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Charles Lindsay was the man behind Allen & Overy’s Istanbul office launch at the end of 2011.
He was already the firm’s Turkey industry group head, relieving Pervez Akhtar who left for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 2010, but felt that the ready pipeline of deals coming out of the country warranted opening an office on the ground.
“It was exciting because of the massive project pipeline that Turkey represents,” says Lindsay. “We thought it was really worth setting up office in Istanbul.”
In November 2012 A&O tied up with local Turkey firm Gedik & Eraksoy to offer domestic law advice to clients. Lindsay says that setting up and running the Istanbul office has taken up at least half his time, but the project finance specialist still has an enviable practice of his own.
In September he advised Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Dor Gas Explorations as sponsors on the £562m financing of the Tamar gas field development off the coast of Israel. The deal was not only Israel’s largest ever international-led project finance, it also involved a fair amount of technical wrangling, with the project sharing key export facilities with the Yam Tethys field, which had separate limited recourse financing embedded into it.