Interview with: Başar Kural, Managing Partner

Gunbay Kural Abbasoglu Law Firm | View firm profile

Managing Partner Başar Kural gives insight into the firm and discusses trends in the market.

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

Günbay Kural Abbasoğlu Law Firm (“GKA”) consists of dynamic and experienced lawyers who had worked as senior associates for years in a well-known international law firm ranked as Tier 1 by reputable global legal market research companies including Legal500. Since we established GKA as a boutique law firm in 2016, our aim is to provide high quality and effective services to our clients with the approach to deliver tailor-made solutions for their needs. As GKA, we believe that one of the main points that differentiate us from our competitors in the market is the combination of dynamism and professionalism reflected in our services along with our boutique service orientation. The adaptation of an “international business” culture is very much inherited from the past experiences of founding partners of GKA among the competitors in the market.

What we have experienced in the last 4,5 years as of establishment of GKA is clients tend to work with specialized boutique law firms to get high speed tailor-made services with solution-oriented strategies. In this respect, clients of GKA are having the privilege of being treated as our “single client”. When expertise and high-quality legal service is blended with the international business culture, the outcome is success and client satisfaction.

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

As Turkey is a dynamic and growing market with numerous regulatory changes to be implemented to reach international standards, we are expecting a significant growth in the Intellectual Property and Technology practices including the data protection area in the next 12 months. Another reason for the growth in this area is the increasing number of investigations conducted by the governmental bodies.

Considering the short-term effects of COVID-19 on the social, commercial and economic environments, it is also likely to see the local and international companies having an increasing need of support in the field of employment law and dispute resolution areas in the next 12 months.

Lastly, we anticipate a growth in the M&A practice in the coming months with private equity funds wishing to use the opportunities in the Turkish market after the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the local companies struggling with liquidity shortage.

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

Since the establishment of GKA, we have structured our firm in line with the current needs of our clients and the sector. Nevertheless, GKA is following closely the market trends with the capability to adapt any changes smoothly and effectively for the benefit of our clients. In this respect, while we have substantial growth in our client portfolio, there is also a growth in our staff. Accordingly, we have moved to a bigger office in a commercial zone of Istanbul where most of the global companies’ headquarters are located to have a closer relationship with our clients and enable them to reach our office easily and quickly whenever they need to have a meeting face-to-face.

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

Technology in the law firms, from our perspective, is more related to the classification and protection of privileged client information. Therefore, following the establishment of our firm, we installed a special database for our clients’ files, documents and correspondences with high security protection against any technological threats. Confidentiality of our clients’ information and protection of data is of high importance for our firm.

We enjoy having a peer to peer communication and believe that balancing the use of technology and direct communication in our business enables us to provide a tailor-made service to our clients in an interactive manner and this will continue to be our primary target.

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

We aim to provide legal assistance to our clients based on their business needs. We evaluate each case specifically and give advices considering both their business agenda and financial status. As an example, we did a comprehensive legal evaluation and analysis for one of our multinational clients with regards to steps to be followed as the profitability of various products of such client had decreased during pandemic while other products became increasingly profitable in the market. During this project, we advised on closing of branches and transfer of sales rights of certain products along with the assets, applied a cost-efficient employee plan and led the client to benefit from various tax exemptions.

In this example, our client was considering the closure of whole business in Turkey before we advised the new legal structure and now, our client improved significantly its profitability in Turkey while acting in compliance with the applicable legislation following our legal advices.

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

Our main target is to deliver the highest level of service in terms of quality and provide the best possible solutions with deep industry-specific knowledge in every area of the law that the legal entities seek advice on by considering their business priorities. In today’s ever-changing global business climate and dynamic Turkish legislative system, we need to keep the stability for our clients on this slippery ground by alerting the clients to those changes and providing strategic advice.

What is beyond doubt is that needs of clients and our business continue to evolve with the transformations in the sector. As a leading law firm, we believe that we have a deep understanding of the changing needs of the sector and considering the growth our firm, we expect to be one of the top tier law firm in multiple practice areas. In the years to come, GKA will continue its disciplined and service-oriented business strategy while growing the client base on selective basis with local and international clients.