Turkey’s leading firms have had a
strong 12 months. Here IFLR’s sister publication,
the IFLR1000, assesses their contribution
Yegin Ciftci, the Turkish partner of magic circle firm
Clifford Chance, has had a strong year, acting on a number of
mandates. One notable change to the team this year saw senior
associate Berna Güngenci leave the firm in October 2014 to
take up an in-house position with GDF Suez.
"The Yegin Ciftci team in Istanbul is very experienced,"
says one banking client. "The team contributed considerably in
the transaction, especially in terms of providing valuable
input with respect to the local Turkish laws and regulations.
Even though the transaction progressed rather quickly, the team
was responsive, showing dedication and hard work. Their
presence in the negotiations also facilitated the process. Our
overall assessment is very positive."
One example of the firm's recent work saw Mete Yegin leading
a team advising on the Turkish aspects of an international
effort acting for Türkiye Garanti Bankası and
Türkiye İş Bankası, as lenders, in
connection with a refinancing of the €410 million senior
facilities for UN Ro-Ro İşletmeleri in conjunction
with the acquisition of UN Ro-Ro by a partnership of Turkish
equity firms. Yegin was also the lead Turkish partner as the
team assisted Credit Suisse as mandated lead arranger in
relation to a term loan facility for Aktif Yatırım
Bankası, secured by pensioner loan receivables.
On the project side Yegin acted as Turkish lead counsel as
the firm acted for UniCredit Bank Austria, Yapı ve Kredi
Bankası and Denizbank, as mandated lead arrangers, in
connection with the public-private partnership (PPP) €272
million financing for the Mersin Integrated Health Campus.
Again, it was Yegin acting as lead counsel advising
Türkiye Garanti Bankası, Denizbank, Denizbank Bahrain
Branch, Finansbank, Ankara Branch, Siemens Bank, UniCredit Bank
Austria and Yapı ve Kredi Bankası and Başkent
CorporateBanking Center Branch, as lead arrangers on the
€890 million financing for the Bilkent PPP project.
On the capital markets side, Yegin and Müfit
Arapoğlu led the way as the firm acted as Turkish counsel
to CIMB Investment Bank Berhad, Citigroup Global Markets and
HSBC, as joint lead managers, with regard to the $1 billion
sukuk (Islamic bond) issue by the Republic of Turkey.
Elsewhere, Yegin and Müfit Arapoğlu were the lead
counsel as the team advised TurkExim Bank, the official export
credit agency of Turkey, on its $500 million eurobond
There were some changes in the M&A team this year, with
Aslı Karagözoğlu leaving the firm in October
2014 to go in-house at Novartis. The firm also welcomed senior
associate Kemal Aksel on board in December 2014 from
Kolcuoğlu Demirkan Koçaklı.
One example of the firm's work this year saw Itır
Sevim-Çiftçi and Yegin, taking the lead of the
Turkish team advising Goldman Sachs International's $300
million structured equity investment of 30% in Petlim
Limancılık from its parent Petkim, an affiliate of
the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, together with
a put option in respect of these shares. Itır
Sevim-Çiftçi, meanwhile, was the lead partner as
the team represented the IFC on the acquisition of a minority
stake in Gama Enerji for $183 million.
Paksoy is one of the leading names in the Turkish legal
market, with clients and peers agreeing that it merits a place
at the top of the tree across the financial and corporate
The banking team welcomed two new faces to the line-up this
year, with partner Sera Somay joining from Somay to lead the
banking and finance team and senior associate Nilufer Turkcu
arriving from Birsel Law Office, both in August 2014.
Somay has already managed to make an impact, leading the
team in one of the more significant matters of the year as it
advised ABC Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, Kuwait
International Bank, Noor Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank, as lead
arrangers, on the Turkish legal aspects of a $268 million
syndicated murabaha (deferred sale) facility for
AlBaraka Türk Katılım Bankası. Somay also
advised Ziraat Bankası in securing a more than $1 billion
syndicated loan in dual tranches of $373 million and €666
million from a consortium of 41 banks from 19 different
On the project finance side, Zeynel Tunc led as the firm
advised Commerzbank in connection with the financing of two
wind power plants with a total installed capacity of 72MW.
The capital markets team had another strong year, which saw
Somay once again taking the lead as the firm advised The
Turkish Treasury on its $1 billion sukuk (Islamic
bond) issuance, the third shariah-compliant bond issue
made by the Turkish Treasury in foreign markets. Practice head
Omer Collak, meanwhile, led as the firm assisted Citigroup and
Goldman Sachs International, as bookrunners, on the debut
enhanced equipment trust certificate offering by Turkish
Airlines, a $328 million deal secured against three new Boeing
The competition practice this year welcomed a new counsel to
the team when Derya Genc joined the firm in October 2014 from
Esin Attorney Partnership.
It has been another strong year for the team, acting on some
of the most prominent matters in the market. For example, Turan
led a team advising Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad on all
aspects of competition law and the Competition Board filing in
Turkey regarding the acquisition of sole control of Sabiha
Gökçen, the airport terminal services company.
Turan was also the lead partner when the firm acted for Cepsa
Química on competition law aspects and competition board
filing in relation to its $12.4 billion acquisition of Sinarmas
The market-leading M&A practice continues to perform
impressively, with one recent example of its work seeing Elvan
Aziz leading a team acting as Turkish legal counsel to Bekaert
on its acquisition of Çelikord as part of its €240
million purchase of assets from Pirelli. The company was
renamed Bekaert Kartepe Çelik Kord Sanayi ve Ticaret.
Aziz was also in charge as the team advised WSP Global on the
Turkish aspects of its $1.32 billion acquisition of Parsons
The banking team at ELIG Attorneys-at-Law has had a strong
year this year. One example of its work saw S Tunç
Lokmanhekim leading a team acting as the Turkish legal counsel
to ABB Elektrik Sanayi in relation to a $42 million term loan
facility agreement provided by Svensk Exportkredit. Lokmanhekim
was also the lead partner as the firm advised Cevher Jant
Sanayii and Cevher Döküm Sanayii, as borrowers and
guarantors, and Cevher International, Özyavuz Holding and
Haluk Özyavuz, as guarantors on the amendment to a term
loan facility with Türkiye İş Bankası and
Akbank to increase the existing value to €74 million.
The competition team this year welcomed a new senior
associate as Eda Duru joined the team from what was then called
Ismen Günalçin (now just Günalçin). One
example of its recent work saw Gönenç
Gürkaynak leading a team acting for 3M Sanayi ve Ticaret
in relation to an investigation initiated by the Turkish
Competition Authority against the company, which the firm
managed to successfully argue.
Gürkaynak was again in charge as the team advised Mauri
Maya Sanayi in relation to an investigation initiated by the
Turkish Competition Authority against the client, Pak Gıda
Üretim ve Pazarlama and Dosu Maya Mayacılık to
determine whether there had been any collusion in terms of the
sale price of fresh bread yeast. The firm successfully managed
to reduce the potential fine levied against the firm by
instituting leniency proceedings.
"I have been working with ELIG for 10 years," says one
senior in-house counsel. "In that time I have received a good
service in terms of M&A and competition law."
One of the key matters the M&A team worked on this year
saw Lokmanhekim acting as lead partner in advising Medtronic
International Technology in connection with a deal that saw
Medcall, the client's distributor in Turkey, transfer all
assets and employees of this sector to Biostar. Medtronic then
acquired 80% of Biostar for $10 million.
Lokmanhekim was also in charge as the team assisted CRH
Turkey, Eren Holding, Hamdullah Eren, Emir Emrullah Eren, Emre
Eren, Elif Eren and Ahmet Hilmi Eren, acting as the sellers,
and CRH Nederland, as guarantor in the sale of Denizli
Çimento Sanayii Türk and Modern Beton Sanayi ve
Ticaret to Ordu Yardımlaşma Kurumu.
"We have been working with the firm for numerous years,"
says one client. "The firm's corporate practice is reliable,
with a high standard of legal acumen and corporate knowledge.
They offer practical and comprehensive research, which enables
us to swiftly complete projects."
"The firm offers practical and comprehensive research,
which enables clients to swiftly complete
One recent example of the firm's work saw Bülent
Gül taking the lead in advising Çağ Grubu
Sağlik İnşaat Turizm Taşimacilik Sanayi Ve
Ticaret in connection with the company's $35 million
insolvency. The team managed to secure a postponement of
bankruptcy, which allowed the company to keep trading.
Another saw Şeniz Uluköklü in charge of a
team representing Hakan Kıran Mimarlık ve Yapı
Hizmetleri Ticaret in relation to three separate construction
projects in the Göktürk region of Istanbul. The firm
is also advising the client in connection with a €60
million Çiftalan project, which sees the construction of
a new town.
"They are very helpful," says one senior client. "They are
practical and understand our needs and always try to find
On the M&A side, the firm has again had a busy year. One
recent example of its work in this area saw Uluköklü
leading a team assisting GNCR Holding on the sale of 50% of the
shares of GNCR Enerji to a German holding renewable energy
company. The team was also involved in advising Genel Energy on
its $7.5 million acquisition of Göztepe Football Club.