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Gönenç Gürkaynak, managing partner

ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law managing partner, Gönenç Gürkaynak, 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 36 dedicated competition law specialists, out of a total of 70 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 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.