Index of tables
Legal market overview
Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited’s ‘very good’ team, which has ‘extensive experience in commercial law’, provides full-service support to local and international clients, notably in financial services, the construction sector, and oil and gas. Recent instructions include advising The International Bank of Azerbaijan on its debut Eurobond offering, acting for the arranger and dealers on Muganbank OJSC’s euro commercial paper programme, and advising on certain large interbank loans. The firm also advised the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan on its bid to host the Euro 2020 football tournament, and continues to advise HT Park LLC on tender documentation pertaining to a proposed new hi-tech park to be built on Pirallahi Island. Office managing partner Gunduz Karimov is the key figure along with subsurface industries expert Kamil Veliyev and of counsel Altay Mustafayev.
Dentons’ eight-lawyer team provides a ‘very satisfactory’, ‘very prompt and highly professional’ service on matters ranging from general legal support to complex projects, financings and transactions. Highly regarded partner Kamal Mammadzada is leading the team’s advice to IT company GoldenPay on its proposed IPO on the Baku Stock Exchange (BSE), notably which would be the first IPO hosted by the BSE. Other recent mandates include advising new client Stadler Railway on establishing a rail carriage manufacturing and maintenance joint venture in Azerbaijan. Clients also include BP, Cargill Financial Services International, Coca-Cola, Commerzbank, Halliburton, and Save The Children. Office managing partner James Hogan is also recommended, as is of counsel Ophelia Abdullayeva for her ‘rapid responses and professionalism’.
One of the market’s leading firms, MGB Law Offices Limited regularly acts for commercial lenders and development banks on financings, and provides general legal support to a wide range of other clients including oil services companies, retailers, restaurants and hotel businesses. Recent work includes advising Société Générale on the transfer of receivables from loan portfolios and assisting Atkins with establishing its oil services operations in Azerbaijan. Other recent clients include VTB Bank and State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ). Managing director Ismail Askerov is recommended, especially for his experience in projects. Elchin Mammadov is a notable tax expert. The firm recently recruited two lawyers, including senior associate Alexander Tihomirov.
Omni Law Firm has a robust track record in financial services, projects and corporate deals, and has acted as local counsel to the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) on Eurobond issuances and financings. Other recent clients include Azerbaijan Airlines, China Development Bank, Crédit Agricole and GDF Suez. Roman Alloyarov is recommended.
BHM Baku Law Centre fields four partners and provides a comprehensive service. The firm has recently provided contractual advice and general legal support in relation to major events and projects. Managing partner Anar Baghirov is highly rated. The firm has an alliance with Lansky, Ganzger + Partner (LGP) of Austria.
Deloitte’s seven-lawyer practice spans general business support, construction work, regulatory advice, disputes and M&A. The firm represents sizeable local companies as well as multinationals, including several banks, oil companies and hospitality sector clients. Senior legal manager Vugar Mammadov is the main contact.
Ekvita’s ‘very professional’ team advises oil and gas services companies and construction sector clients on corporate, contractual, tax and employment law. Managing partner Ilgar Mehti and Anar Karimov are recommended.
Grata Law Firm’s ten-lawyer team handles general corporate and commercial work, financing and dispute resolution mandates, and has expanded its practice into intellectual property for clients in various industries. Recent work includes acting on cross-border loans to local banks. Samir Hadjiyev is the key partner.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal’s four-lawyer practice primarily represents foreign clients, advising on financings, taxation, investments and commercial agreements, as well as providing day-to-day support. The firm’s extensive client base notably covers the oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, financial services and FMCG sectors. Farhad Hajizade heads the team.
Aykhan Asadov is the managing partner at BM Morrison Partners LLC, which advises on investments, financings, corporate and tax issues. Clients include international financial institutions and major oil companies.
Eldar Majidov is the managing partner at IJS Law Firm, which provides general legal support, as well as advice on construction, projects and financing.
Michael Wilson & Partners’ two-lawyer team recently advised Credit Suisse on regulatory issues pertaining to cross-border private and corporate banking, and acted for a subsoil sector client on corporate and employment law issues. Other clients of the broad-ranging practice include Falck Group and Sanofi-Aventis. Aygun Abbasova is the main contact.
Firms in the spotlight
EKVITA is a full-service legal and tax consulting firm. In early 2011, the firm merged with a local tax consulting firm established in 1999, thereby significantly expanding its practice areas, and claiming tax consulting as one of its main areas. EKVITA now brings together 15 years of local expertise and knowledge.
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