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 > Transport

(Hall of Fame)

Zihni BilgehanErsoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants advises on collision and casualty-related litigation, charter parties, bills of lading, cargo claims, collisions, inter-ship claims, the sale and purchase of ships, P&I and other contractual claims. Clients include shipowners, P&I Clubs, hull and machinery insurers and cargo owners. Recent work includes acting for the Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association Limited in relation to a serious fire and explosion at a Turkish LNG terminal. Ergun Ersoy and Zihni Bilgehan are the practice heads.

Turkey > Restructuring and insolvency

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants is active in domestic and cross-border debt restructurings, liquidation procedures and bankruptcies. Clients are well-served by the the restructuring and insolvency practice, which draws on the expertise of practitioners in the litigation, finance, employment and corporate teams. The team is jointly led by England and Wales-qualified partner Zihni Bilgehan and senior associate Emre Ersoy.

Turkey > IT and telecoms

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants advises on data protection and data privacy compliance projects, cybersecurity, contract law, corporate and commercial matters, and IT litigation. Other areas of expertise include e-commerce, privacy policies, employee monitoring, cross-border data transfers, data retention and telecoms licensing. Zihni Bilgehan, who advises blue-chip companies, jointly heads up the practice with of counsel İlknur Pekşen.

Turkey > Dispute resolution

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants is a strong choice for commercial, administrative, environmental, labour and consumer disputes. In addition to representing clients in litigation, the team’s other areas of focus include ADR, mediation and arbitrations at the ICC and London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA). Clients include foreign and domestic entities, with a particular focus on the shipping and construction sectors. The team is co-led by maritime expert Zihni BilgehanErgun Ersoy (who has 30 years of legal experience) and İlknur Pekşen.

Turkey > Compliance

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants advises on data protection, cybersecurity, compliance programmes and IT-related issues, among other matters. Clients include start-ups and international blue chip businesses. The firm generates mandates from the finance, maritime and insurance sectors. The team is jointly led by Zihni Bilgehan  and İlknur Pekşen.