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Guest Editorial: Impressions From the New Kid on the Block

Guest Editorial: Impressions From the New Kid on the Block

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When much was happening around the world, especially with the global pandemic, we decided to start our firm – Guleryuz & Partners – in September 2020. We made a major investment ignoring all the current challenges, including COVID-19 and the sluggish Turkish economy.

Starting a new law firm literally from scratch has allowed me to notice the depth of the Turkish legal market. At first, the economic turmoil had a direct effect on the legal market since local clients were trying to scale back budgets. Political risks frighten foreign clients thus reducing their investments, meaning fewer opportunities for Turkish law firms and their lawyers. And, in this context, something challenges both local and foreign clients: problems associated with the judicial system and the weakening rule of law in Turkey. Extreme competitiveness is also a characteristic of the market, fueled by the ever-increasing number of lawyers available.

There have also been many positives, of course. First, despite Turkey’s own challenges, the country, a G20 member, also has long-term potential, with an increasing number of Turkish companies investing in other countries. Turkish lawyers are becoming more and more visible within the international scene, and the younger generation has a broader vision – in terms of foreign language, gender equality, sustainability, the rule of law, etc. At our law firm – and this also reflects our vision for the project from the start – we aim to work with those colleagues exemplifying the best qualities of a lawyer, those who can contribute towards a better, higher-toned market. In the long term, these positives will ultimately transform Turkey into a major player on the international stage. 

Under current circumstances, we are also working hard on effective forecasting. Considering the devaluation of the Turkish lira and the current economic turmoil, Turkish assets are now much more affordable, thus attracting foreign investors, which will lead to an increase in inward investment and M&A transactions. There will also be an increase in all types of litigation, especially shareholder disputes and debt collection-related matters – since more and more Turkish citizens are facing these challenges today and, unless there are solid changes within the country, the number of those affected by the turmoil will, unfortunately, increase.

As a new player on the market, you first work to become more visible, then to become prominent, then you work on grabbing major headlines – focusing on e-marketing, identifying the most suitable international associations, becoming active members – so there’s a lot of networking. Our positioning in international markets has recently afforded us invites to conferences in Paris and Budapest. While there, I heard impressions of the Turkish market, as seen from the outside. Our European colleagues have a great interest in the Turkish legal market, for both inward and outward referrals. It’s understandable, considering that Turkish companies, such as Getir, Sisecam, Tiryaki, Tav, Anadolu Efes, etc., have seen a massive expansion – in particular towards Europe – and are thus attracting European attention.

The current restrictions still make it quite difficult for a new kid on the block. However, I estimate that the amount of work available within the Turkish legal market will increase moving forward, due, in part, to the overall global situation and, in part, because of the new opportunities that the Turkish market has to offer – despite the turmoil it’s currently suffering.

By Tarik Guleryuz, Partner, Guleryuz & Partners

This Article was originally published in Issue 8.12 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the magazine, you can subscribe here.

Guleryuz Partners at a Glance

We are Güleryüz Partners, an Istanbul based law firm, offering high-quality legal services to domestic and multinational clients.

Our team consists of energetic young professionals who are led by talented partners with strong academic backgrounds at prestigious universities in the USA, UK, and Germany, coupled with vast market experience exceeding a decade at top tier Turkish law firms. All our associates are fluent in English and provide legal advice in additional languages such as German and French.

Our practice ranges from complex disputes to sophisticated M&A and finance transactions. We provide niche legal services in a wide range of legal areas such as litigation and dispute resolution, local and cross border M&As, banking, finance and capital markets, venture capital investments and start-ups, and compliance and corporate governance (including data privacy, anti-corruption and white-collar crime, AML, and sanctions).

We value strong communication and information flow among our departments for the perfection of our legal services. This interdepartmental coordination enables us to take a more client-centric approach and to better understand and cater for the client needs. Our business perspective goes beyond providing excellent legal advice to our clients; we also collaborate with them as their business partners and offer them the entire legal ecosystem that they can thrive their business.  

As Güleryüz Partners, we heavily invest in our pro bono projects in Turkiye and work together with institutions, foundations, and other organizations to provide legal advice to the persons in need of help, while acknowledging the high costs usually associated with high quality legal services limit the access to justice for many people.

We also pride ourselves on fostering and promoting a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment where every individual feels valued and respected.

For further information, you may visit our website at www.guleryuz.av.tr.