Today, Allen & Overy announced the launch of an office in Istanbul. The move will capitalize on the increasing flow of work being undertaken in Turkey.
According to statistics reported in a press release at the firm’s website, the International Monetary Fund, in its September 2011 World Economic Outlook, forecasted gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.6% for Turkey in 2011. That figure is higher than for any other market in Europe. GDP growth is expected to stabilize at around 5% over the medium term.
Also according to current projections, Turkey is expected, by 2050, to rank second only to Germany in terms of GDP in Europe. It is also expected to be upgraded to investment grade in the short- to medium-term, opening the market to a much larger pool of investors.
Banking partner Charles Lindsay will move to Istanbul from London to lead A&O’s Turkey practice. The office will focus on English law project finance, capital markets, general lending and M&A work.
Allen & Overy global managing partner Wim Dejonghe was quoted as saying in a press release at the firm’s website: “Turkey is a market that we have been watching for some time. Turkey’s strong economy, extensive privatization program, pressing demand for infrastructure investment and emerging status as an energy hub, present an immense opportunity for both Allen & Overy and our clients. We see significant opportunities to build on the work we already do in Turkey for clients in our core areas of expertise such as project finance, capital markets, general lending and M&A. Having someone of Charles’s caliber and experience to lead the team will ensure we get our new office off to the very best start possible.”
So as to meet demand for new infrastructure and to support the government’s privatization program it is estimated that private financing of USD50 billion will be required by 2015. Because of this, Turkey presents great domestic opportunities and opportunities for international debt and equity financings. Favorable changes to withholding tax laws on interest payments on bonds, along with a number of high profile international bond issues by Turkish banks into the U.S. under Rule 144A, on which Allen & Overy has advised (Akbank, İşbank, Garantibank, Turk Exim Bank), have also provided opportunities for the debt capital markets to open up to foreign investors.
The launch furthers Allen & Overy’s strategy of continuing to increase the volume of revenue it generates from high growth markets around the world.
Karen Lee, senior associate in Allen & Overy’s ICM practice in London, will also be moving to Istanbul to support the development of A&O’s capital markets practice in Turkey. Seyda Duman, a banking associate in London who is fluent in Turkish, will also be joining the team in Istanbul.
Allen & Overy is headquartered in London. The firm is a member of the UK’s Magic Circle of leading law firms, and is widely considered to be one of the world’s elite law firms, advising national and multinational corporations, financial institutions, and governments. Founded in 1930, Allen & Overy has become one of the largest law firms in the world, both by number of lawyers and revenue. With approximately 5,000 staff and 38 offices worldwide, the firm provides legal advice in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.