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In The Inside Track, General Counsels across CEE share the nuances of their roles, challenges, and strategies for success. Given the importance of relationships between in-house legal departments and law firms, this time we asked GCs: What is the most common reason for which you cease working with a specific law firm and what would you suggest firms definitely do to ensure they do not make the same mistake?

In The Corner Office, we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. With 2023 marching to an end, we looked ahead and asked about strategies for next year: As the budgeting period is around the corner, compared to 2023, what are the main budgeting lines you expect to increase for 2024 and why?

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions are both legally and logistically complex. Tax planning is one of the key aspects in nearly all M&A transactions, especially in cross-border deals, as it can help to minimize the tax burden on both the buyer and the seller. Recent developments in Turkish tax law have introduced some new considerations for those transactions. In particular, the taxation of share premium and the end of tax-exempt corporate spin-off for immovable property will have a significant impact on M&A tax planning, potentially increasing the tax burden for the parties.

Following the Constitutional Court’s (“TCC”) decision annulling the monetary limits for appeal in administrative jurisdiction, the TCC has annulled the regulation that no appeal can be filed against decisions on cases of tax and full remedy and actions of annulment of administrative acts, the subject matter of which does not exceed five thousand liras, as well as the regulation regarding the revaluation of monetary limits. The decision will enter into force on September 21, 2024, nine months after its publication in the Official Gazette.

The Regulation Amending the Regulation on Principles and Rules to be Applied in Retail Trade ("Amending Regulation") published in the Official Gazette dated December 14, 2023, and numbered 32399, introduced certain amendments to the Regulation on Principles and Rules to be Applied in Retail Trade published in the Official Gazette dated 06.08.2016 and numbered 29793. These mainly cover (i) unfair commercial practices in the supply chain and (ii) payments related to commercial activities between the producer, supplier, and retail business.

Lexist, working with King & Spalding, has advised the Aydin Group on the sale of a 20% shareholding in the TOM financial group of companies – including a digital participation bank, licensed e-money and payment services company, and a licensed financing company – to the Dubai Islamic Bank. Norton Rose's Dubai office and its Turkish affiliate Pekin Bayar Mizrahi reportedly advised the DIB.

Turunc has advised Gelecek Etki Fonu on its investment in Brandefense in a round that included Sabanci Ventures, AK Portfoy, the Technology Development Foundation of Turkiye, TechOne, and Finberg. Kutadgu & Arsin advised Brandefense. Reportedly, BASEAK and the Diamond Law Group advised Sabanci Ventures, while BTS advised the Technology Development Foundation of Turkiye.

Dispute resolution clauses in contracts include arbitration agreements stating that the parties will attempt to resolve their disputes through mutual negotiation before going to arbitration proceedings, and if the dispute cannot be resolved in this way, arbitration proceedings will be resorted to.

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