The Legal 500

Azerbaijan

Editorial

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 GlobalSharePlan.com 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
  • VEGAS LEX continues to represent OGK-2 in its gas turbine engine quality dispute

    On January 14, 2015, the VEGAS LEX law firm won an appeal case in the Sixteenth Commercial Court of Appeals for the sake of the Second Generating Company of the Wholesale Power Market (OGK-2)* in a dispute over the quality of a gas turbine engine (GTD-110) supplied by NPO Saturn to compel the defendant to restore the equipment's operation after a breakdown. The court ordered NPO Saturn to repair the broken GTD-110, with the cost of repairs adding up to RUB1bln, which is comparable with the cost of new equipment.
  • VEGAS LEX helps collect lost profit for Khanty-Mansiysk Non-State Pension Fund

    On January 13, 2015, the VEGAS LEX Dispute Resolution Practice won a case in the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals for the sake of the Khanty-Mansiysk Non-State Pension Fund* in a dispute over a trust management agreement with regard to the fund's pension reserves.
  • Positive Developments for the Economy of Cyprus

    Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 It has been around one year and a half since the Eurogroup decisions to recapitalise Bank of Cyprus via a bail-in on 25 th of March 2013. Cyprus has worked hard since then to exit the financial crisis and to maintain its status and reputation as an international financial centre. Within October 2014, several positive developments which took place suggest that Cyprus is on a good path. These positive developments include: /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}
  • Avellum Partners Advised Nadezhda Group on Corporate Restructuring

    Kyiv, 29 December 2014  - Avellum Partners advised Nadezhda Group ("Group"), operating in the liquefied petroleum and gas industry, on tax planning for holding structure of the Group, all legal and tax aspects of corporate restructuring and acquisition finance issues, aimed at obtaining finance from international finance institutions ("IFIs").
  • Avellum Partners Advised on Exchange Offer of Metinvest

    Kyiv, 14 January 2015  - Avellum Partners acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch and ING Bank N.V., London Branch, who acted as Dealer Managers, in connection with the exchange offer of Metinvest B.V., the parent company of a vertically integrated group of steel and mining companies ("Metinvest") for its USD500 million 10.25% guaranteed notes due 2015, coupled with the new issue of USD289.7 million 10.5% guaranteed notes due 2017 ("Notes") under its USD1,500,000,000 Guaranteed Medium Term Note Programme and a 25% cash consideration. The Bank of New York Mellon, London Branch acted as the Exchange Agent. The Notes are listed and admitted to trading on the Global Exchange Market of the Irish Stock Exchange.
  • Gorodissky new practices

    In December 2014 the IP team of Gorodissky & Partners was joined by Valery Narezhny who will be in charge of the firm's new law practices such as taxes, customs and commercial laws. Valery graduated from Finance Academy under the Government of Russia (Moscow) majoring in "Finances and Credits" and the Academy of Law and Management (Moscow) majoring in "Civil Law", holds PhD degree in economics. He is specializing in taxes, currency, customs, labor and commercial laws and in court disputes. Valery started his carrier in the state bodies (Tax Policy Department, Ministry of Finance, and Government Administration), worked for a number of Russian and international law firms. He is author of more than 150 publications and 9 books on taxation and civil law issues. Valery Medvedev, Managing Partner, Gorodissky & Partners, commented: "It appears from our clients' enquiries that they are in the need to obtain consultations and professional advice relating not only to protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights but also to IP issues governed by taxes, labor, currency and commercial laws. Valery Narezhny having considerable experience and knowledge in these practices will no doubt enhance our team of lawyers and considerably enlarge the range of the firm's legal services"
  • HaoLiWen helps client resolve TP case with the customs

    HaoLiWen has advised a multinational client in a case of the customs challenge against import transfer pricing. Recently, this case was successfully closed. The customs has accepted the transfer pricing policies of the client.  The client has incurred no further import tax exposure, and the deposits put up with the customs for the shipments in question are to be refunded by the customs to the client.  
  • VEGAS LEX to support 2015 Jessup Moot Court Competition

    The VEGAS LEX law firm will support this year's Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the largest and most prestigious law school competition, which will take place in Moscow from January 28 through February 1.
  • P+P Pöllath + Partners berät die Deutsche Bank und DN Capital bei Investitionen in Onlineportal Wi

    Der Onlinehändler Windeln.de hat seine bislang größte Finanzierungsrunde abgeschlossen. Mit einem Investitionsvolumen von insgesamt etwa EUR 45 Mio. beteiligten sich neben dem Hauptinvestor Goldman Sachs auch die bisherigen Geldgeber MCI Management, 360 Capital Partners, die Londoner Beteiligungsgesellschaft DN Capital sowie mehrere Deutsche Bank Fonds.
  • AT/USA: Schoenherr advises AIM Software Group on investment by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe

    Schoenherr advised AIM Software Group ("AIM") on the receipt of an investment from and transfer of a majority interest to U.S.-based private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe ("WCAS"). AIM is a leading provider of data management software products to the financial services industry. Under the terms of the transaction, which was announced on 14 January 2015, AIM's existing management team will continue to operate the business and maintain a significant ownership stake in the company. WCAS is also investing primary capital in the business which will be used to further accelerate AIM's expansion.  read more...