Gönenç Gürkaynak
Office:
Çitlenbik Sokak No:12
Yildiz Mahallesi 34349
Beşiktaş
City:
Istanbul
Country:
Turkey
Tel:
+90 212 327 17 24
Fax:
+90 212 327 17 25

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders: Competition

Mr Gönenç Gürkaynak is a founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, a leading law firm of 87 lawyers based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Mr Gürkaynak heads the competition law and regulatory department of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, which currently consists of 45 lawyers. He has unparalleled experience in Turkish competition law counselling issues with more than 20 years of competition law experience, starting with the establishment of the Turkish Competition Authority.

Mr Gürkaynak frequently speaks at conferences and symposia on competition law matters. He has published more than 150 articles in English and Turkish by various international and local publishers. Mr Gürkaynak also holds teaching positions at undergraduate and graduate levels at two universities, and gives lectures at other universities in Turkey.

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

I was lucky to be a research assistant to Professor Louis Kaplow at Harvard University and also reported to Ian Forrester QC, now the UK’s designated judge at the EU’s General Court of Justice, while I was in Brussels. These opportunities, along with working with many other great mentors, certainly set me on my career path and were extremely influential in developing my abilities.

WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT SETTING UP YOUR OWN LAW FIRM?

Our longevity and current success is motivated by our clients’ loyalty to our firm, and this was made possible by a constant pursuit of high-quality results. When setting up my own law firm, I had recently come back to Turkey from practising in New York and Brussels, and demonstrating the quality promise through a track-record sheet was difficult. I remember that as a particular challenge I faced when establishing my law firm about 13 years ago.

AS HEAD OF THE COMPETITION LAW AND REGULATORY GROUP, WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN PRIORITIES IN TERMS OF ITS DEVELOPMENT IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law has 45 competition law specialists and we handled more than 80 files with the Turkish Competition Authority in 2017. We continue to focus on the professional development of our lawyers. Recruiting a full-time competition economist to the firm in 2016 contributed to our progress and it was also a first for a law firm in Turkey. While competition law is a key focus of our firm, we are also experiencing a considerable increase in the work in our TMT and Internet law practices and we are proud to be working with a growing number of internationally renowned industry leaders in these sectors. Our priority there is also keeping an eye on cutting-edge developments, and we are therefore relentlessly sending our lawyers to international conferences, and publishing in international academic fora, in order to stay on top of the agenda.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU SHARE WITH OTHER LAWYERS WHO HOPE ONE DAY TO BE IN YOUR POSITION?

Prioritise client interests with passion and integrity.

MANY SOURCES HAVE NOTED THAT COMPETITION LITIGATION IS ON THE RISE. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS DRIVING THIS TREND?

There is only so much defence work available. As far as Turkey is concerned, newer generations of competition lawyers are expanding the market toward private enforcement, especially because there is a treble damages clause in Turkish law.

WHAT WOULD YOU PINPOINT AS THE MAIN CHALLENGE FACING COMPETITION LAWYERS TODAY?

Compliance programmes are fast becoming the heart of what a competition lawyer does and I anticipate that preventive measures will also gain more value. Reactive competition lawyers will have to adapt to a proactive action expectation of clients.

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Competition: Lawyers

Mr Gönenç Gürkaynak is a founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, a leading law firm of 87 lawyers based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Mr Gürkaynak heads the competition law and regulatory department of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, which currently consists of 45 lawyers. He has unparalleled experience in Turkish competition law counselling issues with more than 20 years of competition law experience, starting with the establishment of the Turkish Competition Authority.

Mr Gürkaynak frequently speaks at conferences and symposia on competition law matters. He has published more than 150 articles in English and Turkish by various international and local publishers. Mr Gürkaynak also holds teaching positions at undergraduate and graduate levels at two universities, and gives lectures at other universities in Turkey.

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

I was lucky to be a research assistant to Professor Louis Kaplow at Harvard University and also reported to Ian Forrester QC, now the UK’s designated judge at the EU’s General Court of Justice, while I was in Brussels. These opportunities, along with working with many other great mentors, certainly set me on my career path and were extremely influential in my abilities.

WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT SETTING UP YOUR OWN LAW FIRM?

Our longevity and current success is motivated by our clients’ loyalty to our firm, and this was made possible by a constant pursuit of high-quality results. When setting up my own law firm, I had recently come back to Turkey from practising in New York and Brussels, and demonstrating the quality promise through a track-record sheet was more difficult. I remember that as a particular challenge I faced when establishing my law firm about 13 years ago.

AS HEAD OF THE COMPETITION LAW AND REGULATORY GROUP, WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN PRIORITIES IN TERMS OF ITS DEVELOPMENT IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law has 45 competition law specialists and we handled more than 80 files with the Turkish Competition Authority in 2017. We continue to focus on the professional development of our lawyers. Recruiting a full-time competition economist to the firm in 2016 contributed to our progress and it was also a first for a law firm in Turkey. While competition law is a key focus of our firm, we are also experiencing a considerable increase in the work in our TMT and Internet law practices and we are proud to be working with a growing number of internationally renowned industry leaders in these sectors. Our priority there is also keeping an eye on cutting edge developments, and we are therefore relentlessly sending our lawyers to international conferences, and publishing in international academic fora, in order to stay on top of the agenda.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU SHARE WITH OTHER LAWYERS WHO HOPE ONE DAY TO BE IN YOUR POSITION?

Prioritise client interests with passion and integrity.

MANY SOURCES HAVE NOTED THAT COMPETITION LITIGATION IS ON THE RISE. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS DRIVING THIS TREND?

There is only so much defence work available. As far as Turkey is concerned, newer generations of competition lawyers are expanding the market toward private enforcement, especially because there is a treble damages clause in Turkish law.

WHAT WOULD YOU PINPOINT AS THE MAIN CHALLENGE FACING COMPETITION LAWYERS TODAY?

Compliance programmes are fast becoming the heart of what a competition lawyer does and I anticipate that preventive measures will also gain more value. Reactive competition lawyers will have to adapt to a proactive action expectation of clients.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Competition: Lawyers

Gönenç Gürkaynak is a founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, a leading law firm of 87 lawyers based in Istanbul, Turkey. Gönenç graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Law in 1997, and was called to the Istanbul Bar in 1998. He received his LLM degree from Harvard Law School, and is qualified to practise in Istanbul, New York, Brussels and England and Wales (currently a non-practising solicitor).  Before founding ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law in 2005, Gönenç worked as an attorney at the Istanbul, New York and Brussels offices of a global law firm for more than eight years.

Gönenç’s main areas of practice include the fields of competition law, anti-corruption and irregularities, internet law, freedom of expression and fundamental rights and freedoms, compliance projects, contracts law, administrative law and commercial litigation.

Gönenç heads the competition law and regulatory department of ELIG Gürkaynak, along with three partners, three counsel and 45 competition law specialists. With unparalleled experience in Turkish competition law counseling issues, Gönenç has more than 20 years of competition law experience, starting with the establishment of the Turkish Competition Authority. 

He has an in-depth knowledge of representing defendants and complainants in complex antitrust investigations concerning all forms of abuse of dominant position allegations, and all forms of restrictive horizontal and vertical arrangements, including price-fixing, retail price maintenance, refusal to supply, territorial restrictions and concerted practice allegations. Every year Gönenç represents multinational companies and large domestic clients in more than 20 written and oral defences in investigations of the Turkish Competition Authority, about 15 antitrust appeal cases in the high administrative court, and over 60 merger clearances of the Turkish Competition Authority, in addition to coordinating various worldwide merger notifications, drafting non-compete agreements and clauses, and preparing hundreds of legal memoranda concerning a wide array of Turkish and EC competition law topics.

In addition to significant antitrust litigation expertise, Gönenç has considerable expertise in administrative law, and represent clients before the High State Court, both on the merits of a case and for injunctive relief. He also advises clients on a day-to-day basis in a wide range of business transactions that almost always contain antitrust law issues, including distributorship, licensing, franchising and toll manufacturing issues.

Gönenç frequently speaks at conferences and symposia on competition law matters. He has published more than 150 articles in English and Turkish by various international and local publishers along with competition law books including A Discussion on the Prime Objective of the Turkish Competition Law From a Law & Economics Perspective by the Turkish Competition Authority and Fundamental Concepts of Anglo-American Law by Legal Publishing.

To mark the occasion of the 20th anniversary of competition law practice in Turkey, the team at ELIG Gürkaynak wrote and published an academic publication to contribute to the global discussion and study of competition law issues. The book is comprised of 12 academic articles and was a collaborative effort of lawyers specialising in competition law at ELIG Gürkaynak, including junior associates and novices in the field, in addition to Gönenç’s own extensive contribution to each and every article. The book was published in March 2018 and is available to read on ELIG Gürkaynak’s website.

Gönenç also holds teaching positions at undergraduate and graduate levels at two universities, and gives lectures in other universities in Turkey.

WWL says: Gönenç Gürkaynak is “simply the best” in Turkey who “undoubtedly delivers great results in complex and challenging cases”. Sources are quick to applaud him for his “tailor-made strategies which perfectly fit clients’ needs”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Competition which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Investigations: Lawyers

Mr Gönenç Gürkaynak is a founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, a leading law firm of 87 lawyers based in Istanbul, Turkey. Mr Gürkaynak graduated from Ankara University Faculty of Law in 1997 and was called to the Istanbul Bar in 1998. Mr Gürkaynak received his LLM degree from Harvard Law School and is qualified to practise law in Istanbul, New York, Brussels, and England and Wales (currently as a non-practising solicitor). Before founding ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law in 2005, Mr Gürkaynak worked as an attorney at the Istanbul, New York and Brussels offices of a global law firm for more than eight years.

Mr Gürkaynak heads the regulatory and compliance department of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law with a significant practice in Turkey focusing on internal investigations and white-collar criminal matters and the practice advises clients in connection with Turkish corporate compliance issues under the relevant OECD Convention, FCPA, the UK Bribery Act and under the Turkish anti-corruption laws.

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law has developed work plans for a vast number of internal investigations on the Turkish operations of multinational companies and large Turkish conglomerates and has interviewed more than 200 employees, drafted disclosure petitions, dealt with PR and GR aspects of projects of this nature, prepared extensive white-collar due diligence reports, provided over 80 FCPA trainings and helped clients adopt and implement policies of detecting and ensuring full corporate compliance in Turkey.

Mr Gürkaynak often speaks at international and national conferences on anti-corruption matters. He has published more than 150 articles in English and Turkish by various international and local publishers. Mr Gürkaynak also holds teaching positions at undergraduate and graduate levels at two universities, and gives lectures at other universities in Turkey.

WWL says: Gönenç Gürkaynak is recognised by international sources as a standout name in the investigations space who is highlighted particularly for his expertise on both white-collar crime and internal investigations.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Investigations which can be purchased from our Shop.

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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.

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