Interview with: Sezin Elçin Cengiz, Managing Partner

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Sezin Elçin Cengiz, Managing Partner explains how COPARTNERS positions itself in the Turkish legal market.


What do you see as the main points that differentiate COPARTNERS from your competitors?

COPARTNERS is an independent firm specialized on competition law and regulation, established in early March 2024, with the merger of CORE Consulting (my former firm) and Onal Attorneys at Law (founded by Emre Onal).

Both Emre and I have over 20 years’ experience in private practice. We have indeed been close friends with Emre and also had the chance to work on a number of matters -representing different sides- for many years. Emre is a Turkish and New York qualified antitrust lawyer; he previously was the head of Competition/Antitrust practice at Allen & Overy Turkey, also acting as the lead antitrust counsel for the Middle East Region. I on the other hand, had been the head of the Competition / Antitrust Practice at White & Case Turkey and previously a senior case handler / expert in competition law at the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) for a decade; which provides profound insights into the intricacies of public administration procedures and decision-making approaches.

At COPARTNERS, we compiled a dedicated team of lawyers and a network of experts, comprising of the finest legal minds and industry specialists in Turkey. This enables us to deliver commercially insightful solutions for the competition law and regulation related issues of our clients.

Our client base includes businesses across all industries and referring law firms from across the world, who rely on our expertise and dedication to provide comprehensive legal support.

Last but not least, clear communication is at the core of our approach, ensuring that our guidance is straightforward, easily comprehensible, business friendly and actionable for our clients.


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

I anticipate cybersecurity, data privacy, ESG, IP, E-Commerce, and Consumer Protection will be growing in the next 12 months. Rapid technological developments around the world, climate change, raised awareness / concerns regarding sustainability and environmental issues are among the drivers behind.


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

COPARTNERS may be very young in age but rests upon long years of experience and a solid client base contributed by myself and Emre. When we decided to merge our companies, the initial value proposition we had in mind was to provide our clients the highest quality services that they are used to expect from us at major international law firms, in an independent setting.  We therefore structured the firm and the team properly at the outset, anticipating the requirements and needs of the clients as well as potential issues and challenges they may face at certain steps of the transactions or projects using the most developed tools to handle the matters and solve any issues.


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

Technological advancements definitely change the manner that we work with clients. We use various digital tools and platforms to enhance and secure our communication with the clients, streamline our process, and provide more efficient services tailored to our clients’ needs. We are also using various AI tools in our compliance related mandates.


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

Our clients benefit from our expertise in dealing with the TCA requests and submissions. Based on many years of dedicated experience, we do very well know what the TCA is looking for and how the client can respond to it. We therefore offer our clients a seamless and smooth process with their dealings with the TCA.


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

Our clients do not only seek legal advice but also strategic guidance from us in navigating their competition law related issues, which may involve one or more jurisdictions. This includes anticipating potential challenges, identifying potential solutions and opportunities, and devising alternative strategies to protect their interests and achieve their goals. Our team provides this comfort to our clients who rely on our years of dedicated competition law expertise and a solid reputation in Turkey.

Emre and I, together with our exceptional team, aim to create “Turkey’s go-to-firm” in competition law and regulation, drawing on our experience delivering top tier services at international law firms, all within an independent framework. With this vision in sight, COPARTNERS will significantly grow its capacity in three years’ time with the best antitrust talent in Turkey.