On June 16, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that Turkey’s well-known YukselKarkinKucuk law firm – the largest law firm in Turkey – had transformed into the YukselKarkin Attorney Partnership.
We reached out to Partners Cuneyt Yuksel and Murat Karkin to find out the details.
This has been an interesting few weeks for the former YukselKarkinKucuk. Can you bring us up to speed on everything that’s happened?
YK: Taking into consideration the financial and legal markets and also our significant growth over the course of the past several years, we had been working on a restructuring plan with the aim to streamline our organization and maintain our dynamic structure. We implemented this restructuring process at the end of May and yes, therefore, it has been an intense period for us all.
First, we parted ways with Muharrem Kucuk, who was one of our named Partners and Head of the Finance and Projects department. The decision was made after lengthy and careful consideration and we wish our friend and colleague the best for the future. Muharrem will continue to assist us, if need be, during this transition phase.
Following Muharrem’s departure we have changed our name to the YukselKarkin Attorney Partnership.
As you know, in May, a national newspaper published a bizarre article about YKK and DLA Piper without approaching us for comment. We were surprised, saddened, and to be honest a little bit bemused by this article that was published without the writer’s name. We sincerely believe it is not worthy of comment. But we would like to point out that we have taken all necessary actions against it.
Can you tell us what you mean when you refer to restructuring? How will the firm look when that process is complete?
YK: Since our incorporation we have been through a gradual growth progress which was due to the boost in the Turkish economy between 2009 and 2014. During this period we saw an influx of international corporations bringing foreign direct investment into Turkey and also a large number of prominent Turkish corporations making significant investments abroad. Our firm played a significant role in many of these transactions. Currently, we believe that both the global and local economic environment is causing investors to be more cautious. Therefore, we deemed it necessary to streamline our partnership, but at the same time, we invested in areas which we believe would serve best to our clients. We have adjusted our organization accordingly and unfortunately had to part ways with some of our Associates as a result.
After our restructuring, we remain one of the largest law firms in Turkey with a total of 75 attorneys. We – Murat Karkin and Cuneyt Yuksel – continue as the named Partners and Co-Managing Partners of YukselKarkin Attorney Partnership together with a team of 12 Partners. We have 9 departments: Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Finance & Projects, Real Estate, Competition, Intellectual Property & Technology, White Collar Crime, Employment, and Tax. We remain a true full service law firm.
How will Muharrem’s departure affect the firm’s Finance department? Who’s taking it over, and what are your plans for it?
YK: The Finance & Projects department will be headed by Isil Okten, who has been a Partner in the department for four years. She has extensive experience in a wide range of finance matters including cross border syndicated and bi-lateral lending, acquisition finance, project finance, structured finance, debt capital markets, and Islamic finance. Isil also understands what it’s like to be an in-house lawyer, having previously worked at Akbank in such a role.
Our Finance & Projects department maintains its strong team of nearly 10 experienced Associates. We are confident that the transition process will go smoothly for our clients and our team and our department’s success will continue under the leadership of Isil Okten.
If you could leave our readers with one message about YukselKarkin Attorney Partnership and your expectations for the future, what would it be?
YK: Since our establishment we have had, and continue to have, a confident outlook about both Turkey’s and our firm’s future.
At YukselKarkin Attorney Partnership we give the best quality service to our clients in large scale and complex transactions as well as extraordinary situations encountered by our clients that may challenge their daily businesses and investments. We are the first full service law firm in Turkey and our partnership offers the best solution for legal services under one roof.
Our corporate structure and strong organization also cultivate diversity, which allows our lawyers to develop both in terms of knowledge and experience.
By virtue of the number of our lawyers, our wide experience, our abilities, and the progressive steps we took, YukselKarkin Attorney Partnership is determined to carry on as one of the top law firms in Turkey.