Mr Gönenç Gürkaynak > ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law > Istanbul, Turkey > Lawyer Profile

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

Work Department

Founding partner; head of the regulatory and compliance department.


Founding Partner dealing with all areas of regulatory and compliance matters, with particular expertise on competition law, including defences to investigations, merger filings, general competition law advice; together with general corporate and contracts law, white-collar irregularities, litigation, technology, media, and telecommunications, and internet law practices.


Mr. Gönenç Gürkaynak is the founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law. Mr. Gürkaynak graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Law in 1997, and was called to the Istanbul Bar in 1998. Mr. Gürkaynak received his LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School, and is qualified to practice in Istanbul, New York, Brussels and England and Wales (currently a non-practising Solicitor). Before founding ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law in 2005, Mr. Gürkaynak worked as an attorney at the Istanbul, New York and Brussels offices of a global law firm for more than eight years.

Mr. Gürkaynak heads the competition law and regulatory department of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law. He has unparalleled experience in Turkish competition law counseling issues with more than 25 years of competition law experience, starting with the establishment of the Turkish Competition Authority. He has a total of more than 200 international and local articles published in English and in Turkish, and two books, one published on “A Discussion on the Prime Objective of the Turkish Competition Law From a Law & Economics Perspective” by the Turkish Competition Authority, and the other on “Fundamental Concepts of Anglo-American Law” by Legal Publishing.


English, French.


Istanbul Bar Association (1998); New York State Bar (2002); Brussels Bar (2003), Law Society of England and Wales (2004); IBA; ABA; UIA; ICC; and SRA.


Ankara University School of Law (1997 LLB); Harvard Law School (2001 LLM).

Lawyer Rankings

Turkey > Competition

(Hall of Fame)

Gönenç GürkaynakELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Lawhas gathered a team of exceptional experts in the fields of competition law‘ to establish itself as the standout practice in the market. Its latest three arrivals, counsels Ebru İnce and Harun Gündüz, as well as senior associate Çiğdem Gizem Okkaoğlu, all have professional experience working at the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA), and join a team led by the firm’s founding partner Gönenç Gürkaynak, one of the foremost names in the field, with ‘deep knowledge of the regulator’s practice and decisions‘. It is routinely involved in some of the most significant investigations before Turkish and European courts, as well as merger control filings and advice on transactions, all for a base of blue-chip clients. Senior associate Dilara Yeşilyaprak is an experienced advisor on regulatory matters. Counsel Barış Yüksel  left the firm in October 2021.

Turkey > Compliance

(Leading individuals)

Gönenç GürkaynakELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

Strong offerings in anti-corruption and data protection matters combine with ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law‘s standout competition practice to give a rounded service in compliance across the board. Clients include Google Youtube and Twitter, with technology being a standout sector. Banking and finance is also an area in which the team is seeing an increased number of instructions. Experienced figurehead of the firm, Gönenç Gürkaynak is recognised as a leading figure in competition law compliance and wider contentious regulatory matters. He jointly heads the practice with Ceren Yıldız, who focuses on regulatory matters in the pharmaceutical and e-commerce sectors.

Turkey > Dispute resolution

(Hall of Fame)

Gönenç GürkaynakELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law‘s dispute resolution practice is active across a wide range of contentious matters, from commercial disputes, to IP litigation, to competition law and other administrative law cases. A key name for competition matters, the team is also noted for its experience in contentious IP and internet law-related disputes. The ‘very talentedGönenç Gürkaynak jointly heads the department with experienced litigator Tolga Uluay.

Turkey > IT and telecoms

The ‘accurate, efficient and responsive‘ team at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law counts Google, YouTube and Twitter among its long-term heavyweight clients in the technology industry. While cross-border data protection and privacy matters in the TMT space are a particular strength, the firm offers comprehensive cross-practice support to its clients in these industries. Gönenç Gürkaynak and Ceren Yıldızare very good at reading the regulatory atmosphere‘ and share the department leadership duties.

Turkey > Intellectual property

As part of its cross-practice offering in IT and telecoms, corporate law and dispute resolution, ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law assists multinationals with various IP issues; Google is a standout client for which the team handles a range of matters. Leadership of the IP practice is divided between three experienced partners with strengths in disputes and regulatory work: founding partner Gönenç Gürkaynak, compliance expert Ceren Yıldız and disputes lawyer Tolga Uluay.

Turkey > Media and entertainment

The team at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law brings its ‘exceptional knowledge and experience‘ to bear in a variety of contentious and non-contentious matters for its strong client base of media and technology companies. Matters relating to the social media space and its fluid regulatory framework are a notable strength of the practice and data protection advice is also an important component of its support to clients. Founding partner and experienced litigator Gönenç Gürkaynak co-leads the department alongside regulatory compliance expert Ceren Yıldız and Tolga Uluay, whose strengths lie in dispute resolution.

Turkey > Commercial, corporate and M&A

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law‘s practice is jointly led by competition specialist Gönenç Gürkaynak and Nazlı Nil Yukaruç, who focuses on transactional matters. The group covers the full range of M&A and is also sought after for corporate governance matters. It is able to draw on the wider firm’s expertise to handle regulatory matters and disputes. Clients are drawn from a wide variety of industries, particularly retail and manufacturing.