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Global Guide
Firm Profile

Birsel Law Office

Firm Profile

Istanbul

  • Profile
  • Inonu Cad. Ongan Apt. No. 43
  • Kat: 4 - 5
  • Gumussuyu
  • Istanbul
  • Istanbul
  • Turkey
  • 34437

Firm profile submitted by Birsel Law Office

Birsel’s foundations date back to the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, and as one of the leading and most well known and reputable full service law firms in Turkey, it has developed resources and expertise to provide highest quality representation to its domestic and foreign Clients. Birsel is especially well known for its substantial international practice serving a wide range of clients, including large multinational establishments such as banks, financial institutions and corporations interested in investing in or enjoying a local presence in Turkey. Birsel teams include more than 20 attorneys under the leadership of partner Dr Mahmut T Birsel and off- counsels who are experts in their specific fields. The firm is capable of providing advice to its clients in Turkish, English, French and German. The firm offers its services through its office in Istanbul, and has connections in Izmir and Ankara.

Banking & Finance:
Banking and finance, including project finance, secured loan transactions, securitisations, and bond issuances plays a significant role in Birsel’s practice. Birsel is renowned for its involvement in the financings of landmark projects in Turkey, representing a wide range of international clients, including multilateral investment guarantee and export credit agencies, foreign commercial banks as well as Turkish borrowers in various sectors. In 2015 Birsel provided tailor made legal assistance to Jefferies Finance LLC, in relation to a multi-jurisdictional acquisition financing consisting of an approximately 400m facility to be extended to SK Spice Sarl and Vermillon Asset Management in establishment and enforceability of pledge over lead concentrates stored in warehouse in the amount of USD 225m; and still providing legal assistance in various deals to IFC (International Finance Corporation) and Export Development Canada.
Key Clients: Emaar Properties PJSC, T-Bank AS, Bank Med, Arab Bank PLC and HVB-Unicredit, BNP Pairbus, Credit Suisse, Turk Telekomunikasyon AS.

Capital Markets:
Birsel’s extensive experience in capital markets includes assisting foreign financial institutions and corporations on structuring their Turkey operations as well as representing clients in public offerings, securitisations and note issuances pursuant to Regulation S / Rule 144A, bond issuances, derivative transactions, hostile bids, investments to government bonds, minority right issues and mandatory tender offers. Through the recent years, the firm has advised many financial institutions licensed by FSA in respect of capital market instruments, and in structuring of their Turkey programs and investments in capital markets products in the Turkish market. Birsel is well regarded in all aspects of derivatives trading and intermediation, including OTC derivatives. Birsel’s key capital market transactions in 2015 include legal assistance to Gemalto NV in acquisition of Plastik Kart; and continuous legal advice to Bank of America Merrill Lynch in relation to OTC derivatives and spot commodity trading.
Key Clients: Euroclear, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, ICAP, GFI Group, Norges Bank and Nomura International plc, Northern Trust Company London, GFI.

Projects, Energy & Infrastructure:
Birsel is well known and respected for its work in project finance, infrastructure, and energy work, especially in the fields of construction, oil, gas and power. This year the firm has advised on financings of award winning projects and infrastructure projects. Teams in the firm have also worked on major financings of power projects conducted under the BO and BOT as well as cross-border pipeline projects. Other highlights of Birsel’s infrastructure work include rendering advice on mining activities, construction issues relating to airports and water projects. Birsel’s key transactions in 2015 include representation and legal assistance to Mashreqbank PSC, Dubai in connection with USD 1.1b syndicated facility to be granted for the expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport; representation of Emaar Libadiye Gayrimenkul Gelistirme A.S. in the secured financing amounting to USD 500m for the development of the award winning Emaar Square Project; legal assistance to senior lenders in relation to Onshore Collateral Agent change and pay-off in Ankara Project regarding 763 MW Natural Gas Power Plant with a financing of USD 552.3m; and ongoing legal assistance to Raytheon, one of the world's largest defence and aerospace systems producer, in its operations under the auspices of NATO Missile Defense Project in Turkey.

M&A:
Birsel practice on mergers and acquisitions encompasses representing clients in mergers and de-mergers, acquisitions, transfer of businesses and shareholdings in sectors such as banking, real estate, insurance, telecommunications, medical, transportation, media and power. The firm’s lawyers are well equipped with in-depth knowledge and professional skills required for conducting due diligence exercises, formulating corporate structures, drafting share purchase and shareholders agreements and obtaining regulatory approvals in respect of both closely-held and publiclyheld companies. The key transactions include providing legal services to GroupMed International Management Holding Limited and Cynvest SAL Holding in their acquisition of the insurance company Demir Sigorta AŞ and a brokerage company.; legal assistance to GKN in its acquisition of Fokker Technologies globally for €106; providing legal assistance for Mosburger GmbH, a worldwide Austrian packaging company in its acquisition of 80% shares of a Listed Packaging Company in Turkey, joint venture between EMAAR and a lead player in the tourism industry.

Commercial & Corporate:
Birsel has extensive experience in assisting clients on structuring their contemplated corporate investments and commercial transactions in Turkey. The firm acts for its clients in the establishment of joint ventures between foreign investors and their local business partners, establishment, operation, restructuring and liquidation of joint stock and limited liability companies, branches and liaison offices, and advises on corporate governance issues. The firm is well recognised for its corporate due diligence work and structuring of shareholders relationships. Birsel’s corporate work also includes advising on governmental permits, incentives, employment of foreign personnel, and taxation aspects of corporate transactions. The firm provides continuous legal assistance to its clients as provided below in their daily corporate matters, engagements with other companies whereby Birsel team performs the drafting, negotiation, review, and amendment of their contracts. Key clients of Birsel include Raytheon, Ojer Telekomunikasyon AS, Louis Vuitton, Sephora, McCormick, Gazprom Germania GmbH, Al Ghuair Investment LLC, Software AG, FMC and Gemalto NV.

IT & Telecoms:
Birsel has substantial experience in advising clients in information technologies and telecommunications law, due to having acted for world wide known clients in technology industry during their entry into Turkish market, e-commerce, and data protection & privacy operations.
Key Clients: Ojer Telekomunikasyon AS (controlling shareholder of Turk Telekom), Software AG, SNECO Romania.

Litigation & Arbitration:
The litigation practice of the firm includes, among others, acting for clients in foreclosure proceedings, labour disputes and collection of claims under bank guarantees. The firm also has a strong arbitration practice. Birsel’s key practices includes representing National Highway Authority of Pakistan in a number of lawsuits and execution proceedings regarding the collection of receivables in the amount of TRY 300m arising from bank letters of guarantee issued by 6 major Turkish banks; representing TEB and BNP Paribas, in various litigation matters for an approximate amount of USD 20m; representation of Philsa Philip Morris in administrative and tax law suits amounting to TRY 30m; and representing United Industrial Corporation Limited and Singapore Land Limited in an international arbitration amounting to USD 4.25m.