Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

181 INTERVIEW The gateway to Malta’s capital, Valletta was established in 2002 and welcomes more than half-a-million cruise passengers annually All above board Dr Ece Gürsoy of Global Ports Holding speaks with Laura Hyde about the legal and managerial challenges of operating cruise ports Boasting over 25 years of expertise in law, finance, and strategy, Dr Ece Gürsoy is the chief legal officer for Global Ports Holding, the world’s largest cruise port operator. Her exceptional achievements have earned recognition through prestigious awards including Lawyer Hot 100, Legal 500, and Halsbury Legal. Gürsoy leads the modern in-house law school and uses her legal expertise to advance growth for the business. “While it is a big achievement to operate in so many countries, managing the legal risks is not easy,” says Gürsoy. “There’s no uniform set of regulations and structures making it challenging to comply with each jurisdiction. While jurisdictional differences are inevitable, it would create great results if we had a seamless set of rules regulating core behaviour and services globally across the sector. The key is to develop the law and commercially viable contracts that work in tandem not only with the day-to-day business but also for the strategic steps towards the future of the business.” Along with her team, Gürsoy works hard to provide the right legal structures to address the daily commercial, operational and financial needs of all GPH ports. “We work side by side with all the commercial teams and use legal skills and knowledge as a tool to advance the company’s business and create sectorspecific law,” she explains. “We act not only as preventative lawyers, but also create the structures for the mergers and acquisitions and operational teams at the outset of projects. This is in addition to all the other functions we carry out.” According to Gürsoy, “GPH has already paved the way for the next five years and has undoubtedly secured its place as the world’s largest cruise port operator. There is still room for improvement, and we must ensure that passengers continue to get the best services through the right legal structures. GPH will contine to introduce solutions to enhance the quality of its port management services without stopping the growth activities.” “ GPH continues to introduce solutions to enhance the quality of its port development, operations and management services”