In-House Interview: Dinç Şanver, Regional Legal Director, Pearson
Since you graduated in 2005 from Yeditepe University’s Faculty of Law, your career has varied from being a private practice lawyer to moving in-house. What prompted these changes and what were your motivations? Tell us about your professional background and aspirations.
As a matter of fact, I draw my way to being an in-house legal counsel just after graduation. As I experienced groundwork and law offices for a while, I would like to position myself in a way that can advise clients rather running a law firm due to the fact that my ethical values and personal qualities fit better with in-house counselling. It took me nearly 5 years to find a prominent position as in house counsel but at the top of my heart I believed that this is the profession that I`d like to be.
After nearly 6 years working in the technology industry at Samsung Electronics, you were promoted to Compliance Manager at Zimmer Biomet in May 2017, then moved to Teva Pharmaceuticals Türkiye as General Counsel & Local Compliance Officer Turkey & MEA in March 2020. Finally, you joined Pearson as Regional Legal Director. Tell us about your motivation to change your industry.
My motivation is to broaden my horizon and add value to my legal knowledge. While I was quit for Samsung Electronics Turkey, I had a grounded position and I was happy with the Company. When I received the offer from Zimmer Biomet – it was for a regional role – I felt that it was the next big thing for my career and I strongly feel that I need progress and take this challenge by remembering the saying “if you cannot sail further from the shore, you may not see the ocean”. Also, we are experiencing harsh competition in legal industry, I believe that compliance would be the best add-on for my c.v.
What are the international trends in learning and education industry you expect to impact the Turkish legal & compliance market the most?
I believe that the most significant impact of COVID on the education industry will be to direct companies toward cloud-based educational models in which there is no longer a teacher in charge and children can use their own will and imagination to learn from third-party apps rather than a static source. As a result, the key trend in the education business would be the use of technology such as VR, Smartphones, and so on.
As an in-house lawyer, what type of projects are you working on at the moment to assist businesses?
The project varies by companies’ future projection and business plans. I mainly deliver legal and compliance services required in long range legal subjects. Of course, the primary duty is to managing legal portion of the projects with different project teams in the company.
How do you envision the Turkish legal industry's future? Do you have any forecasts for the future?
I believe that Turkish legal industry needs to modernize and should be free from old law office/service logic which diminishes the value of legal service. Instead, we need to set higher standards for ourselves and our clients as well to satisfy the rapidly growing legal population. It may be triggered by global developments trends as well as rising of young lawyers to get in charge of law offices and companies. After some years, I believe that lawyers can provide legal service outside of Turkey likewise IT professionals due to qualified young lawyer population and competitive rates.
What do you believe are the most important skills for lawyers to meet business needs better and develop in order to succeed as an in-house lawyer?
I believe that all in house lawyers need to develop their independency, critical thinking and management and should have up to date legal information as legal counsel plays a unique role for the business organizations by guiding business to do the right thing with the right legal approach. So as a core subject matter expert in house counsels should have ability to act independently while managing legal tasks and has sufficient level of critical thinking to drive the projects in the most efficient direction with their legal knowledge.
When you look back at your career, what lessons would you share with your younger self?
The most important lesson that I would teach to my younger self would be more empowered while acting in the organization and be more cautious while reviewing legal tasks. However, same mistakes would appear even how hard I taught due that legal counsels are grown with expertise, and this is something you cannot grasp by some lessons. :)
And, your New Year's wishes?
The world and Turkey experienced many challenges in past few years. I wish that 2023 will be a remediation year and will bring more justice, prosperity, and growth to all of us.