Interview with: Özlem Kurt, Managing Partner
Özlem Kurt is Managing Partner of Kurt & Partners Law Firm which Offers a full range of legal consultancy and advocacy services, including new fields and traditional needs, by blending it with new generation approaches, expertise, industry knowledge and experience.
What do you see as the main points that differentiate KURT & PARTNERS from your competitors?
We participate in the business strategy of our clients as member of their team with solid and long-term relationship. We are more than trusted advisors. Our outstanding legal experience and multidisciplinary teams understand clients’ commercial objectives, changing needs, their sector or industry and their position in the market which allow us to render the most tailored and pragmatic advice possible. Strong performance and inclusive, collaborative behaviors are the most valued and valuable to our organization.
As a full-service law firm, our clients often engage us as one-stop shop provider for their wide range of local and global needs.
We have strong compliance culture which support innovation and new generation ideas feeling free to speak up. This characteristic of our firm based on our core values of respect for people, respect for diversity and differences of thought and which also allows us to determine and examine problems or opportunities from multiple perspective.
Our firm’s size and lean organizational structure allow us to add value to our clients without wasting resources where we are engaged in is efficiency, quality and creating a value. Having said this we are flexible to go into the deepness of the client business model, understand what their needs are and solve the questions to the best of the client business. Our firm is recognized for being experienced, business solution oriented, constantly improving and having a profound sense of commitment to the quality of the advice given and loyalty to the client retained. The most basic indicator of this is having several long-standing relationships and earn new clients through recommendations.
We are an independent law firm with an extensive global reach through our partner firms from other jurisdictions to give the clients reliable legal solutions from single hand.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
Nowadays everything is moving at an incredible speed and accordingly legal requirements and services also get their fair share of this change. Information and Technology is growing area both as a legal and industrial aspect.
Therefore, technology law, data privacy and protection has become one of the main issues. Our firm has extensive experience and expertise on IT Law, Cyber Security and Data Protection.
In e-commerce, transportation consumer requirements, new areas of legal compliance, new risks and lawsuits draw attention.
Labor law is always an important area in a country like Turkey where industry and production companies are concentrated. Designing an employer-employee legal structure suitable for the digitalized work environment and conditions of the new age and providing litigation services with this information always puts labor law on the list as a growing area for our office. All these new conditions and requirements made it necessary to monitor the development of the business regularly, review and adapt the new terms, comply with the privacy and data protection law and to offer more innovative legal services.
Tech business is a rapidly growing field for startups or larger companies in Turkey like most of the countries. The workforce and costs in this area allow Turkey to be a hub and attract foreign investment. Corporate services, investments and fund inflows in this area are another growing area.
The economic difficult situation in Turkey can make companies the inevitable side of local or international conflicts. It is observed that there is an increase in litigation and enforcement. Especially, there has been a significant increase in the number of lawsuits arising from real estate lease and construction contracts, especially due to the increase in prices and the dramatic increase in construction costs.
These conditions of Turkey also necessitated people investing and moving their asset abroad. Managing these requirements internationally is another growing area.
Finally, with a bit of a strange paradox, due to the political and economic problems in the countries around Turkey, it is still preferred as a new investment and living space for companies and individuals from those countries. This increases the real estate sales business on the one hand and the working and citizenship application requirement on the other hand.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
We traditionally have a long and continuous professional relationship with our current clients based on years. Although this is an indication of mutual satisfaction, it requires a significant effort to ensure its continuity.
Our most important approach is to provide the necessary information for the members of our team to get to know the client, their culture and sensitivities, to operate the decision-making mechanism in the office well, to provide the timely and fast service that our clients are accustomed to. Although these are our usual conditions, ensuring that this system runs smoothly and effectively in the office requires a special anchor and management perspective.
This may only be possible to put humanity and employee value at the center to make the team feel it and to ensure that they benefit from the results.
It is an important issue for us from a management point of view, and we have a positive approach to allocating resources and time.
Since this perspective and the sustainability of the system depend on the team above all else, we have added the additional benefit items of commitment and continuity to our premium structure as of 2022. The longer our team member stays, the more valuable it is.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
For us, keeping up with transformation is a key to growth and development. Technological innovations and their impact on legal regulations and practices are the main trigger of our perception of change.
We closely evaluate various and recent legal aspects, follow the needs of our clients accordingly.
Technology has significantly changed the nature of our work, infrastructure and applications and we continue to invest in the digitalization of our office and operations to reach further and better.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
One of our main strengths is deep knowledge about our clients, their corporate structures, characteristics, needs and the dynamic of their sectors.
Understanding commercial dynamics and requirements of our clients enable us providing the most beneficial legal solution with business-oriented approach that we make significant difference and add value.
With this approach, we take part in the boards of directors or executive boards of an increasing number of our client companies.
We take a role in which we evaluate the legal risks and consequences of the company’s strategic and operational decisions. It enables these companies to be prepared for different legal areas and the risks posed by their intersections.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Our muscles are very strong in foreseeing the effects and consequences of a strong change in law and preparing for new needs either from the front or in the fastest way possible.
We will continue to keep this muscle strong in the next 3 years and believe that this is one of the most important parameters that will reveal the difference between legal service and distinctively good legal in today’s conditions.
However, knowledge, professional ethics and good communication skills and inclusive approach will be guides us as always.