Mr Okan Demirkan > Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli > Istanbul, Turkey > Lawyer Profile

Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli

Work Department

Energy and Infrastructure, Dispute Resolution, Ethics and Compliance.


Okan Demirkan has significant experience in energy and infrastructure, arbitration and litigation, ethics and compliance.

Between 2004 and 2010, Okan was heavily involved in all legal issues surrounding the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline Project (BTC), where he played a key role in regulatory, real estate and litigation issues. In addition to BTC, Okan has advised clients in connection with the Nabucco Gas Pipeline and the Samsun-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline. In 2011, Okan took an active role in the Shah Deniz Stage 2 Natural Gas Sales Project, where he led the KDK team advising on the project’s legal structure in Turkey, including intergovernmental agreements, Turkey’s natural gas market legislation and on related commercial and public international law matters. Between January and June 2012, Okan led the KDK team in the Firm’s key role in the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP). In this multibillion-dollar project, the KDK team drafted the Host Government Agreement and negotiated it, along with the Intergovernmental Agreement.

Okan has also been heavily involved in several institutional as well as ad hoc arbitration proceedings, concerning disputes arising from major infrastructure projects including build-operate-transfer (BOT) model investments, share purchase agreements, shareholders agreements, EPC contracts and licensing contracts. With significant experience of almost 20 years in international arbitration, he regularly serves as counsel, arbitrator or expert witness in various commercial disputes involving Turkish law. Okan and KDK’s disputes team have become increasingly more involved in commercial arbitration, with an impressive record in enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.

In addition to international arbitration, Okan represents domestic and international clients in a wide range of litigation matters including commercial, civil and administrative lawsuits at all levels of Turkish courts.

Okan Demirkan is a prominent figure in the area of ethics and compliance. He conducted several investigations related to various regulatory as well as anti-bribery / anti-corruption allegations. He is an active Board member of the Turkish Ethics and Reputation Society.


After spending ten years at a major Istanbul-based law firm, Okan joined the Firm in 2010. He currently leads the Firm’s Energy & Infrastructure, Dispute Resolution and Ethics & Compliance practices.

He is a co-author of ‘Import of Gas: How Liberal is Turkey?’, ‘Turkish Commercial Law Review’, Vol. 4 Issue 1 (2018); ‘Developing Court Practice in Turkey Regarding Applications to Set Aside Arbitral Awards’, ‘The American Review of International Arbitration’, No. 4 Vol. 26 (2015); and ‘Turkish and International Legislation and Treaties on the Security of Critical Energy Infrastructure’ Vol 5 of the ‘Critical Energy Infrastructure Security Project Final Report’ published by the International Strategic Research Organization (2012).

In 2013, 2014 and again in 2017, Okan was awarded the Client Choice Award by the International Law Office for his work on energy and natural resources projects. In Who’s Who Legal 2019, Okan is recognized as a “World Leading Energy Lawyer”, in Who’s Who Legal 2019 and 2020, he is recognized as a “Future Leader of the Arbitration World” in Turkey, and in Who’s Who Legal 2020 and 2021, he is recognized as a “Global Elite Thought Leader” in the field of Energy.


English, Turkish.


Istanbul Bar Association; International Bar Association (IBA); International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Turkey; International Nuclear Law Association (INLA); Turkish – British Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TBCCI); Turkish Corporate Governance Association (TKYD); Turkish Ethics and Reputation Society (TEID); Yenibirlider (A New Leader) Association; Galatasaray Sports Club Association


University of Sussex School of Legal Studies (LL.B., 2000); Rijnlands Lyceum, Leiden – The Netherlands (International Baccalaureate, 1997)

Lawyer Rankings

Turkey > Energy

(Leading individuals)

Okan DemirkanKolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli

Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli works for a range of clients across the energy market, and is active in the nuclear, renewable energy, gas, and petroleum sectors. The team combines regulatory expertise and litigation capabilities with advice on transactions, procurement, and projects, particularly privatisation initiatives. Clients include Turkish and international energy producers, project proponents, and industrial conglomerates. The team is led by Okan Demirkan, who has a broad range of expertise across energy and infrastructure work, encompassing litigation and disputes, construction contracts, and regulatory issues.

Turkey > Dispute resolution

(Leading individuals)

Okan DemirkanKolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli

Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli has a broad disputes resolution practice, balancing strengths in litigation and arbitration. The firm has a number of standout clients, particularly in the banking sector, where it represents major domestic and international banks and consortiums, in addition to sports- and retail-sector clients. The team’s strengths include debt recovery, bankruptcy-related claims, post-M&A disputes, international arbitration and criminal defence. Practice head Okan Demirkan is a prominent practitioner in a range of litigation and arbitration cases, particularly in banking, while senior associates Begüm Biçer İlikay and Rami Arda Yörükoğlu are noted for their expertise in cross-border and labour disputes, respectively.

Turkey > Compliance

(Leading individuals)

Okan DemirkanKolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli

Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli has broad compliance expertise, assisting international clients such as Hugo Boss with issues arising in key areas such as data protection. As part of its service provision, the team conducts training for upper management, advises on internal and regulatory investigations, and drafts codes of conduct relating to issues such as business ethics, data privacy, and anti-bribery. The team also assists clients with competition law issues. Contacts include the ‘outstanding’ practice head Okan Demirkan, a specialist litigator and white-collar crime practitioner, and counsels Maral Anna Minasyan and İnci Karcılıoğlu, who are noted for their expertise in corporate governance and internal investigations.

Turkey > Employment

Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli has a dedicated employment offering, with practice co-head and counsel Maral Minasyan working exclusively on high-level employment issues for employers, employees, and trade unions, covering both advisory and litigation work. The team advises major international corporates on Turkish employment issues, including executive and mass terminations, day-to-day employment advice, complex stock option negotiations, and litigation. Other practice leaders are Okan Demirkan, a specialist litigator handling a wide range of disputes, and Serhan Kocaklı, who advises on executive compensation and contractual matters.

Turkey > Project finance/projects

Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçakli has a range of expertise in projects, with strong capabilities in financings, transactions and project development work. The group has a particular specialism in PPP projects, encompassing energy, infrastructure and construction work, advising clients on contracts, procurement transactions and regulatory issues, as well as handling contentious issues. On financing mandates, the team acts for borrowers and lenders, handling project financings, complex bilateral and joint venture financings, and Islamic loan facilities. The team is led by experienced banking and projects lawyer Umut Kolcuoğlu, alongside Okan Demirkan, who heads up the firm’s energy and infrastructure teams.