement, the Capital Markets Board stated that it does not regulate or supervise ICOs, and also noted that it does not regulate or supervise most practices in which blockchain technologies are being used, such as cryptocurrency offerings and token offerings.

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