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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 > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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Who Represents Who

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AEQUITAS's dispute resolution team focuses on cross-border commercial disputes. Practice head Valikhan Shaikenov represented VTB Bank in a $30m dispute over jurisdictional governing and guarantee termination; he was supported by senior associate Lyailya Tleulina on this matter. The pair also acted on a debts dispute in the pharmaceuticals industry. Counsel Violetta Kim represented Auto Linoriss against a state-owned enterprise in a $40m dispute over improper termination of a supply contract for train cars. Senior associate Ardak Idayatova has acted on complex contractual disputes, most notably in the construction industry.

Dentons' litigation group handles banking, employment and tax disputes, and has an especially strong track record in construction litigation. Managing partner Aigoul Kenjebayeva recently assisted Kcell in successfully challenging a copyright infringement claim. She was assisted by associate Aliya Seitova, an IP and TMT specialist. Victoria Simonova and Kanat Skakov lead the practice.

Kinstellar LLP has 'diligent litigators' who 'deliver the best legal service in litigation activity'. It is also praised for its 'dedication to clients' needs and creative approach to resolving complicated issues'. Mukhit Yeleuov is recommended for his ability to 'fly high enough to see all the perspectives of the issue'. He successfully represented a global consumer goods corporation in three interrelated customs disputes with state revenue departments in relation to alleged improper classification of imported goods; in this matter he was supported by senior associate Dina Berkaliyeva, who has notable expertise in environmental law, and associate Arman Kazhdarov.

Reed Smith LLP has a longstanding relationship with the state and state agencies and is especially involved in international arbitration. The Nur-Sultan and London offices work closely together, and practice head Belinda Paisley divides her time between the two. Counsel Adil Idrissov is the key name in Kazakhstan and supported Paisley in defending a government department in a dispute relating to an alleged breach of international treaties. The pair have also advised on legislative reform, especially concerning international arbitration laws.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited acts on local and international arbitration in the pharmaceuticals, mining, telecoms and construction sectors. Azamat Kuatbekov represented KazTransGaz in proceedings amounting to $180m over foreign oil and gas investments and treaty provisions. He was supported by Alexander Korobeinikov, who was recently promoted to counsel and has a strong track record in energy sector litigation. He provided local expertise to United Cement Group in a dispute relating to the expropriation of shares in two cement plants in Uzbekistan, with a total value of $500m.

Centil Law specialises in local litigation and has experience in advising global corporations in Kazakh disputes. The firm defended a manufacturing conglomerate in a claim over participating in state procurement procedures, and acted for an international packaging company in enforcing a court judgment to release the client's assets from illegal arrests. Dinara Jarmukhanova and Azim Usmanov are experienced litigators.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP advises the state in large cross-border arbitration, with work predominantly led from the Paris office. Clients say the lawyers do an 'excellent job' and are 'always punctual'. Askar Moukhitdinov is the key contact in Kazakhstan.

GRATA International's disputes team has notable strengths in construction and commercial cases. A client hails the team as 'one of the strongest' and 'among the best in Kazakhstan', comprising 'dedicated lawyers with a passion to for their work' Bakhyt Tukulov is a 'charismatic leader' and, among recent work, has assisted a foreign state-owned oil company in a dispute over construction works and subsequent damages. Clients praise counsel Zeinebeke Madybayeva for her 'experience and knowledge'.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP represents clients in international arbitration and cross-border disputes from its two Kazakh offices in Almaty and Nur-Sultan. Aset Shyngyssov heads the practice, and Klara Nurgaziyeva is also highly recommended.

Lawyers at Unicase Law Firm are recommended by clients for their 'individual, non-standard approach', and their ability to 'find the best legal solution'. Artem Timoshenko is an 'accomplished lawyer who combines solid professional and personal skills'; he recently represented Shenzhen Careall Investments in a $20m dispute over an alleged coerced purchase of oil and gas assets. Associate Aybek Kambaliyev supported Timoshenko in this matter and also in representing Feng Rui Development in relation to a $2m debt collection.

Artyushenko & Partners Boutique Law Firm focuses fully on real estate and represents clients in contract disputes and construction litigation. The 'very professional team' is led by Gulnar Ospanova, who is recommended for her 'knowledge and fast responses'. She recently represented Shar Kurylys Construction in a dispute over the client's unlawful contract termination and alleged damages; although initially lost, the team managed to overturn the initial arbitration award. She also acted for a Russian supplier on a currency payments dispute related to a hotel and office building.

Deloitte TCF, LLP specialises in tax litigation for clients across a number of industries in Kazakhstan. Agaisha Ibrasheva leads the team.

Integrites handles commercial litigation both domestically and internationally. Practice head Duman Akhmetov defended a medical services client in a $25m dispute over non-payment of sums under an alleged loan agreement. Akhmetov is supported by senior associate Dmitriy Chekalov, who has been advising a client in the construction sector on tax disputes.

Linkage & Mind LLP has experience in foreign and domestic corporate and tax disputes, as well as international arbitration. Yerzhan Manasov is recommended.

Nazkhanov and Partners handles civil and criminal litigation, and has notable strength in white-collar crime matters. Tair Nazkhanov is managing partner, and Nataliya Russakova is also noted.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax & Advisory LLP handles tax disputes and has notable expertise in the oil and gas sector. Michael Ahern, Elena Kaeva, Timur Zhursunov and Artem Petrukhin are all recommended in this practice.

The dispute resolution team at Sayat Zholshy & Partners is led by Vitaliy Vodolazkin, who primarily represents clients in tax disputes. He represented InDriver in proceedings against actions by the Transport Committee to block the service in Kazakhstan, successfully adjusting the operation model to lift the ban. Amir Begdesenov acted for Caspian Beverage Holdings in a case brought against Carlsberg in relation to alleged competition law abuse.

SIGNUM Law Firm has 'strong expertise in civil litigation' and is recommended by clients for providing 'high-quality service and non-standard decisions'. Talgat Sariev has 'vast experience in subsoil use and civil litigation', and managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova has 'outstanding negotiation skills'. The team represented an international machinery producer in a dispute over leased assets.

Synergy Partners Law Firm LLC has expertise in IP law and handles disputes in this area as well as employment and consumer rights litigation. Nurzhan Stamkulov leads the team.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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