Firm Profile > SEOR Law Firm > Istanbul, Turkey

SEOR Law Firm
VALIKONAGI CAD. NO: 7 / D: 10
NISANTASI
ISTANBUL
34371
Turkey

OUR FIRM

SEOR Law firm has been established by Mehmet Kemal Serdengecti and Okan Or who were partners at one of the leading local law firms of the jurisdiction before establishing SEOR Law Firm where they are providing full-service legal assistance to both local and international clients. The core disciplines of the firm presently include commercial, corporate and M&A, employment law matters, dispute resolution, greenfield and large scale industrial projects, regulatory compliance matters including data privacy, competition and competition investigation processes, intellectual property as well as real estate projects.

As SEOR Law firm, we focus and pay special attention to partner involvement in all projects, whether large-scaled or otherwise. Combining the understanding of producing tailored and client-oriented solutions as a boutique law firm with comprehensive and inter-continental academic and professional background, we are one of the very few law firms that can provide such distinguished law consultancy and service. In addition, our motto is to not only provide the best legal solutions but also to provide the combination of best legal and business solutions that would benefit the client.

Given our expertise in inter-continental projects, including publicly traded and privately-owned multinational companies, private equities, local entities, start-ups and individuals, we are equipped to address and assess the legal and business needs of foreign and local clients.

OUR PARTNERS

Mehmet Kemal Serdengeçti

Kemal completed his L.L.M. in 2001 at Columbia University School of Law and his J.D. in 2006 at Columbia University School of Law and was a member of Columbia Law School First European Moot Court Team. He was admitted to New York Bar in 2003, Third Appellate Court, State of New York. He was a valedictorian and keynote speaker for entire class of 2000 of Istanbul University Faculty of Law. Having worked at Kaye Scholer LLP in New York as associate until 2007, Kemal returned to Turkey as senior associate to Akol Avukatlık Burosu (in association with White & Case LLP) where he represented various US private equity, hospital group and investment funds. Then he joined to GSI Law Firm as partner where he represented a major Turkish energy company, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and foreign joint ventures. Then he joined Pekin&Pekin Law Firm as senior partner where he advised multinational companies in their acquisitions in the fields of energy, transportation, private equity, financial institutions, banks, infrastructure and e-commerce.

Kemal then founded SEOR Law Firm, together with Okan Or who was also a partner in Pekin&Pekin Law Firm. In SEOR Law Firm he represented a Turkish container and shipping agency company and its shareholders in relation to the sale of entire shares of the company to a leading French shipping agency company. He also advised a leading catering company and its shareholder with respect to the sale of 50% of the shares to an international catering company based in Europe; and is also currently advising a multinational oil and gas company with matters relating to a joint venture to be established with respect to a major petrochemicals facility.

Okan Or

Okan holds a law degree from one of the most reputable law schools, Istanbul Bilgi University as a member of class of 2007. He was admitted to Istanbul Bar Association in 2008 and he is fluent in English. He was a partner in Pekin&Pekin when he left and founded SEOR Law Firm with his colleague, Kemal. His main practice areas are merger & acquisitions, corporate and commercial law, competition, real property, data protection, associations and foundations, e-commerce, esports and employment. Okan advises clients on a wide range of corporate transactions. He has extensive experience on various forms of merger & acquisition transactions, including formation of joint ventures, asset/business transfers, privatizations and various types of public private partnerships. Having made tens of filings before the Turkish Competition Board, Okan is among the leading attorneys of the jurisdiction in the Competition Law area, assisting his clients on merger control filings as well as investigations, preemptive measures and training programs. Okan also leads personal data protection practice of the firm and has led numerous compliance projects on privacy matters.

OUR PRINCIPAL PRACTICE AREAS

  • Corporate and M&A
  • Competition
  • Employment
  • Greenfield Industrial Projects
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Data Protection
  • Intellectual Property
  • Real Estate
  • Transportation
Department Name Email Telephone
Banking, Finance and Capital Markets; Commerical, Corporate and M&A; Dispute Resolution; Energy; Media and Entertainment; Real Estate and Construction; Transportation Kemal Serdengecti kserdengecti@seor-law.com 02122517272
Commerical, Corporate and M&A; Competition; Compliance; Employment; Intellectual Property; IT and Telecoms; Media and Entertainment; Real Estate and Construction Okan Or oor@seor-law.com 02122517272
Photo Name Position Profile
 Okan Or  photo Okan Or Okan has broad knowledge and experience in a range of legal practice…
 Dr. Mehmet Kemal Serdengeçti  photo Dr. Mehmet Kemal Serdengeçti Kemal has extensive knowledge and experience in a range of M&A deals,…
Partners : 2
Fee-earners : 6
Turkish
English
German
Istanbul Bar Association
New York Bar Association

As SEOR Law Firm, we believe enriching a workplace environment with associates and administrative staff having different backgrounds to contribute to enlarging our point of view and vision for providing the most 360-degree consultation to our clients. Promoting such diversity to foster and encourage a diverse range of viewpoints is a vital part of our corporate philosophy. Our approach helps to assist clients better, not only in terms of legal matters, but also with their business decisions, in addition to helping our working environment to become more diversity friendly and environmentally conscious.

Our hiring criteria is based on an inclusion of individuals regardless of their race, ethnicity, orientation or background and we aim to make our working environment as diverse and inclusive as possible to represent and reflect a broad cross-section of our own society.

In addition, we aim to put the upmost importance to the area of corporate social responsibility, in terms of supporting our associates to reduce their carbon footprints and improving our labour policies. We are working together with our municipality to contribute to recycling and encouraging electronic transmission of documentation and also provide such consultations to our clients.


TESTIMONIAL: We have started to work with SEOR as of mid-2019. They assisted us in a complex project where we will be allocating a land to a company, which will in return, sell us a product that will be produced in the facility to be constructed on the allocated land. Within the scope of the project SEOR assisted us in drafting, revising and negotiating the construction right agreement and product supply agreement as well as provided regulatory advices in relation to real property matters and matters before Energy Market Regulatory Authority. SEOR acted very quickly in order meet our needs, which sometimes required tight deadlines. Nevertheless, the dynamic team of SEOR always assisted us by taking into consideration our business needs. Their expertise in contract drafting and regulatory matters helped us to carry out the negotiations with the counterparty very smoothly.

TESTIMONIAL: SEOR Law Firm recently assisted us in the sale of one of the group companies’ shares. The transaction went smoothly thanks to SEOR Law Firm’s experienced, dynamic and client-oriented team. We were very pleased with the level and quality of services provided by SEOR Law Firm.

TESTIMONIAL: SEOR is our sole legal counsel and the company is responsible for all of our legal matters, they have been an exemplary business partner. Their knowledge of law as well as commerce are excellent. They are quick to organize in times of escalation and always keeps a level head in navigating challenging situations. The communication is always clear, transparent and fast. Okan Or is a bright and trustworthy lawyer. More importantly; breaking down complex topics into easier to comprehend bits of information is his forte. This helps him provide pragmatic advice which always proves valuable.

TESTIMONIAL: SEOR is highly professional and very experienced in M&A transactions. Apart from the legal knowledge, they had a great understanding on the commercial aspects of the transaction, including the valuation of the company, taxation of the transaction. Together with their support, we formed strong team and were able to efficiently carry out negotiations and finalization of a very significant transaction. Legal team is very dynamic, hard-working and solution oriented. This helped us promptly overcome structural changes and other obstacles of project. The senior lawyers are always reachable and directly involved in all steps and receive valuable support from the associates.

TESTIMONIAL: SEOR Law Firm provides accurate, timely and practical advice to us so that I am able to inform my business partners directly. They have well-established corporate and litigation practices. Also, they are very eligible and able to provide innovative approach to complex situations. They are very valuable for making our business decisions.

TESTIMONIAL: We were very satisfied with the knowledge and high level of advice provided by partner and time management. Also, the great grasp of business decisions by the other team members and reflecting such to the documentation and especially the embracement of our matters as their own was very crucial and it alleviated our operations. The balance of fee and services is favorable as well. I can also add that they regard the priority and create all necessary time if needed. They are very responsive and solution-oriented. I never had a problem regarding a deadline.

Mehmet Kemal Serdengecti, Partner 

SEOR Law Firm Partner Mehmet Kemal Serdengecti explains how SEOR Law Firm assists and prioritises its clients in the Turkish market and economy while envisioning the firm’s future in this dynamic legal market.  

What do you see as the main points that differentiate SEOR Law Firm from your competitors?

Based on the significant work and know-how we have accumulated in the leading law firms of this jurisdiction as well as our international experience in foreign jurisdictions we have established SEOR Law Firm.

Majority of our lawyers have an experience of ten to twenty years in their respective areas of law. This ensures that all matters are handled directly by a senior lawyer. This also supports the hard-working and dynamic culture we have in the office.

These senior lawyers are supported by a group of talented and well-educated colleagues most of whom have started practicing law either in SEOR Law Firm or with one of the Partners of the firm in their previous engagements. These long-term relations greatly contribute to our efficiency and work quality.

Our inter-continental academic and professional backgrounds combined with the deep knowledge of local legislation and practice allows us to provide tailored and client-oriented solutions to our clients which satisfy their business priorities while adhering to the relevant legislation of this jurisdiction. We absolutely prioritize partner involvement at every step so that understanding a client’s needs can be realized in the most complete and effective manner, because we believe a legal counsel should provide visionary insight to client’s needs and that the client is provided with the most cost and business sensitive response to any given issue.

 Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Although there are fluctuations in economic developments in Turkey, we observed a positive inclination in our M&A deal counts in the year of 2019 and depending on the severity and length of the impact of COVID-19 on the global and national level, this trend may continue albeit on a slower scale than previously anticipated. Turkey has gone through several economic crises in the past decades, which were usually followed by several years of stability and recovery during which a lot of investment opportunities have materialized. We hope to see such a financial environment after the impact of the pandemic diminishes.

We are also expecting increased legal activity in the fields of employment, competition, compliance and corporate matters. Matters relating to personal data issues will continue to be growing as related deadlines have been postponed few times and some of which (including the deadline for registration to data controllers registry) will likely be postponed once again. We are well prepared for additional work in this area based on the numerous data protection compliance matters where we have effectively served our clients based on tailor-made programs depending on their needs.

As per the global developments, the response of global economy to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the legal issues to be raised especially with respect to employment law matters and contract enforceability and execution processes will definitely impact our practices for the next 12 months. During this period we may be faced with new legal challenges which could also have an impact on dispute related matters and a more active role may need to be required from lawyers in resolving the various issues to be raised due to the impact of this pandemic. Since Turkey is one of the important consumer markets, and based on the developments a more robust e-commerce sector and practice may also emerge in this time period and we aim to be ready to encounter such developments.

 What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

The main change that our practice has been utilizing has been the increased use of technology and remote access solutions that are being applied in order to provide a faster and more cost effective service to the needs of our clients. As a relatively new firm in the jurisdiction we have utilized the technological advancements of our era to our business model and practice and are seeing the net results of this approach in the response and feedback that we receive from our clients.

The other main change implemented relates to the proactive approach we have taken with respect to the newly emerging legal matters in this jurisdiction especially but not limited to data protection related matters where we have both informed our clients on any updates to the relevant legislation so that our clients remain on top of their game in planning their compliance structuring as well as taking our clients through the necessary processes and procedures by frequently meeting with them to inform them of the new legislative matters and the implementation thereof relating to their practice. Our aim is to increase such proactive methods in order for our clients to always be able to stay ahead of the curve.

 Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Naturally, our primary source of communication with the client includes conference calls, video-calls and emails. In addition to these conventional technology resources, we include information updates or client alerts on our website or emails specifically tailored to the relevant sectors of our clients. Depending on the size of the project, we may also utilize Slack or Whatsapp groups internally with our clients.

As per data security concerns, we prioritize our client’s confidentiality, therefore we do not outsource our database but keep the physical folders and physical hardware within the firm only. We regularly apply leakage tests and take precautions at the highest level to ensure effective storage and safekeeping of our clients’ information.

Following the legislative improvements and infrastructure investments of the government in the past few years, we are now able to perform a number of filings instantly and from our office. These include opening lawsuits, preparing executions proceedings, making applications to governmental bodies among others.

Thanks to the recently enacted requirement for opening websites and publishing company information as well as the new Central Registration System of the Ministry of Commerce among others, we are now able to obtain much more information about Turkish companies from online sources which allows us to conduct an initial due diligence for our client’s potential investments.

In addition, our team is keen on following the technology updates in the field of legal practice, commonly known as legal-technology, specifically use of AI for data security and smart contract purposes. Although these subjects are growing rather rapidly in international jurisdictions, we are consistently following the developments and potential inclusion opportunities of such advancements for our practice.

 Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Our approach is to understand the business priorities and demands of our clients in order to proactively find legal solutions that will satisfy their business needs while also being compliant with the legal requirements set forth in this jurisdiction. Therefore we aim to combine a detailed understanding of the ever-changing regulatory environment in Turkey with the global business requirements of our predominantly international clients to effectively find the required solutions to promote the relevant businesses in the Turkish market.

The majority of our international clients continue working with SEOR Law Firm on a retainer basis after entering into the Turkish market following their acquisition of a local company as we continue assisting them on a variety of matters including the employment law issues faced, corporate housekeeping matters and various contractual matters and disputes that the client may face operating the local entity on a day-to-day basis. Our proactive and business minded approach provides our clients to continue with us following receiving our services on the relevant M&A transactions and the longevity of the majority of our clients demonstrate that our solution-based approach is positively considered by our clientele.

A practical example could be related to post-Closing of M&A transactions. In a number of M&A deals we have seen that the terms of the SPA/SHA are fiercely negotiated by the transaction teams and then to a large extent set aside after the Closing. Especially in joint venture establishments this could easily lead to invalidity or unenforceability of many significant provisions and mechanisms much carefully designed. While it is necessary and natural to move away from the negotiation mode and enter into the partnership atmosphere, we find that the post-Closing guidelines / To-Do lists both help on the completion of the implementation procedures and protection of our clients’ rights related to the post-Closing period.

 Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Given the economic fluctuations and the legislative upheavals that have characterized the last couple of years in this jurisdiction, it is vital for clients to seek stability from their law firms in the quality, reliability and effectiveness of the advice that they receive. Such advice must always take the business priorities and strategies of the clients front and center. The strategic direction to be provided by law firms will certainly increase and have a higher value as the business environment in Turkey grows in line with the global business approach and legal firms are no longer viewed as last minute problem solvers rather than active advisors in shaping and guiding the business incentives and methods of its clients.

As SEOR Law Firm, we aim to conservatively grow in our main practice areas of corporate, M&A, competition and commercial dispute resolution and satisfy the needs of our international and local clients in the growing business climate of Turkey. In addition to such core practice areas we are envisioning to increase our presence in the fields of data protection, real estate, employment, defense industry and technology related fields. The legislative developments in this jurisdiction will also guide us on where we should employ our resources and further develop our services to meet the newly acquired demands based on such developments. The legal response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the various novel issues that it will raise on the corporate climate of our jurisdiction and its global impact will also be at the forefront of the issues that will need to be addressed by the legal actors in our sector.

 

Mehmet Kemal Serdengeçti, Partner

SEOR Law Firm Partner Mehmet Kemal Serdengecti explains how SEOR Law Firm assists and prioritises its clients in the Turkish market and economy while envisioning the firm’s future in this dynamic legal market.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate [law firm name] from your competitors?

Based on the significant work and know-how we have accumulated in the leading law firms of this jurisdiction as well as our international experience in foreign jurisdictions we have established SEOR Law Firm.

Majority of our lawyers have an experience of ten to twenty years in their respective areas of law. This ensures that all matters are handled directly by a senior lawyer. This also supports the hard-working and dynamic culture we have in the office.

These senior lawyers are supported by a group of talented and well-educated colleagues most of whom have started practicing law either in SEOR Law Firm or with one of the Partners of the firm in their previous engagements. These long-term relations greatly contribute to our efficiency and work quality.

Our inter-continental academic and professional backgrounds combined with the deep knowledge of local legislation and practice allows us to provide tailored and client-oriented solutions to our clients which satisfy their business priorities while adhering to the relevant legislation of this jurisdiction. We absolutely prioritize partner involvement at every step so that understanding a client’s needs can be realized in the most complete and effective manner, because we believe a legal counsel should provide visionary insight to client’s needs and that the client is provided with the most cost and business sensitive response to any given issue.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Although there are fluctuations in economic developments in Turkey, we observed a positive inclination in our M&A deal counts in the year of 2019 and depending on the severity and length of the impact of COVID-19 on the global and national level, this trend may continue albeit on a slower scale than previously anticipated as we are seeing an interest for more transactions also based on financial stimulus provided by major economies. Turkey has gone through several economic crises in the past decades, which were usually followed by several years of stability and recovery during which a lot of investment opportunities have materialized. We hope to see such a financial environment after the impact of the pandemic diminishes.

As we have completed the compliance projects and data controllers registry of our clients, personal data issues are still growing as the Government starts taking global approach on personal data with the decisions regarding the authorization of the Authority for the cross border data transfers of Amazon Turkey and TEB Arval. This new approach of the Authority on globalization shows that the conditions for cross border data transfer will likely be eased and new applications for such transfers may be approved. The statements of the Government further support the approach on the free flow of the data. We are well prepared for additional work in this area based on the numerous data protection compliance matters where we have effectively served our clients based on tailor-made programs depending on their needs.

As per the global developments, the response of global economy to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the legal issues to be raised especially with respect to employment law matters and contract enforceability and execution processes will definitely impact our practices for the next 12 months. The impact of COVID-19 on employment law and corporate governance included various new legislation and amendments to existing schemes on unpaid leaves, short-term working allowance and suspension of employment contracts among others. As working from home starts to become more permanent in our work lives, the Communiqué on Remote Work aims to set new rules for remote working, yet more regulations will still be needed to clearly define the legal framework for this new reality. During this period we may be faced with new legal challenges which could also have an impact on dispute related matters and a more active role may need to be required from lawyers in resolving the various issues to be raised due to the impact of this pandemic. Since Turkey is one of the important consumer markets, and based on the developments a more robust e-commerce sector and practice may also emerge in this time period and we aim to be ready to encounter such developments.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

The main change that our practice has been utilizing has been the increased use of technology and remote access solutions that are being applied in order to provide a faster and more cost-effective service to the needs of our clients. As a relatively new firm in the jurisdiction, we have utilized the technological advancements of our era to our business model and practice and are seeing the net results of this approach in the response and feedback that we receive from our clients.

The other main change implemented relates to the proactive approach we have taken with respect to the newly emerging legal matters in this jurisdiction especially but not limited to data protection related matters where we have both informed our clients on any updates to the relevant legislation so that our clients remain on top of their game in planning their compliance structuring as well as taking our clients through the necessary processes and procedures by frequently meeting with them to inform them of the new legislative matters and the implementation thereof relating to their practice. Our aim is to increase such proactive methods in order for our clients to always be able to stay ahead of the curve.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Naturally, our primary source of communication with the client includes conference calls, video-calls and emails. COVID-19 has also increased the importance of using such technology in our daily business course as face-to-face meetings became harder and less frequent to pursue. We believe that this trend will continue to grow and become a daily part of our new business life in post Covid era since it helps us to give a quick response to our clients’ needs and yields more efficient use of our time for the benefit of our clients. In addition to these conventional technology resources, we include information updates or client alerts on our website or emails specifically tailored to the relevant sectors of our clients. Depending on the size of the project, we may also utilize Slack or Whatsapp groups internally with our clients.

As per data security concerns, we prioritize our client’s confidentiality, therefore we do not outsource our database but keep the physical folders and physical hardware within the firm only. We regularly apply leakage tests and take precautions at the highest level to ensure effective storage and safekeeping of our clients’ information.

Following the legislative improvements and infrastructure investments of the government in the past few years, we are now able to perform a number of filings instantly and from our office. These include opening lawsuits, preparing executions proceedings, making applications to governmental bodies among others.

Thanks to the recently enacted requirement for opening websites and publishing company information as well as the new Central Registration System of the Ministry of Commerce among others, we are now able to obtain much more information about Turkish companies from online sources which allows us to conduct an initial due diligence for our client’s potential investments.

In addition, our team is keen on following the technology updates in the field of legal practice, commonly known as legal-technology, specifically use of AI for data security and smart contract purposes. Although these subjects are growing rather rapidly in international jurisdictions, we are consistently following the developments and potential inclusion opportunities of such advancements for our practice.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Our approach is to understand the business priorities and demands of our clients in order to proactively find legal solutions that will satisfy their business needs while also being compliant with the legal requirements set forth in this jurisdiction. Therefore, we aim to combine a detailed understanding of the ever-changing regulatory environment in Turkey with the global business requirements of our predominantly international clients to effectively find the required solutions to promote the relevant businesses in the Turkish market.

The majority of our international clients continue working with SEOR Law Firm on a retainer basis after entering into the Turkish market following their acquisition of a local company as we continue assisting them on a variety of matters including the employment law issues faced, corporate housekeeping matters and various contractual matters and disputes that the client may face operating the local entity on a day-to-day basis. Our proactive and business minded approach provides our clients to continue with us following receiving our services on the relevant M&A transactions and the longevity of the majority of our clients demonstrate that our solution-based approach is positively considered by our clientele.

A practical example could be related to post-Closing of M&A transactions. In a number of M&A deals we have seen that the terms of the SPA/SHA are fiercely negotiated by the transaction teams and then to a large extent set aside after the Closing. Especially in joint venture establishments this could easily lead to invalidity or unenforceability of many significant provisions and mechanisms much carefully designed. While it is necessary and natural to move away from the negotiation mode and enter into the partnership atmosphere, we find that the post-Closing guidelines / To-Do lists both help on the completion of the implementation procedures and protection of our clients’ rights related to the post-Closing period.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Given the economic fluctuations and the legislative upheavals that have characterized the last couple of years in this jurisdiction, it is vital for clients to seek stability from their law firms in the quality, reliability and effectiveness of the advice that they receive. Such advice must always take the business priorities and strategies of the clients front and center. The strategic direction to be provided by law firms will certainly increase and have a higher value as the business environment in Turkey grows in line with the global business approach and legal firms are no longer viewed as last minute problem solvers rather than active advisors in shaping and guiding the business incentives and methods of its clients.

As SEOR Law Firm, we aim to conservatively grow in our main practice areas of corporate, M&A, competition and commercial dispute resolution and satisfy the needs of our international and local clients in the growing business climate of Turkey. In addition to such core practice areas, we are envisioning to increase our presence in the fields of data protection, real estate, employment, defense industry and technology related fields. The legislative developments in this jurisdiction will also guide us on where we should employ our resources and further develop our services to meet the newly acquired demands based on such developments. The legal response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the various novel issues that it will raise on the corporate climate of our jurisdiction and its global impact will also be at the forefront of the issues that will need to be addressed by the legal actors in our sector.