Merve Özbakır

Merve Özbakır joined Cleveland & Co in July 2022 as an Associate and in less than a year was promoted to Senior Legal Counsel. Merve supports our EMEA team across private equity investments, investment management, M&A transactions, and our Asia-Pacific team with Australian private funds and superannuation legislation.

Merve is a Turkish qualified lawyer with 3 years of experience in project financing, syndicated and bilateral loans, debt securities and restructuring arrangements as well as domestic and cross border M&A transactions. Prior to joining the firm, Merve was a Banking & Finance Associate at the Istanbul office of a magic circle law firm where she advised several international and domestic banks and financial institutions as well as a number of large-scale corporations in terms of both English law and Turkish law-governed transactions, legal documentation and regulatory issues. Throughout her career, Merve has become proficient in client communication, drafting and negotiating contracts and providing legal advice to high-profile clients in various fields of law.

When she’s not advising our clients with their legal issues, Merve likes to travel to new places, try new cuisines, paint and visit museums.


Merve has experience in:

  • AIFs
  • Banking
  • Broker Services
  • Capital Markets
  • CIS Operators and Schemes
  • Corporate and M&A
  • Corporate Finance
  • Debt Arrangements and Corporate Restructuring
  • Debt Securities
  • Depositary Services
  • Legal Research
  • ManCos
  • Negotiation
  • Pooled Pension Funds
  • Private Equity (climate opportunities, infrastructure, private credit and real estate)
  • Project Finance


Merve has gained her experience working at:

  • Cleveland & Co: Assisting our clients with the legal review, side letter negotiations and MFN processes of their investments in global private market funds, drafting and legal review of commercial contracts, IP, tech and service agreements, management of legal due diligence process and SPA negotiations under M&A transactions, drafting and legal review of corporate documentation for English and Australian companies under share purchase and buyback transactions.
  • Clifford Chance LLP: Assisting various international banks and financial institutions with a wide range of matters under large-scale financing transactions with particular focus on project financings, bilateral financings, syndicated financings and PPPs, and advising Turkish and international clients on issuances and updates of notes and medium term note programmes.

Professional Appointments/Memberships

  • Association of Women Solicitors
  • Mentor, Amos Bursary Programme


  • Qualified as an attorney-at-law with Istanbul Bar Association
  • LLM International Trade and Commercial Law (Durham University)
  • LLB Law (Koç University)


  • Turkish
  • English