Zeynep Gunday Sakarya is a partner in the International Dispute Resolution Practice on our New York office. Qualified both in New York and Turkey, Zeynep has practiced in both jurisdictions for more than 10 years, advising clients at all stages of conflict resolution, especially on investment treaty and commercial arbitrations across a diverse range of sectors, including telecommunications, construction, agribusiness, oil and gas and mining.

Zeynep’s experience includes arbitration proceedings under all major institution rules, including the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC). Zeynep is also adept at handling matters before local courts, usually involving an international component or foreign party, including contract disputes, bankruptcy and award enforcement.

In addition to her practice in dispute resolution, Zeynep has advised clients on a broad range of transactional matters, including cross-border acquisitions, joint ventures and general regulatory advisory work.

Dually trained in both common and civil law systems, Zeynep has fostered her reputation in representing sovereign clients and corporations on conflict resolution and transactional and regulatory matters involving Europe, the Middle East and CIS regions.


Award Mouse thought multimedia interface book medal screen monitor
  • Representing Turkmenistan in a US$ 2 million ICSID(AF) claim initiated by a Russian telecommunications company arising from mobile network operations.
  • Representing Turkmenistan in a €45 million ICSID dispute brought by a German insolvency administrator concerning the construction of grain mill complexes and bakeries.
  • Represented Libya in an €80 million ICSID additional facility arbitration brought by an Austrian construction company relating to integrated infrastructure and multiple highway design and construction projects affected by the 2011 Libyan revolution.
  • Represented Kuwait in its first ICSID arbitration initiated by a joint venture comprised of Italian and Spanish companies relating to a highway and infrastructure construction project with more than US$240 million in dispute.
  • Represented Albania and its state-owned oil company in a US$600 million ICC arbitration and ad hoc expert proceeding initiated by a Canadian company concerning an oil exploration and extraction agreement.
  • Represented Turkmenistan in a US$450 million ICSID arbitration brought by Turkish parties involving more than 30 engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the construction of various facilities, including iron and steel, water treatment and recycling plants.
  • Represented Turkmenistan in a US$570 million ICSID arbitration initiated by a Turkish company involving multiple civil engineering EPC contracts for various facilities, including schools, hotels and a manmade canal.
  • Represented a Turkish contractor in an ICC arbitration with an amount in dispute of US$16 million with regard to the construction of a shopping mall in Turkey.
  • Represented Turkmenistan in a US$64 million ICSID arbitration brought by a UK company arising out of a highway construction project.
  • Represented Kazakhstan in a US$1 billion ICSID arbitration initiated by a Kazakh oil company arising from the termination of an oil exploration and production agreement.
  • Represented Turkmenistan in a US$65 million ICSID arbitration initiated by a German national relating to a poultry business.
  • Represented Kazakhstan in an UNCITRAL arbitration brought by a Kazakh company involving a poultry business.
  • Represented Turkmenistan in a US$275 million ICSID arbitration initiated by a Turkish company arising from multiple contracts for the construction of municipal buildings.


  • Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Law, Bachelor of Law, 2009
  • Tulane Law School, J.D., Tulane Journal of International & Comparative Law, Managing Editor, Certificate in European Legal Studies, 2008
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 2003


  • New York
  • Istanbul, Turkey


  • Turkish
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Recognized for Alternative Dispute Resolution by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America 2024

  • Speaker, “Investment Protection and Armed Conflict,” ICSID-ADGM Joint Conference, May 2023.
  • Speaker, “Charting Your Course in International Law,” American Bar Association, International Law Section, Young Lawyers Interest Network, March 2023.
  • Co-author, “International Arbitration Experts Discuss the Major Challenges for Arbitration in 2023,” Mealey’s International Arbitration Report, LexisNexis, February 2023.
  • Co-author, “Not So Fast: Issues that Arise When Insolvent Claimants Bring Investment Treaty Claims,” Transnational Dispute Management Journal, February 2022.
  • Co-author, “Challenges for Arbitration in 2021,” Mealey’s International Arbitration Report, LexisNexis, May 2021.
  • Speaker, “The Usual Suspects? Choosing an Arbitrator and Eliminating Bias in International Arbitration (Bias in the Profession),” Annual Conference of American Bar Association of International Law, New York, April 2018.
  • 21st Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition, Arbitrator at the Oral Hearings in Vienna, Austria, April 2014.
  • Co-author, “Turkey’s Capital Markets Board Sets New Rules on Mandatory Tender Offers,” BNA International – World Securities Report, Volume 6, February 2010.


Award Mouse thought multimedia interface book medal screen monitor