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Kyrgyzstan > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Legal market overview

In 2017, Kyrgyzstan elected a new president, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, marking the first democratic transfer of power in the country’s history. According to the World Bank, real GDP growth reached 6.9% in July 2017, which is significant considering growth was at a 2% decline the year before.

A key driver of the Kyrgyz economy is gold, specifically the Kumtor Gold Mine which accounts for approximately 10% of the country’s GDP. The mine is owned by both the government and the Canadian mining company Centerra, which recently settled a dispute over profit sharing and environmental issues; the dispute had resulted in a slowdown in economic activity, and the settlement is expected to further bolster economic activity in 2018.

The legal market consists of generalist practices in Bishkek, which includes local law practices and CIS-wide firms such as Grata International and Centil Law.

The ‘highly professional’, ‘dedicated’, and ‘committedArte Law Firm has a commercial focus and stands out for its ‘deep knowledge of aviation law’. Commercial law specialist Aisulu Chubarova is ‘very responsible’, ‘has an acute intellect’ and ‘professional approach’ and is ‘a true expert in civil aviation law’. She recently acted for 1C in a dispute with a pharmaceutical company which infringed upon the client’s software, and defended a logistics company against an alcoholic products provider which alleged non-performance of contractual obligations following the discovery of missing products upon delivery. Omurgul Balpanova, who has expertise in intellectual property, recently worked alongside Russian IP law firm Gorodissky & Partners on trade mark registrations in Kyrgyzstan for Netflix, Mastercard and Henkel. Saodat Shakirova specialises in commercial law, and assisted Integra Hotel Investment on the development of a Novotel hotel in Bishkek, which involved corporate, land, tax and construction matters. ‘Very dedicated’ senior lawyer Liliia Kim is also a key figure, with expertise in corporate and M&A, project finance, and tax and customs.

Formerly known as Colibri Law, Centil Law is experienced in corporate and M&A, dispute resolution, banking and finance, mining, TMT and infrastructure. Denis Bagrov jointly heads the corporate and M&A and infrastructure practices and heads the mining practice; he recently advised Veon on the transferal of certain functions of its Kyrgyz operating companies to the client’s shared services centre in Ukraine. He also assisted Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore, as counsel for the insurers and reinsurers, with compensation claims pertaining to the crash of a Boeing 747 near Bishkek in January 2017. Disputes practice head Kerim Begaliev specialises in corporate, M&A and banking matters. His recent highlights include acting for retailer Waikiki on regulatory and corporate matters pertaining to the establishment of a number of stores in Bishkek and Osh, and advising Quest Exploration Drilling on establishing a Kyrgyz subsidiary to carry out geological exploration work in the country. Zhanyl Abdrakhmanova, who jointly heads the infrastructure and corporate and M&A practices and heads the banking practice, recently acted for Reemtsma-Kyrgyzstan, a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco Group (now Imperial Brands), on its corporate liquidation.

The ‘very responsive’ and ‘knowledgeableKalikova & Associates Law Firm has expertise in banking and finance, minerals and metals, oil and gas, dispute resolution, projects and infrastructure, intellectual property, and IT and telecoms. Gulnara Kalikova is heavily involved in mineral and metals and projects and infrastructure matters; he recently acted for Centerra in its dispute with the government concerning alleged environmental damage and violation of business deals by the mining company, and advised a lending consortium on a PPP project involving the construction of a centralised medical laboratory and haemodialysis units. Ulan Tilenbaev, who focuses on the TMT, minerals and metals, oil and gas, energy, and banking and finance sectors, recently advised Coca-Cola Bishkek Bottlers on the advertisement, promotion and sale and distribution of its products locally. Maksim Smirnov is experienced in oil and gas, minerals and metals, and advertising and competition. Alexander Ahn is active in banking and finance, governmental and intergovernmental matters, and corporate and M&A. Marina Lim focuses on the food services, logistics and natural resources sectors. Nurbek Sabirov is experienced in matters related to the minerals and metals, construction and real estate, and retail and consumer sectors. Magomed Saaduev predominantly handles energy, logistics and corporate matters. Aicholpon Jorupbekova is active in natural resources, corporate and M&A and restructuring matters. Senior lawyer Aleksei Vandaev specialises in IP, and has ‘excellent analytical, logical reasoning and negotiation skills’. Senior lawyer Jyldyz Tagaeva focuses on mining and metals, oil and gas, and anti-corruption and compliance matters.

Grata International is particularly known for banking and finance transactions, and is also very active in mining and telecoms-related matters. Office head Kanat Seidaliev’s recent work includes acting for Huawei in a bankruptcy procedure against a Kyrgyz telecoms company and conducting a due diligence exercise for a Chinese gold mining company on three Kyrgyz companies that held licences for the exploration and development of gold deposits in the region. Nurlan Kyshtobaev heads the banking and finance practice, with additional expertise in corporate and infrastructure-related matters. Of counsel Elvira Maratova, who has expertise in cross-border lending and procurement matters, recently advised Fresenius Medical Care on a PPP project involving the construction of medical centres which provide dialysis services.

Veritas Law Agency has a strong track record in the banking and finance sector. Elena Bit-Avragim specialises in arbitration and is heavily active in civil, commercial, corporate and banking matters. Fellow arbitrator Natalia Galliamova has a particular focus on banking, insurance, tax and corporate matters. Recent highlights include defending a client following the illegal confiscation of property by the court, and advising on the purchase of a land plot for the construction of a tourist recreation centre.

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