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Hot Practice: Haluk Bilgic on BilgicLegal’s Finance Practice

Hot Practice: Haluk Bilgic on BilgicLegal’s Finance Practice

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Founding Partner Haluk Bilgic reports that BilgicLegal’s busiest team was the one focused on restructuring transactions and debt financing in the first half of 2020. “That includes not just project and transaction financing but also shipping finance transactions,” Bilgic explains, while noting that the primary focus has been on restructuring existing deals, “since it’s not the best time to initiate new transactions.”

Bilgic explains that the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the general debt economy have been driving this type of work. Of the latter, Bilgic says that it has “decreased substantially over the last 12 month – not just because of COVID-19 and its impact on the market but also due to some of the structural weaknesses of the Turkish economy, which has been registering shrinkage across all sectors.”

Bilgic claims that his firm has benefited from its independence, which, he argues, allows it to be “more flexible and able to cooperate with a number of international players not present in the country, or even collaborate with some of the local firms here.”

Looking towards the future, Bilgic says there won’t be a lot of “big ticket M&A transaction or original project finance transactions, except for those that are sponsored or backed by the government.” Those, however, he notes, “have a timeline of their own based on the government’s agenda.” Overall, Bilgic projects that “we’ll be seeing a lot of restructuring financing, bankruptcy transactions, and the likes but a lot of it is a question mark at the moment as everyone is still unsure what the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 will be. I feel this is going to be rather unpredictable for a while."

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