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 Global Elite

Gönenç Gürkaynak is a founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, a leading law firm of 90 lawyers based in Istanbul. Gönenç heads the competition law and regulatory department of ELIG Gürkaynak, 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. Gönenç frequently speaks at conferences and symposia on competition law matters and has published more than 150 articles in English and Turkish by various international and local publishers.

What drew you to competition law as a specialty?

During my years at Harvard University, I was a research assistant to Professor Louis Kaplow. While I was in Brussels, I also reported to Ian Forrester QC, now the UK’s designated judge at the EU’s General Court of Justice. Both were extremely influential in my decision to focus on competition law, along with many other mentors I have had throughout my career. It is a fascinating field of law.

What expertise do you need to succeed as a competition lawyer?

Competition law requires a solid legal background, analytical thinking and an in-depth understanding of economics. It particularly requires complex knowledge of precedents, doctrine, trends and markets and always questioning the legal policy implications.

What has been your proudest achievement to date?

I am proud to be a founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law. The firm has grown from strength to strength and we have a very talented team of 90 lawyers now. I share my passion for all areas of law with them. We also have the pleasure of working with many highly respected multinational companies and law firms from around the globe. In terms of the local community, we place great importance on our support of non-governmental and environmental projects within Turkey as part of an ongoing commitment.

How does your significant academic work interact with your role as the head of competition law at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law?

Competition law, like all regulatory fields, relies primarily on knowledge. My academic work has been devoted to processing, finding and creating knowledge. To that end, academic effort does feed professional development, and professional experience does render academic work more relevant and interesting.

What is the greatest challenge facing competition practitioners at the moment?

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.

How does ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law distinguish itself from the competition?

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law was established in 2005 and we have the largest competition law team in Turkey with 45 dedicated competition law specialists, led by four partners and three counsel.

We keep investing in our talent and continue to promote from within. In addition, and as a first-time initiative in Turkey, we recruited a competition economics counsel in 2016, and he is providing economic analysis support to our legal analyses.

To mark the 20th anniversary of competition law practice in Turkey, we wrote an academic publication aiming to contribute to the global discussion and study of competition law issues. This was a collaborative effort of our team of lawyers, including junior associates and novices in the field. The book was published in
March 2018.

ELIG Gürkaynak also has highly respected and internationally ranked media and entertainment, IT and telecoms, anti-corruption and compliance, intellectual property, dispute resolution, commercial, corporate and M&A, and employment teams.

What advice would you share with other lawyers who hope one day to be in your position?

Focus on client interests with passion and integrity. Seek knowledge and experience.

How do you think the competition practice area will evolve going forward?

The Turkish Competition Board has shifted its focus from standard merger control cases to the fight against cartels and to challenging certain types of unilateral conduct. The Authority is likely to maintain its well-earned reputation of being one of the most active competition enforcement agencies in its region. Meanwhile, globally, it seems obvious that the growing isolation trends in the global economy will also test competition law enforcement harmonisation efforts.

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Competition

Gönenç Gürkaynak is a founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, a leading law firm of 90 lawyers based in Istanbul. Gönenç heads the competition law and regulatory department of ELIG Gürkaynak, 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. Gönenç frequently speaks at conferences and symposia on competition law matters and has published more than 150 articles in English and Turkish by various international and local publishers.

WHAT DREW YOU TO COMPETITION LAW AS A SPECIALTY?

During my years at Harvard University, I was a research assistant to Professor Louis Kaplow. While I was in Brussels, I also reported to Ian Forrester QC, now the UK’s designated judge at the EU’s General Court of Justice. Both were extremely influential in my decision to focus on competition law, along with many other mentors I have had throughout my career. It is a fascinating field of law.

WHAT EXPERTISE DO YOU NEED TO SUCCEED AS A COMPETITION LAWYER?

Competition law requires a solid legal background, analytical thinking and an in-depth understanding of economics. It particularly requires complex knowledge of precedents, doctrine, trends and markets and always questioning the legal policy implications.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE? 

I am proud to be a founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law. The firm has grown from strength to strength and we have a very talented team of 90 lawyers now. I share my passion for all areas of law with them. We also have the pleasure of working with many highly respected multinational companies and law firms from around the globe. In terms of the local community, we place great importance on our support of non-governmental and environmental projects within Turkey as part of an ongoing commitment. 

HOW DOES YOUR SIGNIFICANT ACADEMIC WORK INTERACT WITH YOUR ROLE AS THE HEAD OF COMPETITION LAW AT ELIG GÜRKAYNAK ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW?

Competition law, like all regulatory fields, relies primarily on knowledge. My academic work has been devoted to processing, finding and creating knowledge. To that end, academic effort does feed professional development, and professional experience does render academic work more relevant and interesting.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE FACING COMPETITION PRACTITIONERS AT THE MOMENT? 

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.

HOW DOES ELIG GÜRKAYNAK ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW DISTINGUISH ITSELF FROM THE COMPETITION? 

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law was established in 2005 and we have the largest competition law team in Turkey with 45 dedicated competition law specialists, led by four partners and three counsel. 

We keep investing in our talent and continue to promote from within. In addition, and as a first-time initiative in Turkey, we recruited a competition economics counsel in 2016, and he is providing economic analysis support to our legal analyses.  

To mark the 20th anniversary of competition law practice in Turkey, we wrote an academic publication aiming to contribute to the global discussion and study of competition law issues. This was a collaborative effort of our team of lawyers, including junior associates and novices in the field. The book was published in March 2018. 

ELIG Gürkaynak also has highly respected and internationally ranked media and entertainment, IT and telecoms, anti-corruption and compliance, intellectual property, dispute resolution, commercial, corporate and M&A, and employment teams.

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

Focus on client interests with passion and integrity. Seek knowledge and experience.

HOW DO YOU THINK THE COMPETITION PRACTICE AREA WILL EVOLVE GOING FORWARD? 

The Turkish Competition Board has shifted its focus from standard merger control cases to the fight against cartels and to challenging certain types of unilateral conduct. The Authority is likely to maintain its well-earned reputation of being one of the most active competition enforcement agencies in its region. Meanwhile, globally, it seems obvious that the growing isolation trends in the global economy will also test competition law enforcement harmonisation efforts.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Competition: Lawyers

Mr Gönenç Gürkaynak is a founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, a leading law firm of 90 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 35 written and oral defences in investigations of the Turkish Competition Authority, about 15 antitrust appeal cases in the high administrative court, and over 85 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 90 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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