Mandatory mediation for commercial disputes was recently introduced by the Law on Legal Procedures to Initiate Proceedings for Monetary Receivables arising out of Subscription Agreements. As a result, an application for mediation is a condition for bringing a legal action before the courts, and a case will be dismissed on procedural grounds if the claimant in a commercial action fails to fulfil this obligation.
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law adopts the principles of competence-competence and the separability of arbitration agreements. Under these principles, an arbitral tribunal may rule on its own jurisdiction, including any objection with respect to the existence and validity of an arbitration agreement. In 2001 the International Arbitration Law introduced these principles to Turkish legislation.
Under the International Arbitration Law, if a party initiates court proceedings to resolve a dispute which falls within the scope of an arbitration agreement, the counterparty can object to the court's jurisdiction based on said agreement. The submission of objections and the resolution of disputes concerning the validity of an arbitration agreement are subject to the Civil Procedure Law. If a court accepts such an objection, it will dismiss the lawsuit on procedural grounds.
The Communique on Procedures and Principles Regarding Fees to be Collected from Commercial Customers by Banks was published on 10 February 2020. The communique aims to determine the type, quality and maximum amount or rate of fees to be collected for providing products and services, ensure the accuracy of concepts and terms, prevent overpricing and increase the predictability and transparency of transactions conducted between Turkish banks and their commercial customers.
The Communique on Compliance with Principles and Standards of Interest-Free Banking entered into force in September 2019. The communique aims to regulate the procedures and principles regarding the structures and processes to be established by participation banks and development and investment banks which finance their clients in accordance with the Regulation on Financing Transactions of Banks.
Suretyships are a kind of security commonly used in loan transactions which provide personal security to lenders if a borrower fails to fulfil its payment obligation. The Code of Obligations sets out certain requirements regarding the validity of suretyship agreements and enacting a suretyship agreement by proxy. This article examines these requirements in detail.
The Council of Ministers recently amended Decree 32 on the Protection of the Value of Turkish Currency. The amending decree introduced strict restrictions on foreign currency loans obtained from overseas or in Turkey. The provision of foreign currency indexed loans to legal entities or real persons is now forbidden. However, legal entities which generate no foreign currency income but have credit exposure equal to or above $15 million may obtain foreign currency loans without limitation.
The Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) recently issued a series of public announcements emphasising that it has observed excessive price increases in the food sector – particularly for fresh fruit and vegetables – during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, to protect consumers, the TCA has stressed that it will continue to monitor these price increases and the market players that have contributed thereto.
The Competition Board recently published its annual M&A status report, which outlines statistics on merger control decisions with regard to the number of transactions, the parties' country of origin, economic activities and transaction values. The board reviewed a total of 208 mergers and acquisitions in 2019, a 7% reduction compared with 2018.
Two of the three vacant positions on the Competition Board (the competent decision-making organ of the Competition Authority) have now been filled. Despite the Competition Board's existing backlog, the inauguration of the newly appointed members means that it can now proceed with and resolve contentious matters that were pending on its agenda. The lack of quorum will no longer be a limiting factor for the functioning of the board.
The Competition Board recently published the results of its preliminary investigation into a gym franchise business following a complaint that its franchising agreements violated Law 4054 and the Block Exemption Communique on Vertical Agreements. The board ordered the franchiser to revise its non-compete and non-poaching clauses to comply with competition law in terms of duration, geographical area and written consent.
The Competition Board recently fined a fertiliser company for hindering an on-site inspection. The matter concerned whether company officials had been correct in preventing the case handlers from accessing personal email correspondence found in a corporate email account during the on-site inspection which implied that another company had been willing to revise its prices.
Boards of directors are the administrative and representative bodies of joint stock companies. This article examines the general duties of directors in Turkey under the Commercial Code and the liability regime for directors, including social security-related liability, tax liabilities and potential exemptions to liability.
The enforceability of share options is one of the most controversial issues in the context of shareholders' agreements. There are a number of widely used solutions to improve the enforceability of share options in this regard, including inserting share options provisions into articles of association, establishing a holding company outside Turkey and inserting a statement on registered share certificates that shares are subject to transfer restrictions.
Each January, the Central Bank determines and announces the default interest to be applied where parties fail to agree on such interest or when their agreement is or becomes invalid. According to the Central Bank's recent announcement in the Official Gazette, default interest has been set at 21.25% as of 1 January 2019, compared with 10.75% in 2018.
The Law regarding Procedures for Initiating Legal Proceedings for Monetary Claims deriving from Subscription Agreements, which introduces a mandatory mediation process for commercial disputes to the Commercial Code, was recently published in the Official Gazette. Mandatory mediation will apply to all lawsuits that fall within the scope of the new law; however, it will not apply to lawsuits pending before first-instance courts, regional courts of justice or supreme courts.
The Law amending Certain Laws to Improve the Investment Environment was recently published in the Official Gazette. In order to boost Turkey's investment environment, the law has introduced notable changes to a number of different laws, including the Law on Movable Pledges in Commercial Transactions.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting not only public health, but also global business operations and the economic sector. In light of reports that mergers and acquisitions are being delayed, it is important to determine the impact of COVID-19 on M&A transactions and implement measures to mitigate the risks associated therewith. To that end, this article addresses whether COVID-19 qualifies as force majeure or hardship for contractual purposes and its impact on parties' mutual obligations.
This article examines some of the key considerations for buyers and sellers when entering into an M&A transaction and how best to navigate deal-related risks. For example, in Turkey, M&A deals are generally not subject to regulatory approval. However, depending on the turnovers of the buyer, seller and target, a proposed transaction may be subject to Competition Board approval. Further, M&A deals in some regulated sectors (eg, energy and telecoms) must be approved by the governmental authorities.
A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a term used for a variety of transactions in which buyers (usually private equity firms) use leverage to acquire a company's shares. However, it is impossible to fully mitigate the risk that a target is deemed to provide financial assistance for the purchase of its own shares if the acquirer uses an LBO and the target provides guarantees or securities over its own assets due to a lack of established precedents. This uncertainty means that a diligent analysis is required for each transaction.
Squeeze-outs in Turkey are regulated under the Commercial Code where they concern private companies and the Capital Markets Law where they concern publicly held companies. This article examines the different processes for carrying out squeeze-outs at private and publicly held companies, as well as the squeeze-out rights available to controlling shareholders and the squeeze-out merger process.