Global Competition Review 40 Under 40 - Gönenç Gürkaynak

Gönenç Gürkaynak,Esq., head of the Regulatory & Compliance team at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, has been selected to the worldwide Global Competition Review 40 Under 40 (March 2012)

Tell us about your work history:

Before founding ELİG Attorneys-at-Law in 2005, I worked with a global law firm for more than eight years at their Istanbul, New York and Brussels offices. This is the third time I have been selected in the 40 under 40 survey and this is thanks to the wonderful team I work with at my law firm.

Why did you choose to practise competition law?

Competition law requires a solid legal background, analytical thinking ability and an in-depth understanding of economics. It is a fascinating field of law and I find it difficult to understand why all lawyers don’t choose to practise in this area.

Who in competition was your mentor/who inspires you?

At Harvard University I was a research assistant to Professor Louis Kaplow. During my years in Brussels I reported to Ian Forrester QC, now the UK’s designated judge at the General Court of the Court of Justice of the EU. Both were extremely influential in my development, along with many other mentors and teachers I have had throughout my career.

What competition enforcement trends do you anticipate developing by the time you are 45?

I expect compliance programmes to be at the heart of what a competition lawyer does and I anticipate preventive measures gaining more value.

What trends are developing in your jurisdiction?

As expected, the Competition Board shifted its focus from standard merger control cases to the fight against cartels and to challenging certain types of unilateral conduct, after the revisions on jurisdictional thresholds of notification.

What advice would you give to those starting out in competition law?

Know that you are in a field of law that particularly requires complex knowledge of precedents, doctrine, trends and markets. Go get the knowledge, and always question the legal policy implications.

What firm do you admire from afar?

I have the pleasure of working with many respected law firms from around the globe, including the US, UK, Europe and Japan. Naming one firm or two is neither possible nor wise for a local counsel of preference of many well respected law firms in a given jurisdiction.

Aside from competition law, what do you enjoy doing?

Scuba diving in underwater caves and wrecks, sailing at the Aegean sea and Mehmet-ing (Mehmet is the name of my three-year-old son) in the garden.

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