Interview with: Ömer Faruk Hansu, Founding Partner
Hansu Law Office | View firm profile
Founding Partner Mr. Ömer Faruk HANSU explains why their clients preferred Hansu Law Firm and how Hansu Law Firm and the attorneys are capable of adapting to client’s changing needs
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Hansu Law Firm from your competitors?
Our Law Firm celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and with our lawyers who have received training and working experience abroad as well as having foreign language knowledge, we believe we will have much more years to celebrate with all of our achievements. With our experienced team who has both the knowledge of different cultural and legal systems, we are producing legal solutions and offering legal services that corresponds the best interest and needs of the various projects and activities of foreign companies and investors in Turkey. Likewise, we provide highest quality of counseling and advocacy services even outside of our borders to our Turkish clients who seek for legal support abroad due to their investments and projects not only personally but also in conjunction with local law firms based in the target country.
Within the scope of our fields of activity we need to state that Hansu Law Firm not only provides legal services concerning the matters related company and commercial law but also determines the risks related to these areas. Hansu Law Firm is also highly experienced in tax law considering the facts that as Hansu Law Firm, we have been providing services in the field of tax law for many years in both in the processes of tax inspections and tax lawsuits and also have been providing most beneficial legal service to our clients by looking through a wider perspective since we combine our strategy about risk assessment with our experience in company law and tax law. On the other hand, among the founders of Hansu Law Firm, there are lawyers with technical knowledge, especially in the field of energy and construction and thus, we are experienced in minimizing the possible legal risks that can occur in any project related to energy or construction due to this in depth technical knowledge and perspective.
As Hansu Law Firm we also deal with the establishment and commissioning of organized industrial zones that regulate the industry and production sector; development of energy, tourism, health projects on public / treasury and municipal lands for almost a decade where we assist both private / legal persons and sectoral associations and to the public authorities and thus we believe we have a superior experience on project development, commissioning of projects with partnership models and company establishment. Hansu, for providing legal realignment of these complex projects involving many legal disciplines, our law firm has gained many years of experience. Thus, it is possible for us to state that we are also experienced in determining the most appropriate solution for our clients’ needs. To sum up, the main points that distinguish our Law Firm from its competitors are the experience we gained from our involvement in public and private sector’s collaborative projects, corporate/commercial and intellectual property experience combined with our experience in tax law, need-based working principle and superior experience in risk assessment.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
Undoubtedly, it is inevitable that there will be an economic recession and especially in some sectors due to the coronavirus epidemic in the upcoming months. As the Covid 19 process will be decisive on the next 12 months, the negative impact will also emerge in some of the legal fields. However, we will see some positive impacts as well i.e. over international commercial arbitration.
Whilst the usage of digital tools and channels before Covid 19 is a matter of choice for both consumers and companies, the use of digital tools and channels after Covid 19 has become a need, moreover a necessity for both consumers and companies. Businesses will be able to reach more consumers and a wider geography through technological tools by increasing investment in automation and artificial intelligence. For this reason, in order to keep pace with this rapid change in technology, to foresee the possible conflicts that may occur and to minimize the risks; the fields of e-commerce, smart contracts and IT law will develop and researches in these areas will increase. Based on this prediction, we are already assisting our clients whom are operating in these fields and providing them legal support for the upcoming risks.
Due to Covid 19, virtual merchandising -which enables online shopping- will develop, and therefore the digital retail industry will grow, so law firms operating in technology-related law areas will attract more attention. On the other hand, we think that our clients will need more advocacy and consultancy services in various fields, as companies operating in the field of production and transportation and every other sector which operates as a component of the supply chain will also be affected by this situation. Meanwhile especially in the fields of food – hygienic products and healthcare investments transaction volumes will also grow and thus, related legal fields will also develop. Since it is predicted that companies operating in sectors that will be negatively affected by the current situation and these companies will start bankruptcy and concordat processes, we believe it is really important for them to have legal support to secure their current receivables.
Another legal field that legal practitioners will have to deal with will be contracts law. The parties will request that their contracts be reorganized in accordance with the new processes due to the balance of interests that have been disturbed in their contracts. Thanks to our many years of expertise, it is possible to say that some of the commercial contracts will collapse fundamentally, hence the contracts will need to be adapted to the emerging conditions, and the legal review of the general transaction conditions will be mandatory. In this context, we have already started to provide support by protecting the interests of our clients. In addition it is not possible to undermine that lawsuits in front of the state courts and arbitration institutions as well as the enforcements and bankruptcy proceedings – due to the failure of the parties to fulfill their obligations arising from the commercial contracts on time or at all, employer-worker conflicts and receivables arising from the loan contracts of banks, financial institutions, sales of goods and rental contracts – will increase in the upcoming period.
As it was stated above, within the next 12 months, there will be developments in information and technology law, digital retailing, real estate and rental law – especially companies operating in tourism and shopping centers etc. – corporate law, commercial law, transportation law and contracts law where we will continue to provide consultancy and advocacy services for our clients’ needs.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
We have created country-based desks to offer specialized legal support to our Turkish and foreign clients in developing their strategies and projects that they target worldwide. In this context, with our German, UK, UAE, Belgian and Italian desks; we carry out all legal processes with our experienced lawyers in our office as well as in coordination with the foreign law firms in our network. Thus, while providing legal support, we create specialized teams both from Turkey and abroad by prioritizing the special needs and demands of our clients and we provide the highest quality consultancy and advocacy services both in and outside our jurisdiction.
On the other hand, our attorney’s office works closely with sectoral associations and academics in relevant departments of universities, especially in technology production, digital retailing and e-commerce. In this way, we offer a high level of legal service to our clients by combining the technical information we obtain with our legal information. Regarding these changes in our activities, international service desks have been established recently and positive feedback has been encountered by our clients. Likewise, with these collaborations and organizational changes, requests made from abroad to cooperate with our law firm had already increased. Therefore, it is possible for us to say that the relevant developments and changes distinguish our law firm from other offices.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Of course it is. As we have mentioned before, while the use of digital tools and channels before Covid 19 was a preference, now after Covid 19 their use has become a need and even a necessity. For this reason, we have developed the technological infrastructure of our law firm and increased our investments of the technological tools we use in order to provide our clients the same legal support we have provided before the epidemic period. We believe with these developments we provided a healthier communication channel with our clients working both locally and globally. Within this regard, we can say that – with the technological infrastructure we have – we organize video interviews and conferences more frequently, so that we can provide legal support to our clients almost 24/7 and even in the most urgent situations.
Again, we continuously update our existing blog page on our website with both sectoral and legal information, and quickly inform our clients about all developments, thus ensuring that they take the necessary precautions and manage their business related processes correctly without losing time. Since the legal information in question is prepared by our lawyers who are experts in their fields, written in an article format and published online, they provide information both for our clients and for all concerned parties. Thus, we can say we contribute to each individual and company.
In order to improve and facilitate our communication with our foreign clients, we plan to globalize by adding other foreign languages to our website besides English and German. In addition, since legal materials have been published in Turkish, English and German languages over all social media platforms, the fact that we have reached the accessibility of our law firm is also an indication that our law firm benefits from technological developments.
Finally, since we have a very wide technical platform in archiving, we have already prevented all the problems that may arise in accessing any information / document even during the process we work remotely. About the archiving we also must state that all legal works and procedures that our Law Firm is dealing with are protected in computer environment with high security software and are always kept accessible to our lawyers.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
Although it is not possible to give and summarize the practical examples of the contribution we provide to our clients’ businesses since the scope and quality of their legal affairs and transactions are complex, we think that we can give some examples to give an idea to those who read us. Thus we as Hansu Law Firm provided the below mentioned legal services to our clients throughout the years:
- During the privatization of Turkey’s energy market; drafting the legal status report, conducting legal due diligence and providing consultancy services for one of the largest energy distribution and globally operated company’s privatization tender during the procurement,
- Preparing the risk report in terms of collection ability and preparing the litigation files, in the tender for the sale of receivable equals to approximately 1 billion USD by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (SDIF), on behalf of a company operating globally,
- Establishment of the Thermal Power Plant Project to be built on approximately 700.000 m2 of public land and providing legal service during the development phase that has been going on for 7 years in Adana/Ceyhan where is located in Turkey and named as the energy hub in the entire Middle East,
- Representing the transferee in the process of Turkey’s largest office project’s taking over and providing legal services at all stages, including construction,
- Representing the transferee in the transfer of Turkey’s largest spring water business with the largest production capacity and continuing to the representation of the company in their business-related matters,
- Providing legal services to a Dubai-based company that has been named as the company that sold the most real estate in Turkey to foreigners and to their clients who bought those real estates,
- Providing legal services in the development and commissioning stages for the largest mixed real estate project in Turkey which includes a shopping mall, a hotel, a hospital and private residences
- Providing legal services in the stages of making the land suitable for zoning and construction where a large-scale real estate projects will be constructed in the biggest land in the Bosphorus and improvement of the mentioned project,
- Legal counseling in the establishment of the Transition Regulation, which forms the basis and constitution of electronic infrastructure communication and providing legal services to the leading company in electronic infrastructure communication sector which acquired permission to pass through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles for the first time,
- Legal counseling in the tender processes of highway, railway, airport and sea port projects including preparation of the application file suitable for the tender, representation of the parties in the tender processes and providing legal support on signing tender contracts,
- Providing legal support and services to our clients whom have responded to public needs by participating in public tenders for about 15 years and cooperated with many international companies during their tender processes both with our public law and tax law perspective,
- Providing legal services to the transferee during the acquisition of approximately 20 solar power plants which took almost 2 years, temporary / final acceptance and commissioning phase and in their operation phase of the solar power plants.
In addition our law firm has an extensive experience on:
Giving consultancy in the field of tax law to oil and chemical companies operating the petroleum products field and lubricants sector and their sectoral association with an asset size of 1 billion USD and thus having an in depth knowledge about license supply from Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), administrative fines imposed by EMRA and license revocation by EMRA,
- Development of especially revenue-sharing real estate projects.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Every business and individual seeks for stability and strategic direction, not only from their law firms but also from every other sector they cooperate with. We always offer strategic directions in line with our clients’ vision, plans and goals. In this context, while providing legal services, we also show them the right and practical solution that examines the best interests of our clients in their investment and business, as well as examining the legal compliance of a matter in their events.
In the upcoming three years, as Hansu Law Firm, we aim to expand our international business network while still working with the philosophy of providing the best quality service to our clients. Our business and relations with especially UK and the other European and the Middle Eastern countries will increase and we will take more steps forward in the next 3 years and we believe our office’s capacity will expand. As it is known, the attorneyship profession is mostly based on the recommendations especially in the case of large companies and overseas countries. In this context, although we are aware that our clients are strongly recommending us, we believe Hansu Law Firm will be first option and will take the first place for legal advisory demand for companies and business coming from the UK, the UAE and Central Europe in the upcoming three-year period.
In addition, the official partnership relationships we have established in London and in Dubai provide further evidence that our law firm will achieve much more comprehensive and successful business deals in the next 3 years.
Again, in line with the digitalization process that has developed in the legal sector in recent years, we will continue to provide our clients with a high quality legal and consultancy service in accordance with their needs by ensuring that our law firm plays a leading role in this field in the upcoming years.