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Legalmax Law Firm

Work +7 705 139 4242
Almaty, Tashkent

Mukhammadali Makhmudov, Managing partner

Mukhammadali Makhmudov explains how Legalmax law firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs

1) What do you see as the main points that differentiate Legalmax law firm from your competitors?

Legalmax is the only regional firm that has its own offices in several countries of the region, which allows us to provide a single high standard of services for a unified cost of services in all jurisdictions where we operate. We provide our clients with a one-stop-store approach in multiple jurisdictions, but unlike other law firms, we do not outsource our work to affiliates' offices in countries where we have our own offices, which allows us to provide the most comfortable conditions of work for our clients, both in terms of the level of services, and minimizing costs for our clients.

We are very flexible in approaching the tasks and needs of our clients. We always try to give our customer much more than they expect from us. We make it possible, because our firm specializes in intellectual property matters, and all our departments and people, namely, advocates, lawyers and patent attorneys work closely with each other. Any advice or practical support in the field of IP related to registration, taxation, M&A or any other procedures is always complemented by a legal component, because in countries of our presence (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan), the actual enforcement of legislation may differ from the written norms, and without knowing the unwritten rules, it is difficult to give practically effective recommendations and minimize legal or reputational risks for the clients. In other words, we combine in one firm all the best that patent companies and law firms can provide.

We understand that in the view of many unclear and imperfect legal systems, one of the most effective methods of protecting the rights of our clients is to work closely with governmental bodies at the level of creating and drafting laws and by-laws. In this regard, together with many associations and international companies, we regularly provide recommendations on improving the current legislation in jurisdictions where we operate, and participate in a number of working groups on similar matters.

2) Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

If we talk about our practice in Kazakhstan, here, in view of the gradual integration of the country into the economy of the customs union countries (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia,), and in connection with the adoption of the new Customs Code effective from January 1, 2018, the mechanisms for the operation of the customs register have undergone a significant change, which largely affects the ways and methods of protecting intellectual property rights by customs measures.

We also see an annual increase in our tracking and subsequent counterfeit fighting practices, which is largely due to the fact that large quantities of counterfeit products are no longer imported into the CIS countries, but are already produced in these countries. In this regard, the most effective way to protect the rights of rights holders is not taking local measures against individual sellers and distributors, but fighting manufacturers of such counterfeit products, which requires from us not only legal, i.e. procedural actions, but also work on finding sales channels, recording the facts of production, carrying out test purchases and working closely with law enforcement agencies.
3) What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

In our law firm, we are constantly introducing something new, which would increase the convenience for our customers, and in this regard, it is very difficult to highlight one exact thing from this list.

If we talk about individual points, then it should be noted that we always discuss our fees with our clients, and we always are always ready to meet their wishes and demands. Moreover, if, for instance, we talk about services related to registration procedures, then for new clients who contact us for the first time, we provide our services for registration of a trademark free of charge. We believe that our clients’ trust on us is much more important than financial side of our work. In the case of filing for registration a portfolio consisting of several trademarks or patents, in several countries at a time, we can file a number of applications completely free of charge, or with a substantial discount, because regardless of jurisdictions, we work with our client as a single firm. Our clients also receive substantial savings by paying for work of lawyers in different countries to the single account, and send correspondence to the single address, which is a very good solution with a limited budget.

4) Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Of course, we use a system of "multiple contacts" with our clients, and we do it in the form that suits them. Moreover, the availability of modern information retrieval services in open databases, domain analysis, etc., requires us to constantly monitor all trends in this sphere, so that we can communicate with clients and provide services, with the help of most recent software products and services.

5) Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

One of the most prime examples is the successful completion of a lawsuit in Kazakhstan in the interests of one of our clients, which is the world's largest producer of soft drinks. The significance of this litigation is reflected not in the activity and reputation of the client not only in Kazakhstan but also throughout the CIS. Another example can be a significant increase in sales of key products of our client, one of the world's largest confectionery manufacturers, through our integrated work in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, which made it possible to fight both counterfeit and parallel imports, and a set of measures was implemented through close cooperation with customs bodies, courts, as well as heads of the large retail chains.

Finally, we can note that a very important case for our client to dispute and return to him a domain name that was illegally registered by a local company. This achievement allowed a large Internet company to enter the national market with all the positive consequences of this.

6) Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Of course we believe that stability and progressive growth of a law firm is important for its clients, but in our opinion, more importantly, it is a guaranteed peace of mind and confidence in the reliability of the law firm to which clients delegated the resolution and control of their most valuable assets. This requires from us constant improvement and selection of the best specialists. In this regard, we see our law firm in three years as the best partner, which our clients recommend to their friends and partners, as well as the best place of work for all of our colleagues, both in terms of comfort conditions and in terms of the financial component, since we understand that they give the firm their time and emotions, and we certainly must comply with this.

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