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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Kazakhstan > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial, corporate and M&A clients in Kazakhstan using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited handles cross-border transactions for international clients, focusing on M&A and corporate restructuring. Curtis Masters is highly experienced in these fields and assisted General Electric with its $23bn acquisition of Baker Hughes and the consequent merger of the companies' oil and gas assets. Counsel Igor Kolupayev supports Masters in corporate matters, including on a high-profile telecoms acquisition.

Dentons is especially strong in M&A and joint-venture formation, and lawyers in the team are praised by clients for being able to 'complement or substitute in for each other when needed'. Managing partner Aigoul Kenjebayeva and Abai Shaikenov are recommended for their 'great commitment and honesty', as well as their availability 'in critical moments'. Shaikenov advised an Asian fund manager on its sale of assets and shares, and assisted a foreign company with investment into a local dairy business to fund expansion. Birzhan Zharasbayev represented SNC-Lavalin Europe in the acquisition of a design and construction company. Gani Ashimkhan is also highly recommended.

Kinstellar LLP predominantly works with financial institutions and has a particular focus on advising banks on acquiring controlling stakes in other banks. Adlet Yerkinbayev led a large team that advised Halyk Bank on the acquisition of a controlling stake in Kazkommertsbank, the value of which exceeded $7bn; managing partner Joel Benjamin was also involved in this matter.

AEQUITAS has key strengths in restructuring, M&A and asset transfers, with notable expertise in labour law. The firm advised Knauf Gypsum in relation to the proposed acquisition of Bias Tech, which owns gypsum factories across Kazakhstan. Lead partner Nurlan Sholanov was supported by a large team that included Natalya Braynina and Yuliya Chumachenko. Braynina also advised a Chinese energy client on issues relating to the acquisition of Kazakh assets, namely a subsoil use company and parent company; senior associate Yelena Manayenko, who has experience in the natural resources sector, supported on this matter.

Dechert Kazakhstan Limited's Almaty team has 'all the necessary qualities' clients seek, and handles corporate, M&A and commercial work across a range of industries, including energy and natural resources, and infrastructure. Practice head Victor Mokrousov acted for Kazakhtelecom in transactions with Tele2 Sverige to merge the parties' telecoms businesses. Mokrousov was also the key name in advising a domestic salt producer on a $50m joint venture with Chinese investors for the construction of a soda ash facility. Associate Yevgeniya Nossova supports Mokrousov in corporate matters.

GRATA International advises on large-scale M&A transactions and has a strong record in the oil and gas sector. As a recent example, the team assisted Total with its acquisition of Maersk Oil. Bolat Miyatov leads the corporate practice and often works alongside Almat Daumov and Baizhan Bekzhanov from the firm's natural resources practice. Miyatov recently acted for a consortium of Kazakh and Turkish investors in the potential acquisition of a luxury hotel.

Linkage & Mind LLP has a strong track record in M&A transactions in the construction sector and also represents clients in investment projects. Practice head Yerzhan Manasov acted for local renewable energy company Urbasolar in its acquisition of a Kazakh construction company. Madina Sypatayeva advised Jan De Nul on construction contracts for the Aktau sea port.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP provides 'good general practical legal advice' and is 'able to draw on the expertise of colleagues in other international offices'. The firm is regarded as a 'safe pair of hands' for work, of which M&A is a particular strength. Managing partner Aset Shyngyssov is 'key' to the firm's success, has 'good commercial sense and is able to give direct advice'. He recently represented ALSTOM Transport Holdings in its acquisition of a 25% share in an electric locomotives plant. Bakhytzhan Kadyrov is noted for the 'quality of his advice, which is pragmatic and commercial'. Associate Aida Akhmetova is praised for her 'proactive attitude'; she supports Shyngyssov in assisting Aldar Properties.

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP has notable strengths in corporate transactions, particularly in the areas of banking and energy. Maxim Telemtayev leads the team, which also includes Pavel Kornilov. The pair work together on most matters.

Centil Law's corporate team has a 'deep knowledge of local law and practical nuances'. The practice is jointly led by Ravshan Rakhmanov, who specialises in projects and contractual matters, and Ravshan Adilov, who handles transactional and regulatory work and has considerable experience in the subsoil and energy sectors. Clients regard them as the 'best people to work with', hailing them as 'more effective' than lawyers at other firms. Adilov acted as local counsel on the Mars and Wrigley merger, advising on restructuring issues. Associate Bagzhan Zhamalova is 'very good and professional'.

Integrites' corporate team works on cross-border M&A in concert with the firm's other international offices. Rashid Gaissin and Svetlana Shtopol are the key contacts for corporate advice.

KPMG Law advises on commercial issues pertaining to licensing, labour law and contract amendments, as well as supporting clients in M&A deals. Rustem Sadykov advised a food and beverages client on potential risks arising from breach of competition laws. Senior manager Askhad Koshkarbayev leads the Nur-Sultan office, while Inna Alkhimova heads the Almaty office. Senior manager Altynshash Zhussipova assisted a machinery client with drafting a sale and pledge agreement relating to agricultural equipment.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax & Advisory LLP handle corporate and due diligence matters, as well as M&A. Yelena Ryzhkova recently joined the firm from Deloitte TCF, LLP, and leads from the office in Almaty. The team recently conducted full due diligence for a proposed banking merger, as well as advised on shares acquisitions in the telecoms sector.

Reed Smith LLP's Nur-Sultan office works closely with the firm's London office, and handles M&A works as well as advising on amendments to corporate legislation. Counsel Askar Zhansagimov is head of the Nur-Sultan office and was part of the team that advised a client on the sale of holdings in two foreign companies.

Sayat Zholshy & Partners has a 'very professional team that combines deep knowledge of the law with a business approach'. The team is particularly recommended for providing 'explicit and in-depth legal analysis'. Arman Berdalin heads the Nur-Sultan office, and handles M&A and corporate restructuring on behalf of national companies. Amir Begdesenov is an IP and antitrust specialist and handles corporate issues for tech companies and start-ups.

SIGNUM Law Firm handles M&A and joint venture agreements for international and domestic clients. Liza Zhumakhmetova has solid experience in these areas.

Unicase Law Firm provides 'professional legal service, rapid replies and rich, specialised knowledge'. The firm caters for international corporations, domestic businesses and state-owned companies, and has notable strengths in cross-border transactions in the energy and mining sector. Saniya Perzadayeva (Toleshova ) advised a Chinese energy and construction company on the establishment of a joint venture in Kazakhstan. Raushana Chaltabayeva is also noted.

AGZ / Zan Hub focuses on corporate, regulatory and transactional matters. Safkhan Shahmammadli and Semion Issyk are notable names.

Deloitte TCF, LLP acts for banks and financial institutions on corporate matters, including conducting due diligence, drafting loan documents and corporate restructuring. Practice head Agaisha Ibrasheva has a particularly strong record in the oil and gas sector.

Eterna Law's Almaty office has strong ties with the firm's Kiev and Moscow offices and provides clients in the CIS region an integrated cross-border service, most notably in corporate governance and entry to the Kazakhstan market. Konstantin Derbyshev leads the team and handles company registration matters. Maksym Uslystyi recently acted for Mondelez on the implementation of a new corporate governance structure, and advised Squalio Group on entering the Kazakh market.

Olympex Advisers LLP advises foreign investors and state corporations on M&A, especially in the energy and natural resources sector. Yessen Massalin and Daniyar Nurkeev are key names in the practice, and recently advised a major oil and gas corporation on the sale of shares and the establishment of a joint venture in the Caspian Sea region.

RECCON Law Firm provides advice on corporate governance, joint venture formation and consortium structures. Mikhail Pozdnukhov handles M&A work, predominantly in real estate and infrastructure, and recently advised a client on the acquisition of railway assets from a state-owned company.

Synergy Partners Law Firm LLC provides legal support in relation to company registrations, shareholder agreements and M&A. Alzhan Stamkulov advises on acquisitions and restructuring.

VERUM has strong competencies in cross-border matters, including M&A, and is experienced in negotiating with public authorities in Kazakhstan. Azamat Chinetov  is the key contact.

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