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Gönenç GĂŒrkaynak, managing partner

ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law managing partner, Gönenç GĂŒrkaynak, offers his thoughts on providing added value to clients, positive investments in technology and what the future may look like for this thriving Turkish law firm.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law from your competitors?

ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law was established in 2005 and we have quickly earned a reputation as one of the top corporate law firms in Turkey. Our clients and peers have also consistently recognised us as the leading competition law practice in Turkey with our team of 45 dedicated competition law specialists, out of a total of 87 lawyers. International and domestic companies seek our advice in this practice area for our unrivalled expertise. In addition, we have a highly respected and internationally ranked corporate and M&A team, internet law and technology, media and telecommunications law practices, along with very strong anti-corruption and compliance, litigation and employment teams.

We are highly visible both in Turkey and internationally and host and attend a number of local and international events. We are also proud to be a frequent publisher in a range of internationally recognised periodicals and journals.

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

Our competition law practice has doubled in size over the past 18 months. Part of this trend can be explained by the high demand for our services. Competition authorities are presenting our clients with increasingly complex issues and corporations, business associations, investment banks and partnerships, and individuals operating in Turkey are seeking our specialised services.

The technology and internet sector is also flourishing in Turkey, and we have a thriving technology, media and telecommunications law and internet law practice supporting a number of internationally renowned industry leaders who are eager to ride this new wave. I see this practice continuing to grow over the coming years as we continue to support our clients and contribute to policy development in this area.

To meet this growing demand, we have worked hard to develop and retain young talent. I firmly believe that the depth of our team plays a key part in ensuring we remain a successful firm. A number of our highly skilled senior associates have been promoted to partners and counsel over the past two years. With the support of our partners and seniors, my aim is to create an environment of leadership and mentoring in order to develop the skills of our junior associates and interns, many of whom have overseas experience, so that we retain our talent and focus on the medium to longer term.

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

Continuous investment in technology is the key to enabling our law firm to innovate and streamline. Technology helps us to not only communicate more effectively with our clients but it also allows us to decrease operational costs and continue to provide cost-effective services. We are constantly developing new ways to work smarter and ensure that technology works for us. As an example, we are in the process of updating our practice management system in order to provide more flexible outcomes, develop more detailed transaction analysis, and ensure our information technology systems have the ability to evolve in order to meet our clients’ demands. This use of new technology will allow us to continue to deliver creative fee structures to our clients and ensures that we provide more efficient and effective services.

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

We are continually making significant efforts to navigate Turkey’s changing regulatory environment. When given the opportunity, we work with the Turkish regulatory authorities who over the past ten years have come to value our input and expertise combined with our solid understanding of the global business environment. We are pleased to offer an effective contribution to policy making.

Our corporate and M&A team also supports our clients’ entry into the Turkish market by introducing them to a range of expert local service providers, enabling them to build their own local network of advisors.

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

As a managing partner, one of the most challenging aspects is keeping abreast of the changes in this emerging market and preserving a competitive edge in order to develop our strategic direction in the medium to long term.

We are very proud to have grown from strength to strength over the last decade and to have received such high recognition for the work we have provided for our clients to date. We will continue to grow and we remain committed to providing the specialised and client-driven legal services that our clients have come to expect.

We are also proud to be an independent Turkish law firm and place high importance on our support of non-governmental and environmental projects within Turkey as part of our commitment to the local community. This includes our ongoing support to a leading Turkish wheelchair basketball team and the planting of 2,000 new trees near Izmir.

Finally, the entire team at ELIG will continue to provide a client-focused culture and offer our clients a unique insight into the Turkish market in a wide range of industry sectors.

Legal Developments by:
ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law

  • 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.
    - ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law

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

    I - Introduction
  • 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]
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    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.