Mention competition law in Turkey and for many the first firm that springs to mind is ELİG Attorneys at Law. Widely regarded as the leading competition practice in the country, ELİG’s team is led by renowned specialist Gönenç Gürkaynak. Having earned his stripes over several years at White & Case in Brussels and New York, Gürkaynak returned to Istanbul in 2005 to head up ELİG’s competition group.
Gürkaynak says he has been part of several of Turkey’s competition milestones. He acted in some of the first competition investigations at the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA), handled some of the earliest merger filings and entered the first leniency application there in 2009. Four senior associates and 10 associates support him, making ELİG the largest competition practice in Turkey. “If there’s anything interesting going on in competition law in Turkey, you’ll find that we are a part of it,” says Gürkaynak.
This past year, the firm has advised the Turkish Underwater Sports Federation in an alleged abuse of dominance case before the TCA – a case in which the authority ultimately dropped the investigation and cleared the federation of all charges. ELIG is also acting for Kale Kilit, the county’s leading lock manufacturer, in another dominance investigation over allegations of exclusionary rebates and predatory pricing. That investigation also ended without the authority imposing a fine.
ELİG is representing Modern Karton in an authority case alleging the company had colluded with its rivals against waste paper producers with aims to export their product – a case that hinged more on trade policy than true antitrust concerns. On the merger front, the team assisted Allianz in its purchase of a controlling stake in insurance companies and other top matters. The firm’s client roster includes Turkish Airlines, Levis, Coca-Cola and other major companies.