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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

Güleryüz & Partners Attorneys at Law is an Istanbul based law firm offering a broad scope of high-quality legal services to domestic and multinational clients across a wide range of regulated and non-regulated industries. The Firm is comprised of energetic young professionals, led by experienced lawyers with a proven track record of working in the most demanding environments possible. Our team has comprehensive experience in serving clients in connection with a full breadth of Turkish law matters including Litigation & Dispute Resolution, M&A, Wealth Management & Family Businesses, General Corporate & Contract Law, Real Estate & Construction, Enforcement and Bankruptcy Proceedings, Labor Law, Administrative Law, and Anti-Corruption & White-Collar Crimes. 

Our core business culture is centered on integrity, dedication to clients’ needs, and excellence of legal advice and services. Therefore, our primary objective is to ensure the most personalized and reliable legal service for our clients. In pursuit of this objective, the international academic backgrounds of our partners at prestigious universities in USA, UK and Germany coupled with more than ten years of past experience at top tier Turkish law firms enhances the visionary practice of the Firm.

We blend our practical expertise with our outstanding grasp of legal theory in order to provide our clients with legal services of unmatched quality. Our clients range from multinational companies where we provide a level of attention normally only expected from in-house counsels in order to timely manage every aspect of the clients’ legal needs, to individuals for whom we make their objectives ours in order to provide comfort and ease of life. While we always put client service above all, we are proud to be on a quest to make reliable legal information available for everyone. Hence, we are constantly authoring articles on a broad scope of legal topics for respectable publications including Bloomberg Businessweek and the monthly magazine TR Monitor.

While Güleryüz & Partners operates mainly in Turkish and English, we are capable of providing legal services in French, German and Russian as well. The Firm also has an associated office in Ankara.

You can learn more about the Firm at guleryuz.av.tr