Sponsored Briefing: Q&A: Caner Durgut, Isıkal Law Firm
Considering Turkey’s recent economic issues, including the currency crash and inflation, as well as the ongoing issues created by the Covid-19 pandemic, how does this affect your business?
As is obvious, the world can face unexpected situations such as pandemic, economic crisis, economic war, even real war at any time. The effects of these situations are global since communications, commerce, the economy itself and everything else today has become global. On the other hand, it is undeniable that we, as human beings, must move forward to save our world and, in doing so, save our own lives. This can rightfully be called our primary goal.
As Işıkal Law Firm, we have studied the best way out of this situation. Our studies show that the most promising alternative solutions to this complex global crisis are to reverse the rising carbon emissions caused by a growing population and continued dependence on fossil fuels, by supporting the renewable energy sector and by maintaining and even strengthening global communications and economic interactions – and all of this amicably. This is why Işıkal Law Firm focuses its experience and determination on the renewable energy sector, immigration and citizenship, international litigation and arbitration and personal data protection. All of these support our primary goal of using the law to help build a better world.
To be more specific on the energy sector (which is also a major client sector for our office), Turkey has quite a large potential for renewable energy, not only within its own borders. but also to support its development in neighboring countries. Turkey’s location in the world, given its latitudes and longitudes, geographical conditions, and government supports and incentives are the foundations upon which the country builds its renewable energy capabilities.
At this point, we want to mention another critical thing regarding energy companies in Turkey. Unfortunately, as is well known now, there is huge inflation in Turkey, and the Turkish currency is quite cheap for foreign investors. Even under these circumstances, investments in energy companies are affordable for foreigners and, despite inflationary pressures, these companies still have good financials and high potential returns, just as they did between 2002 and 2006.
Since Turkey is a huge and dynamic market for investments in the renewable energy sector, Işıkal Law Firm has also invested in training its employees on the renewable energy sector, especially solar energy. In addition to this training initiative, we have already completed some very large and significant M&A transactions in this industry, giving us the hands-on experience that is one of the best and most trusted guides.
We are therefore proud to say that Işıkal Law Firm is ready for potential future investments in the renewable energy sector (especially solar energy) and related needs for immigration legal services. and Citizenship, International Litigation and Arbitration, and Data Protection.
What adjustments have you made in the current climate – fees, staffing levels, etc. ?
We have moved to the remote work model, and I can say that we have adapted very well to this model. We improved our technical infrastructure and started to create and use software specific to our office. We are now even more efficient than before in terms of accounting, tracking expenses and deposits, and our business processes.
Thanks to our remote working model and the use of our unique software, we have seen the quality of our work and the performance and productivity of our employees increase significantly. This has added value for the future of our office and our service delivery capabilities for our clients.
We have also tried to keep our rates as competitive as possible to strengthen our relationships with customers and continue to provide them with good quality service even in difficult times.
How can you and your customers mitigate risk?
We see our clients taking steps to protect their existing potential rather than making new and perhaps unfamiliar investments. Our clients are understandably reluctant to take major steps forward during ambiguous global crises like a pandemic. It is therefore important that we help our clients to remain aware that this pandemic is only temporary and that when this period is over, everything will be better in terms of Turkey’s potential and dynamism. By having such faith that good times lie ahead, our clients can take actions and investments to enrich human resources and also their own potentials.
Which practice areas are occupied, i.e. the most important areas for your firm, and why?
Besides the energy sector – in particular investments in renewable solar energy, but also biomass energy – our most active and important areas are immigration and citizenship, national litigation and arbitration and international, and the protection of personal data. We are also active in commercial real estate (malls, malls, offices, etc.) and related areas such as construction, rents, international litigation and arbitration. Last but not least, M&A projects sit at the top of and intersect with all of these practice areas.
What changes do you expect once the effects of the economic challenges and the pandemic have passed?
We think some things like remote work will be permanent. In particular, we believe the way of doing business is changing and remote work productivity has increased in ways we could not have predicted and, therefore, underestimated before the pandemic.
While we expect these operational improvements to continue, we believe that as economic conditions improve, there will once again be a positive atmosphere in potential markets and new investment will take place, and these opportunities will attract business. interest of foreign investors.
How is your company positioning itself for an anticipated resumption of activity in the region?
Istanbul, Turkey is actually a three-legged bridge between Turkish republics, Arab countries and Europe. As an office, we have also represented, from time to time, the major legal associations in these three regions, and we still maintain strong relationships with them. Additionally, in Kazakhstan and Dubai, we have personally worked and monitored business developments to maintain our experience and expertise in these areas and to maintain our close and mutually beneficial relationship.
We are therefore ready and strong with our expertise, our service delivery potential and our experiences (especially in international arbitration and mergers and acquisitions) throughout this region.
What types of legal work are most common in Turkey and also in your firm?
Within our firm: M&A, all types of international litigation and arbitration in the aforementioned sectors and regions.
How local versus international is your work?
International work is more dominant than national issues in our office. We provide advisory and legal services in all areas to our foreign investor clients for their investments in Turkey. We provide and carry out all necessary transactions for immigration and citizenship and with respect to personal data protection regulations and procedures.
We also provide our legal services to our Turkish clients, which include major financial institutions in the market and in all areas.
What progress has been made in the country on the issue of diversity and inclusion?
The legal profession in Turkey is notable for its proven gender diversity, with women occupying prominent positions in law firms. We believe that our firm is such an example, but not the only one.
What Turkish legislation in 2021/22 will affect your clients and boost advisory work?
Turkish legislation is a living legal system that adapts to changing situations and changes easily and reliably according to the demands of the times. This flexibility produces benefits for all investors and for our clients.
Where do you see the Turkish legal business market heading in 2022 and 2023?
As previously stated, we believe that the energy sector is and will continue to be the leading sector in the legal market, fueled by the recognition that it has the potential to literally save the business world as we know it, while making the most of numerous business opportunities in the short and medium term. Specifically, there will be an increase in foreign investors’ focus on affordable businesses, which will lead to large cross-border mergers and acquisitions projects. We are confident that this growth potential and ability to attract investment can materialize in the near future.
Last but not least, personal data protection issues will grow rapidly, both in number and complexity, as the world begins to enter a new era of highly digitized businesses.
For more information please contact:
Caner Durgut, founding partner
Işıkal Law Firm
Kaptanpaşa Mahallesi, Piyalepaşa Bulvarı, Famas Plaza No: 77, Kat: 4, Daire No: 69-70 Şişli 34384 Istanbul – Turkey
Such. : +90 212 351 91 02