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For some, Akinci Law Office is ‘the market leader’ for international arbitration, including both investor-state and commercial proceedings. Ziya Akinci is ‘a top arbitrator’ with experience acting for clients in ad-hoc and institutional international cases, including those under ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID, TRAC and ITO rules, among others. The firm handled three arbitrations before the London-based Grain and Feed Trade Association pertaining to an importation dispute, a breach of supply contract dispute and a damages dispute respectively.

Boutique dispute resolution firm Cosar Avukatlik Bürosu’s team is ‘experienced in energy-related disputes, commercial litigation, cases involving government agencies and disputes concerning the enforcement of foreign judgments’. Utku Coşar is ‘a talented, experienced, first-class arbitration practitioner’; Suat Sarı is an expert in Turkish civil law; and Alper Arslan has expertise in energy and post-M&A disputes before Turkish courts and arbitral tribunals.

Balcioglu Selçuk Akman Keki represents international and domestic clients in civil litigation before trial and appellate courts. Practice head Özgür Akman handles all dispute resolution matters for the master franchisee of Domino’s Pizza in Turkey; Gülistan Baltacı Hatay and Semih Sander are also recommended, particularly for disputes in the transport sector; and US-trained Mark Skilling serves as a foreign expert along with İdil Tümer, a New York-licensed practitioner, who focuses on international arbitration. Amway and Coca-Cola are also clients.

The ‘extremely reliable, knowledgeable and trustworthy’ team at Çaga & Çaga is active in arbitration and litigation. The firm ‘benefits from its accumulated experience in Turkish and international civil aviation matters, an area in which the lawyers are the experts’. Idil Çaga Degerli is representing a client in arbitration proceedings pertaining to the concession rights concerning a harbour. In another highlight, Erdem Degerli advised an investor on its contemplated arbitration procedure concerning the fall in value of a trade mark. Tax litigation is another area of expertise for the firm.

Ankara-based Çakmak Avukatlik Bürosu handles disputes arising from major projects, including litigation and arbitration involving state and commercial entities. The team is representing one of the world’s leading gas corporations in an ICC arbitration arising from a gas supply contract in Turkey. ‘One of the leading litigation and arbitration names in Turkey’, Mesut Çakmak is ‘incredibly sharp, very experienced and commercial’; Çağdaş Evrim Ergün is ‘a smart and experienced arbitration practitioner’; and associates Erdem Basgul and Mustafa Durakoğlu are ‘rising stars’.

Çakmak-Gökçe Avukatlik Bürosu represents Bureau Veritas in a range of disputes. Zeynep Çakmak is defending İzgaz İzmit Gaz Dağıtım Sanayi ve Ticaret in litigation brought by the state.

Cerrahoglu Law Firm’s ‘reputable and well-informed’ team stands out for its work in corporate litigation and also handles arbitration. Fadlullah Cerrahoğlu and Uraz Canbolat represented a foreign bank and its Turkish subsidiary in a dispute with the Saving Deposits Insurance Fund and another Turkish entity.

ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law’s team acts for clients including Google, 3M, and L’Oréal. Gönenç Gürkaynak is ‘talented and experienced’ and ‘creates well-rounded claims and defence strategies’; Tunç Lokmanhekim provides ‘a premium service to international corporations’; and counsel Ceyda Karaoğlan Nalçacı is also recommended.

The ‘professional and responsive’ team at Erdem & Erdem Law Office provides ‘great value for money’. Piraye Erdem and Süleyman Sevinç are experienced in commercial, shipping and insolvency litigation; Ozgur Kocabasoglu focuses on general corporate disputes; and senior associate Alper Uzun is ‘extremely helpful’ on a range of contentious matters. Ali Sami Er, who was promoted to partner in 2016, has experience handling capital markets, M&A, financial and real estate-related disputes.

Esin Attorney Partnership, member of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein has experience representing domestic and international clients in litigation and arbitration arising from M&A transactions and construction projects. Clients include the Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan and the National Bank of Kazakhstan. Practice head Koray Söğüt excels in international, commercial, real estate, white-collar crime, administrative, IP and employment matters. Managing partner Ismail Esin is also noted.

Göksu Avukatlik Bürosu’s disputes team is headed by Noyan Göksu, who has an impressive track record in international arbitrations and before international courts, including the European Court of Human Rights. He has the ‘ability to bring completely different perspectives to complex questions without losing touch with common sense and practical solutions’. Kemal Gürhan Aydın is ‘extremely proactive, as well as a tough negotiator’. The group is active in the insurance and construction industries, with clients including Aviva, Hyundai Engineering and Construction and Tepe Construction.

The team at Gün + Partners has ‘experience in commercial cases, good industry knowledge, and is always willing to engage and be flexible in fee discussions’. It acts for major international clients in the automotive, banking and engineering sectors, among others. Mehmet Gün, Rıza Gümbüşoğlu and Pelin Baysal head the practice. Senior associate Beril Yayla Sapan is also recommended.

Gür Law Firm excels in commercial litigation and arbitration, and in particular, the enforcement of foreign judgments. The team recently handled ICSID and ICC arbitrations pertaining to debt recovery. Tevfik Gur and Serkan Yildirim are the key names.

Moroglu Arseven handles contentious contractual, shareholder, joint venture, construction and employment matters. Orçun Çetinkaya, Nejla Aydın Özer, Seyfi Moroğlu and Benan Arseven have vast experience in this space. British American Tobacco is a client.

Paksoy’s experience includes litigation and arbitration pertaining to IP, construction projects and product liability. Serdar Paksoy and Gökhan Bozkurt are the practice heads. Paksoy handles arbitration proceedings and litigation arising from corporate disputes, while Bozkurt is active before national courts in unfair competition, employment, bankruptcy, insolvency and product liability matters. The team is representing Volkswagen in civil litigation before Turkish courts and in investigations and proceedings by regulatory agencies pertaining to the use of defective emissions devices.

Pekin & Bayar Law Firm’s team represents corporations, financial institutions and state-owned entities in litigation and arbitration. In one highlight, practice head Şefika Pekin and international dispute resolution specialist Ergin Mizrahi represented a British bank in an ICC arbitration pertaining to a debt collection claim in the transport sector.

Pekin & Pekin’s team is ‘extremely professional and disciplined, and speaks the same corporate language as its clients’. Gokben Erdem Dirican, Ahmet Bağcı and Ali Gözütok are ‘client-friendly and reliable legal advisers, with a considerably high success rate in dispute resolution’. In one recent highlight, the team acted for the Turkish subsidiary of a London-based international bank in objecting to several administrative fines for alleged non-compliance with domestic regulations.

Erim Bener and Ramazan Yılmaz head the practice at Bener Law Office, which stands out for its ‘business acumen and response times’. The team excels in administrative matters, contract enforcement and tort law. New clients include key names in the aviation industry, while it also acts for a well-known computer manufacturer. Sezai Sur and Cen Kişnişci left in 2015 to found their own firm, and Şelale Kartal departed to practice independently.

Serdar Bezen heads the dispute resolution team at Bezen & Partners and has experience as an arbitrator at the London Court of International Arbitration and the Shanghai International Arbitration Commission. In a recent highlight, the firm represented a Turkish conglomerate before the ICC in a $50m dispute with a domestic construction company.

Birsel Law Office represented United Industrial Corporation and Singapore Land in international arbitration under Turkish law attempting to cancel the debtor’s objection to a foreclosure proceeding concerning an immovable property. The team is acting for the same client in a related dispute pertaining to a mortgage annulment. Other clients include BNP Paribas, Equate Petrochemicals and SeaFrance.

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants’ team acts for local and foreign clients in commercial disputes subject to Turkish or foreign laws. Clients include Caterpillar Financial Services (Dubai), Vitol, and Samer & Co. Zihni Bilgehan, Ergun Ersoy and Ilknur Peksen are the key names.

Güner Law Office’s founding and managing partner Ece Güner focuses on litigation and arbitration concerning privatisation and cross-border corporate transactions. Managing associate Emir Jami, who is dual-qualified in New York and Turkey, has vast experience handling contentious matters, including arbitration. Fox (Turkey) and Nokia are clients.

Led by Tolga Danışman, Hergüner Bilgen Özeke’s dispute resolution practice stands out for the diversity of cases handled, including those covering IP, contractual and criminal issues.

Dispute resolution is a key area of focus at Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli and the practice stands out for the diversity of its client base. Okan Demirkan leads the team, which acts in commercial litigation, criminal cases and arbitration matters, among others.

Moral Law Firm’s team is ‘flexible, client-oriented and able to handle urgent requests’. Practice head Efe Kınıkoğlu has ‘extensive experience in all kinds of disputes and can think tactically to find the best solutions’. Managing associate Özgür Güner, who is the head of the employment team, has ‘a broad knowledge of Turkish labour laws’ and is experienced handling contentious matters. Reşat Moral is also noted. Sezai Moral and Korhan Bakir are also key figures.

PAE Law Office’s Kerim Pelister focuses on financial-related litigation, while Emre Atayilmaz has expertise in cases arising from the real estate, construction and energy sectors.

Turunç is active in product liability, corporate and employment disputes, among other areas. The firm represented insulation company Ursa in two separate labour law cases brought by two former employees. Kerem Turunç and practice head Noyan Turunç are ‘extremely creative and analytically structured thinkers, who always grasp the client’s business needs and design a suitable legal framework to achieve the right objectives’.

Providing ‘a highly rated service’, Abcoo Law Firm handles IP and breach of contract disputes. Can Oğuzer and Erdoğan Okşak, are the names to note.

The team at Çigdemtekin Dora Cakirca Aranci Law Firm is ‘extremely professional and very quick to respond’. Kagan Dora, who ‘provides trustworthy advice’, and Ayça Arancı represented Verifone in an IP dispute. Tuna Çakırca is also recommended.

Kanar Kuyucu Ozelgin Law Firm’s managing partner and dispute resolution specialist Erdener Ozelgin is ‘business-minded, solution-oriented and open to constructive criticism'. He is ‘a very good supporter for in-house counsels and understands their needs'. The team acts for international clients in arbitrations and litigation.

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Legal Developments in Turkey

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  • Quarterly Update on Anti-Dumping Cases in Turkey (December 2017)

    In Turkey, the authority to initiate dumping or subsidy examinations, upon complaint or, where necessary, ex officio , is given to the Ministry of Economy ("Ministry"). Within the scope of this authority, the Ministry announces its decisions with the communiqués published on the Official Gazette.
  • Crowdfunding Legislation Introduced in Turkey

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  • Launch of the Legislative Framework for Interest-Free Insurance Systems

    Within the context of the 10th Development Plan of the Ministry of Development and the 64th Government Program, aiming to develop interest-free finance mechanisms, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency is currently working to finalize a draft bill regulating the interest-free financing principles under a single roof. As part of such initiative, the Regulation on Principles and Procedures relating to Participation Insurance (the “Regulation”) was published in the Official Gazette on September 20, 2017. The Regulation has entered into force 3 months following its publication; i.e., on December 20, 2017.
  • DOJ Makes the Pilot Program Permanent and Announces FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy

    The US Department of Justice ("DOJ") had announced a pilot program [1] ("Pilot Program") on April 5, 2016, which created new mitigation opportunities for companies that (i) voluntarily self-disclosed, (ii) cooperated fully, and (iii) took timely and appropriate remedial actions in FCPA matters that fell within the Fraud Section's mandate. The Pilot Program was to remain in effect for 1 year, starting from the day of its announcement. On March 10, 2017, the Acting Assistant Attorney General, Kenneth A. Blanco, announced in a speech that the Pilot Program would continue in full force until the DOJ reached a final decision on whether to extend it, and what revisions, if any, should be made to it. [2] The evaluation period of the Pilot Program ended on November 29, 2017, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the new FCPA Enforcement Policy ("Policy"), which effectively makes the Pilot Program permanent with some revisions. According to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, the FCPA Unit received 30 voluntary disclosures during the time period that the Pilot Program was in force, as opposed to 18 voluntary disclosures that were received during the previous 18-month period. The Policy has been incorporated into the United States Attorneys' Manual in order to "be readily understood and easily applied by busy prosecutors" as opposed to being promulgated in memorandum format. [3]
  • Effects of State of Emergency Law in Turkey On Prison Sentences Under Criminal Execution Laws

    With the Statutory Decree No.671 dated August 17, 2016, and the recent changes with Regulations No.29987 and No.29824 on Regulation Regarding an Amendment on Placement to Open Punishment Execution Facilities effecting execution of the Law No.5275 on Punishment Execution Law has introduced significant changes.
  • Disputes on Health-Related Commercial Advertisements under Consumer Law

  • 2017 FCPA Enforcement Actions and Highlights

    Overall, this was a less active year in terms of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") enforcement actions, at least when compared to 2016. In 2017, the Department of Justice ("DOJ") took a total of 9 enforcement actions and the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") took a total of 7 enforcement actions. Therefore, we observe that the DOJ has been more active than the SEC in terms of the number of enforcement actions this year. So far in 2017, we have witnessed only 2 declinations within the scope of the Pilot Program, [1] as opposed to 5 declination decisions in 2016.
  • Competition Board grants exemption to Tyre Industrialist Association's waste management plan

    The Competition Board recently published its reasoned decision on the Tyre Industrialist Association's application for an exemption for its Waste Management Strategies and Implementation Plan for Worn-out Tyres 2016 to 2020.
  • Regulation on Erasure, Destruction or Anonymization of Personal Data

    Regulation on Erasure, Destruction or Anonymization of Personal Data: First Prong of the Secondary Legislation

    Law No. 7036 Code of Labor Courts (‘Law’) published in the Official Gazette No. 30221 dated October 25, 2017; introduced fundamental changes in the settlement of labor disputes and abrogated the previous law on the subject Law No. 5521. The radical changes implemented with the Law No. 7036 are summarized below.

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