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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Turkey > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial, corporate and M&A clients in Turkey using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Kekibrings dynamism, solid legal advice and problem-solving techniques to any negotiation table’ and is able to handle ‘the most complex and exhaustive deals’. The practice is led by Galip Selçuk and advises on transactions and contractual agreements, as well as inbound and outbound investment matters. In one recent highlight, the ‘creative deal structurerSelim Keki led advice to OMV regarding the €1.4bn sale of some of its subsidiaries, including OMV Petrol Ofisi, to VIP Turkey Enerji, a subsidiary of Vitol Investment of Holland. In other work, Doğan Eymirlioğlu assisted Pera Capital with its proposed acquisition of shares in Asset Medikal. Müfit Arapoğlu is also recommended.

Eren Kurşun heads the corporate and M&A department at Esin Attorney Partnership, Member of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein, which handles day-to-day commercial and corporate advice, due diligence and complex cross-border transactions. Recent work includes assisting BRF with the $318.5m acquisition of a majority equity stake in Banvit. In other work, Duygu Turgut led advice to Rheinmetall on the establishment of a joint venture with the Turkish BMC and the Malaysian Etika Strategi, which plans to invest into the defence industry. The firm’s clients include Vestel Electronics, Abraaj Group and Hitachi. İsmail Esin and Muhsin Keskin are other core members of the practice.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Sengün & Sengün and Partners Law Firm

Commercial law is the largest practice area at SENGUN&SENGUN AND PARTNERS, and the firm offers legal assistance to its clients in relation with various commercial and business matters.

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Despite the relatively calm M&A market in Turkey, GKC Partners continues to be involved in significant domestic and cross-border transactions. In one recent highlight, the team led advice to Qatar Holding as part of a joint venture acquiring approximately 79.5% of the shares of the country’s largest poultry producer, Banvit. Other key strengths of the practice are day-to-day corporate advice, drafting and review of contracts and agreements, as well as due diligence. Emre Özşar heads the team and Rozita Nigrin-Borden is another key figure. Ceylan Kara was made partner in January 2017 and is particularly experienced in the banking and insurance sectors.

Hergüner Bilgen Özeke provides day-to-day advice on corporate matters, assists with the drafting and negotiation of contracts and agreements, and handles consumer law issues. In addition, the team advises on transactions and post-M&A disputes. Ümit Hergüner heads the corporate practice; Kayra Üçer and Senem Denktaş are other names to note. Kemal Mamak left the firm in November 2016 to pursue an academic career and former name partner Ender Özeke departed in March 2016 to Selek Law.

Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli combines ‘vast industry knowledge and experience with in-depth knowledge of the local legislative and regulatory framework’. The highly recommended Umut Kolcuoğlu heads the practice with Serhan Koçaklı and advises on joint ventures, acquisitions, mergers, due diligence and day-to-day corporate matters. In one recent highlight, the team led advice to Vitol Group on the €1.4bn acquisition of OMV Petrol Ofisi. Other work includes assisting NEF regarding the formation of a joint venture with the EBRD, with the aim to develop student housing projects in Turkey. ‘Hardworking, diligent and pragmatic’ senior associate Begüm Inceçam is another name to note.

Elvan Aziz heads the department at Paksoy, which has ‘ample experience in the corporate and M&A sector’ and advises on day-to-day commercial and corporate matters, transactions, the drafting and negotiation of contracts and agreements, and due diligence. Competition law expert Togan Turan recently led advice to Klöckner Pentaplast on the acquisition of Farmamak, a Turkish market leader in the production of rigid film. In other work, Sera Somay assisted One Equity Partners with the sale of its 48% stake in Netaş Telekomünikasyon. Stéphanie Beghe Sönmez is another name to note.

Pekin & Pekin handles transactions, joint ventures, corporate restructurings and day-to-day corporate and commercial advice. In a recent highlight, practice head Yegân Liaje advised real estate investment trust Akiş on its merger with Saf GYO. Other clients include local and international companies from the banking, energy, life sciences and transport sectors. Okan Or and Zeynep Şener were made partner in December 2016; Kemal Serdengeçti left the firm in May 2017.

Bener Law Office’s team handles day-to-day corporate advice and corporate restructurings, and advises on the buy side and sell side of transactions in sectors such as energy, insurance, retail, real estate and e-commerce. In one recent highlight, Onur Kordel advised Polisan on the $113m sale of 50% of its shares to Kansai Paint. In other work, Gözde Esen Sakar assisted Hyundai Elevator with the acquisition of HMF Elevator from Cemaş. Other clients include AquaPower, IBM and Mitsubishi.

Bezen & Partners advises on general commercial and corporate law, the drafting and negotiation of contracts, corporate restructuring, transactions and joint ventures. Recent work includes advising Akfen Holding on the pre-sale corporate restructuring of its energy company portfolio. Serdar Bezen heads the practice and Murat Soylu is another key figure. The team is particularly active in the energy and healthcare sectors. First Solar, Akkuyu Nükleer and Trelleborg are clients of the firm.

Mesut Çakmak and Naz Bandik Hatipoğlu head the corporate and M&A practice at Çakmak Avukatlık Ortaklığı, which is particularly well known for its extensive experience in energy-related work. Recent highlights saw the team lead advice to Rönesans Holding on the sale of some of its shares in the Istanbul PPP Sağlık Yatırım to Sojitz Hospital. The firm’s client roster also includes Gama Holding, Fina Enerji Holding and Agco International.

Çigdemtekin Dora Cakirca Aranci Law Firm provides day-to-day corporate advice and handles cross-border acquisitions and mergers. In one recent highlight, practice head Gamze Çiğdemtekin and Tuna Çakırca led advice to the shareholders of Banvit on the sale of a majority of the shares to Brazilian food company BRF. The client base also includes Socar, Fujitsu and eBay. Kağan Dora is another name to note.

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law’s corporate and M&A practice has ‘deep knowledge and experience’ and provides advice on acquisitions, agreements, contracts, corporate restructuring and due diligence. Nazlı Nil Yukaruç heads the department alongside Gönenç Gürkaynak; Tunç Lokmanhekim retired in late 2016. The firm’s client roster includes L’Oréal Turkey, Edenred and Mobil Oil Turkey.

Gen Temizer Ozer is active on behalf of buyers and sellers in cross-border transactions and also advises on joint ventures and corporate restructurings. Practice heads Edmund Emre Özer and Baran Gen recently assisted Berggruen Holdings with the sale of its wind energy farm portfolio to Doğanlar and Akfen. In another highlight, the team advised Med Energy on the disposal of its remaining shares to joint venture partner Rubis Terminals. eBay, Bertelsmann and Earlybird are also clients of the firm.

Moroglu Arseven’s sizeable practice stands out for its ‘knowledge of the law, drafting skills and attention to detail’ and advises on day-to-day corporate matters, share transfers, due diligence, contracts, as well as contentious work. In one recent highlight, Seyfi Moroğlu led advice to GS Yuasa on the acquisition of local battery manufacturer İnci Akü through a joint venture with existing shareholders. Other core members of the practice are Burcu Tuzcu Ersin and Benan Arseven. Clients include Samsung Turkey, Peker Group and BAT.

Pelister Atayilmaz Enkur Law Office handles a wide range of commercial and corporate work, including M&A transactions, contentious matters, restructuring, joint ventures and day-to-day advice. The team continues to advise Cigna Insurance on its global restructuring, including the establishment of six companies as intermediate shareholders. The sale of non-performing loan portfolios is another strength of the practice. The ‘experienced and dedicatedGökhan Enkür heads the team alongside Emre Atayılmaz and Kerim Pelister, who is noted for his negotiation skills.

Akol Özok Namlı Attorney Partnership handles transactional matters, often with a cross-border aspect, and advises on various corporate matters. The team is led by Meltem Akol and Jonathan Clarke, who joined the firm in September 2016 from DLA Piper. Recent highlights include advising the seller in the auction sale of 85% of the shares in private equity company Korozo Ambalaj.

CCAO’s commercial, corporate and M&A practice is led by Halide Çetinkaya Yılmaz, who recently advised the shareholders of Burda Bebek Ürünleri and Darmagüç Plastik on the sale of both companies to a number of investors. Onur Taktak is another name to note.

Çaga & Çaga’s Erdem Değerli and İdil Çağa Değerli are the key contacts in the firm’s commercial, corporate and M&A department and advise on shareholder agreements, joint ventures, transactions and commercial law disputes. The team’s expertise spans a variety of sectors, including IT, telecoms, real estate and energy.

Ayşegül Yalçınmani and Onur Gülsaran are key people in the corporate and M&A practice at Cerrahoglu Law Firm, which advises on inbound and outbound transactions as well as cross-border joint ventures. Recent work includes advising Kale Holding on a joint venture with Rolls-Royce Overseas. In another highlight, the team assisted BMT International with the acquisition of Omco Istanbul Kalip from Anadolu Cam Sanayi.

Erdem & Erdem Law Office assists clients with cross-border acquisitions, share transfers, the drafting of contracts and due diligence. Practice heads Ercüment Erdem and Özgür Kocabaşoğlu recently led advice to Akfen Holding concerning the transfer of its shares in Mersin Uluslararası Liman Işletmeciliği to IFM Investors. Clients include Emaar Properties, Yılport Holding and Trakya Cam.

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants handles the drafting and review of agreements and contracts, transactions, corporate restructuring and due diligence. Ongoing work includes advising Ulusoy Shipping Group on the possible sale of its RoRo and port management activities. Zihni Bilgehan and İlknur Pekşen are the key figures.

Goksu Safi Isik Attorney Partnership provides day-to-day corporate advice and assists clients with transactions. In one recent highlight, Çiğdem Bal Ilgın and Emre Ulucaylı led advice to the Central Union of the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey on the acquisition of two domestic insurance companies. Other clients include Huawei Telecommunication, Socar and Akfel.

Gün + Partners handles transactions, corporate restructuring, joint ventures and day-to-day corporate and commercial advice. The practice is led by Pelin Baysal, and Mehmet Gün is another key figure. The client base includes local and international companies from the automotive, life sciences and retail sectors.

Güner Law Office provides advice on various contentious and non-contentious corporate and commercial matters, including transactions and contractual agreements. Recent work saw practice head Ece Güner lead advice to Webhelp on the acquisition of a majority stake in two Turkish call centre operators. Other clients include A&E Networks, General Electric and Ferro Corporation.

Gür Law Firm’s Sena Apak advises on M&A transactions in a multitude of sectors, including energy, real estate and transport. The team also advises on the negotiation, drafting and review of contracts. Recent work saw the team assist e-commerce website StilGiyin with operational agreements.

Moral & Partners handles M&A transactions, joint ventures, corporate restructuring and day-to-day advice, and has experience in cross-border matters. Highly recommended practice head Vefa Reşat Moral led advice to Borusan on the $62m acquisition of a wind power company from Aksa Energy. Serkan Pamukkale was made partner in 2017.

Pekin & Bayar Law Firm’s sizeable team provides day-to-day corporate advice and handles due diligence as well as mergers and acquisitions. Recent work includes advising Harsco Metals on the establishment of a joint venture with Tosyalı Holding. Ferhat Pekin, Selin Bayar and Deniz Altınay are core members of the team.

Noyan Turunç jointly heads the commercial, corporate and M&A practice at Turunç with Kerem Turunç. The team handles inbound and outbound transactions, as well as day-to-day corporate advice. The client roster includes General Motors, Nissan and Vansan Water Technologies.

Yegin Ciftci Attorney Partnership provides general corporate as well as transactional advice and has experience in cross-border acquisitions, share transfers and joint ventures. Recent work saw practice head Itır Sevim-Çiftçi lead advice to IFC on its €30m equity investment in automobile seat supplier Martur. Counsel Kemal Aksel is another name to note.

İnal Kama Avukatlık Ortaklığı (formerly Bilgiç Attorney Partnership) advises on the Turkish law aspects of cross-border M&A deals, investments and joint ventures. Haluk Bilgiç and Ekin Inal are the key contacts. Clients include Bank Audi, Sandstorm Gold and IFC.

Gökçe handles liquidations, company formations, transactions and share transfers and is particularly recommended for its expertise in commercial disputes. Görkem Gökçe heads the team and Ali Paslı is also active in the area.

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Legal Developments in Turkey

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Quarterly Update on Trade Defense Cases in Turkey (December 2018)

    In Turkey, the authority to initiate dumping or subsidy examinations, upon complaint or, where necessary, ex officio , is given to the Ministry of Trade ("Ministry"). Within the scope of this authority, the Ministry announces its decisions with the communiqués published on the Official Gazette.
  • Capital Markets Board Announces the Draft Communiqué on Crowdfunding

    In September 2018, the Capital Markets Board (" CMB ") had issued an announcement on its website, declaring that a secondary legislation for crowdfunding was underway.
  • Turkey Aligns its Medical Device Regulation with the EU Regulation

    In May 2017, Regulation (EU) 2017/745 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2017 on medical devices (" EU Regulation ") entered into force, stipulating a transition period for medical device manufacturers to comply with the EU Regulation by May 2020.
  • Opinion of the Court of Cassation on the Contention of Expert Opinion and Expert Report

    The notion of Expert Opinion, which entered into our law through the Code of Civil Procedure ("CCP"), has been a frequently resorted to method of helping to resolve disputes by the parties in our judicial system over the course of time...
  • Arrest of Ships under Turkish Law

    The general principles on maritime enforcement are set out in Turkish Commercial Code ("TCC") numbered 6102. On the other hand, Turkey has ratified the International Convention on Maritime Liens and Mortgages, signed in Geneva on 6 May 1993 and the International Convention on the Arrest of Ships, signed in Geneva on 12 March 1999 and both conventions have been come into force on 25 March 2017. The provisions of these two conventions have already been taken into consideration by the drafting committee of the code, and the relevant provisions have been incorporated into the TCC in preparing the same. This newsletter reviews the principles and provisions stipulated in the TCC for the arrest of ships.  
  • Decision of the Court of Cassation General Assembly on the Unification of Judgments holding that an

    In civil procedural law, a ban on the expansion and alteration of a claim and defense comes with two exceptions; the other party's consent, and "the amendment". The parties may completely or partially amend their proceedings prior to the end of the investigation phase. Provided that the legal requirements are fulfilled, an amendment may be filed without the consent of the other party or the court, since it is a unilateral and express declaration of will directed at the court 1. For instance, the parties may amend the value of the claim, or claim compensation, instead of payment in kind for defective goods.
  • Share Pledges in Joint Stock Companies

    Share pledges in joint stock companies are not specially regulated under the Turkish Commercial Code ("TCC"). Therefore, the provisions of the Turkish Civil Code that regulate the general rule regarding pledges, shall apply. Under Turkish Civil Code Article 954, transferable receivables and other rights may be subject to pledge. The pledge established on a share in joint stock companies is a "pledge right established on the right." A pledge is established on shareholding rights. A pledge on receivables and rights is subject to the principles of movable pledges. (Turkish Civil Code Article 954/2).
  • Updated FIDIC Contracts

    International Federation of Consulting Engineers that is known by the abbreviation of FIDIC (Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Counseils) launched updated Red Book (the Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction), Yellow Book (the Conditions of Contract for Plant and Design-Build)) and Silver Book (the Conditions of Contract for EPC/Turnkey Projects) in the "International Contract Users Conference," organized in London in December of 2017...
  • Recent Developments in the Right of Access to Files

    The parties of an investigation that is conducted in accordance with the Act on the Protection of Competition No. 4054 ("Competition Act") may enjoy the right to access the files concerning them that are drawn up by the Competition Authority ("Authority"). The procedures and principles related to use of this right are regulated via Communique on the Rules for Access to Files and the Protection of Trade Secrets No. 2010/3 ("Communiqué"). For the parties, it is very important to exercise their right to access to files properly, since the relevant right has a direct correlation to their right to defense. Therefore, this article focuses on the discussions that may rise during the exercise of the right to access the files in light of the recent Competition Board ("Board") decisions...
  • The General Data Protection Regulation in Force

    The General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR" or "Regulation")1 that was approved by the European Union ("EU") Parliament and entered into force in 2016 has started to be applied as of May 25, 2018. The GDPR lays down rules relating to the protection of natural persons ("data subjects") with regard to the processing of personal data, and rules relating to the free movement of personal data. With this Regulation, it is intended to protect the privacy of the data subjects more strictly, and to reorganize data privacy laws across Europe. Also, it is worth to note that, international companies, as well as Turkish companies, are under the obligation to comply with the GDPR, provided that their activities fall under the scope of the GDPR.

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