The Legal 500

Uzbekistan

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Legal market overview
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

    • Umid Aripdjanov – Colibri Law Firm
    • Ilkhom Azizov – Azizov & Partners
    • Azamat Fayzullaev – Leges Advokat
    • Mouborak Kambarova – Dentons
    • Nizomiddin Shakhabutdinov – Leges Advokat
    • Sofiya Shakhraziyeva – Colibri Law Firm

The legal market is largely reliant on work pertaining to oil and gas and natural resources, related trade, and the government’s active promotion of large-scale energy and transport infrastructure projects. The government is attempting to diversify industry, although this policy has yet to yield substantial mandates.

Full-service firm Azizov & Partners has ‘a very strong practice’, and deep experience in project-related financing and corporate matters. It also represents multinational clients in broad-ranging matters including regulatory, corporate, tax and labour law advice. The firm acts for various subsurface industry companies and has, for example, been advising on aspects of the Uzbekistan section of the Central Asia-China gas pipeline. It also has substantial experience acting on behalf of various technology companies, such as Hewlett-Packard or IBM, as well as pharmaceuticals companies including Merck Sharp & Dohme. It is frequently referred work by major international law firms. Managing partner Aziz Aripdjanov is recommended along with Ilkhom Azizov, who is ‘an outstanding lawyer in the market’.

Colibri Law Firm has a strong record in infrastructure and energy projects, in addition to which it provides a full spread of other contentious and non-contentious legal services. It advised China Development Bank on a project financing; conducted due diligence for Asian Development Bank (ADB) on its proposed purchase of shares in Ipak Yuli Bank; and served as local counsel alongside Norton Rose Fulbright to advise ADB and other lenders on the $4.5bn Uz-Kor gas/chemical plant. Recommended partners Ravshan Rakhmanov and oil and gas expert Umid Aripdjanov acted alongside Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP in an ICSID arbitration case, Adem Dogan vs Republic of Turkmenistan. Sofiya Shakhraziyeva is ‘one of the few true experts in project finance in Uzbekistan’. Otabek Suleimanov is also recommended.

Legalmax Law Firm is especially notable for the strength of its market-leading IP practice, which it combines with corporate, commercial and dispute resolution services. Clients include numerous pharmaceuticals companies and oil and gas industry clients, and the firm has also recently represented a number of international café and restaurant chains in IP enforcement proceedings against infringers. The team advised Fordia, a Canadian drilling and mining equipment manufacturer, as a creditor in restructuring of debts owed to it by a state authority. Managing partner Muhammadali Makhmudov is recommended. Djakhangir Aripov, who is based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, is routinely involved in IP mandates in Uzbekistan. Litigator Tatyana Lee and senior associate Olga Atik are also key figures. Jakhongir Azimov and several associates left the firm.

Leges Advokat’s seven-lawyer practice ‘produces high-quality work’. It provides full-service support to clients and acts as local counsel to international law firms. Recent instructions include representing various banks in financings: for example, advising ADB on the financing of a social housing project and acting as local counsel to White & Case LLP’s Beijing office on China Development Bank’s $100m financing of JSC Uzbektelecom. The firm provides broad-ranging legal advice to Uz-Kor Gas Chemical LLC, GlaxoSmithKline, Coca-Cola and Philip Morris. On the IP side, it recently assisted Nokia Solutions and Network (formerly Nokia Siemens Network) with its rebranding. Nizomiddin Shakhabutdinov and Azamat Fayzullaev are recommended.

Managing partner Saidazizkhuja Saidkhodjaev and corporate partner Umid Ubaydullaev are the key contacts in ASG Law Firm’s full-service practice, which centres on corporate, commercial and project finance mandates. Clients include Mitsui & Co, PricewaterhouseCoopers and a number of international development banks.

Avent Advokat has a full-service offering. In particular, it provides general legal services to oil and gas exploration and production companies and related services providers. Other lines of work include advising hotels and retailers on construction law and corporate matters, and pursuing debt enforcements for creditors. Eldor Mannopov is the managing partner.

Dentons inherited SNR Denton’s small Tashkent office, which mainly focuses on energy and natural resources work. ‘Outstanding’ managing associate Mouborak Kambarova is supported by colleagues in Kazakhstan.

GRATA Law Firm staffs its Tashkent office with three counsels, providing a range of financing, natural resources, telecoms, construction and infrastructure services. Recent work includes advising Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Deutsche Bank on issues concerning sovereign lending. The team also assisted a Chinese client with setting up a factory.

Mukhamedjanov & Partners assists international investors, manufacturers and service providers with projects or corporate transactions as well as general legal advice and representation. Clients include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Uzbekenergo (the national energy utility) and Alfa Group. The key figures are Davron Khasanov and managing partner Ibrahim Mukhamedjanov.

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