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Burak Özdağıstanli, Co-Managing Partner

Co-Managing Partner Burak Özdağıstanli discusses the current market in Data Protection Law.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate OZDAGISTANLI EKICI from your competitors?

OZDAGISTANLI EKICI was established by seasoned professionals who worked as senior associates in one of the largest full-service law firms in the world. Therefore, our partners brought a depth of expertise and corporate culture to OZDAGISTANLI EKICI.

The difference of OZDAGISTANLI EKICI is that we are boutique and very focused on IP and Technology. Being a boutique and focused practice means that our clients are at the heart of our business at all times.

We pride ourselves in knowing our clients, their business and what they need from an outside counsel. We tailor every advice according to the specific needs of our clients and we work on each case at partner and senior level to provide the best possible and efficient advice. We also work very hard to find solutions for our clients which are applicable in real world from a legal and a business perspective.

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

We expect a growth in our Data Protection & Privacy practice in the next 12 months. On April 2016, Turkey’s first specific Data Protection Law entered into force and on January 2017 the Turkish Data Protection Authority was established. Currently we are expecting the secondary legislation from the DPA.

These developments created awareness and brought the attention to the field of data protection. Companies in Turkey are starting to understand the concept of Data Protection and understand the difference between data protection and data security and as a result request specialist services in the field of Data Protection.

This demand in the market must be met by data protection professionals and law firms with a specific focus, expertise and experience on data protection. I recommend companies to choose their data protection advisors and lawyers carefully and wisely because while many lawyers and law firms claim to provide data protection and privacy services, there are only a handful of law firms in Turkey with developed and seasoned data protection practices.

Personally, I was working on the field of data protection and privacy since 2008 and provided advice to many local and international clients in my previous firm and we use that experience in our practice.

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

We are a new law firm and being a young firm means being the change. We are hoping to change the idea behind how a law firm should work, become a legal disrupter and we want to set an example. While we value the corporate culture we have, we want to maintain our excitement and energy all the time and we believe the way to do this is to be open to change.

For us, being open to change means we can better serve our clients and meet their needs which change and evolve over time.

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

We use technology and online tools. With the help of technology, we work quicker and more productive. Working faster and more productive helps clients because we are able to provide our services quickly and with more reasonable budgets.

We also automate certain processes within our services and incorporate technology into our services. An example is our method in data protection compliance projects where we use data analytics and data mapping solutions to better identify personal data.

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

Our core practice is prevention of legal risks for a client’s business and we do that by acting proactively. Our data protection compliance practice is a very good example how we help clients to add value to their businesses.

Since August 2016 we have been running data protection compliance projects for multinational and Turkish clients to make sure that clients comply with the legislation in Turkey.

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

Our strategic direction is to provide the best advice possible to our clients and we believe the best advice should be; correct, timely and easily applicable to client’s business. Once we engage with a client, we make sure that we understand our client’s business and try to step into their shoes to make their problems our problems.

We trust the way we work and the quality of our work therefore I believe we will grow but continue to feel the excitement and enthusiasm of a new law firm.

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