Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution

AKHMETOVA Law Firm Limited was formed in 2020 and covers a broad spectrum of work across dispute resolution including disputes concerning insurance, debt recovery, force majeure and copyright for clients across multiple industry sectors, from technology companies to SMEs.

Dispute resolution in Kazakhstan

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited‘s disputes practice is focused on international and local arbitration alongside Kazakh court litigation, with deep industry expertise in different areas including oil and gas, energy, telecoms, pharma and mining. Public law and civil fraud are other areas of expertise. Azamat Kuatbekov is the managing partner in the Almaty office, with experience in complex litigation and arbitration matters. He co-heads the practice with Alexander Korobeinikov, who is specialised in international and domestic arbitration. Andrei Yorsh focuses on intellectual property litigation work, whereas Alissa Inshakova specialises in domestic litigation and arbitration, as well as disputes relating to competition law, regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Yana Daloglu is a name to watch.

Practice head(s):

Azamat Kuatbekov; Alexander Korobeinikov

Other key lawyers:

Andrei Yorsh; Igor Kolupayev; Yana Daloglu; Alissa Inshakova


‘Baker McKenzie is always able to provide quality advice on any legal matter. The team is committed to resolving all issues quickly and efficiently and they are always able to engage best individuals both inside the firm and outside consultants on complicated international matters.’

‘Azamat Kuatbekov has advised me on all legal matters in Kazakhstan and globally for around 20 years now. He is an outstanding professional and a person of highest integrity and compassion. He is the best legal professional in Kazakhstan in dispute resolutions and corporate law. I have worked with almost all international firms in Kazakhstan, and based on my personal experience I can confirm this without any doubt.’

‘I think it is its people and its powerful network what makes them different.’

Key clients

Kul-Bas LLP

United Cement Company Plc

SkyBridge Investments

Lafonda Invest Pte. Ltd

Visa International

Maxam Kazakhstan LLP

MaxamCorp Internartional

Cochlear Limited

Planet S.A.

Work highlights

  • Represented the consortium consisted from the Kazakhstani company Applied Economics Research Centre LLP and Bulgarian company Savvy Business headed by Planet S.A. in UNCITRAL arbitration and enforcement proceedings against the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection.
  • Represented Visa International in several Kazakhstani court proceedings commenced by the bankruptcy administrators of local banks.
  • Represented a major Kazakhstani oil company, in a precedent-setting dispute with the local tax authorities over a dividend withholding tax amounting to $21m.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Led by Askar Moukhitdinov, Astana based Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP acts as a legal advisor of the Republic of Kazakhstan and its state-owned enterprises, and has been involved in high-profile international arbitrations for upstream oil and gas, uranium, gold and construction sectors. Paris-based Peter Wolrich is experienced in investor-state and commercial arbitration proceedings, alongside Geoffroy Lyonnet who has expertise in international commercial arbitrations for a number of different tribunals and chambers. Nurlan Mukhitdinov is noted for his work on major oil and gas projects across Kazakhstan.

Practice head(s):

Askar Moukhitdinov

Other key lawyers:

Nurlan Mukhitdinov


‘I consider that in respect of the oil and gas arbitration cases I know, the work provided for by the team was of top-quality. The issues dealt with were highly challenging, difficult and complex. One dispute amounted to a number of billions of dollars and was related to various cutting-edge contractual, fiscal, financial and economic issues in regard to interpretation and implementation of petroleum production sharing-contracts and related agreements. ’

‘Based on my long and global experience in oil and gas matters and considering my interaction with Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP (CMP) lawyers, I remain deeply impressed by their efficient and excellent performance.’

‘Their strategic mindset stands out. Rather than approaching disputes reactively, they take a proactive stance. They thoroughly analyze cases, develop innovative strategies, and explore alternative dispute resolution methods to save time and costs. What I appreciate most is their unwavering commitment to clients. They prioritize understanding our goals, providing clear communication, and involving us in decision-making throughout the process.’

‘Their team reflects a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives, which enhances their problem-solving capabilities. They promote a collaborative environment, pooling the strengths of their attorneys to deliver comprehensive solutions.’


Key clients

Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan




Work highlights

  • Representing the Republic of Kazakhstan in a UNCITRAL arbitration commenced by a Canadian investor pursuant to the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Canada and the Soviet Union. The case arises from the termination of a contract for the management of a gold mining company. One of the key issues in the case has involved state succession to treaties in public international law, as the applicability to Kazakhstan of the treaty with the Soviet Union has been disputed by the parties.


Dentons‘ litigation and dispute resolution team offers clients a one-stop shop service for clients seeking assistance in contentious matters, with lawyers having experience in dealing with a wide range of disputes, including general contract litigation, banking litigation, tax and customs and property-related claims. Daniyar Toigonbaev heads the practice and has experience in advising clients on a variety of legal issues, including disputes on tax and other governmental authorities, while Aigoul Kenjebayeva has worked on disputes for the oil and gas sector. Victoria Simonova advises clients on international law issues, including IP and corporate matters. Artur Utarbayev and Nazym Bekturova are names to watch.

Practice head(s):

Daniyar Toigonbaev

Other key lawyers:

Aigoul Kenjevayeva; Victoria Simonova; Artur Utarbayev; Nazym Bekturova


‘Dentons dispute resolution practice can be named as one of the most successful in Kazakhstan. Dentons lawyers participated in number of anti monopoly, tax, commercial litigation for our company. Dentons can deliver any number of lawyers, and can bring high quality in Kazakhstan. In general, Dentons is the most successful firm in Kazakhstan.’

‘Daniyar Toigonbayev, dispute resolution practice partner is different from competitor based on his expertise and knowledge of the market. Daniyar demonstrates high quality and availability. Arthur Utarbayev is another lawyer worth mentioning. He proves high availability and in depth knowledge of criminal and corporate law.’


Key clients

Herbalife Kazakhstan LLP

Kazzinc LLP

Arcelor Mittal Temirtau JSC

Altyntau Kokshetau JSC (Kazzinc group)

Petco Investment and Trading L.P.

Herbalife Europe Limited / Herbalife Kazakhstan LLP

Enertek LLP

CITIC Construction Co. Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented Altyntau Kokshetau JSC in an administrative dispute against the Department of Ecology preventing imposition of the administrative fine of approximately US$20 million.
  • Represented ArcelorMittal Temirtau JSC in court in four administrative disputes against the antimonopoly authority.
  • Represented PKZ Mining LLP in court against the claimant who challenged the validity of client’s mineral licenses.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP is led by David Boutcher and Askar Zhansagimov, with a reputation for domestic and international disputes in litigation or arbitration, alongside pre-contract risk management, targeted negotiation and alternative dispute resolution strategy.

Practice head(s):

David Boutcher; Askar Zhansagimov


‘Reed Smith LLP is known for several unique qualities and strengths that potential clients might find appealing.’

‘The firm has a deep understanding of various industries, including energy, financial services, life sciences, and more. Clients often appreciate their lawyers’ industry-specific knowledge and insights.’

‘Reed Smith is committed to putting its clients first. They often tailor their legal solutions to meet the specific needs of each client, ensuring a personalized and client-centric approach.’

Key clients

The Republic of Kazakhstan

The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan


As part of a broad practice, SIGNUM Law Firm advises clients on international arbitration proceedings and in disputes relating to the oil and gas, natural resources and energy sectors, with a number of instructions coming from disputes stemming from sanctions on Russia. Talgat Sariev  heads the practice and represents international clients in all types of in-court disputes and arbitration proceedings involving Kazakh assets or parties.

Practice head(s):

Talgat Sariev


‘We work with Sofiya Zhylkaidarova, who is the No.1 oil & gas lawyer in Kazakhstan in terms of reputation and expertise. For litigation advice we rely on Talgat Sariev, who is an excellent point of reference to plan and implement in-court defense. Both of them are stellar lawyers who make the firm an exceptional choice in Kazakhstan.’


Work highlights

  • Dispute relating to the failure on contractual obligations arising out of unprecedented international sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
  • Advising on the application of Cape Town Convention to return high-value aviation assets from the lease by over sanctioned Russian counterparties.
  • Assisting the Dutch subsidiary of the global leader in healthcare produce on mutual acknowledgement and enforcement of court decisions between the Netherlands and Kazakhstan.

Tukulov Kassilgov Shaikenov Disputes (TKS)

Almaty-based Tukulov Kassilgov Shaikenov Disputes (TKS) is the result of a merger between Tukulov Kassilgov Litigation and Shaikenov Law Experts. The dispute resolution-focused firm is present on matters pertaining to complex commercial, corporate litigation and insolvency, tax and customs litigation and IP and IT litigation. The team has also handled cases in the AIFC jurisdiction and have represented financial services companies in the Kazakh “onshore” courts. Bakhyt Tukulov represents clients in high-profile commercial disputes concerning Kazakhstan law and has experience acting as an expert in cross-border litigation and arbitration proceedings and Ravil Kassilgov supports international and local clients on tax disputes. Valikhan Shaikenov heads the firm's arbitration practice. Natalia Shapovalova left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Bakhyt Tukulov; Ravil Kassilgov; Valikhan Shaikenov


‘The TKL advantage is availability. While many firms take a lot of time to engage, the TKL lawyers can act immediately.’

‘Bakhyt Tukkulov is very strong litigator who is not shy to act absolutely anyone. He is ready to start confrontation with any agency or stakeholder in case their actions are illegal. He is instrumental in preparing lawsuits and claims on high quality level. He perceives problems of his clients as his own. Bakhyt is YES man, he never refused to take any case.’

‘Very dedicated and specialised dispute resolution practice. Very sharp compared to other firms. ’

‘Bakhyt Tukulov is very responsive, very reliable team.’

‘This is a boutique commercial litigation firm in Kazakhstan whose lawyers are incredibly dedicated, hardworking and client orientated. They are indeed very much experienced in the cross- border litigation and aware of how to navigate between local and foreign law (English law) concepts and make them work. Their advice is comprehensive and practical, and their fees more than reasonable. ’

‘The firm’s managing partner Bakhyt Tukulov is extremely intelligent with great analytical skills and expertise in litigation. He is literally available 24/7, ready to accommodate his clients’ needs, which makes his clients’ life a lot easier.’

‘They have very individual approach for every case. I was able to obtain professional advice regarding my issues.’

‘What stood out to me the most is the attention to details.’

Key clients

Jusan Ventures

Freedom Finance

Firm800 LLC

Private Company Minerals Operating Ltd.

Private Company Smart Parking Technologies Ltd.

Work highlights

Unicase Law Firm

Unicase Law Firm is renowned for its experienced litigation team, which has a track record in arbitration and litigation concerningmultiple industry areas such as oil and gas, infrastructure, transport and banking. In 2023, the firm became a member firm of the Andersen Global network. Artem Timoshenko is the managing partner and is recognised for his experience in corporate restructuring and dispute resolution, while Sanzhar Amangeldy concentrates on the construction and technology industry.

Practice head(s):

Artem Timoshenko; Sanzhar Amangeldy


‘What truly sets Unicase apart is its ability to navigate challenging legal situations with finesse. Unicase’s skillful approach and unwavering dedication to their client’s interests shone through.’

The pinnacle of Unicase’s success in dispute resolution was its strategic brilliance in achieving a pre-trial resolution through the interdepartmental commission. By developing a well-thought-out strategy and presenting compelling arguments, they not only resolved the matter favourably but also influenced recommendations for improving tax legislation. This achievement underscores their ability to innovate and make a lasting impact.’

‘Artem has consistently proven himself to be an exceptional legal professional, displaying a remarkable blend of legal expertise, strategic thinking, and unwavering dedication. Artem’s deep understanding of complex legal matters, particularly in the realm of dispute resolution, is truly impressive. He possesses a keen analytical mind that allows him to dissect intricate legal situations with precision. His ability to identify key issues, analyse the nuances of our case, and provide insightful counsel has been invaluable to our clients.’

Key clients

Beineu-Shymkent Gas Pipeline

NBTC Limited

Work highlights


AEQUITAS focuses on cross-border litigation and commercial arbitration, frequently working with firms from other jurisdictions on cross-border disputes. The team is prevalent across multiple areas across dispute resolution, including contract, construction, patent and copyright, banking and liquidation. Farukh Iminov is the key contact. Since publication, Ardak Idayatova has joined Kinstellar LLP.

Other key lawyers:

Farukh Iminov


‘The company works with knowledge of the case and clear approaches. All issues of the court case were resolved promptly and on time.’

‘I liked that the lawyers of AEQUITAS were extremely client-oriented, worked with an individual approach to each emerging issue. Farukh Iminov clearly has huge experience in dispute resolution and is able to quickly analyze the situation.’

Key clients

Dr. Theiss Naturwaren GmbH

PRONAR Sp. z o.o.

GRATA International

Noted for its ‘wealth of experience and local knowledge,’ GRATA International covers a variety of services related to litigation, including general commercial disputes, construction matters and employment litigation. The team has experience representing clients before international courts as well as domestic Kazakh courts and arbitral tribunals. ‘Great litigation partnerAskar Konysbayev co-leads the practice alongside Assel Illyasova, who is experienced in tax disputes, while Timur Berekmoinov has helped to expand the practice through his expertise in IP litigation. Zhandarbek Ramazan and Gulnur Nurkeyeva are key names from the firm.

Practice head(s):

Askar Konysbayev; Assel Illyasova

Other key lawyers:

Zhandarbek Ramazan; Gulnur Nurkeyeva


‘Grata is the biggest and oldest local firm in Kazakhstan. It has a wealth of experience and local knowledge.’

‘Baizhan Bekzhanov is very commercial and sound. A good and solid name in the market. Askar Konysbayev is a great litigation partner. He knows the market and he knows how to convince the court.’

‘Grata has a good overall team of lawyers and the partners are very skilled. Professional.’


Integrites has vast experience in litigation, arbitration, adjudication, mediation and settlement negotiations, with the dispute resolution team comprising of lawyers able to handle matters in courts of all levels, including complex cases and international arbitration. Duman Akhmetov heads the practice and advises clients in international arbitration alongside Kurmangazy Talzhanov who is skilled in international and local disputes. Algerim Kasmukhanova is noted for her experience in litigation and international arbitration, while associates Askan Turisbekov and Zairbek Nurakhan both joined the firm in December 2022.

Practice head(s):

Duman Akhmetov

Other key lawyers:

Kurmangazy Talzhanov; Algerim Kasmukhanova; Askan Turisbekov; Algerim Nussenova; Zairbek Nurakhan

Key clients

Arysta Life Science S.A.S.

Mellon LLP

Arysta LifeScience Great Britain Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on a competition investigation in the agricultural space concerning the alleged activities of a competitor.
  • Represented a party to a partnership dispute concerning an alleged tax liability created by a former participant in the partnership.
  • Represented a consulting company in a professional negligence case.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP combines the expertise of its Kazakhstan-based and London-based dispute lawyers to advise global clients on complex cross-border disputes. The firm is present on cross-border international arbitrations alongside local litigation in Kazakhstan courts. Aset Shyngyssov heads the litigation practice and serves as a liaison partner between the London and Kazakhstan offices, while Bakhytzhan Kadyrov  helps clients with domestic and international litigation and arbitration matters. Asem Bakenova is based in Astana and has experience on administration proceedings and investigations, whereas Aida Akhmetova  represents clients in litigation involving international elements and state authorities.

Practice head(s):

Aset Shyngyssov

Other key lawyers:

Bakhytzhan Kadyrov; Asem Bakenova; Aida Akhmetova

Work highlights

Sayat Zholshy & Partners

Sayat Zholshy & Partners‘ dispute resolution team works in tandem with its corporate and tax divisions to offer a combined specialised service in a range of disputes including commercial litigation, tax, competiton law and disputes involving banks and other financial institutions. Vitaliy Vodolazkin leads the team and specialises in litigation, with his clientele consisting of international and national companies. Yelena Tyureikina  specialises in the resolution of tax and customs disputes, while Assel Sandybayeva is noted for her expertise in civil process, representing the firm’s clients in the courts of all instances in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Practice head(s):

Vitaliy Vodolazkin

Other key lawyers:

Aidyn Bikebayev; Yelena Tyureikina; Assel Sandybayeva


‘Sayat Zholshy & Partners is a well known law firm in Kazakhstan with very good reputation. They have very high standards of work. Also they are known for their team work. They are team of proffesionals, provides exceptional legal services at high level.’

‘I would like to recommend Managing Partner Vitaliy Vodolazkin and Counsel Assel Sandybayeva. They are very good lawyers. Vitaliy leads their Dispute Resolution practice and is a top litigator in Kazakhstan.’

‘We worked with Vitaliy Vodolazkin who leads their Dispute Resolution practice. He is an exceptional lawyer and one of the most reputable lawyers in Kazakhstan. He understands what we need. It is very hard to contest with him in the courts.’

Key clients

Nomad Insurance JSC


RG Brands Kazakhstan

Eurasian Foods Corporation JSC

First Heartland Jusan Bank JSC



Bukhtarminskaya Hydroelectric Power Station JSC

Kcell JSC

Work highlights

  • Representing Nomad Insurance JSC in front of the Kazakhstan Supreme Court in connection with a number of disputes with Kazakhstan customs authorities.
  • Assisting First Heartland Jusan Bank JSC in front of Kazakhstan courts in an effort to protect their business reputation.
  • Representing Bukhtarminskaya Hydroelectric Power Station JSC in a corporate dispute with their minority shareholders

MG Partners

MG Partners has offices across Kazakhstan in Almaty, Astana and Karaganda, and is active in the arbitration space. Inna Revazova is the managing partner and is a member of the Astana Chamber of Legal Consultants, whereas Meruet Zhunubayeva is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Inna Revazova; Meruet Zhunubayeva

Key clients

‘Seven Hills of Kazakhstan’ LLC

LLP ‘Zavod Truyb PPU’

‘Torgovy Dom NL Kontinent Astana’ LLP

Technical Audit Sp. Z o.o

Qulix Systems

‘Atyrauenergotechservice’ LLP

SpetsLiftMontazhService LLP

LLP Ranaz

UAB Irsana

Shatyr – Kurylys LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on debt recovery from the Kazakh government concerning equiptment used to treat COVID-19.
  • Represented a claimant for recovery of debt under the contract against Kazakhstan Bank as assignee to protect breach of certain provisions of the contract.

Nazkhanov and Partners

Nazkhanov and Partners is led by a six-person team of former judges and law enforcement offices, including Tair Nazkhanov, Oryngazy Jaboldinov, Nataliya Russakova, Abzal Kassymzhanov, Dyussembekov Darkhan and Jamalov Damir. The team specialises in the protection of interests and consultation of entrepreneurs, managers and accountants in civil disputes, white-collar crime cases and tax litigation matters.

Practice head(s):

Tair Nazkhanov; Oryngazy Jaboldinov; Nataliya Russakova; Abzal Kassymzhanov; Dyussembekov Darkhan; Jamalov Damir


‘The team works promptly, and they are very accurate with details. Their knowledge of the legislation was exceptional.’

‘Tair and Darkhan are very competent and polite people. They are attentive to details and work to save their customer’s time.’


Work highlights

PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax & Advisory LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax & Advisory LLP is focused on tax dispute resolution and regulatory proceedings. Nursultan Nurbayev is the director of the tax and legal services department and advises both multinational and domestic companies, focusing on transfer pricing issues. Shynar Zhanbekova is noted for her experience in appealing the results of tax audits.

Practice head(s):

Timur Zhursunov; Elena Kaeva; Nursultan Nurbayev

Other key lawyers:

Shynar Zhanbekova


‘The team is quite good. They are big enough to house many different specialists to address various challenges. The name is recognizable and brings some confidence to international management team when choosing appropriate firm for the case.’

‘They make effort to make client experience feel good. Good feedback during all stages of the case process: stakeholders kept well informed.’

‘I would like to note the unique professional background of the team. Team has high level of competence, which allows to obtain economic, technological, and social benefits. The team demonstrates in-depth knowledge of the subject. The team is available at any time of the day, provide practical advice on requests.’

Key clients

Mary Kay Kazakhstan LLP

Voskhod Chrome LLP

Branch of Shanghai Construction Group

Branch of Saipem

Karazhanbasmunai JSC

Branch of Citic Construction Group

Voskhod Trading LLP



Yves Rocher Kazakhstan LLP

The Branch of General Electric International Inc. in Kazakhstan

TarbagataiMunai LLP

ESS Support Services LLP



Ken-Sary LLP

Bank CenterCredit JSC