The Legal 500


Editorial sections

Index of tables

  1. Legal market overview
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited’s ‘very good’ practice has been re-tooled over the past eighteen months, following managing partner Dan Matthews’ relocation to Istanbul and Aykhan Asadov’s departure to BM Morrison Partners LLC. Highly regarded managing partner Gunduz Karimov has been joined by ‘good replacements’ in of counsel Altay Mustafayev, formerly at Omni Law Firm, and subsurface industries expert Kamil Veliyev, who joined from State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). These key figures are supported by five other lawyers and the team as a whole has ‘extensive experience in commercial law’ and provides ‘prompt and useful advice’. The firm’s comprehensive legal practice spans financing, transactions, day-to-day support and litigation. It has a strong imprint on the oil and gas industry as well as experience in representing FMCG or construction companies. The team recently advised SOCAR on the drafting and negotiations of a €600m EPC contract with a Korean contractor. The firm has also handled a number of significant disputes, particularly anti-monopoly cases. Other clients include various SOCAR affiliates, Holcim and new clients such as AzEnerji JSC and Bakcell.

Through its Salans heritage, Dentons has ‘decades of experience in Azerbaijan and is well aware of Azerbaijani laws’. It has ‘a very pragmatic approach’ and provides ‘excellent advice’. The nine-lawyer team runs a full-service practice with substantial experience in everything from high-level strategic advice or transactions to general legal support to retailers, distributors and banks. It continues to advise the State Committee for Property Issues of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the privatisation of 50.2% of International Bank of Azerbaijan, and has been assisting International Bank of Azerbaijan with the establishment of an Islamic banking unit. Other clients include BP, Coca-Cola, Hyatt Hotels Baku, Procter & Gamble, Société Générale, and new client Schneider Electric. Local managing partner James Hogan is ‘excellent’, and Kamal Mammadzada is ‘the best corporate lawyer in Azerbaijan: he is particularly helpful in guiding clients through complex legal situations, has a calm attitude and his encyclopaedic legal knowledge is truly impressive’. Of counsel Ophelia Abdullayeva is also recommended.

Very good, very easy to work with’, MGB Law Offices Limited has a ‘very stable, very reliable’ and roundly well-regarded team of seven lawyers, which advises banks on commercial loans and other matters, as well as providing general legal support to oil services companies, retailers, catering and hotel businesses. It advised Hess Corporation on the sale of its stake in the Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli fields in the Caspian Sea to ONGC Videsh. Other instructions came from Asian Development Bank, VTB Bank and new client, State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ). Tax expert Elchin Mammadov and managing director Ismail Askerov, who is an expert in projects, are recommended.

Omni Law Firm is ‘technically very good’ and widely regarded as one of the leading local firms – with one client calling it ‘unmatched in Azerbaijan’. Its team has good expertise and experience in high-end financings, projects and corporate deals. Its strong links to government were reflected in its appointment to act as local counsel on SOCAR’s Eurobond issuance in 2012, as well as former partner Jeyhun Bayramov leaving the firm to work for the state. The team continues to represent SOCAR in various matters and has also advised the Ministry of Finance, and notably advised the organisers of the 2012 Eurovision contest. Other recent clients include Azerbaijan Airlines, China Development Bank, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, EBRD, GDF Suez, and Trump Organization. Roman Alloyarov is recommended.

BHM Baku Law Centre’s four-partner practice ‘provides strong legal back-up’. Recent instructions include contractual and other legal support to various prestigious projects and events. Managing partner Anar Baghirov is ‘a talented lawyer, consummate professional and zealous advocate for his clients’. Mehman Sultanov is also recommended and senior associate Tural Hajigurbanli recently joined from SOCAR. The firm has an alliance with Lansky, Ganzger + Partner (LGP) of Austria.

BM Morrison Partners LLC reinforced its team by recruiting new managing partner Aykhan Asadov from Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited in January 2013. He succeeded Farhad Mirzayev, who remains as senior partner. The firm has experience in local and foreign investment, financing, privatisation, tax and corporate advice. Clients include Société Générale, certain other international banks and several major oil companies.

Ekvita has a ‘very well-organised’ team whose ‘lead lawyers have a very good understanding of the business climate in Azerbaijan’, and which is valued by clients for its competitive fees. Core areas of practice are corporate, tax and employment law, and advice is ‘good to excellent’. Key industry sectors are construction as well as oil and gas services. Managing partner Ilgar Mehti is ‘very experienced in HR issues’; he and Anar Karimov are ‘standout performers and complement each other with their in-depth knowledge of assisting foreign companies’.

Grata Law Firm acted as local counsel to Simmons & Simmons on ONGC Videsh’s acquisition of Hess Corporation’s Caspian Sea oilfield stake. Other work includes loan agreements, anti-monopoly disputes and corporate law, and other clients include Doosan Babcock, GDF Suez, and Korean National Oil Corporation. Samir Hadjiyev is the key partner.

Deloitte’s seven-lawyer team recently advised an Asian multinational corporation on a substantial construction contract and assisted another client with a software licensing agreement. Senior legal manager Vugar Mammadov is the main contact.

IJS Law Firm has experience in corporate, commercial, financing, projects work and general legal support. Clients include telecoms companies, municipal project companies and construction companies. Eldar Majidov is the managing partner.

Michael Wilson & Partners’ three-lawyer team recently advised Falck Group on the acquisition and management of an offshore training business as well as a health clinic. It also advised and Sanofi on employee share plans, the latter in conjunction with Shearman & Sterling LLP. Aygun Abbasova is the main contact.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal is most notable for its advice to foreign clients, representing lenders on financings and advising companies on commercial agreements, investments and tax law. Farhad Hajizade leads the team.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in Azerbaijan

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Doing Business in Azerbaijan 2011

    Doing Business in Azerbaijan 2011 is a general guide for companies operating in or considering investment into Azerbaijan. It is intended to present an overview of the key aspects of the Azerbaijani legal system and regulation of business activities in this country.
  • Registration of Foreign Non-Commercial Entities

    On 16 March 2011, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan enacted Resolution No. 43 approving the Rules for Negotiating and Entering into an Agreement Concerning Registration of Branches and Representative Offices of Foreign Non-Commercial Legal Entities in the Republic of Azerbaijan (the"Rules").
  • Azerbaijan Promotes Export of Oil and Gas Infrastructure and Expertise

    On April 17, 2009, Law No. 766-IIIQ of the Republic of Azerbaijan, On Application of Special Economic Regime to Export Oil and Gas Operations, dated February 2, 2009 (the “Law”), was promulgated. It is understood that the Law is issued in an attempt by the Republic of Azerbaijan to promote exportation, especially, to the Caspian littoral states, of oil and gas infrastructure and expertise accumulated in Azerbaijan over the past years. On November 1, 2009, Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, On Providing for Implementation of the Law, dated October 30, 2009, was promulgated.
  • Doing Business in Azerbaijan

    Doing Business in Azerbaijan has been prepared as a general guide for companies operating in or considering investment into Azerbaijan. It is intended to present an overview of the key aspects of the Azerbaijani legal system and regulation of business activities in this country.

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014

    The Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014 (the New ELP Law ) has replaced the Exempted Limited Partnership Law (2013 Revision) (the Previous Law ). The New Law includes significant changes to the Cayman Islands' statutory framework regulating exempted limited partnerships ( ELPs ) that will increase the attractiveness of ELPs and will be appreciated by managers, investors and creditors alike. Private equity sponsors in particular will notice substantial improvements that are indicative of Cayman's continuing commitment to balanced and commercially sensible legislation. Read more...
  • Restructuring and insolvency in Luxembourg (part 2)

  • Enhancements to the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991

    On 23 May 2014, the States of Jersey passed the Companies (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 201- (the Amendment Law ).  This will now be sent to the UK Privy Council for consideration, then laid before the States of Jersey for a final time before coming into force.  The latest information we have is that the Privy Council will be approving the law on 19 July 2014 and it may come into effect as soon as 4 August 2014.
  • Joost Fanoy appointed partner at BarentsKrans

    The Hague, 4 July 2014 - BarentsKrans has appointed Joost Fanoy as a partner in the Antitrust & Public Procurement department, effective as of July 1, 2014. Joost specializes in European law in general with a particular focus on European and Dutch competition, public procurement and state aid law and is the head of the Antitrust and Public Procurement Practice Group. Joost is also a member of the Cartel damages team of BarentsKrans.
  • PineBridge Acquires 50% Stake in Romatem

    PineBridge Investments Middle East, a global multi-asset class investment manager with regional headquarters in Bahrain, and nearly 60 years of experience in emerging and developed markets, has acquired a 50% equity stake in Romatem, the leading physical therapy and rehabilitation services chain in Turkey.
    - Paksoy
  • Isbank Issued USD 750 Million Notes

    Isbank issued 750 million USD notes under its GMTN programme established in 2013. The notes are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 5 % with a maturity date 2021. Mr. Omer Collak (partner) and Mr. Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have acted for the joint lead managers Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
    - Paksoy
  • Halkbank Issued USD 500 Million Notes

    Halkbank issued five-year term fixed interest rate US currency notes, with a total amount of USD 500 million  with an interest rate of 4.765 %  and an annual coupon rate of 4.750 %. The notes offered the lowest borrowing rate in the first five-month period of 2014, and total demand rose nearly nine-fold due to high investor interest. The note issuance drew great interest from international investors settled in the Middle East and Asia, as well as those investors based in the US and Europe. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised the joint lead managers.
    - Paksoy
  • Turkiye Finans to Issue Ringgit Sukuk to Raise Up to MYR 3 Billion In Malaysia

    Turkiye Finans issued the first ringgit sukuk originating from Turkey. The bank initially raised MYR 1 billion with a five-year commodity sukuk on June 30, with an annual return of 6 %. The sukuk under the programme will have tenure of one to 20 years. Funds raised will go towards general corporate purposes. The sukuk will be issued through TF Varlik Kiralama A.S., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turkiye Finans. Malaysia's RAM Ratings has accorded the programme an indicative long-term rating of AA3. HSBC Amanah Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq were the joint advisers. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised Turkiye Finans and the issuer TF Varlik Kiralama A.S.
    - Paksoy
  • Ziraat Bank Established GMTN Programme to Issue Bonds Worth USD 2 Billion

    Ziraat Bank, the largest state owned bank of Turkey, established GMTN programme on 21 May 2014, for the notes to be issued up to  USD 2 billion listed on Irish Stock Exchange. The notes are unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations, and rank  pari-passu with Ziraat Bank's other senior unsecured obligations.
    - Paksoy
  • Vakifbank Sells EUR 500 Million Notes Under USD 5 Billion GMTN Programme

    Vakifbank issued EUR 500 million 5-year unsecured and unsubordinated notes under the first GMTN programme of Turkey established in 2013. The notes are listed on Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 3.5 % p.a. with a maturity date 17 June 2019. This is the very first EUR denominated RegS offering of a Turkish entity.
    - Paksoy