We represents individuals or corporations in a broad spectrum of high stakes government inquiries, investigations and proceedings. We defend against all manner of allegations, including health care fraud, money laundering, tax fraud, business fraud, securities fraud, foreign and domestic bribery, public corruption, mail, wire, and bank fraud, cyber-crime, customs violations, and environmental crimes.
Becoming legally savvy is important regardless of where you are in a business. The word savvy basically means you have a practical understanding of how business and law really work. And this is very important for business success and for the success in your own personal career.
Turkish law pertaining to white collar crime and civil fraud are not only complex, but also are in a constant state of evolution. Often criminal investigations run parallel to civil lawsuits or administrative investigations. Because decisions in one action can affect the others, it is imperative that these different prongs be headed by counsel with experience in each of these types of proceedings.
We understand government bureaucracies, how and with whom to work throughout the investigative process, as well as how and when to strongly advocate our client’s position. We represent clients from a broad cross section of industries, such as: healthcare, financial services and brokerages, government contractors and public utilities, automobile and petroleum companies, airlines, high technology and e-commerce, life science and biotech, media and telecommunications, retail and apparel, real estate.
We also represent clients who are victims of crime. We guide them through the proper investigative agencies and advocate for criminal prosecution and restitution where appropriate.
Preserving the reputation of our clients
Because of the nature of white collar and civil fraud matters, it is critical that steps be taken to preserve the reputation of our clients in their business dealings with shareholders, regulators, and the press, among other constituencies. A distinct competency of Bicak in this area is our ability to minimize potentially negative public relations through swift action and strategy.
Corporate Criminal Law covers crimes committed either by a corporation (i.e., a business entity having a separate legal personality from the natural persons that manage its activities), or by individuals acting on behalf of a corporation or other business entity. For the worst corporate crimes, corporations may face judicial dissolution, sometimes called the “corporate death penalty”, which is a legal procedure in which a corporation is forced to dissolve or cease to exist.
Not all negative behaviours by corporations may actually be criminal. Behavior can be regulated by the civil law (including administrative law) or the criminal law. In deciding to criminalize particular behavior, the legislature is making the political judgment that this behavior is sufficiently culpable to deserve the stigma of being labelled as a crime. In Turkish law, corporations can commit the most of the offences as natural persons.
Types of Corporate Crimes
- White-Collar Crimes, the majority of individuals who may act as or represent the interests of the corporation are white-collar professionals;
- Organized Crimes, criminals may set up corporations either for the purposes of crime or as vehicles for launderingthe proceeds of crime.
- State-Corporate Crimes, in many contexts, the opportunity to commit crime emerges from the relationship between the corporation and the state.
- Crimes Committed Against Corporations by Officers, Directors and Employees (fraud, theft, embezzlement, corruption),
- Crimes Committed Against Corporations by External Forces (robbery, burglary, larceny, piracy),
- Crimes Committed for Corporations by Internal Forces (regulatory noncompliance, tax evasion, bribery, false financial statements).
Corporate criminal conduct can have devastating effects. These issues require swift and decisive action, whether preventative or reactive.
Our expertise encompasses all areas of law connected with bribery and corruption, sanctions, fraud, money laundering, insider dealing, cartels and corporate manslaughter. We have decades of experience advising and representing financial institutions, multinational corporates and senior management.
The largest and most skilled
With one of the largest and most skilled corporate crime and investigations practices, our world class team covers 30 major cities of Turkey, bringing outstanding results for clients drawing on market leading legal skills, commercial savvy, local knowledge and insights into the relevant regulators and law enforcement bodies.
Clients trust us to handle their most complex and sensitive compliance and investigations work in Turkey. They rely on us to;
- Advise on preventative measures, so they can be sure they are protected in their ordinary operations and extraordinary transactions – even in times of trouble,
- Safeguard their business in terms of workplace health and safety, conferment of the appropriate powers and reporting duties throughout the management chain of a business (including for environmental matters), and adequate internal controls system,
- Cope with emergencies arising from investigations and defend them (as a business or individual) against criminal charges before the courts, including charges of misconduct with public entities, the Competititon Authority, the MASAK, tax fraud and bankruptcy,
- Provide comprehensive assistance if clients are the victim, whether as a company or individual.
The risks associated with bribery and corruption incidents have dramatically increased in recent years. “Long-arm” laws like the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act are being aggressively enforced, a plethora of domestic legislation has emerged, and scrutiny from regulators and law enforcement agencies across Turkey is at an all-time high. All this means that companies must be able to prevent, identify and respond to bribery and corruption incidents effectively, wherever in Turkey they do business. We are working on some of the biggest, most sensitive and complex corruption cases currently being undertaken in Turkey. We provide risk assessments, training, due diligence, internal reviews, document drafting and other advice to clients of all sizes to ensure they are fully prepared to meet their compliance obligations and to avoid problems arising.
Anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) legislation can apply to those both inside and outside the financial sector. It is a key area of focus for regulators and law enforcement around Turkey with possible consequences including criminal prosecution of organisations or individuals, and business threatening regulatory enforcement action. We can help you with issues including developing policies and procedures, reviewing systems and controls, providing training, advice on disclosure and reporting, assessing the potential for criminal and civil liability, helping with internal and external investigations, and AML/CTF in a transactional context.
The risk of falling victim to fraud and other white collar and corporate crime raises significant reputational risks for companies and individuals, not least of which is the potential exposure to highly damaging civil, criminal and administrative sanctions, Acting in such complex and sensitive matters requires more than an understanding of the legal issues. It calls for a strategic and seamless approach, the ability to deal with a range of different law enforcement agencies and regulators, advising on contentious and non-contentious aspects and related issues such as public relations, shareholder communications, insurance and employment issues.
The hasty implementation and ever-expanding scope of Turkey’s specific sanctions regime continues to raise a myriad of urgent issues for corporates and financial institutions. This includes understanding the sanctions’ jurisdictional scope and impact, including matters such as the effect of asset freezing measures, part-ownership by sanctioned persons, licensing issues, the interpretation of sectoral sanctions and the force majeure, frustration and termination issues affecting contracts with sanctioned counterparties. We have been heavily involved in advising both financial sector and corporate clients with operations in sanctions on these and related issues, and in making licence applications to relevant authorities.
Investigations by law enforcement and regulatory bodies into alleged wrong-doing have increased dramatically in number, severity and complexity in recent years. Criminal investigations have two principal and overlapping functions in the administration of criminal justice: (1) to determine if a crime occurred (and if so to identify and, when appropriate, arrest the person or persons responsible); and (2) to collect evidence that would be admissible at trial and sufficient to prove the guilt of those ultimately accused of responsibility.
The length and complexity of this process, and the range of investigative techniques brought to bear, vary tremendously. In a very simple “street crime,” an apparent culprit may be identified and arrested immediately on a reactive basis, and the evidence-gathering may be straightforward and limited in scope; investigations in more complicated matters may take place on a proactive basis and can take months or even years in order to review and obtain evidence before a decision can be made to prosecute.
Combining an understanding of local factors in Turkey, we are equally skillful at handling enquires in relation to bribery and corruption, fraud, money laundering, trade and economic sanctions breaches, antitrust, securities fraud, tax evasion, environmental regulations breaches, improper accounting practices and other misconduct.
We can also help clients with crisis management and critical issues such as potential legal and regulatory exposure, disclosure and reporting obligations, and dealing with media and other reputational issues arising from investigations.