Mr Zihni Bilgehan > Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants > Istanbul, Turkey > Lawyer Profile

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants
Zihni Bilgehan photo

Work Department

  • Maritime, Shipping & Transport
  • Insurance & Re-insurance
  • Litigation & Arbitration
  • Banking & Finance
  • Corporate


Managing Partner

Special Practice Areas: Maritime, Shipping & Transport and Litigation & Arbitration


Zihni is the managing partner of the firm and responsible for management and business development. Zihni is a qualified barrister at law admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a member of the Honorable Society of Middle Temple Inn, London and a qualified lawyer admitted to the Cyprus Turkish Bar Association.

After a career as a lawyer in London spanning a period close to 10 years, Zihni became a partner at Bilgehan Law Office in Cyprus where he held responsibility for company, commercial, maritime and insurance work between 1995-1998. He moved to Turkey and founded ErsoyBilgehan in 1999 with a view to serving the needs of his global clients having interests and presence in Turkey.

Zihni focuses on company commercial, private equity investments, PPP, finance, maritime and insurance sectors. His advice is regularly sought by a wide range of blue chip companies in their investment strategies in Turkey. He represents European lenders and equity investors in their secured and unsecured financing and advises bidders in major public tenders on infrastructure. He was quoted in the Legal 500 as a “lawyer who stands out as a key player” and “who adeptly handles foreign investment matters”.

Zihni also has vast experience and enjoys an excellent reputation in the maritime field. His clients are P&I Clubs, ship owners, charterers, ship building/repair yards and ship financing banks. According to Chambers and Partners “Sources consider top-rated shipping lawyer Zihni Bilgehan as an extremely experienced and well-respected maritime lawyer – in many people’s opinion, the pre-eminent shipping lawyer in Turkey,” adding: “Not only does he have a brilliant legal mind, but he is able to take a commercial approach, and explain the often unfathomable twists and turns of the Turkish legal system.”


Turkish, English.


  • Admitted to the English Bar (Middle Temple)
  • Admitted to the Turkish Cypriot Bar
  • Registered with Istanbul Bar as a Turkish Cypriot lawyer
  • LMAA – London Maritime Arbitrators Association (Supporting Member)
  • DEIK – Foreign Economic Relations Board
  • BCTT – British Chamber of Commerce Turkey
  • CBPA – Cyprus Businessmen and Professionals Association


  • LL.M., University College London, 1985
  • LL.B., Birmingham University, 1982

Lawyer Rankings

Turkey > Dispute resolution

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants specialises in shipping work, and acts in a range of commercial, construction and insurance disputes involving Turkish and international shipping companies, insurers, and financiers. The firm regularly works with international counsel on the Turkish elements of cross-border disputes. Co-practice head Ergün Ersoy specialises in representing foreign investors in litigation and arbitration, while co-head Zihni Bilgehan focuses on maritime and insurance disputes.

Turkey > IT and telecoms

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants is a reliable adviser to domestic and international businesses in the media, IT, telecoms, and retail sectors on a range of regulatory compliance issues relating to data protection, Turkish IT law, and intellectual property. Clients include major entities such as China Telecom, and global video game and leisure brands. The team is led by senior corporate partner Zihni Bilgehan.

Turkey > Restructuring and insolvency

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants acts for both borrowers and lenders on bankruptcy litigation, enforcement proceedings, and liquidation proceedings. Alongside the firm’s traditional focus on shipping clients, it has increasingly expanded its portfolio of bank lenders, particularly European clients, and its share of debt restructuring work. The team is led by senior partner and barrister Zihni BilgehanErgün Ersoy, and Emre Ersoy.

Turkey > Transport

(Hall of Fame)

Zihni BilgehanErsoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants has a strong profile in the shipping sector, representing a wide range of shipping and logistics companies, P&I clubs, charterers, and insurers in matters ranging from ship finance to disputes. This broad expertise has seen the firm pick up mandates from international clients as well as major domestic businesses. The team is led by Ergün Ersoy, a highly-regarded figure in wet shipping law who handles insurance claims, collisions, and admiralty law, alongside senior partner Zihni Bilgehan, who advises charterers and ship owners on financing and logistics matters.

Turkey > Compliance

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants focuses heavily on the IT and tech sectors, advising clients on compliance with Turkish internet regulations, helping to secure licenses for operation in the jurisdiction, and providing comprehensive support on data protection issues. The firm acts for a number of major domestic and international IT and telecoms clients including China Telecom. Contacts include senior partner Zihni Bilgehan, who maintains a number of corporate client relationships, and associate Yusuf Mansur Ozer, who specialises in data protection, privacy, and telecoms regulatory issues.