Mr. Mehmet Burak KUCUKISLAMOGLU

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Mr. KUCUKİSLAMOGLU graduated from Marmara University Faculty of Law in 2010. In 2011, he obtained his Advocacy License from Istanbul Bar Association and established his own office named Nesil Law Group. Between 2011 and 2014, Mr. Burak worked with the biggest banks of Turkey, such as Ak Bank, Turkish Economy Bank, on commercial loans & cases and bankruptcy law. During this period, he worked as responsible attorney on more than three-thousand credit and bankruptcy files. During the same years, he handled on approximately one-thousand commercial lawsuits and non-performing loans of the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund and the asset management company which belongs to the TMSF. After working on a total of the amount 100 million Turkish lira worth of commercial lawsuits and non-performing loans until 2015, he focused his expertise on Insurance Law, M&A and arbitration. The incredible rising momentum started as of 2015. He started to provide consultancy services to almost 80% of the Fleet and Automotive sector, especially in matters such as Insurance Law, commercial contracts and arbitration. When we come to 2017, Mr. Burak started to work with the biggest Fleet Leasing, Automotive and International Logistic Companies, such as Intercombi-Netlog Logistic, Enterprise, Hedef Fleet, Bor Holding, Magdeburger Insurance and much more. During this period, he managed and solved the local arbitration processes of the compensation disputes, which were worth nearly 50,000 cases and 35 million Turkish Liras, with a team of approximately 20 people and made his name well-known in the legal market and commercial sector. In early 2019, he started to work more international projects in the fields of commercial law, such as joint venture. He started to work with Albayraklar Holding, one of the leading companies in Turkey’s defense industry. He advised to the client on the energy law and investment projects & joint ventures which were a total amount of $ 500 million. He was also ranked the most valuable commercial contracts attorney of 2019 by Leaders in Law, U.K.  At the end of the 2019, under the umbrella of KND Attorney Partnership, he started to work with one of the Turkey’s biggest venture capital company, on their international M&A deals. So far, he advised to this venture capital company on two different projects in South Africa and Thailand. Currently, these M&A deals continue with his international partner offices under his management. He is serving full law services to his clients as Global Managing Partner of KND Attorney Partnership with his 35-person team in the office location where the tallest tower in Turkey. ( www.kucukislamoglu.av.tr )

What do you do differently from other Turkish firms?

In fact, our most radical innovation is having a research team. This team compiles all local and legislative developments 7 days 24 hours and shares them with our clients on a daily basis. Thus, our clients have the opportunity to pre-examine the legal consultancies they may wish to receive. I see that this is a unique opportunity for our clients who want to develop not only the legal developments concerning the sector international but also the preventive compliance policies much more. It is very significant that the client is aware of such instant developments especially in the fields of personal data protection, competition, labour and social security. Thanks to our research team, the client can activate us on what they need. Clients who know their own commercial developments, can predict their potential legal needs in future by means of this system. As a result, we are observing that the legal alerts which sent from our research team to the clients, may come back to us as a new request from the client.

 

What advice would you give to the next generation of partners ready to rise in the ranks?

This question is very valuable to me. In the first years when I started my profession, I read the resumes of the partners of the big law firms before going to bed every night. I had prepared a to-do list for myself. I spread what I had to do on this list for a long time. And I ticked the list for everything I did. It is going to be very classic, but I think the two most correct definitions are being hardworking and believing in yourself.

I can say that being listed in Legal500 and ranked is a dream that continues for me and will continue in the future. Right now I just opened the door, there are new things I have to do to reach to the top. My advice to the next generation of partners is to create a to-do list that they can always update for their careers. Foreign language, human relations, legal knowledge and experience, management skills and thousands of things. But first of all, believe in yourself and stand up to work.

 

How has your role/involvement in client-facing work changed since becoming managing partner?

Truth be told, no matter how many partners you have, your client always wants to see you. They are actually right. Because they want to trust you as an interlocutor at every stage.

As a managing partner, every department in the office is up to me, all decisions come to me at the approval stage. You are always present in major merger and acquisition projects and also in the smallest administrative processes within the office. However, your most important responsibility is always to satisfy the client face to face. As a managing partner, wherever the client is, you have to be there. This place can sometimes be only a bench in a park, or an international M&A negotiation either.

 

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you? And, is D&I difficult in Turkey?

As KND, we always give importance to diversity. First and foremost, I am an individual who is a fan of diversity myself, a citizen who pays attention to this and supports diversity in all areas of life. Our country respects diversity more than ever, but of course this is not enough. We need to include more diversity and spread freely in all areas of life.

As KND, we are always with women, children and people with disabilities, including LGBTI+ rights.

We create employment opportunities for them. We also defend their rights when necessary. We combine our social responsibilities with diversity. We are currently trying to find solutions to their problems as hand in hand with the purple roof women’s shelter foundation and the foundation for children with leukemia. Social responsibility is an essential value for KND and diversity is a unique opportunity for a company to see its way and produce solutions. This opportunity should be seen as an advantage and not taken into a disadvantage. It is our greatest desire to support any organization that will serve this purpose.

For all these reasons, we as the KND family are here to be with you! As always, our motto is ALL TOGETHER, TO THE FARTHEST…

 

What do you do differently from other Turkish firms?

Firstly, I should state that we are one of the newest generation of global law firms in Turkey. You might ask why this is important. Law firms that provide consultancy for many commercial and huge amount projects like us need the highest level of energy. You have to be enthusiastic and energetic in order to constantly research, to attend numerous negotiations, to keep up with the culture of foreigners, to examine every details of your clients’ millions of dollar projects.

As KND, we are just at the beginning of the competition and frankly, I can say that our energy is our biggest difference.

 

What is your firm’s approach to competition? How do local firms compete with those with an international law firm affiliation?

As KND, we know what we can do in the legal market. At the moment, I respect the partners of law firms that are older than me. However, the system has changed. The fabricated legal service is no longer in demand. Giving specific service to the project and working with boutique but quality teams came to the fore. Our steps in this direction, will be self-assured. It is very significant for us that everyone we work with at the same level our energy.

Nowadays, we are serving our clients in 29 countries. And all the people who we worked until today had a wonderful energy. Thus, we did many projects with them all around the world.

In Turkey, there are many local law firms in big cities. However, their biggest disadvantage is not having a global viewpoint. If they want to compete to the big international law firms, they must change their perspective while there is bet time for them.

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