Breitegger-Develioglu Law Firm > Istanbul, Turkey > Firm Profile

Breitegger-Develioglu Law Firm
Levent Loft 1, Büyükdere Cad. No:201 D:22
34394 Levent, Istanbul

Turkey > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 5

‘Experienced and knowledgeable’ boutique firm Breitegger-Develioglu Law Firm represents a range of foreign corporations in Turkey, predominantly Austrian and German companies, on cross-border M&A work. Sezen Ergen Breitegger, who garners praise for her skills handling ‘sizable cross-border transactions between the European Union and Turkey’, and Burçin Yıldırım Develioğlu are the key names.

Practice head(s):

Sezen Eger Breitegger; Burcin Yildirim Develioglu



‘Great team of lawyers. Very knowledgeable team on corporate matters. Bilingual German / Turkish with European legal understanding.’

‘Sezen Ergen Breitegger is an outstanding commercial law expert. We feel secure to have her on our side in complicated investment rounds for our company. She is sharp and to the point. Her communication skills are excellent’

‘They managed to become as much a part of us as our own Law Department. Fast accessibility, quick response and the ability to look at things from our perspective is a unique experience for us.’

‘In addition to being experienced and knowledgeable, the firm consists of strong communicative, customer-oriented, relevant, result-oriented, analytical and accessible individuals.’

‘The team’s key strengths and capabilities are based on its excellent legal know-how, international experience and network. The team is a reliable partner through every stage of an investment project, providing solution-oriented advice always.’

‘The team comprises skilled and experienced lawyers and maintains a wide network of reputable local and international academic and business experts. The law firm is offering not only legal advice but also ease of doing business in Turkey and cross-borders transactions. In addition to its great legal advice, clients are enjoying a complete and efficient service when it comes to doing business in Turkey.’

‘Sezen Ergen Breitegger is an excellent international commercial lawyer. She is focused, her communication skills are outstanding and you want to have her on your team in business negotiations.’

‘The best thing about them is, they make you feel and think you are their one and only client, although they are quite busy law firm. The partners have extensive knowledge in the area of Turkish and International business. One of the interesting experiences we had with them was how easily they could reach the best available experts in Turkey and worldwide.’

Key clients

Cana Bilişim Hiz. Ve Tic. A.Ş.

Aurosun GmbH

Schiebel Antriebstechnik GmbH

Mergen Dış Tic. ve Paz. A.Ş.

f&s Ingenieurbüros GmbH

Grafin Consultancy

‘We have been working with Breitegger – Develioglu since 2015 and since then, we have been very satisfied with their work. Their extensive knowledge about international business helped us manage our international contracts and ease our relationship with our customers. They are very fast to answer and we always received academically researched compact legal information from them.‘

‘A highly energetic, and knowledgable team that is able put themselves in your shoes.‘

Sezen Ergen Breitegger and Burcin Yildirim Develioglu are excellent at providing legal service and help our business navigate through the difficult negotiations. Both are prominent attorneys. They both have experience abroad and with different cultures which makes them key people in international business deals.‘

Sezen Ergen Breitegger has a very pragmatic and professional approach. She has excellent cultural and business knowledge of Austria and Turkey which helps to avoid any misunderstanding in cross-border transactions.‘

‘Flexible approach and sound understanding of legal work to be done. Very good communication skills.‘

‘From the very start of our relationship, Sezen Ergen Breitegger came across as professional, friendly and straight to the point, giving feed back on everything she was asked to do. Great team spirit. Looking forward to working with her again in the future.‘

Breitegger-Develioglu Law Firm, founded by two women partners, derives its own success from commitment to diversity and inclusion. Women’s empowerment lies at the core of the firm’s mission and extends beyond the management level. Overall women participation in the law firm stands at 80 % and the law firm is engaging actively in women’s rights projects. No discrimination policy is one of the most important pillars the law firm relies on and takes pride in its equal approach to all its employees. Equity is deeply ingrained in every step of hiring and recruiting decisions. We are committed to recruiting, developing, retaining and promoting talented lawyers and staff with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

The firm has zero tolerance for any kind of harassment and takes active measures of partner level engagement in order to prevent it. The firm is also committed to provide equal opportunities and great support for the employees to combine a good work-life balance.

Sezen Ergen Breitegger & Burçin Yıldırım Develioğlu, Founding Partners

Founding Partner Sezen Ergen Breitegger LL.M. explains Breitegger-Develioğlu Law Firm’s core expertise, its international focus and its client centered valued-added approach.

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

For us, partner level engagement is key. We believe in the importance of personal contact with our clients; we take pride in our responsiveness and that our clients are able to reach us personally with all their questions. We see this as a crucial source of competitive advantage for our law firm and our focused boutique law firm approach. One of our most important policies is to provide our clients with an initial response within the same day.

Me and my partner Burçin Yıldırım Develioğlu LL.M. personally lead every project and are both involved in the execution of each. Together with our rigorous quality process this ensures that everything we provide will be double checked at partner level.

As we have both worked in foreign legal markets including not only civil law jurisdictions such as Austria and Spain but also common law jurisdictions, we have had the opportunity to acquire first-hand knowledge of the needs of foreign investors in Turkey from their own perspective. Our firm is established on serving these needs and strives in excelling at supporting our clients to successfully drive their business in Turkey. We care about our client’s businesses as we would care about our own business in order to offer them the best legal solution to fit their business needs. Understanding the details of the business model of our clients is crucial for us before we act on how to help them. We will advise them on how to best approach establishing themselves and expand in Turkey and which structures are advantageous for them and really meet their requirements; we act as lawyers and consultants at the same time. To this end, we keep our client list focused and pinpoint our services to their needs.

Our understanding of different cultures of doing business, our cultural empathy and our strong experience with international clients put us in a unique position and our approach has been valued and appreciated by our foreign clients. With this approach, our firm has become the trusted attorneys of many foreign chambers of commerce in Turkey in a short period of time.

On another crucial note, we are very strong academically, especially after the joining of Prof. Murat Develioglu’s to the firm as a partner. We also take support from lawyers from other jurisdictions as well as local and international experts in different areas. We believe our active network of solution partners is crucial in supporting our clients in a comprehensive manner. To summarize, we could state that we have a very sound and practical business-oriented approach to legal matters backed up by substantial academic research.

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

We are seeing a rapid development in the areas of arbitration, data protection, joint ventures, restructurings, intellectual property and banking & finance practices in Turkey and expect growth from these practices.

Foreign investors have for a while been preferring arbitration in their deals with Turkish counterparts and increasingly Turkish companies are including arbitration clauses in their contractual relationships as well. Arbitration has proven its efficiency in the environment of the Covid-19 pandemic. The limitations which have stalled court processes and affected judicial timelines, have not affected arbitration proceedings to the same extent. Dispute resolution through arbitration has been able to more easily adapt to the situation with online submissions and hearings. We have a very strong dispute resolution team that has performed successfully in this environment and we are expecting to see this trend to continue.

Although Turkey adopted its latest data protection code in 2016, a long adaptation period was necessary for both the regulatory authorities and private companies to adjust to the statutory requirements. Especially with the pandemic, cross-border data transfers gained a lot of importance and data protection practices are still developing rapidly. The need for consultancy in this area remains essential. We have been very active in the domain of data protection from the beginning, especially because we serve clients in the technology sector and Prof. Develioglu has published a book on the Turkish Data Protection Code in comparison with the GDPR.

One other effect of the pandemic was that more foreign investors are preferring to cooperate with local partners rather than realizing direct investments. Thus, we believe we will see more joint ventures and intellectual property transfers in the near future. Locally established foreign investors but also Turkish companies may also go through restructurings to adjust to the changing environment.

Lastly, banking legislation is getting more and more complex every day and law firms are the natural partners of banks in this legal activity. Our firm strongly focuses on financial transactions and collaterals.

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

We are very confident in our approach as a boutique law firm with exceptional service and outstanding legal advice. It has been deliberately selected and our rigorous focus on delivering quality service and adding value to our clients’ operations is supported by a comprehensive set of carefully designed workflows and processes. That said, we believe that steady progress, constant innovations and re-invention are key to prolonged success and we constantly strive to exceed our clients’ expectations. This year, we have established a fully online system of digital filing to support our clients during the pandemic as many of our foreign clients were not able to travel. We have also expanded our network of solution partners and have provided them with access to this system in case our clients needed it.

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

As Breitegger-Develioğlu Law firm we have always been firm believers in the importance of technology in driving innovation in legal services. We try to use technology to the benefit of our clients and we keep up with new technologies essential for digital archiving, legal research and trainings. The pandemic has made it crystal clear that technology will be indispensable for legal services in the future.

Clearly the future of communication is online. Of course, we were already using video-conferencing, especially for international transactions but we became much more efficient at incorporating video-conferencing into our processes, discussions with our clients and at the same time users at the client level got very well acquainted with them as well. By adopting these new technologies, we added to our accessibility, especially for our foreign clients or the foreign counterparts of our clients. This has also allowed larger participation from the employees of our clients from different departments and levels, allowing their much useful insight into the deals where we advise them.

This technology has also changed the face of dispute resolution. Many of our international arbitration hearings were held virtually during the last year. We have adopted the necessary technologies for the management of these proceedings and, online submissions, evidence production and hearings were realized very efficiently.

Virtual data rooms have always been a part of M&As but are usually accompanied by physical data rooms. Last year we had to realize some due-diligence activities wholly in a virtual setting, for which we acquired new technological tools.

We are very attentive to the security of the data stored and transmitted through these platforms, as we value data protection and confidentiality, thus we use the relevant technologies for data security. We are also developing a data protection tool for our clients in order to serve their upcoming compliance needs.

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

I can start by identifying the values we established to help our clients add value to their business. First, we give our foreign clients insight into the culture, business practices and way of dealing in Turkey, whether they are entering or expanding in the market. We lead them through the local bureaucratic path ways in the manner that best serves them. We also add value to our clients’ business by solving the cultural issues they may face with their local partners in Turkey; if you find the right local partners, doing business in Turkey is easy and profitable. We ensure that our foreign clients meet the right partners throughout their business ventures. We take support from our network of trusted local partners in Turkey which provide services from accounting to realty and provide our clients a one-stop-shop.

Most importantly, we help our clients to adapt fast and dynamically to any changes within the market place. We can give practical examples. We have recently helped a major foreign investor to conclude a multi-million-dollar international sales contract in a very short time period in order to keep up with the rapid price fluctuation in raw material prices. Our client was able to sign the contract before a major price increase, which has protected and even increased the profitability of its business operation. Another example is from an M&A project. The acquisition was planned for a business in a sector that was heavily influenced by the pandemic and came to a dead-end as soon as the pandemic started. During the due diligence we had realized, we had noticed that both parties were active in medical supplies business and led the parties to a cooperation in this area. The parties are still working together and look forward to reviving the initial project after the pandemic.

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

Providing our clients with stability and strategic direction is our most fundamental motivation. Before establishing our law firm, we had decided that we wanted to be our clients’ trusted partners in assessing their strategies and continuously establish long-term relations with them. We aim to support our clients through all stages of their future projects and also disputes. In case of any turmoil in the relevant market or sector, we are there for them. Our customers have shown their trust in us time and again and we work hard to justify and earn their trust anew at every point of our clients’ journey. We believe this is how our firm has gained its great momentum of growth in a short period. With this momentum, we plan to grow organically in the local market but also grow by supporting existing and new clients in cross-border transactions and facilitate internationalization strategies of SMEs. We see particular potential for further growth in international dispute resolution and our corporate and M&A practice, as well as in our support of the banking & finance sector.