The increased importance of Turkey as strategic hub for international firms has been underlined with news that US firm Edwards Wildman Palmer is to open an office in Istanbul in association with local M&A and private equity boutique Ismen Law Firm.
The date of the opening will depend on regulatory approval by the Istanbul Bar Association but it will become the 600-lawyer firm’s the first office in the Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa (CEEMENA) region.
Edwards Wildman, which already has 15 offices across the US, Asia and in London, will work closely with 12-lawyer Ismen cross-border private equity and corporate-backed M&A transactions throughout CEEMENA.
Led by two partners, Tolga Ismen and Arzum Gunalcin, the M&A boutique’s areas of expertise include privatisations and private equity investments along with complementary practice areas such as corporate and commercial, real estate, capital markets, TMT and competition law. The firm is ranked in the second tier of corporate firms in Turkey, according to The Legal 500 EMEA.
Ted Cominos, a private equity partner at Edwards Wildman said: ‘Istanbul has become a hub for sophisticated M&A and private equity activity as multinational companies and private equity firms are attracted to the increasingly active CEEMENA region. We are excited to partner with the Ismen law firm to tap into this dynamic market.’
Managing partner Robert Shuftan added: ‘As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Turkey’s demographics, diversifying business base and supportive investment climate are fuelling impressive growth.
‘Our objective is to expand our international footprint into markets that offer tremendous opportunity for sophisticated and market-leading work, and Turkey increasingly has become a global leader in that regard.’
Ismen partner Tolga Ismen said: ‘The arrangement with Edwards Wildman presents an opportunity for our lawyers to tap into a new network of sophisticated clients while offering a brad array of cross-border legal services to our existing clients.’
Edwards Wildman will join a number of other international firms that have established a presence in Istanbul in the last couple of years, including Baker & McKenzie, which opened in March 2012, Clifford Chance, which opened in April 2011, DLA Piper in May 2010 and US firm Chadbourne & Parke in September 2011.