White & Case has confirmed that it has concluded its formal relationship with the Cakmak Avukatlik Burosu in Ankara and, after 31 years, now no longer has an official presence in Turkey’s capital.
White & Case opened its office in Ankara in 1985, in the process famously becoming the first international firm with a base in Turkey. It became associated with the Cakmak firm in 1993.
White & Case Partner Asli Basgoz, in Istanbul, confirmed that “the relationship with the Ankara office has changed,” calling it “less organic” — though she emphasized that Cakmak continues to operate normally, independently of its former international counterpart. Zeynep Cakmak, who was the Managing Partner at Cakmak from April 1994 to September 2015, when she moved to Istanbul a year ago to lead the Turkish firm associated with White & Case in that city (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 21, 2015), describes the new relationship between her former firm and White & Case as “a best friends alliance” — a term now also found on the White & Case website.
Both Basgoz and Zeynep insist the change “has had no functional impact on the clients.”