Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited in Almaty has a focus on high-end international transactions, including corporate restructuring and bankruptcies. The firm is active across the fields of engineering, natural resources and tech. Azamat Kuatbekov has overseen a number of deals as lead partner, including heavyweight M&A matters in the energy space. Igor Kolupayev also plays a key role in most deals.
Commercial, corporate and M&A in Kazakhstan
Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited
Azamat Kuatbekov; Igor Kolupayev
John Wood Group Plc
Newpark Resources Inc.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
- Advised Newpark Resources in connection with local law aspects of the change of the joint venture arrangements with a local counterparty.
- Assisted John Wood Group Plc with the legal aspects of the sale of shares in the local service subsidiary.
Dentons' corporate and M&A practice is complemented by strengths in acquisition finance and competition matters. Maintaining offices in both Almaty and Nur-Sultan, it has been active in the jurisdiction for over two and a half decades, and continues to advise leading clients in the energy and construction industries, among others. Almaty-based partners Abai Shaikenov and Gani Ashimkhan lead the commercial, corporate and M&A practice, supported by Victoria Simonova.
Gani Ashimkhan; Abai Shaikenov
Other key lawyers:
‘Always available, hands-on approach. Very good industry knowledge and experience with local authorities.’
‘We very much appreciated Victoria Simonova’s great support in particular during SPA negotiations. She has extensive industry knowledge and experience.’
TAV Havalimanlari Holding AS
Kazakhstan Infrastructure Fund CV
CGN Mining Company Limited
Saint-Gobain Produits Pour La Construction SAS
- Advised Valmont Industries on various issues related to investment contracts, protection of investment, amendments to Kazakhstan agricultural and investment laws and regulations to support farmers.
- Conducted legal due diligence for Almaty International Airport JSC and related entities, and working on the structure, documentation, and competition clearance and completion.
- Advised Saint-Gobain Produits Pour La Construction SAS with respect to the acquisition of JSC Jambylgyps and its two subsidiaries: Taraz Marble and Jambyl Gyps Stroy LLP.
GRATA International has worked on over 100 successful mergers and acquisitions, including landmark cross-border transactions. Its work also covers joint ventures, corporate governance, antitrust investigations and litigation. The firm's key clients include Asian and Kazakh companies operating in the natural resources sector. Almaty-based Igor Lukin leads the practice.
‘Compared to other law firms in Kazakhstan, I know that they have more experience in asset trading.’
‘The personnel of the corporation are rich in experience and possess professional knowledge.’
‘Grata has a strong technical base for working remotely. It is customer-oriented (ready to work in a very tight deadline), has a flexible pricing policy and a clear understanding of the tasks. Timeliness of execution of tasks, clarity and focus on providing the best result gives our clients a sense of comfort when working with Grata.’
Korean National Oil Corporation
KazakhGold Group Limited
CGN Mining Company Limited
ENKA İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş.
China CITIC Bank Corporation Limited
Public JSC Freight One
- Advised Mastercard on various legal and regulatory issues related to Mastercard’s products offered in Kazakhstan.
- Advised MicroVest Capital Management on sale of its stake in one of the largest micro finance organizations in Kazakhstan, MFO ArnurCredit LLP.
Kinstellar LLP has a strong track record in public M&A, handling agenda-setting deals in the infrastructure and financial services sectors. Joel Benjamin brings 25 years of experience to the team, having worked in the US and Uzbekistan in addition to the firm’s Kazakhstan offices. Almaty-based Adlet Yerkinbayev advises on leading IPOs, as well as work relating to private markets.
Joel Benjamin; Adlet Yerkinbayev; Damelya Buteyeva
‘What makes this practice unique is its huge experience in M&A deals for financial sector. Very competent personnel. Team knows in detail how to structure deals and is very helpful for clients. Team is available and ready to work 24/7. Company is very flexible in all matters from pricing, billing to workload.’
‘Adlet Yerkinalieva – Huge experience, 24/7 availability, always offers different solutions to problems, defends clients’ position.’
‘Kinstellar offers a first-rate, full-service corporate offering in the Kazakh and Uzbek markets. Their market knowledge and contacts are second to none. They offer a partner-led service offering, supported by very capable associates and support staff. The handle top-rate international and domestic matters and you will regularly find them mandated on the largest deals. They provide very in-depth knowledge of local law and market conditions.’
‘Adlet Yerkinbayev is an exceptional lawyer and provides a top-rate representation for his clients. He is well respected in the market and is immensely hard-working.’
‘Joel Benjamin is a senior statesman of the Central Asian markets and is very well respected. He brings his many years of experience to bear to his matters. Yerlan Akhmetov and Kuanysh Shekerbekov are extremely capable senior associates and are rising stars.’
Venus Airport Holdings B.V.
- Advised Venus Airport Holdings B.V. on the sale of 100% of the share capital of International Airport Almaty JSC, which is deemed to be a strategic asset under Kazakhstan law, to entities representing a consortium of TAV Airports, a member of Groupe ADP, and VPE Capital.
- Advised the owner and management of ATFBank JSC on the sale of 99.7% of the shares of ATFBank JSC to First Heartland Jusan Bank JSC and acquisition by ATFBank’s former owner of 20% of shares in First Heartland Jusan Bank JSC.
AEQUITAS has been active in providing legal support for M&A transactions. The practice has participated in the development of the most important acts in the development of Kazakhstan’s corporate legislation, such as the civil code, law on limited and additional liability partnerships and law on joint stock companies. It has recently become a member of the global law network TerraLex. Almaty-based partners Yelena Manayenko , Yuliya Chumachenko and Nurlan Sholanov work with a number of international clients across different areas of the energy and natural resources sectors.
Nurlan Sholanov; Yelena Manayenko; Yuliya Chumachenko
‘The Aequitas team applies an individual approach to support us. All tasks are done timely and of proper quality. There is a system to monitor and notify clients about needed updates or changes.’
‘Overall, we appreciated their responsiveness, clarity and ability to comply with the instructions provided and meet relevant deadlines.’
‘They are always available for any kind of support and fast in giving feedback and answers. We very much appreciated their proactiveness and standing. In particular, I’d like to highlight the fact that all their materials were written excellently.’
Dornier MedTech GmbH
- Advised KDV Group LLC on the issues of statutory regulation of trading activities in the Republic of Kazakhstan, including the work of an online store and pick-up points and comparative analysis of potential corporate forms of presence in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
- Assisted with the entry to the Kazakhstan market of a subsidiary of TAV Airports Holding, which effected the transaction involving the acquisition of Almaty Airport.
- Advised Bird & Bird LLP and Pfizer on the issues of Kazakhstan legislation in connection with the transfer of employees and prepared draft labour documents relating to the termination of laborrelations between Pfizer and employees.
Centil Law’s work in commercial, corporate and M&A covers investment structuring, establishing new businesses in the country, obtaining the necessary accreditations and registrations, joint ventures, corporate governance relationships between Kazakh and international shareholders, the protection of shareholder rights, corporate strategies, labour and employment, and competition law. Its work has demonstrated an international outlook, as evidenced by its client base and many lawyers’ overseas education. The team is headed by Ravshan Adilov.
‘A very strong team with high ILF standards and local expertise’
‘I can highlight the efforts of Bagzhan Zhamalova in the field of building trustable relations between firm and client. I appreciate their prompt feedback, understanding our needs and readiness to adjust schedules to the client’s needs’
Stadler Rail Management AG
- Assisted Royal Canin S.A. with setting up its corporate presence in Kazakhstan and structuring local distribution network.
- Advised VEON on the regulation of on-demand streaming services under Kazakh laws.
Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP
Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP's legal offering in Kazakhstan benefits from the firm's connection to a broader professional services network. Its work in corporate, commercial and M&A involves advising businesses in connection with their ongoing contractual relationships, and advising on all forms of commercial contracts to support day-to-day and strategic business activities. The large team is headed by Dinara Tanasheva.
‘I enjoyed working with E&Y team because of their high involvement, flexibility and desire to do more than contracted. The team is very professional and compliant, with the full scope of expertise onboard. All tax, legal questions, both local and international, were greatly disclosed.’
‘I had a great pleasure cooperating with Saltanat Dauletova as team leader. Saltanat’s team admires its cohesion, consistency and speed of results delivery. Guliya Kurmanova and Olga Pak are valuable experts in legal and tax questions added by strong business orientation. What I most enjoyed working with Saltanat’s team is their overall approach to never say, “No,” but think twice and thrice how to make all possible.’
Wolt Technologies Kazakhstan LLP
Microsoft Kazakhstan LLP
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Representative Office of Unipharm, Inc. in Kazakhstan
- Advised and represented the interests of Kazpost JSC in connection with its privatisation.
- Advised Microsoft Kazakhstan LLP on aspects of the economic and regulatory landscapes of Kazakhstan to help its clients realise long-term value through end-to-end Microsoft powered digital transformation.
- Advised Wolt Technologies Kazakhstan LLP on eligibility to be registered with the Astana Hub International Technology Park and use related tax incentives taking into consideration existing arrangements of the company with its partners (restaurants), couriers and users.
ILF A&A has a large corporate, commercial and M&A practice, with multiple offices across Kazakhstan. It acts for clients on cross-border investment projects and asset acquisitions, in addition to advising on M&A and contract law issues. The team is led by Assem Zhamburbayeva in Nur-Sultan, Ruslan Kurmangaliyev in Almaty and Yerlan Kulmetov in Taldykorgan.
Assem Zhamburbayeva; Ruslan Kurmangaliyev; Yerlan Kulmetov
Mango Money Holding inc.
Desert Software House inc.
“Zaman Bank” Islamic Bank JSC
Agro Frutti LLP
Fundrais Corp inc.
Ad Agroconsalting LLP
RedPad Games AG
La Traccia LLP
BNC Co LLP
Stolichnyi Express LLP
Sana Richi inc.
Daryn Engineering LLP
IT Prom LLP
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s corporate and business transactions and finance department represents clients in high-value financial and corporate work, including cross-border trade matters concerning Kazakhstan's natural resources. Managing partner Aset Shyngyssov leads the Kazakhstan corporate and commercial practice, and has led M&A, oil and gas and infrastructure projects, among others, in his two decades of work.
‘They deliver very comprehensive advice, thinking outside the box. Very approachable.’
‘Asem Bakenova is very proactive and professional. She delivers very high quality advice and is extremely pleasant to work with.’
‘I want to note the ability of the firm to collaborate with other firms, and often around the world, to give us a clear direction even in some complex matters. I would recommend the firm to those clients who are facing cross-practice and multijurisdictional issues.’
‘I want to emphasize the excellent and constructive work with both Aset Shyngyssov and Bakhytzhan Kadyrov. The thing that impressed me most was their creativity. I am sure that they have an excellent understanding of finding creative ways of working within a legal framework, and, most importantly, they always answer the question: ‘How can we get the deal done?’’
‘Skilled and very professional partners and associates. I would like to give a specific mention to Aset Shyngyssov and Bakhytzhan Kadyrov for their great business strategy vision that materialized through valuable insights and advice.’
‘They know the answers to all the client’s questions, help to solve legal problems in the shortest possible time and are always extremely polite and delicate. They are the best in the market of legal services.’
‘The team historically have outstanding capabilities in the practice and is always ready to propose good advice based on their broad experience combining with knowledge of all new market’s legal and commercial insights.’
‘The firm’s managing partner Aset Shyngysov is a brilliant lawyer, one of the market leaders and is very reliable in terms of complicated M&A transactions. Karina Ilyussizova was our direct contact within the transaction. She has outstanding knowledge of the M&A market with brilliant negotiation skills, is very experienced in transactions, is highly reliable, and is always ready to go extra mile for her client.’
Kusto Agro Pte.
Air Astana JSC
VTB Bank PJSC
RG Processing LLP
- Representing Kusto Agro on a strategic unprecedented AIFC-based joint venture with Tyson Foods that will engage in creating agro-multi-protein industry in Kazakhstan, including work with the Kazakhstan Government to amend the Kazakhstan investment laws.
- Represented a Kazakhstan private investment group in connection with due diligence and successful acquisition of oil producing assets (two target companies) in the West of Kazakhstan from an international oil company.
- Represented RG Processing LLP on a large project in connection with the construction of a gold processing plant.
Regatta Consult LLP handles a range of corporate and commercial work, including M&A deals and corporate governance matters. The firm has a particular following in the construction industry, acting for clients including Turkish contractors. The team is led by Almaty-based partners Kanat Mazhenov and Yessimzhan Yegemberdiyev.
Kanat Mazhenov; Yessimzhan Yegemberdiyev
‘We have business cooperation with Regatta Consult LLP for several years. We are satisfied with their services. They provide us timely information, quick responses, follow-up attentively and thorough job knowledge.’
‘Successfully completed a highly complicated M&A deal and followed-up the whole process closely from beginning till to end.’
‘Loyal members who pay utmost attention to confidentiality and have deep knowledge about law and clauses as well as legal practice.’
‘Well coordinated team. Efficient and searching for solutions. Competent and prompt with response and timing. They are available almost 24/7, which is one of the key factors for us.’
‘Very professional and friendly approach from the head to all team members. It is very convenient that they easily serve us in all the languages we need without any restrictions. We are very comfortable with privacy issues. Unlike many other similar companies, we always know that in case of urgency we can contact them even on weekends, although we try not to abuse it.’
‘We are able to get feedback with an accessible and precise opinion at any time.’
Ziylan KZ LLP
Mimsan Industry Boilers LLP
Nippon Paint Kazakhstan LLP
BioVet KZ LLP
Star Asian Mining Company LLP
Nile Group LLP
KLV Insaat A.S.
ADA Insaat ve Ticaret Ltd.Sti.
Ozdemir Construction LLP
Eryapi Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi
- Advised Mimsan Industry Boilers LLP on the implementation Public Private Partnership project.
- Advised KLV Insaat A.S. on its to Kazakhstani market and examined and studied its contracts with main suppliers of construction equipment.
- Advised Nippon Paint Kazakhstan LLP on creation of its company, taking into account its unique structure and direct participation of shareholder in decision-making process.
Unicase Law Firm works at both a national and an international level in a range of sectors, advising leading Kazakh and international companies on all aspects of M&A deals, often involving a cross-border element. Its lawyers have extensive experience in working on matters across industries, including oil and gas, mining, infrastructure, transport and construction, trade, real estate, banking, insurance and finance and telecommunications. The practice is headed by Almaty-based Saniya Perzadayeva .
‘The Unicase team was exceptionally responsive, commercially pragmatic and strategic in resolving corporate matter.
‘A strong team that easily understands our needs and requirements and was a pleasure to work with.’
‘Artem Timoshenko is an excellent lawyer who combines expert legal knowledge with commercial awareness of the client’s business’
Firebird Management LLC
Goldwind International Holdings (HK) Ltd.
Citco Vilnius UAB
- Advised Juul Labs on corporate law matters related to electronic cigarettes regulations in Republic of Kazakhstan. The Unicase team prepared an analysis of the issues of certification, packaging, labelling, advertising and electronic commerce in the Kazakhstan market.
- Advised Firebird Management LLC on all corporate matters of its affiliated companies in Kazakhstan.
- Advised a leading Swiss Fintech company, OrientSwiss S.A., on day-to-day activities, including corporate, commercial, employment issues and IP.
White & Case Kazakhstan LLP works across the CIS region to provide a multilayered experience, pulling from a large network of corporate and M&A specialists in a firm that has a lengthy track record of energy and natural resources work at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Nur-Sultan-based partner Maxim Telemtayev has recently advised on a number of cross-border and M&A transactions.
‘White & Case has a solid reputation for quality advice delivered efficiently.’
‘Maxim Telemtayev always provides a high quality reliable and efficient process. His team is also extremely competent and provides a high-quality, efficient service.’
‘Well connected locally, very professional.’
‘Good knowledge of local regulatory landscape and key figures in the administration. Maxim Telemtayev is a stand-out partner in oil & gas.’
‘A good team on the ground in Kazakhstan, knowledge of local law and general practices, good contacts with local authorities and key market M&A players, strong staffing.’
‘Maxim Telemtayev, partner in corporate and M&A is very responsible, and has a good level of managing deals, strong legal knowledge, good negotiation skills and a good relationship with local key market players.’
Alsim Alarko, Mak-yol İnsaat, Sat & Company JSC, SK Engineering and Korea Expressway Corporation
Nostrum Oil & Gas pls
First Heartland Jusan Bank
VPE Eurasia GP Limited
- Advised the consortium consisting of Alsim Alarko, Mak-yol İnsaat, Sat & Company JSC, SK Engineering and Korea Expressway Corporation, in connection with the construction and operation of the Big Almaty Ring Motor Road (BAKAD), the ring road around Almaty.
- Advised Nostrum Oil & Gas, a premium listed company with oil and gas assets in Kazakhstan, on its proposed restructuring of $1.1bn of notes due in 2022 and 2025.
- Represented First Heartland Jusan Bank, a Kazakhstan-based commercial bank, regarding the framework agreement and all related issues for acquisition of 99.76% of shares of ATFBank, one of the leading banks in Kazakhstan.
Integrites is based in three offices across the country, in Almaty, Nur-Sultan and Atyrau. It has a focussed team in the area of corporate and M&A, which advises clients at every stage of the acquisition process. Almaty-based Svetlana Shtopol leads the team.
‘Integrites helped us with the task of improvement of our personal data management. It held a big audit, including one-to-one meetings with the team, analysing collected and operated personal data, and provided us with recommendations and drafts of internal policies’
‘Almas Bektassov, Senior Associate, and Svetlana Shtopol are our key people for solving issues, for which I am very grateful’
Samsung Electronics Central Eurasia
Kaspi Kurylys LTD LLP
- Conducted due diligence in respect of the leading world-class hotels situated in the western part of Kazakhstan in connection with the proposed acquisition.
- Advised a consumer electronics client on collecting and processing personal data.
- Advised a building constructor on acquisition of rights to a 100% stake in an LLP.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP is a global law firm with offices in Europe, Asia and North America. It has major clients across its commercial, corporate and M&A practice. The heads of the team in Kazakhstan are David Boutcher and Askar Zhansagimov.
David Boutcher; Askar Zhansagimov
Sayat Zholshy & Partners‘ work in the field of commercial, corporate and M&A has involved conducting legal due diligence on over 100 projects, structuring and supporting M&A transactions and setting up joint ventures. The practice is led by Nur-Sultan-based partner Arman Berdalin.
‘This is the team on which you may fully rely. Very open minded, understanding the peculiarities of local business environment and law enforcement practices. Sayat Zholshy’s team possesses knowledge not only on local legislation, but also of the neighboring countries and the laws of jurisdictions of main economic partners, key concepts of EU laws, that makes their advice practical and helpful.’
‘Olzhas Daniyarov, senior associate, is our main contact in the team, practicing in corporate and M&A, but also managing overall legal support of our business in Kazakhstan. Olzhas is a mature lawyer, capable of providing an independent opinion and proposing practical decisions.’
‘I have immensely enjoyed working with Arman Berdalin, who has been a safe pair of hands for many years now, and I did not hesitate to involve him in one of my first matters at my new firm. Arman has not only the technical capability to do the work, but also a strategic vision of the market he operates in and the clients he has to work for or opposite.’
Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs
PPG Industries Inc.
TengizTransGaz and Alautransservice
CAIH Power LLP
DynaEnergetics Europe GmbH
- Advised the S&T Group, Austria, on antitrust issues arising from the acquisition of Iskratel Group.
- Advised PPG Industries Inc. (USA) on merger control clearance in Kazakhstan in connection with the acquisition of Tikkurila, a Finnish manufacturer of paints and lacquers.
- Advised Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs on the development and implementation of corporate governance standards in Kazakhstan.
SIGNUM Law Firm
SIGNUM Law Firm is involved primarily in the oil and gas sector, which provides a significant majority of the firm’s client work. Its work in mergers and acquisitions has involved advising on buy-side and sell-side cross-border transactions, establishment of joint ventures and asset acquisition. The team is led by Almaty-based partners Liza Zhumakhmetova and Gaukhar Kudaibergenova.
Liza Zhumakhmetova; Gaukhar Kudaibergenova
‘I was impressed with their top-notch knowledge of corporate law and corporate governance regulations. SIGNUM’s team also took the role of the lead counsel on the transaction and assisted us with engaging other external advisers and managing the acquisition process. From a client service perspective, the firm is very responsive and always available.’
‘Gaukhar Kudaibergenova, who led the team, is a superb transactional and M&A lawyer. She is a strategic thinker and an experienced manager, who supervised the smooth implementation of the acquisition from day one till the execution date. The team also showed high expertise in the pharmaceutical sector, which was a very important angle of cooperation. I want to emphasize that SIGNUM has also adapted greatly to the COVID-restrictions. I felt no difference working with them before COVID and during the pandemic times.’
‘Gaukhar is very attentive to clients’ requests and to the details of the project. She works out a lot of variants and proposes the most advantageous. I value this approach. Gaukhar has high expertise and knowledge in national legislation, as well as foreign. Gaukhar is result-oriented, as evidenced by follow-up work even after the deal. For our project Gaukhar undertaken a full-fledged legal and tax due diligence of the target company and presented a very clear and structured report about it. She coordinated also the international legal and finance team.’
‘SIGNUM assisted us on a multimillion acquisition deal involving assets in Kazakhstan. The firm’s corporate and M&A team prepared and supported all stages of the cross-border transaction. I was impressed with the team’s top-notch knowledge of corporate law and corporate governance regulations. From a client’s service perspective, SIGNUM is experienced, very responsive and always available. The team also has second to none expertise in the infrastructure sector of Kazakhstan, which was a very important angle of the transaction.’
‘SIGNUM’s team was led by Gaukhar Kudaibergenova in this project. Gaukhar is a superb transactional and M&A lawyer. Gaukhar has a wealth of practical knowledge in structuring acquisitions governed by the national or foreign legislation. She is a strategic thinker and an experienced manager, who supervised the smooth implementation of the acquisition from day one till the execution date. She is result-oriented, as evidenced by follow-up work after the deal was completed.’
Partex Oil & Gas
MKAT Solar Plant
Nobel Oil Group
Medical Device ApS
- Advised Partex Oil in relation to the acquisition of Kazakh assets.
- Advised OMV Petrom on negotiating the extension of a package of four concession agreements for oil and gas exploitation in four fields in Kazakhstan with approximate value of assets being $150m.
Synergy Partners Law Firm LLC has recently greatly expanded its client list in corporate, commercial and M&A, with a continued practice in technology-related sector. The practice is headed by Aidana Satimova and Nurzhan Stamkulov.
Aidana Satimova; Nurzhan Stamkulov
‘We are quite satisfied with Synergy teams lawyers and their service. We could say they understand the fitness industry and they are quite responsive and easy to work.’
‘We worked with Nurzhan Stamkulov on licenses and construction contracts. They are familiar with the purchased company and assist us with daily operations.’
‘The individuals we work with are quick to respond and thorough in their answers.’
Chocofamily Holding LLC
The Committee of State Property and Privatization of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Working alongside the professional services firm's broader network, Deloitte TCF, LLP's commercial law department advises on matters of corporate reorganisation, corporate governance, M&A, regulatory reporting, legal due diligence, structuring and related work. Almaty-based partner Agaisha Ibrasheva heads the practice, working with Olessya Kirilovskaya and Nur-Sultan-based Dariga Tokpayeva.
Schneider Group provides a range of consulting services, including business models, licensing, foreign exchange, technology transfer and other regulatory requirements. Its experience includes a long track record of successful co-operation with companies in Europe, North America and Asia. In Kazakhstan, the firm has offices in Almaty, Atyrau and Nur-Sultan. Azamat Gumarov heads the practice.