Legal Business Blogs

West meets East – CMS latest to announce Istanbul office launch

The latest move by CMS to enhance its international offering lies at the cross roads between Europe and Asia, with the Global 100 firm today (7 Nov) announcing that it is to launch an office in Istanbul – the latest western firm to open in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

As partners Döne Yalçin and John Fitzpatrick relocate to Istanbul to lead the new venture, the office will offer services in project finance and infrastructure work, with further plans to expand in the fields of energy, capital markets, and M&A.

CMS is the latest of a string international law firms to have recently established a presence in Turkey in the last year. In February, Pinsent Masons entered into a joint venture with local lawyer Noyan Göksu – formerly head of arbitration at Turkey’s largest law firm Hergüner Bilgen Özeke – while US firm Edwards Wildman received approval from the Istanbul Bar Association to operate as a foreign law firm, offering services in cross-border private equity and corporate M&A. In addition, it confirmed an association with local boutique Ismen in early September.

CMS also operates Turkish desks in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Yalçin, former head of the Turkish desk at CMS Vienna, said: ‘Being on the ground in Istanbul gives CMS an excellent opportunity to expand on the work we do for clients in Turkey. With strong links across CMS and with dedicated Turkish desks in four locations, Turkish clients have access to full-service expertise across the 31 jurisdictions in which CMS has a presence.’

Corporate partner John Fitzpatrick explained that the region is of increasing interest to international companies and investors.

‘Opening this office in Istanbul is proof of CMS’ commitment to providing first-rate advice to our clients in key jurisdictions,’ he added. ‘CMS lawyers have been working extensively on Turkey related matters for many years. Over time, we have developed a deep understanding of how to structure and complete transactions relating to Turkey, with a particular focus on cross border and international transactions.’