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Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Legal market overview
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Ulugbek Abdullaev - Avent Advokat
    • Maxim Dogonkin - Kosta Legal
    • Natalya Kim - Centil Law

 

Uzbekistan has experienced a shift in investment from equity from the West to debt from the East as Chinese banks have proven to be more enthusiastic in lending than European or American companies have in their investments in recent times. The government continues to enact a privatisation programme in order to generate public resources and stimulate growth through investment, especially in the agriculture, mining and the chemicals industries. The economic recession in Russia, which is a major trading partner, has lowered the price of primary exports and Uzbekistan’s GDP growth slowed marginally as a result, but remained an impressive 7.8%.

The reduced volume of foreign investment has led to a shift from M&A to more joint venture advisory work and the shifting legal market has led to the emergence of a number of new firms. Dentons remains the only global law firm to have an office in the country.

The ranking is based on quality and scope of service. Therefore, narrowly focused practices may be ranked lower in the table than a quality competitor with a broader base, but may still be outstanding in its chosen field.

Azizov & Partners often advises on financing, corporate or M&A mandates and real estate. Senior partner Ilkhom Azizov and managing partner Aziz Aripdjanov recently handled project financing, construction and regulatory matters on behalf of Uzbekistan GTL – a joint venture involving Sasol and Petronas – with regard to a gas-to-liquids processing plant. Other clients include Deutsche Bahn, Samsung C&T Deutschland and VimpelCom.

Centil Law is ‘excellent; the best in Uzbekistan’, according to some clients. Its lawyers are known as being ‘responsive and dealing well with the vagaries of Uzbek law’; they are experts in commercial and corporate law. Recent work includes advising General Motors on the restructuring of shareholdings in two joint ventures following the introduction of new legislation. Banking and finance practice head Sofia Shaykhrazieva recently advised a consortium of lenders on registering and mortgaging of oil wells – a first for Uzbekistan – in order to provide security as part of a $2.5bn loan facility made available to the borrower. Hairulla Akramhojaev left the firm to start his own tax law consultancy.

Avent Advokat has a prominent practice in the chemicals, energy and natural resources sectors. Managing partner Eldor Mannopov has been handling all aspects of a chemical plant project for Asian clients. Anna Snejkova and Ulugbek Abdullaev are rising stars within the firm.

Avrora Legal (formerly known as Karimov and Partners) handles legal work for clients in a wide range of sectors, notably including real estate and energy. Managing partners Babur Karimov and Bekhzod Abdurazzakov assisted Harbin Electric with the drafting and execution of a $260m EPC contract after winning a government tender. Karimov also advised Wyndham Hotel Group on a franchising agreement and with registering the Wyndham name with the local patent authority. Ferrero SpA and the China National Construction and Engineering Company are also clients; the firm receives referral work from international law firms such as Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Grata International advises on banking, finance and dispute resolution mandates. Tashkent office director Bakhodir Jabborov acted for General Electric on a cross-border EPC contract worth over $200m for the modernisation of Uzbek power plants. Jabborov and Nodir Yuldashev assisted WorleyParsons with its project to provide engineering and consultancy services to Lukoil in Uzbekistan and elsewhere. Rio Tinto and Knauf are also clients.

Kosta Legal has ‘a deep understanding of Uzbek law’, especially in banking and finance, and also covers corporate work and dispute resolution. Managing partner Azizbek Akhmadjanov and Maxim Dogonkin are ‘extremely helpful in guiding the client through Uzbek procedural rules’ and ‘perfectly address the requests of their clients’. Akhmadjanov recently handled an investment by Uzbek-Oman Investment Company into a greenfield project to build a new agricultural produce processing facility, one of the largest agricultural sector investments in Uzbekistan. The firm also assisted GlaxoSmithKline with an internal due diligence to ensure compliance with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act. Key contact Nail Hassanov has been working on Uzbekistan’s first potential private equity investment fund.

Legalmax Law Firm is known for its expertise in intellectual property law. Clients include Starbucks and the Russian owners of the Stolichnaya vodka brand. Managing partner and patent attorney Mukhammadali Makhmudov runs the Tashkent office.

Leges Advokat specialises in corporate and commercial law, as well as banking and finance matters, with a particular specialism in the natural resources industry. Team head Azamat Fayzullaev recently advised a consortium of lenders on a financing facility provided to Lukoil for the purpose of developing the Gissar natural gas deposits; he also assisted the International Finance Corporation with its investment in two state-owned banks. Nizomiddin Shakhabutdinov is another key contact in the team, which acted for Uz-Kor Gas Chemical on investments to develop the Surgil gas field and build a petrochemicals plant to serve it. New clients include SolarTurbines and Hyundai.

Dentons often advises on construction law, financing and project-related regulations. The Tashkent office is permanently staffed by Mouborak Kambarova and managed by Muscat-based Marla Valdez.

Virtus Leo provides a wide range of services to its clients, but has a main focus on commercial, civil and property disputes. Managing partner Alisher Zaynutdinov and Odinabonu Abdukakhorova are the names to note.

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