Firms To Watch: Commercial, corporate and M&A

Vakhidov & Partners, which specialises in work for clients in the pharmaceutical sector, handles a range of corporate law issues.

Commercial, corporate and M&A in Kazakhstan

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

The corporate and M&A group at Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited has a standout reputation in cross-border transactions, including complex corporate restructuring and insolvency work. Almaty-based Azamat Kuatbekov has extensive experience in the oil and gas and natural resources sectors, although the group’s recent work further encompasses the gambling and chemical industries. Kuatbekov heads the practice with counsel Igor Kolupayev.

Practice head(s):

Azamat Kuatbekov; Igor Kolupayev


Managing partner Abai Shaikenov and Gani Ashimkhan head the commercial, corporate and M&A practice at Dentons. The Almaty-based team has a notable track record in transactions for local and international clients, with expertise in areas such as acquisition finance, competition and joint ventures, among various others. Recent work spans the aviation, mining, construction and energy sectors. In a landmark deal, the team advised TAV Holding Airports on the acquisition of Almaty International Airport, with subsequent advice still ongoing. Another name to note is Victoria Simonova, whose focus is on infrastructure projects in the oil and gas sector.

Practice head(s):

Gani Ashimkhan; Abai Shaikenov

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Simonova

Key clients

TAV Holding Airports

Work highlights

  • Advised TAV Holding Airports on the acquisition of the largest airport in Kazakhstan, in the major deal of the decade in the Kazakh aviation market.

GRATA International

The corporate workload of the Almaty-based team at GRATA International covers an extensive range of mandates, including due diligence, regulatory approvals, and the acquisition of shares and assets. Igor Lukin leads the group, whose further experience can be seen in matters involving joint ventures, corporate governance, as well as competition investigations and litigation. The firm’s recent work involves assisting Kazakh and international clients operating in the mining, aviation, oil and gas and renewable energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Igor Lukin


‘We instruct GRATA each time we have a transaction with a Kazakh angle. We can rely on them; they solve clients’ problems as expected and have done so many times.’

‘Igor Lukin is the point of contact. He has knowledge and experience and is a safe pair of hands in Almaty for European and US-based companies.’

‘Skilled team completely dedicated to the needs of their clients.’

Key clients

Clayton Dubilier & Rice

ArcelorMittal Temirtau JSC

Sungrow Power Supply Co., Ltd.

Toyota Motor Kazakhstan


Rio Tinto

ENI S.p.A.

China Telecom Global

Camozzi Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on various Kazakhstan legal matters in relation to a global $2.2bn acquisition of the PwC’s Global Mobility Tax and Immigration Services Business.
  • Advised Altair Resources Inc. on the $110m acquisition of a gold mining business in Kazakhstan.
  • Advised Entravision Communications Corporation on the establishment of a subsidiary in Kazakhstan.

Kinstellar LLP

The corporate and M&A team at Kinstellar LLP has transactional expertise spanning a broad range of sectors, including financial services, mining, fintech, transportation and communications, among others. Public M&A is an area of core focus for the group, although other significant drivers of work include corporate law issues and restructurings. Managing partner Joel Benjamin is a seasoned M&A expert offering over 25 years of experience to the team, having worked in the US and Uzbekistan in addition to the firm’s Kazakhstan offices in Almaty and Astana. Other key individuals include Adlet Yerkinbayev and counsel Pavel Kornilov.

Other key lawyers:

Joel Benjamin; Adlet Yerkinbayev; Pavel Kornilov; Kuanysh Kanlybayev; Kuanysh Shekerbekov; Anna Kornilova


‘The team has deep knowledge and always give valuable insights, not only from a legal perspective but also a business perspective.’

‘Adlet Yerkinbayev is a very valuable partner in all deals.  He is flexible and creative.’

Key clients

JCS SB “Alfa-Bank”

Work highlights

  • Advised JCS SB “Alfa-Bank” (Kazakhstan) on its sale to Bank CenterCredit JSC.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP undertakes high-value financial and corporate work for a range of Kazakh and international clients, including major corporates, investment banks, equity funds and sovereign wealth funds. The firm’s deep expertise is spread throughout the energy and natural resources, technology, transportation and agriculture sectors, among others. Managing partner Aset Shyngyssov heads the corporate and business transactions practice, which spans two well-developed offices in Almaty and Astana. Other key individuals include Bakhytzhan Kadyrov and Asem Bakenova.

Practice head(s):

Aset Shyngyssov

Other key lawyers:

Bakhytzhan Kadyrov; Asem Bakenova; Karina Ilyussizova; Aida Akhmetova; Asset Nakupov; Zhamilya Bilisbekova


‘They exceed their peers in terms of understanding our business, the law and the market. The team understands the nature of a client’s business and has commercial awareness. Every team member is very reliable.’

‘Aset Shyngyssov is an experienced managing partner who has seen a lot in the region and is alive to potential issues and local unexpected occurrences.’

‘Karina Ilyussizova is an exceptional M&A lawyer. She is responsive, clear and concise, commercially minded, and always pleasant to deal with.’

Key clients

Air Astana



Alstom Transportation


Compass Group

BeNeLux Chamber of Commerce

Magnetic Oil

Kusto Agro

EDGE Group

Work highlights

  • Represented an international industrial and manufacturing giant in an M&A transaction of a strategic manufacturing plant.
  • Advised an international oil and gas servicing giant on a significant joint venture.
  • Advised a Kazakh oil and gas company in a rare case of outbound investments to the US.


Almaty-based partners Yelena Manayenko, Nurlan Sholanov and Yuliya Chumachenko jointly head the corporate department at AEQUITAS. M&A work is a core area of focus for the team, who are able to assist with deal structuring and negotiations, the acquisition of shares and assets, and applications before Kazakhstan's competition regulator. Elsewhere, the practice is renowned for its involvement in the development of Kazakhstan’s corporate legislation, including the civil code, law on limited and additional liability partnerships, and law on joint stock companies.

Practice head(s):

Yelena Manayenko; Nurlan Sholanov; Yuliya Chumachenko

Other key lawyers:

Yekaterina Khamidullina; Alexandr Chumachenko; Larissa Yemelyanova; Tair Kulteleev; Anton Alexeyev


‘A professional team with deep knowledge of the subject. Always very precise in the information and follow the timeline.’

‘Very responsive, digging into the depth of the question and details to give the best solutions.’

‘Aequitas provides very high-quality legal services in Kazakhstan; we had no doubts about who to contact for advice. The work was done clearly within the agreed time frame, and we received the most comprehensive answers to our questions.’

‘Yulia Chumachenko and Anton Alekseev proved to be extremely responsible performers, they were always in touch and explained all the ways to solve our issue as clearly as possible.’

‘Highly professional and business oriented. They’re one of the best law firms I’ve ever worked with.’

‘Yulia Chumachenko is a great lawyer. I hope there will be some new projects with her and the team in the field of pharmaceutical/corporate law.’

Key clients

UK Investment Company




Berlin Chemie


Transportation holding


German Pharmaceutical Company

Centil Law

The Almaty-based team at Centil Law handles complex high-value transactions, with particular experience in the mining, banking and energy space, and more recently the FMCG and telecoms sectors. Ravshan Adilov heads the firm’s M&A work, whereas senior associates Alexandr Tyo and Bagzhan Zhamalova lead the group’s corporate and commercial projects, respectively. Within its diverse workload, the firm covers investment structuring, business set-ups, registrations, joint ventures, corporate governance relationships between Kazakh and international shareholders, the protection of shareholder rights, labour and employment, and competition matters.

Practice head(s):

Ravshan Adilov; Bagzhan Zhamalova; Alexandr Tyo


‘Centil Law has supported us really well in navigating and concluding a very complicated project. Throughout our dealings, they have shown great professionalism and have been responsive, clear and concise.’

‘Alexandr Tyo has been extremely helpful with his pragmatic and professional approach. He is always very responsive and deals with matters courteously and efficiently.’

‘Centil Law has remarkable expertise in real estate/infrastructure, regulatory, commercial and corporate fields.’

Key clients


Avito Holding LLC


Softline Holding


Stadler Rail


Mars and Wrigley

Air Charter Service

Astellas Pharma JSC

Work highlights

  • Acted as a local advisor in the global acquisition of Wolt Enterprises Oy by DoorDash Inc.
  • Advised Avito Holding on the acquisition of shares of a private company (HR BOT software) established in the Astana International Financial Centre under the AIFC and English laws.

Regatta Consult LLP

Managing partner Kanat Mazhenov and US-qualified Yessimzhan Yegemberdiyev head the practice at Regatta Consult LLP. The team’s recent commercial, corporate and M&A work has involved the acquisition of shares, establishment of joint ventures, and corporate governance matters, among other areas. Construction-related mandates continue to dominate the firm’s workload, with the firm acting for a number of Turkish contractors, although it has also seen more activity in the retail sector as of late.

Practice head(s):

Kanat Mazhenov; Yessimzhan Yegemberdiyev

Other key lawyers:

Bekbolat Raimbekov


‘Flexibility and professional approach to fulfill the clients’ demands.’

‘Regatta is a very professional, client-oriented, rapidly growing law firm. We wish to continue working with them.’

‘Kanat Mazhenov has a great understanding of the Kazakh market. His knowledge of legal aspects and details have been very helpful in the resolution of issues.’

Key clients

Ziylan Kz LLP

Mimsan Industry Boilers LLP

BTB Tourism LLC

Euro Tazalyq LLP

Pozitif Drilling Kazakhstan LLP

Sivas Exporters League LLP

Nippon Paint Kazakhstan LLP

English Home Kazakhstan LLP

Fermak Insaat Taahhut A.S.

Eryapi Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi

MFA International LLP


Nile Group LLP

KLV Insaat A.S.

ADA Insaat ve Ticaret Ltd.Sti.


Ozdemir Construction LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised MFA International LLP on the “off-take” contract (purchase of the goods with suspensive conditions, which has not yet been produced) for the production of respirators.
  • Advised Fermak Insaat Taahhut A.S. on the consortium creation with its partner and participation in public procurement of road construction.
  • Advised Pozitif Drilling Kazakhstan LLP on drilling agreements with major subsoil users in Kazakhstan.


Almaty-based Liza Zhumakhmetova, Gaukhar Kudaibergenova and managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova head the practice at SIGNUM Law Firm. The team has advised on a diverse pool of cross-border corporate and M&A projects, with experience in those involving the acquisition of assets and shares, joint ventures, bankruptcies, restructuring exercises and corporate governance matters, among others. It continues to have a standout reputation in the oil and gas sector, although recent work further spans the renewable energy, chemicals and health care industries. Senior associate Ulan Stybayev is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Liza Zhumakhmetova; Gaukhar Kudaibergenova; Sofiya Zhylkaidarova

Other key lawyers:

Ulan Stybayev


‘Perfect team of bright minds.’

‘Highly recommended.’

‘It was my pleasure to work with Sofiya, Abylkhair, Nazym and Talgat. They are strong professionals with vision.’

Key clients




London Prime



European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Work highlights

  • Advising a Kazakh subsidiary of a major international US technology company specialising in communications satellite technology, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, relating to Kazakh corporate law issues in relation to bankruptcy.
  • Advising a major Thai oil & gas company on $622m post-M&A matters relating to acquired operations in Kazakhstan.
  • Advising a Chinese investor on corporate law matters relating to the corporate structuring of a $130m investment to Zhanatas Wind Power Station.

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP

The corporate department at White & Case Kazakhstan LLP is led by Astana-based Maxim Telemtayev, whose expertise lies in cross-border and commercial transactions, corporate governance and M&A. Counsel Zangar Nogaibay joined the firm from KAZENERGY in April 2022, and is a specialist in corporate law with a focus on the oil and gas sector. Energy and natural resources work continues to be an area of core focus for the team; in a recent high-profile highlight, Telemtayev led the advice to the Ministry of Finance on the privatisation of two hydropower plants located in the east of the country.

Practice head(s):

Maxim Telemtayev

Other key lawyers:

Zangar Nogaibay


‘Deep understanding of interfaces between European/North American investors and Republic of Kazakhstan.’

Key clients

Nostrum Oil & Gas plc

Eurasian Digital Ventures I LP

The Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan

RCF Management and Verny Capital


Rem Invest LLP

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Citigroup Global Markets

Silver Bull Resources

Work highlights

  • Advised the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the privatisation of two hydropower plants (strategic assets) located in eastern Kazakhstan.
  • Advised RCF Management, a private equity firm focused on mining activities, and Verny Capital, which specialises in direct equity investments in private companies, on the project financing of their joint venture companies (RG Gold and RG Processing) by the Development Bank of Kazakhstan.
  • Advised IFC and EBRD as Kazakhstan law local counsel on the leveraged buy-out of Almaty International Airport, and the project financing facility its expansion.

Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP

The corporate team at Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP is part of a multinational network that provides advice across a range of sectors, including technology, fintech, construction, oil and gas and transportation. The practice's work includes advising businesses on their contractual relationships with local and international customers, suppliers and distributors, in addition to advice on commercial contracts supporting their mainstream and strategic activities. Practice head Dinara Tanasheva contributes more than two decades of legal experience to the team.

Practice head(s):

Dinara Tanasheva

Other key lawyers:

Aziz Abdukarimov; Gulfiya Kurmanova


Almaty-based Svetlana Shtopol and managing partner Kurmangazy Talzhanov head the practice at Integrites, which has recently expanded its presence in Kazakhstan with a team in Astana. The firm’s corporate and M&A work covers matters involving joint ventures, corporate governance and corporate structurings exercises, among others. Counsels Almas Bektasov, Assel Idrisova and Elmira Abdrakhmanova are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Svetlana Shtopol; Kurmangazy Talzhanov

Other key lawyers:

Almas Bektasov; Assel Idrisova; Elmira Abdrakhmanova

Key clients


Amazon Web Services

Gedeon Richter KZ

Nokia Kazakhstan


Sandoz Pharmaceuticals d.d.

Tschudi Ship Management AS

International Air Transport Association

Sok Operations LLP

Tarkett Kaz LLP

Hamle Company Ltd. LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised a German multinational construction company on all necessary legal support in the corporate reorganisation of the group of companies of the client in Kazakhstan, by joining two of them to the third one.
  • Advised a South Korean electronics company on collecting and processing personal data.
  • Advising a company in Kazakhstan operating in the Residential Building Construction industry, on the acquisition of rights to a 100% stake in the LLP.

KPMG Law in Kazakhstan

At KPMG Law in Kazakhstan, corporate and M&A matters form a considerable share of the team’s workload. Recent work has involved advising on asset and share purchase transactions, corporate and operational restructuring matters, and due diligence reviews. Almaty-based Alexey Abramov and Astana-based Assel Meiramgaliyeva head the firm’s practice in Kazakhstan, which forms part of the wider network comprising Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.

Practice head(s):

Alexey Abramov; Assel Meiramgaliyeva

Other key lawyers:

Yekaterina Kuzmina; Bakdaulet Imanbayev; Satzhan Mukatayev

Key clients

Zerde National Infocommunication Holding Joint Stock Company

COFCO International Netherlands B.V.


VNV Global Ltd.

Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant Joint Stock Company

Universal Energy Co Ltd.

Reed Smith LLP

The commercial, corporate and M&A work at Reed Smith LLP is headed by David Boutcher and Askar Zhansagimov. The team handles large and complex matters in Kazakhstan, a significant proportion of which involve a cross-border element. Clients benefit from the high degree of integration between the firm’s office in Astana and London-based partners with track records of deals in the country.

Practice head(s):

David Boutcher; Askar Zhansagimov

Sayat Zholshy & Partners

Sayat Zholshy & Partners‘ recent work covers a broad range of sectors in the field of commercial, corporate and M&A, including energy and natural resources, banking and fintech, transportation, food and beverages and IT. The firm’s workload has included M&A transactions, setting up joint ventures, and creating complex corporate structures. Astana-based Arman Berdalin heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Arman Berdalin

Other key lawyers:

Aidyn Bikebayev; Amir Begdesenov; Olzhas Daniyarov

Key clients

IBH Srl.

FLS Germany Holding GmbH

Deloitte TCF, LLP

Legal director Olessya Kirilovskaya now heads the practice at Deloitte TCF, LLP. Her work in commercial, corporate and M&A covers joint ventures, investment and financing structures (including private equity and venture capital investments), divestitures and post transaction activities.

Practice head(s):

Olessya Kirilovskaya

Other key lawyers:

Assel Assubayeva

Haller Lomax

Haller Lomax is well-placed to handle domestic and cross-border, public and private M&A deals, with a strong focus on transactions in the energy, mining, natural resources, and oil and gas sectors. In addition, the team has extensive experience across an array of corporate matters, including restructurings, commercial contracts and investments, among others. Vilen Adjivefayev heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Vilen Adjivefayev

Other key lawyers:

Zarina Baikenzhina

Key clients

Punjab National Bank International Limited

Solistan Limited

Bank CenterCredit

Wattum Management Inc.

MM Petroleum PLC


Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Punjab National Bank International Limited on the liquidation process and remedies available to them to return the $8m funds deposited into Tengri Bank JSC.
  • Ongoing advice to Solistan Limited on joining the existing joint venture between Tau-Ken Samruk National Mining Company JSC and Discovery Ventures Limited.
  • Ongoing advice to Bank CenterCredit on the acquisition of 100% of the shares in Alfa-Bank JSC and its merger with Bank CenterCredit.

MG Partners

Astana-based Inna Revazova, Almaty-based Darya Markina and Karaganda-based Meruet Zhunubayeva co-head the practice at MG Partners. The team’s recent work in the field of commercial, corporate and M&A has involved the establishment of joint ventures, registrations and acquisition of shares, among others. Another key individual is managing partner Nurlan Sultanbayev.

Practice head(s):

Inna Revazova; Darya Markina; Meruet Zhunubayeva

Other key lawyers:

Nurlan Sultanbayev