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Practice Areas

Anti-Corruption / White Collar Irregularities

GURKAYNAK has a significant practice in Turkey in terms of internal investigations and white collar crime matters in connection with Turkish corporate compliance issues under the FCPA, the UK Bribery Act, and under the mandatory provisions of Turkish law on anti-corruption.

GURKAYNAK has so far followed and frequently helped develop different and demanding work plans for a vast number of internal investigations on the Turkish operations of US or UK based multinational companies, Turkish operations of companies quoted in foreign stock exchanges, large Turkish conglomerates, frequently coordinating issues also with their external and/or internal counsel outside Turkey. GURKAYNAK has interviewed over 200 employees, drafted disclosure petitions, dealt with PR and GR aspects of projects of this nature, prepared extensive white collar due diligence reports, provided over 80 FCPA trainings, and helped clients adopt and implement policies of detecting and ensuring full corporate compliance in Turkey.

Our law firm holds a significant legal capability in all the fields of law required for such projects, including but not limited to employment law (notices, obtaining defenses of employees, terminations for cause, settlement negotiations, etc.), data privacy law (review of records, review of e-mail messages, correspondence, phone records, etc.), and corporate law (affiliate intervening through general assembly, Board of Directors member removals, fiduciary duties of a Board Member to the shareholder company, confidentiality obligations, etc.). As for the criminal law aspects of such projects, GURKAYNAK works on the criminal law dimensions together with an outside law firm -specialized in Turkish criminal law- with which it has a long standing track-record for coordinating white collar crime issues.

GURKAYNAK has a high reputation for handling these types of self due-diligence projects because it has handled, as requested by the in-house legal counsel and/or compliance managers of multinational companies, quite a high number of such projects. Although, due to confidentiality constraints, GURKAYNAK is naturally not free to match any names of clients with a white collar irregularity representation undertaken, set forth below are descriptions of some of the projects undertaken so far by GURKAYNAK:

  1. Company suspected FCPA violations (through payments to public officials). GURKAYNAK work on company records and correspondence proved suspicion, and proved the nature of payments to be bribery under Turkish law, and in any case exceeding what would constitute facilitating payments for FCPA purposes.
  2. Company had already found out about embezzlement, self-dealing and unauthorized revisions in company books and records. Documents proving embezzlement were alleged to be stolen by the subsidiary. GURKAYNAK coordinated all legal aspects and Turkish law consequences of the matter.
  3. Company suspected code of conduct and company policy violations, including antitrust violations and bid rigging in public tenders. GURKAYNAK interview of employees, signed affidavits and corroborating indicia in company records proved violations. Furthermore, GURKAYNAK findings revealed acts constituting smuggling of products into country under Turkish customs law. GURKAYNAK coordinated all legal aspects and Turkish law consequences of the matter.
  4. Company suspected subsidiary employees competing with the company with commercial sales of gratuitous allocation of products, as part of a fringe benefit to all employees in the country. GURKAYNAK work on the matter proved the suspicion. GURKAYNAK coordinated all legal aspects and Turkish law consequences of the matter.
  5. Company suspected inappropriate payments to certain heads and high ranking officials of municipalities through a reported gap in the profits. Financial evidence found by auditors and legal evidence found by GURKAYNAK led to managers of the company admitting the wrongdoing. GURKAYNAK also provided legal assistance in the consequent process where the international company pulled out of the partnership.
  6. Company found out about numerous significant payments for services and products that are not integral to the business of the company over the course of five years. Outside detective company hired by client and their investigation revealed that the companies providing these services and products are tied to family members and friends of managers. All such managers and two BoD members terminated for cause through GURKAYNAK assistance. Through GURKAYNAK assistance, the company also intervened through General Assembly due to the need for the shareholder to compel the subsidiary to grant permission for a full blown search of company records by GURKAYNAK. GURKAYNAK full blown investigation revealed significant gifts to public officials.
  7. Company audit revealed payments to members of committees deciding on the legal categorization of the real estate owned by the joint venture of the company in Turkey. The wrongdoing was admitted through the joint venture partner's proposal to pay the amount to the company. The company hired GURKAYNAK to conduct a due diligence on the joint venture. Corporate law assistance also provided due to the need to obtain proper permission from the joint venture company under Turkish law. All e-mails reviewed by GURKAYNAK attorneys through servers. Affidavits prepared through interviews with employees. GURKAYNAK coordinated all legal aspects and Turkish law consequences of the matter.