Turkey

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Türkiye Barolar Birliği

Competition authority: Rekabet Kurumu

Financial regulator: Bankacılık Düzenleme ve Denetleme KurumuSermaye Piyasası Kurulu

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:

Financial and corporate (published October) – Banking, Capital markets, Competition, M&A, Project finance

Energy and infrastructure (published June) – Energy, Infrastructure

Jurisdiction overview

Economically, Turkey is expanding and growing, with inward foreign direct investment playing an important part in virtually every industry and practice area. Most notably, large-scale projects in energy and infrastructure are abundant throughout the jurisdiction. As one of the MINT countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey) it is seen as one of the up-and-coming economies of the developing world. 

Situated at the meeting point between Asia and Europe, the country is seen as important regionally and internationally. As perhaps the only secular democracy in the region it is an important local ally for Europe and America, but also maintains a position as a leader among the Middle East nations. Persistent conflicts on its eastern borders and ongoing tensions with the minority ethnic Kurdish population, however, remain significant challenges that need to be overcome.

The legal system is based on the 1982 constitution and the country is a civil law jurisdiction. It is a sophisticated legal market that is largely in line with those of continental Europe, having incorporated elements from a number of different nations in its creation.

In order qualify as an avukat an individual must be a Turkish citizen and have qualified in Turkey. Qualified lawyers must then register with one of the 78 bar associations and with the Türkiye Barolar Birliği. They are also required to work in an office established in the jurisdictional area of their bar association. Qualified attorneys are allowed to practice anywhere in the country, but only on a temporary basis. 

Firms are not permitted to have more than one office and foreign partnerships are not permitted to open a branch in Turkey. In practice, this means that domestic firms will often form associations or alliances with international firms and operate on a de facto basis as the Turkish office of that firm. Many also have non-Turkish lawyers on the ground in Istanbul as well who, while technically not able to work on any aspects of Turkish law, work in close contact with their domestic colleagues on multi-jurisdictional matters.

Thanks to the peculiarities of the regulations, the Turkish legal market is a hotchpotch of different firms, ranging from expansive, large-scale, Western-style partnerships to small family-run firms with only two or three partners. And, due to the sheer volume of work available, it is as likely to see one working on a major deal as another.

There are a number of different types of firm that lead the market. Both large domestic and international firms are some of the strongest names around. However, alongside them there are also the traditional family-run organisations, and now also a new wave of smaller operators made up of partners who were formerly senior associates at the traditional firms. Some of these have already joined together with an international partner, while others remain independent. All of the above can be found working on major deals, such is the nature of the Turkish market.

Jon Moore - Journalist - EMEA

Financial and corporate
Ak Law Firm

Ak Law Firm is active in banking and M&A. 

In banking, the firm acted for borrowers, banks and financial institutions in syndicated loans, acquisition finance and structured finance. One highlight banking deal came from representing Medicana Hospitals on its loans for new hospitals in Turkey. 

The M&A team worked on deals in the consumer goods, energy, high-tech, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors. The team represented Zülfikarlar Holding and Turkuaz Petrol Ürünler on the acquisition of petroleum distributor TP Petrol Dağıtım.

Key clients include TPPD & Turkua.

Client feedback 

"Significant follow up regarding lawsuits and providing accurate information to the client, deep knowledge of relevant laws and completion of all documentation and reviews in conformity with the determined schedule, in particular from a privatisation perspective." – Banking and finance, competition, M&A 

BAIC Law Office

BAIC Law Office’s strength is its M&A practice area. The firm advised local and multinational clients, including funds, private equity and angel investors recently. In one highlight M&A deal the firm represented Demirören Group on its acquisition of media group Doğan Şirketler Grubu Holding.

Key clients include Turkuvaz TK Kitap ve Kırtasiye. 

Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki

A strong firm, Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki is recognised for its work in M&A, banking and project development. In addition the firm is also active in capital markets and competition.  

The banking team was active in syndicated lending and financial restructuring. The team, in particular, was involved in a number of international syndicated loans. One highlight deal came from representing Bank of America on different loans. 

The capital markets team advised issuers, underwriters, domestic and international companies in the equity and debt capital markets. On the equity side the team represented food delivery company Delivery Hero on its IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. On the debt side the firm advised the Coca-Cola bottler for Turkey, Central Asia, Pakistan and the Middle East on the issuance of notes.  

The competition team worked on agreements, competition matters and advised clients before the Turkish Competition Authority. The team represented Gc Credit Opportunities Gp on different competition issues. 

E-commerce, real estate and energy were the main sectors of activity for the M&A team during the research period. A standout deal came from representing OMV on the sale of its shares to Vitol Group in Holland. 

The project development team was involved in infrastructure projects, including highways, gas production plants and airports. The team advised construction company CNIM on the operation of a waste to energy facility in Istanbul.

Significant clients include The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Socar Turkey Enerji, Arkel Elektrik Elektronik San Ve Tic, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Pera Capital Partners. 

Bener Law Office

Bener Law is a leading firm in M&A. Moreover, the firm is also strong in banking, project finance and energy project development. 

In banking, the firm advised International Finance Corporation on a loan for financing climate related investments in Turkey. 

The M&A team worked on many sizeable deals in e-commerce and energy. A standout deal came from representing Polisan on its sale of shares to Kansai Paint.

The project development team represented many significant clients in energy and infrastructure projects. All the transactional details were confidential. 

Key clients include AIG, Servizi Italia and Polen Gida. 

Client feedback

“We have been happy with the quality of the work.” – M&A

“On top of all the matters and very attentive to the customer need.” – Restructuring and insolvency

"The work of the law firm is excellent. Good communication, skills and knowledge of the market and actors." – Banking and finance, M&A, restructuring and insolvency 

"Very responsible, knowledgeable, smart, problem solving and fast." – Restructuring and insolvency

Gözde Esen Sakar

"Great professional with extensive technical capabilities."

Bezen & Partners

Bezen & Partners is recognised for its work in project finance and development.

In banking, the firm acted for borrowers, sponsors, banks and financial institutions in refinancing, credit facilities and acquisition financings.

The firm acted in a number of projects in the healthcare, infrastructure and energy sectors. Key projects include the İkitelli Integrated Health Campus PPP and the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant.

Client feedback

"Bezen & Partners is my preferred firm for project finance matters. The attorneys are more commercially aware than their peers at other firms." – Project finance

"Reliable, cost sensitive, on-time delivery, and balanced conduct of negotiations." – M&A

"We especially benefit from the constructive, strategic and business-oriented approach of Mr Uğur Sebzeci (senior associate). He successfully guided us through a number of complex joint venture establishments involving multinational parties.  He has proven to be quite capable in both English and Turkish law; advising on their flexibilities and requirements." – Competition, M&A, and project development

Banu Bölükemini

"Speaks perfectly German. Apprehends client's expectations and understands to transmit into exchange with Turkish partner."

Boden Law Office

Project development in the energy sector is a standout practice area for Boden Law. The firm is also active in M&A. 

The energy sector was core for the M&A practice and during the research period the firm acted for Talesun Solar Switzerland on a corporate matter.

The project development team was strong in energy and worked on a numerous deals in the infrastructure and mining sectors. In one highlight deal the firm advised German solar power generation company Gildemeister on its solar power plant projects in Turkey. 

European Federation of Energy Traders, Nordeka Maden, Axpo Trading and Axpo Turkey Enerj are some of the firm’s key clients. 

Client feedback

“Great service, very responsive and clear answers. No lengthy memos.” – Project development

"I worked with Boden Law in different project development and financing transactions in the energy and mining sectors. The firm actually covers a broad range of activities including project finance, M&A, litigation and arbitration, but I think its focus in power and gas, mining, and infrastructure makes it special in its advice. As the firm know these industries very well, its approach is extremely practical and result oriented to the issues. I believe that business knowledge always adds value to legal work. The entire team has a very strong legal background and capabilities." – M&A, project development, project finance, restructuring and insolvency

“Quality advice, good leverage, good relation between deliverables and fees.” – Competition, restructuring and insolvency

“They seem to be competent and interested.” – Banking and finance

Bütüner Law Office

Butuner Law Office is active in commercial and corporate matters. The firm in particular advises on contracts in the construction and engineering industry.

The team consulted industrial truck manufacture Hansel on the purchasing of a machinery during the research period.

Clients include Kayalar and TEE & Co. 

Client feedback

“Great commercial and financial knowledge, pragmatic, doesn’t spend client’s money nor time, hold everything as simple as reasonably possible and is excellent value for money all the things which most lawyers aren’t. Whenever a large project is thought, developed and operated, legal advice is the key. At such times, the man you are looking for is Fatih Butuner. Lastly, the Butuner Law Office prepared an agreement between our firm and an international company in English.” – Project development, Project finance

Fatih Bütüner

"He is so supportive and has an extraordinary understanding of our company. He made every process so much easier to get through for us. I strongly believe that the Bütüner Law Office has already made a difference in Turkish Law Area and the law firm is in right direction as it should be."

Çakmak

Project work is clearly the standout practice area for Ankara-based firm Çakmak.

In the banking space, the firm was involved in credit facilities and acquisition financings.

The M&A team acted in a number of transactions but most of them are confidential. Work highlights include working for IFM Investors in the purchase of a 40% stake of Mersin International Port.

The projects team is active on the infrastructure, energy and health sectors. 

Zeynep Çakmak joined the projects team in January 2018 from GKC Partners (formerly Çakmak-Gökçe), as Çakmak withdrew from the White & Case partnership.  

Key clients include Fina Enerji, Limgaz Elektrik, IFM Investors and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Client feedback

"Çakmak Avukatlık Ortaklığı has strong research and analytical skills which we benefit from immensely. The firm processes large volumes of information quickly and formulates an effective strategy for each case that is assigned to its workload. The firm is proficient in advising clients, analysing problems, interpreting laws, developing tactics, understanding rules and regulations, and assessing findings. It has worked on several cases for our company such as sovereign guaranteed project finance, BOT, PPP and concession projects as well as M&A and Share Purchase Agreements. The lawyers are skilled in the interpretation of various laws and negotiations in different countries such as Switzerland and England. The team handles corporate meetings, because of its excellent communication skills." – Capital markets, M&A, and project finance

"The firm has a well-rounded experience and in-depth knowledge of, amongst others, energy projects development, structured project finance, regulatory requirements in energy, finance, construction, foreign investment, etc." – Project finance and development

Çetinkaya Avukatlık Ortaklığı-Attorney Partnership

Cetinkaya Avukatlik Ortakliği’s biggest strength is its banking practice, in particular financing transactions. The firm is also active in M&A.

The banking team advised lenders and borrowers. One highlight deal came from advising borrowers Limak Inşaat, Elmak Enerji and Limak Kuwait on the construction of the new passenger terminal of the Kuwait International Airport. 

The M&A team worked on numerous deals with local and international clients. In one highlight M&A deal the firm advised a client on the acquisition of 50% of a vending machine company. 

Key clients include Akbank, Cesur Holding Anonim Sirketi, Port of Adria and Global Holding.

Durukan+Partners

Durukan Partners is active across practice areas, including banking, capital markets, M&A, project development, and restructuring and insolvency.

The banking team advised borrowers and lenders. In one highlight banking deal, the firm represented Ojer Telekomunikasyon and Oger Telecom on its loan. 

In capital markets the team was very active on the equity side advising mostly international clients. In one highlight capital markets deal, the group represented digital security company Gemalto on buying back issues and a public offering. 

The M&A team acted on a number of transactions involving multinational companies. Work highlights included representing Arris International on its acquisition of Ruckus.

In project development the firm had a focus on energy, infrastructure and real estate sector work recently. In one project development highlight the firm advised Emaar Properties on a hospitality project in Turkey.

The firm was also active in restructuring and insolvency advising borrowers in restructuring of financings. The team advised Sephora Kozmetik on the restructuring of the stores. 

Key clients include PNP Paribas, European Arab Bank, Arab Bank, MasterCard International Incorporated, Thales and Ansaldo Energia. 

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law is well known for its competition practice. The firm also acts on banking and finance, capital markets and M&A matters.

In capital markets, a clear highlight saw the firm work for Trend GYO on its IPO.

The practice area where the firm is most active is competition. Deal highlights include work for Mercedes-Benz Türk on a preliminary investigation that cleared it from allegations on violations of articles of law on Protection of Competition, and advice to Deere & Company on the Turkish merger control filing by an efficient coordination between the parties and international counsel.

During the research period, the firm has been active in M&A but all the work is confidential.

Other key clients include LVMH - Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and United Technologies Corporation.

Client feedback

"It is known as the office which most frequently practices competition law in Turkey. It has a deep knowledge of Turkish and European competition law. The firm can provide you with detailed precedents from Turkey and international practise. The team is also experienced and open to communication." - Competition

"My first impression and experience since we started working with the firm, professionalism, expertise and accessibility when I needed." - Competition

"The law firm has good quality." – Competition and M&A

"The law firm always works well, and we have no problems with it." – Capital markets

"Very professional and reliable service from well-experienced staff." - Competition

Gönenç Gürkaynak

"Reliable, dedicated, professional, high level of knowledge, serious approach."

Hakan Özgökçen

"Good and cooperative."

Erdem & Erdem

A well-balanced firm, Erdem & Erdem’s biggest strength is project development. The firm is also active in banking, M&A, capital markets and competition. 

In banking, the firm advised lenders and borrowers. Erdem & Erdem acted in a number of transactions but most of them were confidential. 

In capital markets the firm assisted corporate issuers, private equity funds and financial institutions, but most of the transactions were confidential. 

The competition team worked on aspects of corporate transactions, but also on pure competition matters, such as agreements, preliminary investigation and investigations conducted by the Turkish Competition Authority. The firm represented Turkish Economy Bank on the investigation regarding syndicated loans. 

The M&A team represented local and international investors. A standout deal came from advising Recep Emre Pekar on the share sale of Glasshouse Bilgi Sistemleri Ticaret to Mediterra Capital Management. 

Infrastructure and energy were the main sectors of activity for the projects team during the research period. The team represented CH1 Investment Partners on financing of Hive Energy Group that operates ten solar power plants. 

Key clients include Alternative Taşımacılık, Ekol Lojistik, BMC Otomotiv, HLM International, Anadolu Cam and Jagex. 

Client feedback

“Quick and detailed responses, easily contacted.” – Project development

“Very professional, flexible approach focusing on client's needs, good value for money.” – Competition 

“The law firm is easily accessible. It provides reliable and quality services. The services provided by law firm meets our expectations.” – Project finance  

"Responds quickly and effectively about complex legal issues and provides reliable and quality services." – Capital markets, project finance

Süleyman Sevinç 

"Very good and fast."

Özgür Kocabaşoğlu 

"Very responsive, broad knowledge about commercial issues."

Mert Karamustafaoğlu 

"Excellent know-how, great communication skills, very experienced in competition law, focused, dedicated, high attention to detail, overall very competent professional."

Ercüment Erdem

"Responds quickly to our needs and demands. He is reliable and provides quality service."

Ergün

Ergün is active in banking and it has a focus on financing projects in the energy and infrastructure sectors. In banking, the firm advised borrowers and lenders, representing local and international clients on deals. 

The names of clients are confidential, but the firm worked on numerous deals including a transaction to finance a solar power project. 

ErsoyBilgehan

ErsoyBilgehan is recognised for its work in banking and M&A. 

In banking the firm was very active in ship finance deals, including the purchase of a vessel, but most of the transactions were confidential.  

The M&A team advised on all aspects of mergers and acquisitions as well as corporate matters. A standout deal came from representing the merger of shipping companies Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company. 

Hapag Lloyd and Ulusoy Shipping Group are some of the firm’s clients. 

Client feedback

“Excellent knowledge of Turkish commercial code and refinancing.” – Banking and finance

Esin Attorney Partnership

One of the strongest firms in the Turkish market, Esin Attorney Partnership – part of the Baker McKenzie’s network – is noted as a market leader for banking, capital markets, competition and M&A.

The banking work includes acquisition finance, syndicate loans and other credit facilities. 

The capital markets team is stronger on the equity side. Work highlights include the Global Ports, Mavi, Medical Park and Penta’s IPOs. On the debt side the firm has advised on some notes issuances.

The firm’s competition practice is one of the strongest in Turkey. Generali Insurance, Siemens Healthcare and PepsiCo are some of its clients. 

The M&A team worked mainly in the healthcare and infrastructure sectors. Work highlights include advice to Doğan Şirketler Grubu Holding on the sale of some of its media assets to Demirören Holding.

Energy, infrastructure and mining are the main industries in the projects the firm has been involved. 

Key clients include JP Morgan, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Intesa SanPaolo and Citibank.

Client feedback

"Clear and practical advice with good turnaround times." – Competition, and M&A

"Esin Attorney Partnership is just perfect." – M&A, and restructuring and insolvency

"Generated cross-border loan documentation by obtaining source documents from the Turkish company." – Banking and finance

"Prompt responses, high-quality service with deep legal knowledge, and high ethical values." – Banking and finance, and competition

"Very good professional knowledge and customer satisfaction." – Competition and M&A

Firat Izgi

Firat Izgi is active in M&A and project development with a focus on clients in energy, life sciences, technology and media. 

The M&A team worked on numerous deals, advising multinational clients in particular on legislative projects and policy developments. In one highlight deal the firm represented Nivea Beiersdorf Turkey on complying with the legislation in Turkey. 

In project development the firm was active in the energy sector with particular emphasis on the electricity market and renewable energy. A standout deal came from representing Enerjisa Generation Company on the construction of a thermal power plant. 

Key clients include Ibrahim Etem Menarini, and Electricity Generation and Investment Services Company. 

Client feedback

“Fırat Izgi has a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of competition law, contract law, corporate Law, commercial law and obligations Law. They are always ready to satisfy our needs. This makes us feel special. I did not remember any weaknesses of it.” – M&A and private equity

"Fırat İzgi Attorney Partnership is an expert on pharmaceutical and life sciences law and always provides an on time and very professional consultancy service. The attorneys are reachable and analyse the expectations of their client. That's why I'm very happy to work with the firm." – Banking and finance

“The firm has strong experience in the direct selling industry. The lawyers are responsive, competent, and personable.  This is one of the best firms I've worked with around the world.” - Competition

Gen & Temizer | Özer

Banking, M&A, project finance and project development areas of activity for Gen & Temizer | Özer, a firm recognized for its work with international clients. 

In banking, the firm advised borrowers and lenders. In one highlight banking deal, the firm advised European venture capital investor Earlybird VC on its investment in e-commerce brands in Turkey. 

In project finance, the firm represented Med Energy on the restructuring of BNPP project financing loan.  

The M&A team worked on numerous deals in the energy and natural resources sectors. In one highlight M&A deal the firm represented Pera Capital on the acquisition of a 35% stake in the business software provider Bimser. 

The project development team represented the first electrical car rental service Greenway Energy on all its operations in Turkey.

Key clients include Martur, Aslanoba VC, ING, Vestas, Esas Holding and Commerzbank. 

Client feedback

"Gen & Temizer | Özer is one of the most hands-on and responsive law offices I have ever worked with in Turkey. The firm dedicates significant senior time and is always available to respond quickly to any query." – Banking and finance, competition, M&A

GKC Partners

GKC Partners, which works in association with White & Case, it is best known for its work in banking and M&A.

In banking, the firm has worked in a number of transactions including secured lending to Turkish borrowers or global groups, syndicate lending and acquisition finance.

In capital markets, the firm worked on a significant number of deals. It has been involved in a number of IPOs in the retail, healthcare and energy sectors. On the debt side it has mainly been working on bond issuances.

The competition team works on aspects of M&A and corporate transactions, but also on pure competition matters, including vertical agreements, preliminary investigations and investigations conducted by the Turkish Competition Authority. Key clients include Societe Generale, Nestle Waters Turkey, Toyota Industries Corporation and the Turkish Banks Association.

Energy, infrastructure, and food and beverage were the main sectors of activity for the M&A team during research period. IFM Investors, BBVA, Gama Energy and Nestle are some of the firm’s clients.

In projects, the firm has been active in the infrastructure, energy and healthcare sectors. 

In January 2018, Zeynep Çakmak left the projects team to join Çakmak. 

Gün + Partners

Gün + Partners’ biggest strength is its M&A practice. The firm assisted multinational companies investing in Turkey and local companies doing business outside of Turkey. 

The firm was active in life sciences, technology, insurance and energy but all the transactions’ details were confidential. 

Güner Law Office

Güner Law Office is best known for its work in M&A and banking.  

The banking team advised domestic and international banks and focused on international financing of greenfield and brownfield mine projects, working on the borrower and lender side. In one highlight banking deal the firm advised HSBC Bank France on loan facility to Sirmagrup Icecek Sanayi ve Ticaret.

In M&A the firm was active in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors. In one highlight deal the firm advised A&E Networks on its joint venture with a Turkish media company for launching Lifetime Turkey. 

Fox Networks Group, China Eximbank, ING Bank, Limak Africa, Ferro Corporation and General Electric are some of the firm’s clients. 

Hergüner Bilgen Özeke

Hergüner Bilgen Özeke is regarded as having one of the strongest practices across the banking and projects areas in Turkey. 

The banking team continues to serve on some important projects in Turkey, including advising the finance parties on the financing of EnerjiSA in a deal where it was the first time that a Turkish Bank was appointed as security agent. 

The capital markets team is primarily engaged with regulatory and equity work during the research period.

The M&A team worked on deals in the energy, healthcare and insurance sectors. 

In projects, the firm is active on BLT healthcare PPPs, and in the infrastructure and energy sectors, working on the Eurasia Tunnel, the Elazığ Hospital and the Gebze Orhangazi İzmir Highway. 

Tesco, Mobil Oil Türk, ArcelorMittal and HP are some of the firm’s key clients.

Içtem Legal

IçtemLegal is recognised for its work in banking and M&A.

In banking, the firm advised in international financial institutions but all the details of the deals are confidential. 

The M&A group worked on numerous deals in the energy, infrastructure, real estate and dental products industries. In one highlight deal the firm represented the Turkish joint venture company of fashion brand Christian Louboutin 

In terms of attorney moves, the firm hired senior attorney Aslıhan Erdem from Elig Law Firm. The M&A group saw the departure of Of counsel Berna Asik. 

Key clients include IMG Group, Turbomach, Autorola Motorlu and Straumann Holding. 

Client feedback

"We have been working with İçtemLegal for more than one year. We have always been completely satisfied with the firm's performance. The team does a good job and always gives prompt answers to our questions. We also trust the firm's legal opinion whenever we require it. We strongly recommend the firm." – Banking and finance, and restructuring and insolvency

"Satisfactory performance meeting expectations." – Restructuring and insolvency

İnal Kama Avukatlık Ortaklığı

Bilgiç Attorney Partnership, which works in association with Norton Rose Fulbright, is strong in infrastructure project development, banking, M&A and project finance. 

The banking team advised lenders and borrowers. Highlight banking deals were related to projects, including the financing of Kuwait International Airport.

In one highlight M&A deal the firm represented construction company Polteks İnşaat on a power plant in Iraq and its joint venture with Unit Investment. 

The projects team advised Westinghouse Electric Company and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) on a potential development of a nuclear power project in Turkey.

Significant clients include International Finance Corporation, NG Bank N.V., BNP Paribas, Société Générale and UniCredit. 

Inal Law Office

Inal Law Office’s biggest strengths are its banking and M&A practices. 

The banking team worked on numerous deals with an emphasis on the port and shipping sectors. In one highlight banking deal the firm advised Turkish ship owner Tersan Tersanecilik Sanayive Ticaret Anonim Sirketi on its loan provided for six vessels. Most of the deals were confidential. 

The M&A team was active in woodchip industry, port management, investment and shipping. The firm advised Kastamonu Entegre Agac Sanayi ve Ticaret (KEAS Italy) on the purchase of wood factories. 

Client feedback

"A very fine law office specialised in M&A matters, shipping finance, insurance, consultancy on major finance contracts, and company formations among others. In addition to a rich list of specialisation areas." – Banking, M&A, project finance

Şeyma İnal

"In addition to her vast experience on a vast list of services, she is a very keen and humble person to direct her clients to "the experts" at the areas where she does not deem herself to be the best."

Kolcuoğlu Demirkan Koçaklı

M&A is the standout practice area for Kolcuoğlu Demirkan Koçaklı. The firm is strong in project development and is also active in banking and competition.

In banking, the firm advised borrowers and lenders. In one highlight deal the firm represented flour producer Söke Değirmencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret on its loan agreement.

The competition team was active in representing companies in the investigation by Turkish Competition Authority. The firm successfully advised HDI Sigorta on its investigation.

The M&A team worked on numerous cross-border transactions in various sectors, including insurance, energy, chemicals, automotive and manufacturing. A standout deal came from representing energy and commodity company Vitol on its acquisition of Petrol Ofisi.

The project development team was mostly focused on energy. In one highlight deal the firm advised Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on its nuclear power plant project in Turkey.

Key clients include Timur Property Development, International Furniture BV, Talanx International and Troya Portföy Renewable Energy Fund.

Client feedback

“The lawyers are very responsive. They try to consider the client's needs and wishes and have a pragmatic approach.” - Competition

"As an M&A advisor, I am working with almost all law firms in Turkey. In my opinion, Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçaklı is the best law firm in the field of M&A. Lawyers at all levels are experienced in deal-making, corporate laws and negotiations in the Turkish M&A environment. The firm's strengths are experience, financial sponsor coverage, and creativity in R&W structures." – M&A, private equity

"This is a good firm, with good responsiveness and understanding of the requirements for an international English law project financing." – Project development, project finance

"Deep knowledge in insurance and related areas such as antitrust/local regulations, strong support and experience in M&A, highly qualified and accessible lawyers, proactive approach, offers several options and solutions, reasonable pricing and very well connected with key regulatory institutions." – Competition, M&A

"Good response, flexible approach, customer's relationship, and clear explanation." – Project development

"The project involved the preparation on behalf of a Greek client of a multi-jurisdictional survey covering different jurisdictions including Turkey. Kolcuoglu Demirkan Koçaklı is very knowledgeable on the particular industry (mining), responsive, punctual on delivery. The client was very impressed by its excellent work on this project and expressed its willingness to use the firm's services if needed in the future." – Project development

"Very experienced, responsive and a problem solver." – M&A

"Very good firm, on par with international law firms (we work with a few), except of course for the international law experience/licence. On the other hand, have of-counsels and partnerships to rectify that and manage the process well to propose a seamless service." – M&A

"Very responsive and good quality of services." – Banking and finance

Özbek Attorney Partnership

Ozbek Attorney Partnership is recognised for its work in M&A. The firm advised both on the sell and buy side. In one highlight M&A deal the firm represented Zet Farma on the acquisition by a Swiss conglomerate.

Erste Group Bank and Rash are some of the firm’s key clients.  

Client feedback

"Best of the ones I have worked with." – M&A

"Ozbek makes a client feel comfortable that the firm as a whole ensures to give undivided attention to each client. Ozbek is one of the top firms that we are working with, especially its client service is excellent." – Banking and finance, M&A, private equity

Özdirekcan Dündar Şenocak

Özdirekcan Dündar Şenocak’s biggest strength is its M&A practice area. The firm is also active in banking and competition. 

The banking team worked for banks, financial institutions and intermediaries in Turkey, including the General Directorate of Forestry of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs. 

In competition the firm advised companies on pre-investigations and investigations by the Turkish Competition Board. The firm represented both NN Hayat and Alternatif Bank (ABank) on filings made to the Turkish Competition Authority.

The M&A team worked on numerous deals in the technology sector. In one highlight M&A deal the firm represented Enern on its investment in internet company Kolay Randevu.

Key clients include Sojern, Groupma, Group Atlantic and BSA International. 

Client feedback

"The firm is very supportive and involves itself on any project as a team member. It has high-quality lawyers with good expertise. Its multinational structure eases pressure in cross-border transactions and cooperative law related matters." – Competition, M&A, and restructuring and insolvency

"Very professional, extremely attentive to detail and always reachable." – M&A, and restructuring and insolvency

Paksoy

Paksoy is generally considered one of the strongest firms in the country for all types of financial and corporate work. 

The banking team worked for regional and international banks on acquisition and real estate financings, syndicated loans and other credit facilities. 

In the capital markets space, the firm’s strength lies in debt work, including Islamic capital markets transactions. Work highlights include the sukuk offering by Turkey. The firm is also active in the equity side, and involved in the EnerjiSA and DeFacto IPOs.

The competition team remains very active, representing multi-national companies from the infrastructure, banking and insurance sectors.

During the research period, the M&A team saw an increase in transactions in the TMT and healthcare sectors. One of the most notable matters was when it advised One Equity Partners on the sale of its stake in Netaş Telekomünikasyon, a leading digital transformation company in Turkey.

Energy and infrastructure matters dominate the firm’s work in the projects area, including several matters relating to the government’s PPP hospital construction programme, one of the most important building programmes in the Turkish market.

Client feedback

"All partners are experienced, hardworking and outstanding in their areas of expertise. The partners are personally involved in projects; that's what makes Paksoy a reliable law firm." – Banking and finance, and capital markets

"Competent, reliable and competitive." – Banking and finance 

"The deal team is committed to providing practical deal service, including practical solutions to solve various legal issues. Timely response with a high-quality legal service." – Competition, M&A, private equity and project finance

"Provides an excellent and diligent service. Ensures that multiple stakeholders are kept on track and moving in the right direction.  A critical team member in our activities in Turkey." – Banking and finance

"Highly professional staff with great experience and skills." – Banking and finance

"Paksoy has been very professional, and its lawyers are excellent at what they do." - Competition

"Qualified legal services ranking over the country's average." – Capital markets

"Responsive, high-quality work, and a practical approach." – Banking and finance, and M&A

"Negotiation skills, accessibility, and network." – Banking and finance

"Very dedicated and responsive team, strong grasp of the local law and its application, provide informative responses and have vast knowledge of the process and procedure. The lawyers are English speakers, which makes it even easier to communicate.” – M&A

"The legal advisory service provided by Paksoy is fairly good. We have been able to contact our counterparties when needed, and the firm has given support at a satisfactory level." – Capital markets

Sera Somay

"I think she fulfils the on-going requirement to deliver excellent service to clients in the context of their particular needs. She produces new solutions which create value to the clients. She consistently provides streamlined cost-effective services. Effectively building, developing and maintaining strong client relationships."

"Accessible, good communication skills and solution oriented."

Serdar Paksoy

"He is an excellent lawyer with deep knowledge and understanding on the Turkish businesses.  He also introduces appropriate lawyers within his firm who are suitable for specific matters that we ask for Turkish law assistance."

Derya Genç

"She is excellent in competition related matters." 

Ömer Çollak

"A very high qualified lawyer who is one of the experts on bond issuance matters."

Aslı Kehale Altunyuva

"High quality work."

Selin Barlın Aral and Deniz Özkan

"Very knowledgeable and have the experience required for a M&A lawyer."

Zeynel Tunç 

"Practical, business minded. He may provide different points of view, and is a good negotiator."

Pekin & Bayar

Pekin & Bayar is one of the most established practitioners in the Turkish legal world, and stands out for its work in the banking area. Recent work includes financings, refinancing and credit facilities, advising banks like HSBC, and other financial institutions like Finans Finansal Kiralama and Turkcell Finansman Anonim Şirketi. 

In the competition space, the firm continues to service clients in getting approval from the Turkish Competition Authority.

The M&A team worked on take-over bids, leveraged buy-outs and joint ventures in the energy, healthcare, infrastructure and TMT sectors.

Client feedback

"The practice provides excellent services with a very high access level and availability. The mix of a partner, project manager, lawyers and associates results in qualified advice at a reasonable cost and a cost-efficient team. Provides offers, caps and estimates for specific projects in a way that is very helpful." – Banking and finance, competition, and M&A

"Very quick, client-oriented, excellent industry knowledge and finds fast solutions." – M&A, project development, and restructuring and insolvency

Pekin & Pekin

Pekin & Pekin is recognised for its banking and finance work.

In the banking space, the firm has worked on leveraged, real estate, project and acquisition finance, syndicated loans, Islamic finance and other credit facilities. Key clients include regional and international financial institutions.

The competition team has advised international clients with regard to the rules under the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) and represents them in hearings before the TCA.

In M&A, the firm’s work maintains a broad client base of banking and financial institutions alongside with corporate entities. 

In projects, the firm is primarily involved on the financing side, working with the lenders in providing facilities to project companies and doing due diligences.

Kemal Serdengecti left the M&A team in May 2017.

Client feedback

"We instruct Pekin & Pekin to advise us on structured transactions and to provide extensions to industry netting and collateral opinions (e.g. ISDA, ICMA/ISLA) to cover additional counterparty types or a specific counterparty (e.g. a sovereign or semi-sovereign entity). I have always found Pekin & Pekin to be professional, responsive, to have a thorough knowledge of Turkish law and regulation and understanding of the international financial markets. It understands the commercial drivers of transactional work and the regulatory capital implications of the opinion extensions. Our main contacts currently are the senior partner, Özge Okat and associate Hasan Yasar. I would have no hesitation recommending either of them." – Capital markets, and restructuring and insolvency 

Pelister Atayilmaz Enkur

M&A and project development are the main strengths of Pelister Atayilmaz Enkur.

Recent work highlights in M&A include work for Alpiq InTec and Kummler Matter Turkey in a cross-border takeover transaction, where French-based Bouygues Construction acquired Alpiq InTec and the Kraftanlagen Group. The firm also advised Swiss-based Montana on its acquisition of an 80% stake in Turkish manufacturer Arimpeks.

During the research period the firm was active in the energy and infrastructure areas of project development, but the work is confidential.

Tanyol Örnek Çabaklı Çetinel Attorney Partnership

Tanyol Örnek Çabaklı Çetinel Attorney Partnership is active in banking and project finance. 

The banking team worked on numerous deals recently, providing advice on a domestic and international level. The firm drafted Turkish law loan agreements and also handled English and German law financing transactions. In one highlight deal, the firm advised Sony Corporation on loan transactions. 

In project finance the team advised Yurtpark Yatırım İnşaat ve Ticaret on financing the construction of two dormitories but most of the deals were confidential. 

Key clients include Netflix, ABC International Bank, Première Vision, Yapı Kredi, Okan, Şölen Group, China Road and Bridge Corporation and KUBOTA Turkey Makine Ticaret. 

Türkoğlu & Çelepçi in cooperation with Schoenherr

M&A and joint ventures are the core practice areas of Türkoğlu & Çelepçi in cooperation with Schoenherr. 

The team maintained its recognition for assisting international companies and expanded its practice, advising a non-governmental organisation in Turkey. In one highlight M&A deal the firm represented Greiner on the purchase of a tri-generation power plant from Teknik Gayrimenkul. 

Significant clients include Luxottica, Atrium Group and Scholz Recycling.

Client feedback

"Hands-on approach and solution-oriented." – Banking and finance

YBB Yalçın Babalıoğlu Boso Attorney Partnership in association with CMS

Yalçin Babalioğlu Boso Attorney Partnership in association with CMS has a strong project development practice, with a focus on energy and infrastructure. Moreover, the firm is active in M&A and banking.

In banking, the firm advised domestic and international clients. In one highlight banking deal, the team advised Akbank on its multi-currency syndicated loan. 

The M&A team was involved on numerous cross-border transactions. A standout M&A deal came from advising HP on its acquisition of Samsung’s global printer business in 45 jurisdictions. The firm also represented Howden Broking Group on its acquisition of 80% of insurance brokering group ACP in Turkey from Mediterra Capital. 

The projects team worked on numerous deals in the oil and gas sector and power projects in Europe. A standout transaction came from representing wind turbine production company Nordex on its potential entry into the Turkish wind electricity generation market. 

Key clients include EBRD, Treves Group, Honeywell and Amstar Group. 

Client feedback

"CMS Turkey provided an excellent service for all our needs in concluding a loan agreement with our borrower. It provided help on the legal opinion and pledge agreement. Thank you very much, CMS!" – Banking and finance

"The firm is very responsive and treat us as it would itself." – Project development

Yegin Ciftci

Yegin Ciftci works in cooperation with Clifford Chance as its Turkish arm, the firm has been active in most practice areas, standing out in banking. 

The banking team is involved in a number of transactions including working for lenders on the largest acquisition of hydropower plants by a domestic investor in Turkey. 

In capital markets, the team focuses on debt work, though it does cover some equity deals as well. The firm has been involved in sukuk issuances and project bonds acting for clients like HSBC, UniCredit and Goldman Sachs.

In the M&A space, the firm remains strong, with a number of transactions in different sectors. Highlights include work for MasterCard, MS Pharma and PSA International.

The projects team also continues to impress with the mandates it secures in the energy and infrastructure sectors, including advising on a number of PPPs hospital building projects currently underway in Turkey, one of the government’s most important infrastructure programmes.

Key clients include China Development Bank, BNP Paraibas, Deutsche Bank, the International Finance Corporation and Isbank.

Client feedback

"Good team, highly dedicated, customer-oriented, and provides strong English law advice." – Project finance

Mete Yegin

"Good and effective leading role. Solver of the deadlocks. Perfect negotiator. Successful team."