Kaan Çetinkaya is the founding lawyer of Çetinkaya Law Firm and Chief Legal Counsel of a leading media company in Türkiye. He focuses on advising foreign investors in their transactions and disputes work in Türkiye and abroad. Mr. Çetinkaya's practice focuses on corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, white collar crimes, dispute resolution, data protection and intellectual property. He extensively advises clients on matters involving joint ventures, start-ups and strategic investments and on managing risk and resolving complex disputes relating to M&A. He represents foreign and local clients before arbitral tribunals and before all levels of domestic courts.
Host: How did you grow your interest in this field, and what do you think about your current position, compared to your previous profession? (If you have changed your profession)
Kaan: Growing my interest in this field was a combination of personal experience, research and conversations with experienced professionals. My initial exposure to the legal profession came from my wife who was lawyer in the legal industry. Seeing her work ethic and dedication to her clients inspired me to pursue a career in law as well. I then began researching different aspects of the practice, familiarizing myself with court proceedings, understanding how contracts are formed and enforced, learning about various laws related to business operations, etc. Having these conversations with experienced professionals has been essential for gaining an understanding of what it takes to be successful in this field.
I think being a partner at a law firm is an incredibly rewarding opportunity that requires hard work, dedication and strong interpersonal skills. As a partner, you are responsible for ensuring that the firm is successful and profitable while providing excellent legal services to your clients. You will also have the opportunity to mentor younger lawyers and provide guidance on complex issues. Additionally, as a partner at a law firm, you must be able to manage both staff and resources effectively in order to ensure that all tasks are completed efficiently and within budget. This requires strong leadership skills, problem solving abilities and an understanding of both legal processes and business operations.
Host: Key lessons or experiences that have enriched you and are currently aiding you in your work profile.
Kaan: As a Founding Partner of Cetinkaya Law Firm, communication is essential in order to be successful. Being able to articulate your thoughts clearly and concisely can make or break an argument or case. It’s important to practice active listening skills and take the time to understand the other side of an issue before responding with your own opinion. Having a strong knowledge of legal principles is critical for any lawyer because it allows them to better navigate complex cases and arguments in court, deals and negotiations. This means being well-versed in constitutional law, criminal law, civil procedure law, intellectual property law, contract law, etc., so that you can confidently explain its application when necessary. Additionally, lawyers often work long hours, especially when they are in the middle of a case, deal, project or negotiation. This means that you must be able to work under pressure and manage your time effectively. Lastly, intellectual property law is constantly changing as technology and new laws come into play. It’s important for lawyers to stay informed about current trends so that they can provide their clients with the best possible advice and representation.
Host: What are the different challenges and opportunities that you have or had faced while working in this field?
Kaan: Challenges of this field starting with the keeping up with changes in the law. Intellectual property law is an ever-evolving field, and staying up to date on legal developments can be a challenge. Lawyers must stay abreast of current laws, regulations, court decisions and new technologies that may affect their clients’ rights and interests. Educating clients about their intellectual property rights is one of the most important roles an IP lawyer plays. Clients often have little understanding of copyright law or patent protection, so it’s important for lawyers to explain these concepts clearly and concisely in order for them to make informed decisions about protecting their work or ideas. When disputes arise, IP lawyers have to be prepared to negotiate and litigate on their clients’ behalf. This can include defending patents in court or negotiating licensing agreements. For opportunities in this field, working in intellectual property law offers a wide range of opportunities for growth and career advancement. Lawyers may specialize in a particular area, such as patent law, trademark law or copyright law, license rights and they may also find themselves working with cutting-edge technologies that are reshaping the legal landscape. Additionally, many IP lawyers work with large multinational companies or innovative startups which offer exciting work environments and potential for big rewards.
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