Baysal & Demir > Istanbul, Turkey > Firm Profile

Baysal & Demir
Büyükdere Cad. No: 201/87
34394 Şişli

Turkey > Insurance Tier 1

Baysal & Demir is home to a team that has in-depth experience of advising insurance companies as well as reinsurers on arbitration, litigation, product development, market entry requirements, and M&A transactions. Practice head and founding partner Pelin Baysal is recommended for dispute resolution matters relating to coverage issues, including mechanical breakdown, credit insurance, and third-party liability. Ilgaz Önder is another excellent source of advice, with experience of assisting both international and local insurance companies on a variety of matters.

Practice head(s):

Pelin Baysal

Other key lawyers:


‘Baysal & Demir have a high degree of professionalism in every aspect of their work and have an in-depth, market-leading knowledge of their subject. They also have excellent connections in terms of being able to source expert independent advice if needed.’

‘They have a good team, which works well together to provide quality advice. They have fast response times and have been able to provide pragmatic, accurate and reliable advice that can be relied on in a variety of situations.’

‘I would highly recommend Pelin Baysal and Ilgaz Önder.’

‘The team provides timely advice.’

‘Pelin Baysal is very responsive.’

Key clients

Everest National Insurance Company

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd

MS Amlin Underwriting Limited

Holman Fenwick Willan


Integra Technical Limited

Liberty Managing Agency Limited

Chaucer Syndicates Limited

Navigators Insurance Company (the Hartford)

Zurich Insurance PLC

Argenta Syndicate Management Limited

Aegis Managing Agency Ltd.

Chubb Turkey

International General Insurance Co. (UK) Ltd

Chubb European Group SE

Ascot Underwriting Limited

Charles Taylor

Munich Re

CV Star

Türkiye Sigorta A.Ş.

Eureko Sigorta A.Ş.

Work highlights

  • Representing Turkish insurers and global reinsurers in a policy coverage dispute arising from the collapse of Turkey’s largest tunnel.
  • Representing an American multinational finance and insurance corporation in an ICC arbitration arising out of a satellite failure.
  • Regularly advising an international reinsurance company on compulsory and facultative earthquake insurance policies in relation to the highly destructive earthquakes which happened in the southeast region of the country in February 2023.

Turkey > Employment Tier 4

Baysal & Demir‘s lawyers assist large industrial companies and international technology companies in employment law, utilising proficiency in both Turkish and German law. Practice heads Ulaş Baysal and Muhittin Astarlı are ‘among the most recognised professors in the field of employment law in Turkey’ and are active in advising clients in this field, with standout recent mandates including collective bargaining agreements.

Practice head(s):

Ulaş Baysal; Muhittin Astarlı


‘The employment team includes Muhittin Astarlı and Ulaş Baysal, among the most recognised professors in the field of employment law in Turkey. The high reputation of both names in the courts distinguishes them from other lawyers working in this field in Turkey.’

‘Ulaş Baysal: His experience in this field makes his consultancy valuable regarding legal disputes that arise during the execution of hazardous tasks in the construction industry. Muhittin Astarlı has profound expertise in the termination of employment contracts and collective labour relations. Therefore, in large-scale disputes in Turkey, courts either refer to his legal opinion or select him as a mediator.’

‘The experts of the firm have theoretical and practical knowledge of collective labour law. They also provided in-depth analysis of Turkish industrial relations.’

‘We had expert views from Ulas Baysal on collective labour law and his strategic advice was a key factor for the conclusion of our collective labour agreements.’

‘Baysal Demir’s team is proficient in both Turkish and German law, especially in the areas of labour and social security law. Therefore, working with them offers a significant advantage in projects simultaneously conducted in Germany and Turkey. Furthermore, by producing creative solutions from both legal perspectives, they also ease the concerns of German investors during mergers.’

‘Ulas Baysal possesses a wealth of expertise spanning across a diverse range of sectors, rendering him a valuable collaborator in shaping strategic approaches.’

‘Ulaş Baysal is a lawyer with a stunning academic background. We are very satisfied with the service he provides. We have worked with him for more than ten years. Baysal and his team are accessible at any time we need them. They are highly experienced in their practice areas including employment and labour law.’

Key clients

Samsung Electronics

Smith + Nephew





Koop İs

Sanko Towel



Work highlights

  • Assisted Samsung Electronics with all employment law problems arising out of individual and collective labour relationships in Samsung Electronics’ Turkey factory.
  • Assisted Opet with its internal investigations, provided support to the client for its restructuring and revision of sub-contractors’ contracts in this regard.
  • Advised a leading international vehicle part manufacturing company on managing a data breach process regarding employee data.

Turkey > Dispute resolution

Contentious insurance work is a mainstay at Baysal & Demir, with the team frequently engaged by multinational insurers and reinsurers to advise on judicial and arbitral proceedings.

Baysal & Demir is an international law firm committed to excellence. The firm was founded by senior lawyers holding international academic titles with many years of experience. The firm was established to meet the increasing demand for dedicated specialist lawyers, which yield a result, particularly in complex legal issues. With its strong client relationship, the firm ensures its clients are at the heart of everything it does. By delivering what clients want from high-value strategic to everyday advice, Baysal & Demir prides itself on a high-quality and consistently excellent service.

The firm’s core areas of expertise are arbitration, litigation, insurance and reinsurance, corporate and commercial. It represents clients in numerous industry sectors with particular expertise in insurance and reinsurance, construction, technology, social media and aerospace industries. Baysal & Demir acts nationally and internationally for private individuals, corporate entities and state-owned entities. With flexibility in pricing, Baysal & Demir ensures that its clients receive value without waste.

For more information please see:

Our experience
Arbitration: We have represented private individuals, corporate entities and state-owned entities in international arbitrations, including many multimillion-dollar disputes involving novel questions. We have an ingrained understanding of all major arbitration rules and disputes handled under a wide range of applicable laws, including Turkish, Swiss and German law. We are familiar with the laws of many seats of arbitrations.

We combine our outstanding legal skills with in-depth industry knowledge and outstanding advocacy. Known for our cutting-edge work, we excel at solving unprecedented legal challenges, blending our local expertise with international experience. Our clients always benefit from a highly experienced and responsive team offering a thorough analysis of the facts and law.

Litigation: We have a remarkable track record in defending our clients’ best interest in cross-border and domestic disputes in a diverse range of industries, before commercial and administrative courts. Our lawyers are considered trusted legal advisers and have acted as legal experts on matters of Turkish law in various foreign court proceedings, including in the UK, US, France and Greece.

We also have significant experience in the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and court decisions in Turkey. With a team consisting of lawyers with business savvy and able to offer strategic advice, we seamlessly handle even the most challenging cases for our clients. We achieve the best possible result for our clients by bringing our attention, deep industry knowledge and distinctive experience to each matter and tailoring them to the client’s objectives.

Insurance and reinsurance: We have been at the forefront of the vast majority of the most complex (re)insurance transactions, the highest-stakes disputes and the most challenging regulatory engagements in Turkey. We take pride in our ‘sharp and comprehensive analysis’ and ‘the clarity of our advice’.
We are highly sought after by clients to handle insurance industry merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions, regulatory compliance issues, and the introduction of new products to the Turkish market. Our distinction comes from, inter alia, our ability to carry out the transactions from cover to cover along the path to perfection. We do not only seal the transactions, but also successfully protect the clients’ interests in post-acquisition disputes before state courts and in arbitration.

We have been consistently the first choice for policy coverage issues for all types of policies including Construction All Risk, Banker’s Blanket Bonds and Cash-in-Transit policies which are often ceded abroad through facultative and fronting arrangements. We have been involved in disputes concerning almost all of the largest construction projects and financial services in Turkey of the last decade and are renowned for our experience in executing claims control clauses.

Commercial: We produce contracts, adding maximum value for our clients. Our clients operate across a wide range of industries, and we have a strong track record in the finance, consumer, life sciences, technology and entertainment sectors. We are highly respected for the services we provide by combining our sector experience, business-oriented approach, and dispute-minded contract drafting skills. These services include expanding our clients’ sale and service networks through agency, distribution and franchise networks, procurement of goods and services, and outsourcing our clients’ ancillary operations.

By working hand in hand with our arbitration and litigation team, we support our clients to resolve their problems with business partners amicably. We help our clients with contractual warranty problems, issues arising out of the termination of contracts and unfair competition matters. We are resourceful and creative in seeking opportunities for our clients.

Corporate and mergers and acquisitions: We advise on a broad spectrum of corporate matters in a variety of sectors, drawing on decades of experience. We assist our clients in managing risk, providing appropriate responses to corporate crises and making critical strategic decisions.

We have the scale and experience to handle a wide range of corporate transactions, from incorporation to liquidation. We are equally at home in conducting due diligence exercises, structuring transactions, advising on merger control, incorporating Warranty and Indemnity clauses and closing transactions. We also have vast experience in priority rights, participating certificates, (ordinary or convertible) bond issuing and Directors and Officers liability. We are highly capable of drafting and negotiating shareholders’ agreements and charters for family companies and have a strong academic background to help our clients in issues arising out of the so-called group law (Konzernrecht).

Whether we are designing a company’s corporate structure, representing our clients in M&A deals or counselling a board, we bring our collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to every job.

Product liability: We deploy our experience of working with the most complex and highly regulated industries and navigate our clients through the entire supply chain procedure. Our expertise covers a wide range of sectors, including life sciences, technology, food, consumer, insurance and financial services. We assist our clients to conform with the applicable technical standards and safety issues, and product recall matters.

We are also known for delivering results in local and cross-border product liability disputes. We have been involved in many of Turkey’s most significant product liability issues and often work as local counsel on multi-front litigations and class actions. We bring cultural and jurisdictional expertise that is second to none when dealing with cross-border product liability matters.

Employment: The success of each business depends on its people. Fostering diversity, encouraging key members and protecting against team defections are essential to business success and involve many challenges. Meeting these challenges becomes more difficult in light of today’s ever-changing world. We have been helping many local and international companies to tackle these challenges.

We cover the full range of work from day-to-day support to advising on the most complex or contentious of disputes in both individual and collective employment law. Going beyond legal advice, we also support clients with a range of innovative, value-adding services to overcome the employment-related problems they might face. We have a solid academic background, and our articles have frequently been cited in Court of Cassation decisions. This unparalleled academic background also helps us be creative in seeking beneficial and practical solutions for our clients.

Competition and antitrust: In pursuance of European competition law, Turkish competition law consists of the three pillars of the prohibition of restricting agreements and abuse of market dominance, and control of mergers and acquisitions. We have a strong academic background and practical experience in each of these three pillars. Our team deals with horizontal and vertical restraints, non-compete clauses, bundle sales, refusal to deal, and essential facility cases.

We provide a wide range of competition law services, from merger control and exemption filings to representation during cartel investigations and advice on general competition compliance matters in the sense of efficient monitoring and evaluation.

Intellectual property: Because our clients’ intellectual property (“IP”) rights are the most essential driving factor in their innovation and growth, we provide protection for them as a priority. We handle a wide variety of cases concerning trademark, domain name, copyright, design, geographical indication and patent disputes. Many of these cases include cross-border elements, and we are rich in real-world experience and industry insight.

We also play an integral role in advising on a broad range of commercial transactions involving intellectual property rights, media, and information technology and privacy issues. We provide solutions that give a competitive edge to our clients. We also advise on creating, developing and commercialising our clients’ IP, including prosecuting new applications, IP renewals, registration of licences and name changes.

Department Name Email Telephone
Arbitration, Litigation, Insurance & Reinsurance, Commercial, Corporate & M&A, Product Liability Pelin Baysal +90 532 419 95 75
Commercial, Corporate & M&A, Competition & Antitrust, Intellectual Property Dr. Koray Demir +90 533 733 24 61
Employment Dr. Ulaş Baysal +90 532 410 02 98
Number of Partners : 3
Number of of Counsel : 3
Associates : 2

Pelin Baysal, Founding Partner

Pelin Baysal, a founding partner of Baysal & Demir, explains the motivation in setting up Baysal & Demir and what sets them apart from other law firms in the market.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Baysal & Demir from your competitors?

Having worked for international clients for long years, we believe that what international clients are most interested in was something different from what they are getting from big law firms.

In big law firms, each task is generally assigned to big legal teams. The partner involvement in these tasks is usually limited to a final review. And each associate working on the task is only seeing a portion of it, preventing them from understanding the whole picture.

What sets us apart at Baysal & Demir is dedicated small legal teams with close partner involvement at all stages. Our partners are not final reviewers. They have substantial, direct and continuous involvement at all stages of each project and/or dispute handled by the firm. Each of our associates grasps the entirety of the project/dispute they are involved in. They have a strong understanding of the project/dispute and the clients’ objectives.

Besides, the clients are part of our teams. They are embedded in all stages of the process and work closely with our legal team. This close collaboration ensures that the communication lines are open, and there is transparency on our deliverables. More, this close cooperation is the key to our legal team’s distinctiveness on communicating sophisticated technical matters effectively and clearly.

We believe that international clients establish their relationships with individual lawyers, not law firm brands. With a combination of academic and business approach, Baysal & Demir provides its clients with a bespoke service, which they have been looking for.

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

We believe that this question can be better explained for each main areas separately.

Dispute resolution: As expected, in 2021, COVID-19 has been the primary factor for emerging disputes. The continuing impact of COVID-19 or potential fallout from the pandemic has the potential to increase the dispute activity even more in a myriad of areas. In 2021, we believe that the disputes will be more challenging for the companies since the increased number of disputes might be compounded by the respondent companies’ budged and liquidation concerns. Having said that, it is also important not to lose sight of newly emerging dispute areas by prioritising COVID-19 related disputes. We also believe that disputes related to cybersecurity, data protection, antitrust, and discrimination will be emerging dispute areas in 2021.

Insurance & Reinsurance: COVID-19 did not only emerge as a health crisis, but also disrupted the supply chains and conventional methods of doing business. The government, under the recently announced economic program, seems to be committed to foster credit insurance for every size of enterprises to support export activities. This relatively new insurance product is also expected to ensure sustainability in cash flows in the local market. Yet, we are concerned that 2021 will be the year to deeply feel the impacts of the outbreak which would come in view as insurance claims under delay-in-start up and business interruption coverages. Besides, we should be ready for unprecedented disputes in the financial sector and commodity markets as we saw in 2020 the collapse of crude oil prices below zero for the first time in history due to paralyzed global economy. The collapse was felt everywhere, including Turkey, causing the local investment banks and intermediaries to seek insurance coverage for their direct losses and liabilities towards investing customers.

Corporate: Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic we expect that the companies may be involved in dividend distribution disputes. The companies will have to create strategies regarding the usage of the reserve funds. Similarly, they would also have to meet concerns arising out of capital loss and over-indebtedness, which could be fought through using the legal devices like capital decreases, conditional capital increases and capital increases through settlements.

Competition & Antitrust: 2021 could be the year in which the SMEs would have to face public and private antitrust enforcement. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic they could be involved in price cartels. In that sense 2021 could also be the year, in which we would be discussing the justification reasons for cartels like state of emergency.

Employment: We expect remote work will become main stream work form and there will be regulatory changes as to the same. Therefore employment contracts and workplace internal regulations will be adopted accordingly. Again due to the increase in number of employees working remotely, we expect that the volume of data subject to processing will increase too. This will require additional legal and administrative regulations on data privacy and the workplaces will have to adopt themselves to these changes rapidly. Similarly, remote work caused the working time became vague. The employers will have to create new practice to record the working time in order to prevent future disputes. Remote work will also create discrimination based disputes. Just like other countries, platform work gained steam in Turkey. Disputes arising from employment status of platform workers are expected to increase rapidly. In Turkey, termination ban is still applicable. There are serious problems among the employers, employees and the social security institution. We also expect mass layoff following the termination ban. Finally, due to Covid-19, risk assessments as to the occupational health and safety should be renewed and workplace organizations should be restructured considering the sterilization and disinfection of the workplaces. Yet, we started to see the increasing number of the court cases against the employers arguing that Covid-19 is an occupational accident and the employers failed to take the necessary measures.

Product safety and liability: The law concerning product safety and liability is newly enacted and entered into force as of 12.03.2021 (The Law no. 7223 on Product Safety and Technical Regulations). The law aims to enhance harmonization with the EU standards on general product safety and liability for defective products; but does not significantly deviate from the requirements of the former law. Based on the law no 7223, new regulations and by-laws are expected to be released by the Presidency and relevant Ministries this year. Until then, the secondary law published in the former law’s term remain to be effective, to the extent they do not go against the law no. 7223.

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

At Baysal & Demir, we seek to build a flexible environment that allows us to exceed our clients’ expectations. We believe that success comes from giving talented and motivated lawyers space to perform their work, not from thick manuals or excessive hours. Baysal & Demir is committed to creating an environment that attracts and retains a diverse array of talented attorneys.

We add value to our clients by investing in our lawyers. Our partners committed to contributing to the career progress of each associate. This is how we ensure that each individual member of our legal team is always insightful, tenacious and courteous, three pillars that Baysal & Demir is based on. We are resourceful to achieve clarity and predictability for our clients.

In addition, unlike many law firms in Turkey, we are the true combination of a legally strong and business-oriented law firm. Many law firms in Turkey either consist mainly of academicians or practitioners. At Baysal & Demir, however, lawyers not only have a very strong academic background but also are recognised practitioners in their areas.

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

Technology has been changing the world, and the practice of law also gets its share. Internationally, there is an emerging trend for technology to address issues in how law firms run and manage their practice.

To begin with, technology offers ease of communication. Normally, we would have quarterly in-person meetings with our clients. But these meetings were costly as they involve expenses for flight tickets, hotels etc. Currently, we have these meetings online twice a month instead of doing them quarterly and in person. This increases the client’s involvement in our projects/cases and helps the clients save substantial costs.

In addition, at Baysal & Demir, we also use artificial intelligence. By using software programs and mobile applications, we always ensure that we are efficient and effective in many areas such as case management and document organisation, billing, preparation of our briefs, hearing organisations.

In order to remain at the cutting edge of legal practice, Baysal & Demir commits to identifying and implementing innovation as an essential part of what we do.

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

Whilst it is hard to give an example due to confidentiality concerns, we regularly help our clients to overcome their problems arising from cultural differences. International transactions often involve parties from different countries and cultures. These cultures generally have different views on how to conduct business relationships and how to resolve their disputes. These differences generally play a part in not reaching a successful outcome. In situations where these cultural differences can create a problem between parties or prevent amicable resolution, we play a role in eliminating them. We bring different perspectives to the bargaining table and increase the likelihood of exploring and discovering integrative, or value-creating, solutions.

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

There is an increasing necessity to create stability within the workplace and flexibility in where/how services can be offered. We also believe that the clients benefit from the strategic direction of their law firms. Only with a well-calibrated strategy, the clients can have clarity and predictability.

At Baysal & Demir, we are committed to developing a reputation for providing a rigorous and sophisticated approach to each task we handle. In three years’ time, we plan to expand our team and expertise to provide services for more clients. But when expanding our team, we will ensure that our values and the quality of our work will not deteriorate. Baysal & Demir was established by lawyers who are excited about a distinctive way of practising law and aims to bring in lawyers aspiring for the same ambition.