Gamze Gökçen Pilevne – GC Powerlist
Türkiye 2022

Consumer Products

Gamze Gökçen Pilevne

General counsel, senior compliance officer and corporate secretary | Mercedes-Benz Türk

    Team size: Ten

    First, can you please give us an idea of the sort of work your team has done recently (cases, transactions, projects)?

    My team and I have been leading the second phase of Daimler’s global restructuring project within Türkiye, separating the industrial businesses, and creating two independent companies. The purpose is to give Daimler Truck entrepreneurial freedom while enhancing the profile of Mercedes-Benz to shape the next level of transportation with more sustainable vehicles. The legal team has been a key player in promoting the project and unlocking the full potential of both companies. We were proud and thrilled to have taken an active part in the transformation and demonstrated that the in-house team is not only limited to legal issues, but it has an active role in re-shaping the company and promoting different strategies and platforms.

    Which recent political, economic, or regulatory changes have impacted the company and the team the most?

    The most challenging event that has impacted our operation is Covid-19. We have had to adapt to new working models, changes in consumer behaviours, and a fast-paced environment. The pandemic has caused a spike in demand and recovery in the semiconductor industry, which has seen the longest shortages in 2020, and it is expected to progress until 2023. The global chip crisis had unprecedented consequences on consumer goods and automotive. Additionally, lockdowns and restrictions have limited our deliveries. The impact of global shortages resulted in the need for active legal support from the supply management teams and close cooperation with the sales team in responding to customers’ needs and criticisms. Additionally, we co-operated with the marketing team to serve the best interests of our clients.

    How do you suggest in-house lawyers build strong relationships with business partners?

    The tasks and responsibilities of in-house counsel have substantially changed in the last decade. The heterogeneous and complex regulatory context, paired with the fast-changing environment, has elevated the role of the general counsel within the organisation, requiring them to understand the business and take on entrepreneurial responsibilities. Internal lawyers should not limit themselves to giving advice and providing routine legal checks. To be an integrant part of the business, we must take collective actions. Effective legal and compliance and risk management are crucial elements to support the long-term and sustainable growth of the company. It is vital to listen to business partners’ needs and create a secure environment where people can discuss openly, find solutions, and create common value. In-house counsel should show willingness and commitment to the organisation — our motto should be working as a team while guiding and guarding our company.