Ilay Yilmaz
Turkey
  • PositionPartner
  • FirmELIG Gürkaynak
  • Age36
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Ilay Yilmaz

Ilay Yilmaz

Turkey
  • Position: Partner
  • Firm: ELIG Gürkaynak
  • Age: 36

What do you do?

I seek to provide my clients with a clear picture of how data law is interpreted and to explain jurisdictional differences relating to compliance issues; to create and implement practical solutions for foreign clients who wish to enter the Turkish market or jurisdiction; and to bring an enthusiasm for the technology-driven environment.

What drew you to your area of practice?

The dynamic and ever-evolving nature of the technology sector.

Career highlights?

Being promoted to partner at the age of 33; working alongside our founding partner, Gönenç Gürkaynak, and our talented associates in our top-flight TMT team; and the opportunity to assist outstanding clients who always pose cutting-edge, sophisticated and challenging legal questions to us.

Influences and mentors?

I am fortunate to have been working with Gönenç Gürkaynak for more than 10 years, who is a great mentor to me. Some of my other influences are well-known figures from various fields, who inspire and drive me with their own passion and success. To name just a few: Nicole Wong, an attorney and former deputy US chief technology officer; Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent for CNN; Roberto Bolle, a principal dancer étoile at La Scala Theatre Ballet in Milan; and Alain de Botton, a philosopher and author.

What will data lawyers be advising on in 10 years?

Lawyers in my field will be advising on issues relating to the data processed and used through [AI and blockchain] technologies, along with the ongoing debate surrounding legal and ethical concerns raised by these novel technologies, which I hope will not end up penalising or hindering technological improvements.

What do you do to relax?

Whenever I get a chance, I travel the world. Visiting a faraway place at least once a year is really important to me. I crave the opportunity to experience and learn from different cultures, cuisines and traditions, and to pick up a few words of a new language.

Favourite restaurant?

I was fortunate to have been born into one of the richest cuisines in the world, and a couple of excellent local restaurants that I would recommend are Yeni Lokanta and Sunset Grill & Bar in Istanbul. My international favourites are Epicure in Paris and Gion Karyo in Kyoto.