Turkey focus: Chronology of a crisis

Turkey focus: Chronology of a crisis

Turkey is still defined as an emerging market economy; over the last 20 years, it established itself increasingly among the top-25 global markets, but could not maintain this upward trend in recent times. Recently, it has had to face a currency crisis due to the Turkish lira decreasing dramatically in value. At the same time, inflation levels are skyrocketing, which is especially reflected in high prices for food and drink. Adding a global pandemic to the mix is certainly another spanner in the works, but according to Osman Ertürk Özel, managing partner at ÖZEL Attorney Consultancy: ‘The economic recession in Turkey existed a year before the beginning of Covid. It just made this situation obvious. Serious fluctuations in currency along with over 100% inflation rate have deepened the existing economic crisis. This has caused a disruption in all kinds of production in the markets. The fact that banks kept up the markets through loans has greatly disrupted the balance.’

To blame for this development, at least in part, is Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His name has dominated the Turkish political scene for a long time. In 2001, his party AKP (Justice and Development Party) was created, and it quickly rose to power. Even though Turkey’s constitution established the country to be a secular state, AKP is traditionally favoured by religious conservatives and is in western media often referred to as a (mildly or reformed) Islamist party. At the same time, the party pursued a pro-liberal market economy and is keen to join the European Union. It seemed to be the recipe for victory: only a year after its formation, it had a sweeping success in the 2002 election, gaining an outright majority in parliament. After having a moderate stronghold over the political landscape for several elections, Erdoğan finally became president in 2014. However, only five years later, local elections marked the beginning of the end for the current leader. He and his party lost significant footing in major Turkish cities due to accusations of mismanagement of the Turkish economic crisis, its shortcomings during the Syrian refugee crisis as well as rising authoritarianism. After year-long rule, AKP also lost all support with Turkey’s largest ethnic majority, the Kurds. Officially, 2023 is a year for new elections and opposition parties are gearing up for it, but Erdoğan is doing everything he can to hold on to power. Continue reading “Turkey focus: Chronology of a crisis”

Nordics focus: High-value and strong values

Nordics focus: High-value and strong values

The Nordic legal market had a good pandemic, using the time to advise clients on the many challenges of lockdowns and to prepare for major societal and technological changes. Downtime, in many cases, was also a good opportunity to plan for what was to become a boom year in 2021.

Unlike much of Europe, the region is not home to many international law firms, with DLA Piper the most often-cited exception to that rule, while others operate small satellite offices or advise via local affiliates. In Norway, law firms must be run by Norwegian citizens. Continue reading “Nordics focus: High-value and strong values”

Sponsored briefing: The Invasion of Ukraine is Catastrophic for the Russian Economy. Now What?

Sponsored briefing: The Invasion of Ukraine is Catastrophic for the Russian Economy. Now What?

Has Russia violated its promises to Turkish Investors under the Turkey-Russia Bilateral Investment Treaty?

When the Russian Federation unleashed its deadly invasion of Ukraine, it was fully aware unprecedentedly severe sanctions would be imposed. As a direct result of these completely foreseeable sanctions, and other knock-on effects of the invasion, Turkish and other foreign investors in Russia will have seen the value of their investments take a serious hit, with further hits certain to come1. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: The Invasion of Ukraine is Catastrophic for the Russian Economy. Now What?”

UK Offshore report: Keeping a weather eye

UK Offshore report: Keeping a weather eye

In our 2021 offshore report, law firm pundits placed their bets on the market drivers they predicted would define the coming year. Notwithstanding some unsurprising volatility, the outlook has proved far brighter than many had dared to hope.

‘There was a sense that revenues were going to drop last year, the courts were going to close and strategic decisions would go on hold’, says Jason Romer, group managing partner of Collas Crill, ‘but that never happened. Revenues have continued to increase, the costs are down and we continue to get busier.’ Continue reading “UK Offshore report: Keeping a weather eye”

Caribbean Offshore Report: The vital signs

Caribbean Offshore Report: The vital signs

Driven by different dynamics, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Bermuda have each experienced their own problems in the Covid era – much like the rest of the world – but collectively and individually these sophisticated legal jurisdictions have continued to fare well. Driven by experienced and talented lawyers, strong commercial nous and a well-honed judicial system, the leading global players in the Caribbean can take whatever is thrown at them.

As all jurisdictions were forced to adapt quickly to the coronavirus pandemic, the Caribbean was no exception, with working from home and reduced contact due to social distancing swiftly becoming the norm. The climate has not been without its challenges as multiple lockdowns forced local businesses to suffer and caused substantial disruption to many in the hospitality sector. Indeed, the region’s once-thriving tourism industry continues to stall as travel levels remain low compared to pre-pandemic times – an inevitable blow for Bermuda, the BVI and Cayman – given their significant reliance on international cash injections into the local economy. Continue reading “Caribbean Offshore Report: The vital signs”

Africa focus: Rising again?

Africa focus: Rising again?

While the same old story of political volatility continues to pervade in Africa, a bullish M&A market and renewed optimism driven by a pan-Africa trade agreement makes the continent hard to ignore for law firms.

For Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), an ongoing commitment to Africa has played an important role in galvanising its place among global firms. London and Paris offices have targeted the continent for decades, while the launch of a Johannesburg office in 2015 took its ambitions a step further. Nina Bowyer, the Paris-based co-head of HSF’s Africa group is very much alive to the challenges: ‘Obviously, Covid has crippled a number of economies across the world and Africa is no exception. Finding the necessary resources to tackle some of the challenges will continue to be difficult. Continue reading “Africa focus: Rising again?”

Sponsored briefing: Succession planning in Poland

Sponsored briefing: Succession planning in Poland

Piotr Augustyniak of PATH Law examines the increased popularity of private foundations in family-owned business succession planning

Family-owned companies generate 18% of the GDP of Poland. There are more than 800k family-owned businesses in Poland. Currently founders face the problem of the succession. In the following five years new generations should take over approximately 60% of these companies. However, only 8% of successors declare the will to run the businesses. It has been some time since Polish entrepreneurs decided to use the concept of the private foundation as the tool of the efficient succession planning. Unfortunately, for many years, due to very convenient tax regimes of these vehicles, the tax authorities in Poland treated private foundations as part of aggressive tax planning schemes. The most popular jurisdictions among Polish entrepreneurs are Liechtenstein, Malta and The Netherlands. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Succession planning in Poland”

Sponsored briefing: How the Climate Law may change the Portuguese economy

Sponsored briefing: How the Climate Law may change the Portuguese economy

Recently, Portugal took another important step to consolidate its commitment to fighting climate change, previously made in the Paris Agreement, by the publication on 31 December 2021 of the new Framework Law on the Climate (Law 98/2021 of 31 December), which establishes the guiding principles of climate policy and governance. It also introduces targets and provides for mechanisms to combat climate change, to decarbonise the economy and to achieve sustainable development.

The Framework Law on the Climate is a comprehensive and programme-based law that focuses on various sectors, including the energy industry, construction, agriculture and fisheries. It also addresses financial assets and green taxation. The assumption of an integrated vision of the different sectors of the economy as a fundamental vector to mitigate and adapt to climate change is the realisation of one of the structuring principles of public policy on the environment – the principle of transversality and integration. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: How the Climate Law may change the Portuguese economy”

Sponsored practice area spotlight: Insolvency and restructuring: Combining unique skills to achieve a successful outcome

Sponsored practice area spotlight: Insolvency and restructuring: Combining unique skills to achieve a successful outcome

Insolvency and restructuring proceedings are intricate and complex. Practitioners must be able to combine legal knowledge, in particular in the areas of litigation, finance and transactions, with strategic, tactical and managerial skills to deliver positive results.

PRAGER DREIFUSS has extensive experience and a longstanding tradition in insolvency and restructuring matters. In the wake of the financial crisis, we combined our finance and bankruptcy knowledge which enabled us to assist in complex project financing, also lately in a major multinational commodity project. Our attorneys regularly represent creditors, some of which are banks, hedge funds or other financial institutions, in large national and international insolvency and restructuring proceedings, whether in registering or purchasing claims or in enforcing disputed claims vis-à-vis bankruptcy administrators and before courts. Assisting clients in the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Switzerland and abroad is a key feature of our daily practice. Frequently and increasingly, we are retained by creditors in enforcing claims (awards, bonds) against sovereigns. Continue reading “Sponsored practice area spotlight: Insolvency and restructuring: Combining unique skills to achieve a successful outcome”