Interview with: Okan Beygo, Partner

ASC Law Office | View firm profile

Okan BEYGO, name partner of Aksu Caliskan Beygo Attorney Partnership, evaluates the future direction of the firm and the legal profession.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Aksu Caliskan Beygo Attorney Partnership from your competitors?

Aksu Caliskan Beygo Attorney Partnership, or ASC Law Office, is one of the preeminent law firms in Turkey. The firm was registered as the sixth member of the Istanbul Bar Association and it has been serving its clients for almost two decades. Our strength comes from our past, our dedication and most importantly our impeccable reputation as lawyers that we have earned throughout the years.

We are proud to be one of the largest full-service law firms that uniquely offers Consultancy, Litigation and Enforcement/Debt Collection services under one roof. With more than 50 lawyers, we are regularly recognized as one of the most successful in the country. Our HR approach is also associated with our experience. Most of our team members were hired as trainees and then gained long tenures with our firm which enables us to have long, steady and trustworthy relationship with our clients.

ASC Law employs one of the best consultancy departments in the country, with impressive teams in banking and finance, capital markets, M&A and restructuring. The litigation practice includes top-notch litigators whom have been handling some of the most complex litigations in Turkey and complemented by the extremely successful Enforcement/Debt Collection department which serves to major banks and conglomerates of the country.

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

As everyone would agree, the agenda of the next 12 months will be shaped by the coronavirus outbreak. Once the turmoil hopefully comes to an end, we will have two things in our hands: A deep financial crisis and the abundance of liquidity circulated against it. Based on our past experience, we know the areas to come forward in this environment: Banking, project financing, debt restructuring, M&A, IPO, bond issues and litigation. We have witnessed this twice with Turkey’s crises in 2001 and the global crisis of 2008 which have actually brought us as Aksu Caliskan Beygo Attorney Partnership to today’s valuable assets.

We can also expect that the state intervention will reach its heights, mercantilist and Keynesian approaches will be popular once again, probably for a not-so-short period. This can bring in new opportunities for legal professionals who have expertise in working with public institutions.

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

We have recently appointed a non-lawyer CEO with technology and management background in order to handle the digital transformation process effectively. Throughout the last two decades we have managed to transform our office into a dynamic and competitive structure. Now the recent challenge is the utilization of technology in every possible aspect. We want to make sure that we and our clients do not lag behind in following and adapting the changes. We aim to achieve digital transformation in a professional manner and make sure that we combine our legal experience with the must haves of the new world.

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

Yes, definitely. We of course welcome the now-conventional tools like social media which speeds up our communication. However, there is much more than that, one specific example: It provides automated systems between us and our clients which essentially removes the physical barrier between in-house legal departments and our office. We can carry out the file transfer, observe the progress and review the performance indicators, sharing the same interface which is extremely helpful especially with the big companies.

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

In a recent case, we have helped our client from Republic of Korea to construct a global tech business with a significant success potential. Our client is an innovator with a promising and unique technology. Along with the extensive legal work, we helped the client in reaching conglomerates from diverse industries for potential cooperation and we have also facilitated our trusted network for him to reach the venture capital funds. Again thanks to our long-term partnership, we helped the client to create a presence in the US for global outreach. We have always tried to understand the business perspective and not to limit our problem solving process with just legal domain. In this way we aim to help our clients create sustainable long-term business plan.

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

I think the answer to the first question simply depends on the clients. There are some clients looking for stability given the fact that our world is a lot more complicated now than ever and stability might be the right approach for some businesses. However, there are also some clients who believe that stability means slow change and a dynamic environment brings more opportunities. For example, one might envisage the time, which is not that far, when the contracts will be all about transactions on blockchain and cryptocurrencies are circulated by some “central banks”. I personally believe that no one should ignore the fact that business world is very dynamic and clients must be able to react quickly to changes and adopt to new technologies. In my opinion, most clients will in fact look for more strategic direction from their law firms in an unstable post virus environment that awaits us.

For the second part of the question, I have been practicing law in a part of the world that business and legal environment changes rapidly. I know that the legal profession requires knowledge and experience but I also understand that we must react and adopt quickly to new technologies and I am extremely confident that our firm shall overcome any challenge that we may face as human race. Therefore, I sincerely see that in three years ASC Law continues to be one of the most successful law firms in Turkey and achieve great success in legal arena