In 2013 more data was produced than ever before; the age of “big data” has made this area of law an integral concern for businesses and corporations worldwide. As businesses utilise new methods of reaching customers, expert counsel in this area has become a necessity. The pace of change and the convergence of new media in the IT space have made this an increasingly complex sector, encompassing many fields of law. Over the last 12 months many practitioners spoke of this area as developing quickly and becoming increasingly specialised and this publication, previously entitled The International Who’s Who of Internet, e-Commerce and Data Protection Lawyers, has been renamed The International Who's Who of Information Technology Lawyers to reflect the increasing scope of this practice area. In this article we examine these issues and identify some of the key trends affecting the IT legal marketplace.
This year, we identify 695 lawyers from 347 firms and 35 countries who are considered leading lawyers in the field. “Global giant” DLA Piper leads our research with 25 of its practitioners recognised in this edition from 12 different jurisdictions. Thirteen individuals from Clifford Chance stand out this year, with the Frankfurt office being particularly well represented with four of its partners recognised. “Leading” global firm Linklaters boasts the inclusion of 11 lawyers, 10 of whom are based in Europe, and US firm Ballard Spahr achieves 10 listings. A further five top firms are also recognised. We also singled out the most highly regarded individuals in the world in this field.
Our research this year indicates that the international real estate market is very much a mixed bag. We received extremely varied reports on levels of activity, availability of capital, types of investors and lenders and the state of the legal market. Though the global picture is fractured and there is great variation between and within jurisdictions, the majority of those we spoke to were keeping busy and remained hopeful that the year ahead could bring further improvements.
Turkey has a very active trade and customs market, and its trade structures have changed considerably in recent years. Although imports have continued to outpace exports, the current government ambitiously aims to reverse this trend over the next decade. This chapter features five practitioners who are at the forefront of trade and customs law.
Turkey’s telecoms sector has experienced rapid growth over the last few years as a result of government privatisation initiatives. Increased investment coupled with emerging technology and new regulation has made this a dynamic area within the legal marketplace. We select six practitioners who are leaders in the field.
Public procurement remains a hot topic, particularly in relation to how the Turkish state deals with public tender offers and its continued favouritism of domestic companies. However, with the country still pursuing its goal of joining the EU and this area being labelled as one where “further efforts” are needed, lawyers are expecting developments in the near future. We select seven top practitioners who are lauded for their knowledge and expertise.
Foreign and domestic investment in Turkey’s infrastructure and energy sectors has remained strong over the past year and these areas are still “booming”. Earlier this year, Hasan Murat Mercan, deputy energy minister, said he expected the country to double its energy infrastructure over the next 10 years. Given the continued growth, it is not surprising that project finance lawyers are very much in demand and 11 individuals are singled out in this chapter, two more than in our previous edition.
Privatisation in Turkey is back on track. Following failed purchases of the previous tenders held in 2010, the fourth quarter of 2012 saw the sale of the country’s biggest regional electricity distribution company for $1.96 billion. On top of this, Turkey’s privatisation administration is in the process of launching tenders for four new power plants later this year. In an area which is sure to become active once more, we recognise 15 leading private practitioners.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.