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Aequitas is ‘a professional and experienced firm’, which represents well-known clients in litigation and arbitration. Practice head Valikhan Shaikenov represented Punj Lloyd in a dispute regarding facilities at the Kashagan oilfield. Former Supreme Court judge Aislu Shaikenova joined the firm as a counsel.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP advises a range of government clients on arbitration under ICSID and UNCITRAL rules and litigation in foreign courts. Askar Moukhitdinov is defending a party in ICSID arbitration against a claim arising from the termination of a contract for the production of hydrocarbons in the Caratube oil and gas field.

Dentons combines ‘strong and complex analysis with industry knowledge’, which it applies to employment and shareholder litigation, as well as international arbitration. Kanat Skakov has ‘the best combination of academic skills and practical knowledge’.

Kinstellar LLP handles tax litigation, internal investigations and cross-border disputes. Practice head Mukhit Yeleuov, who recently joined from Dechert Kazakhstan Limited, is ‘a fantastic advocate in the courts’. He has been representing Procter & Gamble in customs classification disputes.

Reed Smith LLP’s arbitration team is ‘highly professional: effective, with brief and appropriate opinions’. Belinda Paisley, Adil Idrissov and Almat Madaliyev are defending the Kazakh government in a $1.9bn investment arbitration under UNCITRAL rules.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited has experience in international arbitration. Azamat Kuatbekov heads the team, which has been representing Visor in a case against the Kyrgyz government regarding the termination of a gold mining licence.

Centil Law is ‘demonstrably able to conduct substantial litigation’. Recent mandates include Azim Usmanov representing a number of Korean banks seeking to reclaim $2m of mortgaged property. Other work includes insurance law cases and the enforcement of arbitral awards. Dinara Jarmukhanova joined the firm in 2016 from Reed Smith.

Dechert Kazakhstan Limited’s ‘timely, proactive and highly professional’ team handles construction, insurance and VAT disputes before the courts, as well as international arbitration in the energy sector. Sergei Vataev heads the practice.

Grata Internationalprovides a similar standard of service on Kazakh law matters to the international firms, but often with more local nous’. Work includes cross-border debt recovery, contractual disputes, energy-related litigation and compliance. Practice head Bakhyt Tukulov ‘provides responsive and commercial advice’.

Integrites’ managing partner Kurmangazy Talzhanov has been instructed to represent Astana Solar in an upcoming Stockholm arbitration. Svetlana Shtopol has been representing Universal Reklama in a dispute concerning supply contracts affected by the Tenge’s devaluation. Other recent work includes civil fraud cases, insolvency and public law.

Linkage & Mind LLP is ‘highly responsive and supportive’. Yerzhan Manasov represented a fund in a Kazakhstan arbitration to recoup a $6m down payment for a gold deposit on grounds of non-performance. Other clients include Strabag, which the firm has been representing in insolvency litigation.

Alongside a range of work regarding international arbitration, construction and customs disputes, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s Aset Shyngyssov represented Denholm Oilfield Services before the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan in a tax case.

Signum Law Firm is ‘very knowledgeable of local law and regulations’. Talgat Sariev recently represented an oil company in a dispute regarding alleged overuse of natural resources. Sofiya Zhylkaidarova handles arbitration.

Michael Wilson & Partners, Ltd.’s Michael Wilson handles tax, customs and debt recovery disputes, among others. The team represented GBM Minerals Engineering Consultants in arbitration under Institute of Civil Engineers rules regarding a Kyrgyz gold mine.

Nazkhanov and Partnersprovides a high level of service at each stage of the process’ in a range of civil litigation, with strengths in debt recovery and tax cases. Tair Nazkhanov’s expertise includes white-collar criminal defence.

Olympex Advisers LLP’s tax disputes practice includes firm chairman Miran Maulenov, who often represents leading Kazakh businesses in tax disputes. Other names to note are tax practice head Assel Yedigeyeva and Gulzhanar Kalmuratova, who handles transfer pricing aspects of tax disputes.

Sayat Zholshy & Partners regularly handles real estate, intellectual property and shareholder litigation, and also represented RG Brands in a dispute with its executives regarding bonuses. Vitaliy Vodolazkin leads the team.

Synergy Partners Law Firm LLC’s workload includes arbitration, employment disputes and IP litigation. Nurzhan Stamkulov is a name to note.

Tax & Investment Lawyers’s Bairamaly Akhmedov and Anuar Nurakhmet ‘have good knowledge of tax, labour and corporate legislation’; they were victorious for Kazakhmys Services in a $2m tax dispute.

At Unicase Law Firm, Artem Timoshenko handles matters including construction disputes, insolvency litigation and debt recovery. Highlights included representing Internet Portal Nur in a $1.8m intellectual property dispute.

At Verum, recent work includes Azamat Chinetov representing Microsoft in anti-counterfeiting matters and Alexey Alyokhin acting for Noble Trading in a $1m tax case.

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