Zihni is a senior partner of the firm and responsible for management and business development. He focuses on company commercial, private equity investments, PPP, finance, maritime and insurance sectors. His advice is regularly sought by a wide range of blue chip companies in their investment strategies in Turkey. He represents European lenders and equity investors in their secured and unsecured financing and advises bidders in major public tenders on infrastructure. He is quoted in the Legal 500 as a “lawyer who stands out as a key player” and “who adeptly handles foreign investment matters”.

Zihni also has vast experience and enjoys an excellent reputation in the maritime field. His clients are P&I Clubs, ship owners, charterers, yards and ship financing banks. According to Chambers and Partners “Sources consider top-rated shipping lawyer Zihni Bilgehan as an extremely experienced and well-respected maritime lawyer - in many people's opinion, the pre-eminent shipping lawyer in Turkey," adding: "Not only does he have a brilliant legal mind, but he is able to take a commercial approach, and explain the often unfathomable twists and turns of the Turkish legal system."


LL.M., University College London, 1985
LL.B., Birmingham University, 1982




Admitted to the English Bar (Middle Temple) as a barrister at law.
Admitted to the Turkish Cypriot Bar as an advocate.
Registered with Istanbul Bar as a Turkish Cypriot lawyer.

LMAA – London Maritime Arbitrators Association (Supporting Member)
DEIK – Foreign Economic Relations Board
BCCT – British Chamber of Commerce Turkey
CBPA – Cyprus Businessmen and Professionals Association (Board Member)

Practice Areas

  • Banking and Finance
  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Information Technologies and Data Protection
  • Infrastructure
  • Insurance & Re-insurance
  • Maritime, Shipping & Transport
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Real Estate & Construction

Experience Highlights

Advised a large holding with diversified businesses in exiting from a sector of their business by sale of 100% shares in a number of their companies and a port located in Turkey.

Advised a portfolio management company exiting the business by transfer of 100% shares to a foreign portfolio management company.

Advised IHI and ITOCHU of Japan and Japanese export lender in the Izmit Bay suspension bridge construction project (fourthlongest suspension bridge in the world) worth USD 1.2 billion on EPC Contract basis.

Advised Crescent Heights, a large American Development and Condominium company with respect to the TOKI (National Housing Administration) tender and deriving contracts regarding the construction of a new stadium and high-rise luxury residence/office space and a shopping mall over land in central Istanbul. Deal size was USD 1.3 billion.

Advised re-insurers of a Megayacht that sank allegedly due to alleged defects in construction by the builder.

Advised the owners and managers of a luxury yacht that sustained serious fire damage while undergoing maintenance in a Turkish yard regarding issues with H&M Underwriters relating to repairs and re-fitting and whether there is a CTL.

Advised a foreign investment fund in their participation in a number of television, media, advertising and printing companies on project finance basis. Deal size was USD 1.1 billion.

Regularly advises major banks such as HSH Nordbank, DVB, Deutsche Bank and Is Bank in their loan facilities extended to Turkish ship owners as well as in re-financing and re-structuring of loans.

Regularly provides advice to a number of P&I Clubs and ship owners on shipping related claims and casualties.

Advised the H&M insurers of a superyacht that was destroyed by fire in a Marmaris marina. 


Zihni BILGEHAN is ranked as a Band 1 Lawyer in Chambers and Partners Turkey Shipping index.

Zihni BILGEHAN is a Leading Individual in Legal 500 Turkey Transport index.


The Shipping Law Review, Law Business Research, Third Edition 2016

The Shipping Law Review, Co-author, Law Business Research, 2014-2015

Shipping & International Trade Law, Co-author, European Lawyer, 2011

“Alternative Corporate Re-engineering”, Co-author, European Lawyer, 2011