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GAR 100 - 13th Edition

Erdem & Erdem

14 April 2020

Home to a leading Turkish arbitrator visible on ICC cases

People in Who's Who Legal 1
Pending cases as counsel 2
Treaty cases 0
Third-party funded cases 0
Current arbitrator appointments 3 (2 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 1

Senior partner Ercüment Erdem founded the Istanbul-based firm 30 years ago and leads its dispute resolution practice. It’s on his name that the firm’s reputation in this field largely rests. Erdem often sits as an arbitrator in ICC cases and at institutions in Switzerland, Russia and Iran, as well as the new Istanbul Arbitration Centre. He became a member of the ICC Court in 2016. He was also appointed as chair of the ICC Commission on Commercial Law and Practice last year.

Although Erdem is the only member of the practice with an international profile, partners Piraye Erdem and Süleyman Sevinç combine international arbitration with commercial litigation experience.

Who uses it?

The firm is tight-lipped about its clients but is known to have acted for Turkey’s Yildirim conglomerate, Enerji Holdings, and glass and chemicals company Şişecam. It has acted in two cases for Turkish Super League football clubs, including one for Istanbul’s Galatasaray before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

Track record

Erdem & Erdem represented Yildirim in a US$125 million ICC case against CCX, a mining company linked to Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista. When a planned sale of coal assets in Colombia stalled, Erdem & Erdem helped Yildirim obtain emergency arbitrator relief to prevent CCX from engaging in talks with other buyers. The dispute ended in 2016 with CCX agreeing to sell the assets to Yildirim for US$45 million.

The firm has also been acting for a Turkish oil and gas distributor in a dispute heard under Swiss rules, and represented the claimant in one of the first cases at the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Centre, which ended in a settlement. It has also appeared in cases at the Izmir Chamber of Commerce and the Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).

Recent events

Erdem & Erdem defended a Turkish oil and gas distribution company in a dispute under the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration of the Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution.

It is also representing a client engaged in the constructing and operating airports in an ICC case and in proceedings under the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITOTAM).

Meanwhile Ercüment Erdem continues to be appointed as arbitrator in cases administered by the ICC, ITOTAM and the Istanbul Arbitration Centre. Some of his recent nominations include sole arbitrator in a dispute arising out of a share transfer transaction; sole arbitrator in an arbitration under the rules of the TOBB; and co-arbitrator in a dispute concerning a software dispute between an Indian company and a Turkish power generator.

Client comment

Atilla Basol, CEO of Turkey’s Enerji Holdings, had occasion to use the firm for a high-value ICC dispute over equipment supplies for an important project. “Over our many years of experience in various ICC arbitrations, we can easily rank Erdem & Erdem as the number-one law firm for ICC arbitration based in Turkey,” he says.

Ercüment Erdem in particular is “one of the best lawyers we have ever worked with during our business life”, Basol adds.

Özcan Günergök, legal director at Şişecam, retained the firm for an ICC dispute with a foreign distributor concerning unpaid invoices. He says Ercüment Erdem gave an “impressive” performance at the hearings in Zurich, while Piraye Erdem and Süleyman Sevinç were also “highly knowledgeable, responsive and focused on our needs”.

Petek Arslan of football club Galatasaray engaged Erdem & Erdem for the CAS case mentioned above, as well as an ICC case over a sponsorship agreement, both of which successfully settled. He calls the firm “reliable and good value” and commends their “practical and business-minded” advocacy. Associate Ezgi Babur von Schwander demonstrated impressive knowledge of international arbitration, he adds.



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