Turkish fizz for DLA

Turkey had plenty of attention over the summer, and sadly not just for its sun, sea and suspiciously strong raki. Protests that initially kicked off to demonstrate against development plans in Istanbul quickly blossomed into fully-fledged pro-democracy rallies.

The events must have ruffled the feathers of some of the law firms who have pitched up in the city since 2010, including Clifford Chance, Chadbourne & Park, Allen & Overy and Baker & McKenzie.

George Barboutis, finance partner at DLA Piper, which launched in the jurisdiction in 2010 via a tie-up with local firm Yüksel Karkın Küçük (helpfully, for Westerners, more commonly known as YKK), said the unrest “definitely affected the way the international market sees offerings”.

However, it’s not all bad news for lawyers in the country. Just last week, Barboutis co-led a team of lawyers in both London and Istanbul, advising the Turkey-based international bottler Coca-Cola Icecek in its inaugural offering of five-year bonds worth $500m.

It was one of the few Turkish corporate bonds to receive two investment grade ratings, and the second which DLA Piper has worked on in the region in the past year. Last November, it advised the Turkish beer and soft drinks group Anadolu Efes in its inaugural investment grade note offering of $500m 3.375 per cent notes due in 2022.

It just goes to show that it takes more than a few rumblings of discontent to put off investors – no wonder Turkish lawyers are optimistic that work will keep flowing.


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