Okan Demirkan ranks highly among peers thanks to his impressive work acting as counsel and arbitrator in international proceedings.
Mr Okan Demirkan leads the firm’s dispute resolution, energy and infrastructure and ethics and compliance practices. He represents domestic and international clients before arbitral tribunals and in their local litigation proceedings, including commercial, administrative and employment lawsuits as well as criminal lawsuits in relation to white-collar crimes. Mr Demirkan has been extensively involved in several institutional and ad hoc arbitration proceedings concerning disputes arising from major infrastructure projects, share purchase agreements, shareholders’ agreements, asset transfer agreements, construction contracts and licence agreements. He and his disputes team have also represented several international clients in the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, with a 100 per cent success rate since Mr Demirkan joining Kolcuoglu Demirkan Kocakli as name partner.
With significant experience of over 15 years in international arbitration, he regularly serves as counsel, arbitrator or expert witness in various commercial disputes involving Turkish law. Recently, he was as an expert witness in an arbitration before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), in relation to a billion-dollar dispute arising from an international natural gas project. In 2016, he acted as co-arbitrator in an ICC arbitration and in 2017, he was sole arbitrator in a dispute before the Istanbul Arbitration Centre (ISTAC). Okan Demirkan is probably the youngest non-academic lawyer in Turkey that has acted as counsel, arbitrator and expert witness in arbitration proceedings, thereby experiencing every seat of arbitration.
Mr Demirkan completed his education respectively in Israel, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. He holds a law degree from the University of Sussex (2000). He started his legal career in 2000 and has been admitted to the Istanbul Bar Association since 2003.
Okan Demirkan is a partner of Turkish independent law firm Kolcuoglu Demirkan Kocakli, Istanbul. He leads the firm’s dispute resolution, energy and infrastructure, and ethics and compliance practices.
For many years, Okan was extensively involved in all legal and regulatory issues surrounding the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline Project (BTC). In addition to BTC, Okan has advised clients in connection with the Nabucco gas pipeline and the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline. In 2011, Okan took an active role in the Shah Deniz Stage 2 Natural Gas Sales Project, advising on the project’s legal structure in Turkey. In that project, Okan and his team provided invaluable analysis on intergovernmental agreements, Turkey’s natural gas market legislation and the Transit Law, and other related commercial and public international law matters. In 2012, Okan and his team played a key role in the multibillion-dollar Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP), drafting both the Host Government Agreement and Intergovernmental Agreement, and negotiating them with the Turkish Government.
Okan has advised clients on a number of electricity generation facility projects, including renewable energy projects. He has significant experience in the privatisation of energy facilities as well as EPC contracts.
Being a disputes lawyer (and recognised by Who’s Who Legal as a future leader of the arbitration world), Okan has successfully represented several international clients as well as local entities in both institutional and ad hoc arbitration proceedings concerning major infrastructure projects, including build-operate-transfer (BOT) model investments and EPC contracts. In 2017 he was an expert witness in an LCIA arbitration concerning a multibillion-dollar claim arising from a major international energy project.