ANKARA: Int’l Law Giant To Open Office In Istanbul


May 18 2010

VISION: ‘Turkey fits in with our vision to be the leading global
business law firm,’ says Sir Nigel Knowles, joint CEO and managing
partner of DLA Piper.

One of the world’s largest law firms is set to open its Turkey office
June 1 to provide legal advice on international and foreign law,
having obtained the necessary approval from the Istanbul Bar.

DLA Piper’s debut in the country will see the international law giant
further strengthen its foothold in one of the fastest-growing economies
in the world.

"Turkey is an important part of the Group of 20, and it might be in
the top 10 or even top five in the coming years. It fits in with
our vision to be the leading global business law firm," Sir Nigel
Knowles, the joint CEO and managing partner of DLA Piper, said at a
press conference Tuesday.

Local bar restrictions prohibit international firms from opening
directly in Turkey, but DLA Piper has been active in the country for
some time despite not having a legal presence there.

Last year, the firm hired U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Marc Grossman
as a senior advisor and represented the Turkish government in
lobbying against the Armenian "genocide" resolutions. DLA Piper
is also a legal adviser to the Turkish Ministry of Health on the
first-ever public-private healthcare partnership in the country:
the 250-million-euro Kayseri Integrated Health Campus.

Earlier this year, DLA Piper formed an association with Istanbul
law firm Yuksel Karkın Kucuk. With DLA establishing its presence
in Turkey, six Turkish partners from YKK will become members of DLA
Piper with permission from the Istanbul Bar.

"Turkey is preeminent in the region, and the interest from our existing
client base would be enormous," Knowles told the Hurriyet Daily News &
Economic Review.

Global client base

Fifty-eight percent of DLA Piper’s client base has a presence in
Turkey, including international names such as Bayer, Boeing, BP,
HSBC and Pfizer.

"What is good for Turkey is that we can bring the best practices
around the world to the country. We are the perfect conduit between
global business and Turkish business," Knowles said.

YKK has acted on a number of notable projects in Turkey, including
working for Turk Telekom on its $1.9 billion initial public offering
in 2008. YKK also represented Lukoil in its $500 million purchase of
Akpet and served as counsel to Turkuaz in its $1.1 billion acquisition
of media group ATV-Sabah.

Upon entering the Turkish market, DLA Piper will have 68 offices in
30 countries. The firm also penetrated the Latin America market in
March through its cooperation with Brazil’s Campos Mello Advogados.

"The opening of the DLA Piper office in Turkey shows the firm’s
commitment to global engagement with its clients, who require quality
legal advice in all key international markets," senior advisor Grossman
said. "It is also a clear statement about the future of Turkey and
its regional and international importance."