Interview with: Sidar Tunca, Founding and Managing Partner
TUNCA ATTORNEY PARTNERSHIP | View firm profile
Founding and Managing Partner Sidar Tunca, explains how the Firm is adapting to its growth strategy and clients’ changing needs.
What do you see as the main points that differentiate TUNCA ATTORNEY PARTNERSHIP from your competitors?
In our view, simple professional competence, when unsupported by in depth understanding of the corporate individuality of the client, is not enough to meet their long-term needs. We apply the same dedication to all our clients – a sole trader or a multinational corporation, each of our clients is equally valuable for us, because we treat them as a family. Each of our client knows that no matter what business challenges they face, we as “TUNCA LAW OFFICE” family will stay by their side and they can always rely on our support. This is not an approach for business development, it is part of our tradition that we value most. That explains why most of our clients are long-term clients.
Which practises do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
Given the latest developments in the Turkish legislation, namely the announcement of the starting dates for the obligation to register with the Data Controllers Registry (“VERBİS”) and the growing importance of the specific EU Regulations, GDPR, we see Data Protection to be among the fastest growing legal practices for Turkey. To meet the needs of our clients, which have significant interaction with EU residents, either directly or as a vendor, we joined our efforts with our partner office in Paris to provide Data Privacy Compliance Consulting.
Civil Aviation Law is another sphere of law where specialized consultancy will be needed. The third international airport in Istanbul is now complete, the production and use of unmanned aerial vehicles is increasing in Turkey, new significant investments are at planning phase, so we expect that expertise in this field will be needed and invest efforts in the qualification of our legal team in order to present high level consultancy in this specific area.
The undisputed position of Turkey as crossroad of various energy routes means that Energy Law is a constantly growing area of expertise. We expect increasing numbers renewable energy projects not only in our country, but in the region also.
The last few years show upward trend of Turkey as a preferred place for international commercial arbitration and we believe this trend will continue in the next years. The arbitration friendly domestic legislation and the growing popularity of ISTAC (Istanbul Arbitration Center) attracts companies that need fast, cost saving and predictable dispute resolution.
Cross border investments consultancy will continue growing with special focus on Middle East and Chinese enterprises.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
The most significant change we made in the last year was establishing our International Law practice. Since its establishment in 2006 TUNCA ATTORNEY PARTNERSHIP had been focusing mainly on Turkish Law. In order to serve the increasing needs of our clients on matters related to trade policy, and business and economic relations issues involving Turkish businesses engaged in foreign investment projects we joined our practices with Mrs S. Elif Ozturk – adviser in international law with over 16 years professional experience. As a result, Tunca Law International LLC (www.tunca-international.com ) was set up. Now we provide specially tailored consultancy that we named “several countries – one office”. To illustrate with an example, our client company representative comes to our Ankara office and there receives update on ongoing litigation in Turkish courts; advising, concerning his trading activities in Russia by Russian lawyers; conducts consultations via videoconference with lawyers in Paris or Washington for his pending arbitration case in ICC or ICSID, without having to travel to different countries for this. This saves both time and cost for our clients.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Technology is changing each sphere of our lives including the professional. Case management solutions, protecting data transfers, video and teleconference communication systems, shared platforms and reporting tools – we invest in various technology solutions that make our interaction with the clients more efficient and secure.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
We invest efforts to change the perception of the lawyer as “emergency worker coming for lifesaving operations”. While the big corporate companies take into account the importance of the strategic business legal consultancy, the middle level enterprises in our country still rely on their in-house counsels to handle all legal issues and seek established Law Offices only when, for example, the matter is already in court or a decision was already rendered against them in arbitration proceeding in foreign jurisdiction. This approach is erroneous.
Cost saving on legal services in the short term always leads to negative balance at the end.
Among the main factors for running successful business is involving the specialized lawyers’ opinion in the business decision making process. As we know well the business of our permanent clients, we follow and regularly provide them with analysis on all developments in the sector regulations, in the legislations of the foreign countries they invest or trade with. Thus, we help them better navigate the changing and complex legal environment.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms? – where do you see the firm in three years time?
Growing TUNCA ATTORNEY PARTNERSHIP from a few practicing attorneys to a full-service law firm, as it is now, we aimed to provide our clients with the full range of legal expertise they might need. We will continue adding value to our practice, engaging with strategic partnerships and investing in the coming generation of lawyers via the programs for supporting the legal education of young students.
In the next three years TUNCA ATTORNEY PARTNERSHIP is aiming to engage more actively in law based projects of civil society organizations and international networks of professionals.