Vice president, general counsel, board member | Anagold Madencilik
Director, legal and compliance | Multi Türkiye (Multi Corporation)
General counsel and group head of sustainability | Pegasus Airlines
Corporate lawyer and mediator | Çimtaş Group
Known for its leadership in the industry, Çimtaş has taken part in many international projects with numerous successes, as well as in important projects such as the Osmangazi and Çanakkale...
Assistant managing director – legal and corporate communications | GAMA Energy
Director, business and legal affairs - Middle East, Türkiye and Africa | Netflix
Senior vice president, legal and compliance | Turkish Airlines
Legal coordinator, corporate legal counsel of EMEA region | BrandMonitor
Director of legal affairs, compliance officer and data protection official, member of the company management board and board secretary | Media Markt Türkiye
Ice cream category general counsel Middle East and Türkiye | Unilever
Legal and compliance director, Türkiye, Ukraine, CIS | Merck Sharp Dohme (MSD)
Legal director, chief legal officer | Akkök Sanayi Yatırım ve Geliştirme
Chief legal and compliance officer | Türkiye Petrol Rafinerileri (Tupras)
Legal director, central south Europe and Türkiye | Air Liquide
Chief legal officer and member of management board | SOCAR Türkiye Enerji
Head of Legal, Business Area Middle East, Africa, CIS (BAMEAC) | Novo Nordisk
Head of legal affairs department | Metro Properties Gayrimenkul Yatırım
Formerly Legal and compliance part leader | LG Electronics
General counsel MET personal care and general counsel Türkiye, UNICA, Iran at Unilever, TEID board member | Unilever
Legal counsel | Novartis Sağlık, Gıda ve Tarım Ürünleri Sanayi ve Ticaret
Legal counsel | Euromarine Development Gayrimenkul İnşaat ve Ticaret
Chief legal officer, chief ethic and compliance officer and company secretary | Coca-Cola İçecek
Chief legal counsel (director) | MAYA Holding, IKEA Turkey
General counsel, head of compliance and ESG and corporate secretary | Mercedes-Benz Türk
Company lawyer (legal and compliance) | McDonalds Turkey
Head of legal and integrity Türkiye, Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan | Hitachi Energy
MEA region enterprise operations senior counsel, SEE region senior counsel, goverment affairs TR | 3M Sanayi ve Ticaret
Senior legal manager | Novartis Sağlık, Gıda ve Tarım Ürünleri Sanayi ve Ticaret
Former general counsel and chief of staff | Formerly Marti Ileri Teknoloji
Senior legal counsel and compliance officer | Enerjisa Enerji Üretim
Legal affairs and investor relations director | Yapitek Yapi Teknolojisi
Legal manager and privacy officer | LeasePlan Otomotiv Servis ve Tic.
Manager legal counsel, South East Europe, Spain and Turkey | FedEx Express
Chief legal officer | NEF-Timur Gayrimenkul Geliştirme Yapı ve Yatırım
Legal affairs president | AG Anadolu Grubu Holding
Mustafa Yelligedik graduated from Ankara University Faculty of Law in 1994. He began his career in Anadolu Group at Efes Beverage Group as a lawyer in 1997. He continued his...
Head of legal and compliance | Samsung Electronics Türkiye – Production
Legal and compliance officer and board member | Boehringer Ingelheim Türkiye
Head of legal, risk and compliance | Dx Technology Services and Investment B.V. (“SabancıDx”)
Vice President, legal and compliance department | Turkish Airlines
General counsel and general secretary | Sofra/Compass Türkiye
Senior legal counsel | PepsiCo
Pelin Pamir Bayramoğulları graduated from Marmara University and completed her master’s degree in economics law at Bilgi University. She is registered in the mediation registry at the Ministry of Justice...
Chief legal counsel, assistant general manager, executive board member | Allianz Türkiye
Head of legal, compliance and insuarance | Metro Cash and Carry Türkiye
Corporate affairs and law director | Efe İçecek Sanayi ve Ticaret
General counsel Eurasia and Middle East | The Coca-Cola Company
The annual GC Powerlist: Türkiye, recognises Türkiye’s most senior in-house counsel highlighting their innovations, achievements, and challenges over the past year. In a timely twist, this edition of the GC Powerlist also includes select in-house counsel on the rise within their organisations. In this rising star category, we converse with a wide range of candidates from deputy general counsel readying to take the reins to much newer, impressive in-house counsel who have already left an indelible mark on their legal departments.
It was an honour to research the excellent calibre of general counsel recognised this year. Among many tasks that general counsel face in these times, general counsel reported they are managing a sequence of global crises. Supply chain issues, inflation and transforming legal departments are just a few of the issues in-house counsel in Türkiye are handling recently. Senior director legal, compliance and quality at Novo Nordisk, Theis Sonne tells us how global crises has affected his organisation ‘international global crises has put new requirements on our business throughout the 73 countries we operate in.’ Chief legal counsel of Kürüm Group International , Uğur Ateş, adds that the biggest challenge of last year ‘was that although it was the first “normal” year after the pandemic, things had not completely broken away from the pandemic conditions resulting in operations running much slower than they were.’
After surviving the pandemic and business constraints of that period, organisations in Türkiye are tasked navigate new challenges. Against this backdrop, in-house counsel have been exceedingly creative with inexpensive innovations to assist their organisations. Melisa Kokel, group legal coordinator at SOCAR says that her team has ‘supported the implementation of innovative practices and applications for the comfortable execution of litigation and contract processes, especially during the remote working mode.’ Speaking on the success of their practices, she says, ‘these innovations have enabled us to capture an effective working environment even in the remote working model and facilitated the daily course of business. Moreover, when we consider the benefits of such practices that make business life easier for the company and its operations, one must consider the cost efficiency of the process.’
General counsel of Mey Diageo, Meltem Azbazdar also shared that her team had ‘partnered closely with their IT, sales and quality teams to establish a time-saving, well-designed, user-friendly internal system to scrutinise and monitor customer complaints.’ In addition to possessing a resilient attitude for challenges, and an eagerness for innovation, there are other qualities to be successful at proving your value to the organisation. ‘Besides this, we should become more generalists —companies are now expanding their activities to include multiple areas; for example, in addition to construction activities, areas such as energy, food, and clothing are being added. We must be knowledgeable in these areas and be open to everything’, says Chief legal officer, Meryem Sövüt Chief legal officer of NEF-Timur Gayrimenkul Geliştirme Yapı ve Yatırım.
While speaking to rising stars in this edition, it was apparent how essential their function to their teams were. Most were reported to have already undertaken huge roles which have assisted their teams tremendously. Deputy managing counsel of Akbank, Ruhsar Küçükgöz defines her role as ‘central to finding the most suitable legal structures and workable legal solutions acceptable to the bank, counterparties, and all other stakeholders in our transactions, with a perspective of upholding Akbank’s policies and principles generally applicable to all business dealings’. However, going beyond being central to their legal functions, Gökçe Yeşildağ , legal counsel at Johnson & Johnson says, ‘my role goes beyond providing legal advice and ensuring the legality and compliance of the company’s operations. Legal function within Johnson & Johnson has an important and guiding position in all business decisions. Therefore, I am also a strategic business partner of the organisation.’
As proved year by year from our in-depth research of the legal community in Türkiye, it is characterised by strong, determined, and resilient legal minds prepared to meet all challenges with swift action and out of the box solutions. I extend a heartfelt well-deserved congratulations to all included in The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Türkiye 2023!
Melissa Yebisi| Lead Researcher – GC Powerlist Türkiye 2022