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Güvenç Ketenci, Managing Partner

Managing Partner Güvenç Ketenci talks about legal environment in Turkey and Ketenci & Ketenci's further goals
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Ketenci & Ketenci from your competitors?

As an internationally working Turkish law firm, we advise a wide array of clients comprising large and medium scaled multinationals, financial institutions, banks and private equity funds, which are based around the world. So, when advising our clients, we diligently ensure to provide legal services in line with the international legal norms and assist them on understanding the Turkish business norms and practice.

We also focus on assisting our clients initially with a view to understanding their own businesses. I believe that acting with such understanding and embracing these values, being consistent in our advice as well as providing the necessary expertise on the handled matter or specific deal with a solution-oriented sense are always appreciated by the clients.

Which practises do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

We have already witnessed a considerable scale of growth in M&A and private equity investments within the last 10 years in Turkey. I think despite the current geopolitical restrains, this trend will nonetheless continue. We have also recently established a strong presence in Iran, and I think there will be many exciting M&A transactions.

Turkey emerged as a regional energy hub, as it is the natural gateway between Europe and Asia. As a leading law firm on energy law in Turkey, we have been very busy with clients on a global scale in this sense.

Real estate and construction sectors are traditionally very strong in Turkey and latest figures and international indicators prove that the consistent growth will continue, and we are also pleased with our real estate practice.

Whereas our litigation practice has always been very strong and I believe there would be new matters to handle on the dispute resolution side as well.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

We always intend to provide tailor-made services to our clients, as there are times when each client’s specific requirements would differ from each other.

As our practice has improved over time, we have started to stand as a ‘one stop shop’, which has created a unique benefit for the clients. We serve as a connection point between the clients and all authorities involved in the relevant process. We try to be creative, diligent and effective on the matters that are not governed by the law or sufficiently regulated by the authorities.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

We always intend to provide our clients with timely and efficient advice. I believe in today’s world – the fast fish beats the big fish. So we act very quickly when this is essentially required.

We also make sure to use the latest sophisticated technology to communicate with our clients based around the world. We are also very active on social networks, in particular on Facebook and LinkedIn, where we regularly share updates, news and interesting matters with our clients and followers, and I think this is also essential in 21st century global legal practice.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

In our profession, adding value to a client’s business can be conducted most effectively before the outbreak of a legal drawback. Rather than watching a problem unfold, we try to detect the possible risks beforehand and intervene rapidly. When a new client enters into Turkish market with us, we initially conduct a due-diligence ourselves and check whether there are any similar trademarks used in the same sector, to avoid any trademark and brand conflicts happening in the first place. We also provide business and sector reports to our clients together with experts on requested specific areas.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms? - where do you see the firm in three years time?

I think clients would always prefer to keep working with the same law firm providing consistent and solid advice is provided at all times, thus stability whenever or wherever this is possible for them. Once such relationships are established, though this would naturally take time and usually happens after a certain period, they would then proceed to ask for our strategic advice too.

We will extend our legal practice to Central Asia within 2016 and 2017. Our current main focus this year is growing in Iran, and then in Kazakhstan. As the sanctions are now lifted, we have been extensively looking into Iran and we have thus established very strong connections there to be at the forefront. Iran is traditionally very close to Turkey and now offers very exciting opportunities indeed for investors. I believe we would indeed be counted amongst the very first international law firms having a solid presence in Iran, offering a global view together with local experts. We are very excited for that and are looking to advise our international clients in these regions on several highly attractive deals and legal matters.

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