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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Kazakhstan > Banking, finance and capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Next Generation Partners

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Who Represents Who

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Dentons' banking and finance team advises local and international financial institutions and large corporations on lending, asset finance, project finance and capital markets. Clients include the EBRD, Citibank and Société Générale. Abai Shaikenov leads the team and advised the EBRD on developing a new derivatives and regulatory framework in Kazakhstan, offering legal opinion on current legislation and drafting the proposed amendment. He was supported by counsel Vassiliy Zenov and associate Ali Imanalin. The trio received support from the firm's Moscow office when advising a foreign bank on a syndicated loan made available to the Kazakhstan-China Pipeline. The firm also acted for an international financier in connection with listing $25m-worth of English law notes on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange to fund an investment into KazFoodProducts.

The Almaty office of Kinstellar LLP¬†has¬†a strong track record in complex and high-value transactions and project finance. Managing partner¬†Joel Benjamin¬†¬†leads a team that includes of counsel Maksim Grekov¬†and associates Yerlan Akhmetov¬†and Murat Madykov. The firm continues to advise China Development Bank with post-closing matters relating to a petrochemicals facility for the purpose of raising funds to finance the construction of a polypropylene project.¬†The firm acted as Kazakh counsel to VTB Capital in connection with a prepayment facility agreement and hedging arrangement for Kazakhstan Aluminium Smelter, totalling ‚ā¨850m.

The team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is 'very talented and cooperative', and often advises international banks alongside the London office in financing, capital markets deals and restructuring. The firm lost skilled banking associate Konstantin Lukhnov, but also made two new hires at associate level, namely Olga Klimova and Karina Ilyussizova. The firm represents the AIX, a division of the newly formed Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), in connection with policy drafting and stock exchange procedures; Kazakh partners Bakhytzhan Kadyrov and Aset Shyngyssov worked with with the London office on this matter. Shyngyssov advised a client in the natural resources sector on EBRD financing for the $295m construction of an enrichment factory in Kazakhstan; Asem Bakenova and associates Karina Ilyussizova and Daniyar Zhumakhanov were also involved in this matter.

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP handles cross-border banking and finance matters, and has longstanding relationships with the government and state bodies. The firm advised the government on providing state support to Kazkommertsbank, including advising on the acquisition of Kazkommertsbank shares by Halyk Bank. Maxim Telemtayev led a cross-border team that assisted a construction consortium with the financing aspects of the $1.5bn Big Almaty Ring Motor Road construction project. Pavel Kornilov jointly heads the team with Telemtayev, while associate Karina Sultanaliyeva supports on most matters; the trio have advised on implementing a financial stability action plan in the banking sector, which involved analysis of existing corporate procedures.

AEQUITAS advises on financial lending, transaction regulations and project finance. Yelena Pestereva leads the banking and finance team, supported by project finance specialist Nurlan Sholanov. The firm assisted Gazprombank on a number of separate projects, including amendments to a facility agreement with a foreign borrower. Associate Renata Tkach is noted.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited focuses on cross-border transactions for international clients, with notable strengths in debt and equity offerings and IPOs. Curtis Masters specialises in corporate finance and banking transactions; a recent highlight was advising a client in the oil and gas industry on its $750m Eurobond offering. Senior associate Gulnur Bekmukhanbetova supported Masters in providing advice to TrueNoord Aviation on the acquisition, refinancing and leasing of two aircraft.

The 'very good and competitive' team at Dechert Kazakhstan Limited has a strong track record in capital markets, with a particular emphasis on notes issuances. Victor Mokrousov leads the team, which is often supported by the London office on especially large matters. Highlights included advising KazMunayGas on issuing $3.25bn-worth of Eurobonds, and advising Development Bank of Kazakhstan on issuing $300m-worth of notes and listing them on the London and Kazakhstan stock exchanges. Associate Yevgeniya Nossova assisted Mokrousov on both matters. Associate Bolat Utebaliyev advised Stewart Engineers on its $197m joint venture with a government-backed investment fund for the construction of a glass production facility.

GRATA International's banking and finance team is particularly strong in project finance and PPP matters. Shaimerden Chikanayev and Marina Kahiani advised China CITIC Bank on the purchase of a 60% stake in Altyn Bank from Halyk Bank for $77m. The duo also provided legal support to Renaissance Capital as arrangers of the $240m bond issuance by Kazakhstan Temir Zholy on the Moscow and Kazakhstan stock exchanges. The team benefited from the arrival of associate Dinara Otegen from Integrites.

Integrites' team, which advises across the full range of finance matters, was boosted by four new arrivals. Rashid Gaissin arrives as co-managing partner from PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax & Advisory LLP, and is joined by senior associates Dariga Dairanbek and Assel Mukhambekova as well as associate Anastassiya Gryaznova.

Reed Smith LLP's Nur-Sultan office works closely with the London office to support clients on cross-border finance matters. Askar Zhansagimov, who was promoted to the partnership in January 2019, focuses primarily on capital markets, structured finance and banking.

AGZ / Zan Hub has a 'very professional, technically excellent and commercially mixed team', who are particularly strong on bond issuances. The firm assisted on the $1.95bn GDR buyback by KazMunaiGas, and subsequent delisting from the London and Kazakhstan stock exchanges. Semion Issyk is 'very knowledgeably and great with clients', and used his Islamic finance expertise to advise the Development Bank of Kazakhstan on contract amendments to change the conditions of Islamic securities. Associates Tatyana Veryovkina and Guldana Mirasheva are praised by clients as 'great at getting things done'.

Centil Law's banking and finance practice is jointly led by former Reed Smith LLP partner Dinara Jarmukhanova, who advises on cross-border loans and securities, and Sofia Shakhrazieva, a project finance specialist. The firm recently acted for a foreign bank in relation to a sovereign loan to Kazakhstan and related project agreements.

Deloitte TCF, LLP 's services include loan advice to lenders and borrowers as well as advice on currency control and regulatory matters. Agaisha Ibrasheva has particular strength in handling finance matters in the oil and gas sector.

Linkage & Mind LLP primarily handles project finance matters in the energy sector, where Madina Sypatayeva is the key name. Clients include China Development Bank and Astana-Finance Bank; the team advised the latter on the $45m financing of a large agricultural holding.

SIGNUM Law Firm works on project and debt financing, and has notable expertise in the renewable energy sector working on behalf of foreign investors. Liza Zhumakhmetova leads the team.

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