Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Energy and natural resources in Kazakhstan

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has a standout reputation in upstream oil and gas mandates, as well as those involving the uranium and gold sectors. The team advises government agencies and state-owned enterprises on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious matters; dispute resolution is an area of particular focus for the practice. In a recent high-value highlight, the group represented 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. Astana-based Askar Moukhitdinov co-heads the practice with New York-based Eric Gilioli, whose combined experience encompasses debt and equity financings, M&A, corporate reorganisations and commercial contracts. Counsel Nurlan Mukhitdinov, who splits his time between Almaty and New York, is well-versed in investor-state arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

Askar Moukhitdinov; Eric Gilioli

Other key lawyers:

Nurlan Mukhitdinov; Susan Maples

Key clients

Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan, acting on behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan




Work highlights

  • Represented 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.


Dentons has profound expertise in the field of energy and natural resources, with the team representing high-profile clients before governmental agencies, state authorities, courts and arbitral proceedings. It places particular focus on oil and gas, uranium and solid mineral mining projects. The group advises on subsoil use law and other connected areas, including M&A, contracts and licences, procurement issues, regulatory compliance, farm-outs, joint ventures and consortium agreements, among others. Almaty-based Daniyar Toigonbaev heads the practice, which also includes dispute resolution specialist Aigoul Kenjebayeva and senior associate Nazym Bekturova. Elsewhere, infrastructure head Birzhan Zharasbayev, who is also managing partner of the firm’s office in Astana, advises companies operating in the renewable energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Daniyar Toigonbaev; Victoria Simonova; Birzhan Zharasbayev

Other key lawyers:

Aigoul Kenjebayeva; Nazym Bekturova


‘Dentons’ subsoil use and energy team led by the seasoned partner, Daniyar Toigonbaev, has been providing us with time-tested and business-oriented legal services relating to the financing and development of projects involving the exploration, extraction, processing, transportation and sale of precious metals and other minerals.’

‘Dentons understands our business goals and develops tailored, efficient and cost-effective compliance strategies and legal solutions.’

‘Victoria Simonova and the team were available, responsive and clear in their advice.’

‘Victoria Simonova is very experienced, has good industry knowledge, and is a great negotiator.’

‘The team is efficient and available as soon as needed, which is critical in time-sensitive matters.’

‘Birzhan Zharasbayev has extensive experience in renewable energy matters.’

Key clients

Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V.

North Caspian Operating N.V.

Cameco Corporation and Cameco Kazakhstan LLP

Halliburton International

Sungrow Power Supply Co., Ltd

Zhairem Mining and Concentrating Complex JSC

Work highlights

  • Advising Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. on a wide range of legal issues relating to their activities as a major oil and gas producer.
  • Advisisng North Caspian Operating Company N.V. on technical legal issues related to reserves estimation and approval.
  • Representing Zhairem Mining and Concentrating Complex JSC in court in a claim for invalidation of third-party licenses for mineral exploration issues for the client’s contract area.

GRATA International

The natural resources department at GRATA International is a strong choice for a number of multinational entities operating in the oil and gas and mining sectors; recent additions to the client roster include Albraik Investments, Lukoil Overseas Karachaganak B.V. and Glencore UK Limited, among others. The team has an excellent reputation in large-scale downstream and upstream projects, as is evidenced by their recent advice to Borealis AG on its $6.5bn exit from a joint venture with United Chemical Company and KazMunayGas. Almat Daumov, Baizhan Bekzhanov, Yerbolat Yerkebulanov and Maxim Burak jointly co-chair the group, whose extensive workload further covers M&A, EPC contracts, commercial agreements, regulations and compliance, and dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Almat Daumov; Baizhan Bekzhanov; Yerbolat Yerkebulanov; Maxim Burak


‘A truly international viewpoint that makes clients from outside of Kazakhstan feel well-supported.’

‘Baizhan Bekzhanov reacted promptly to all of our requests.’

‘Experts in Kazakh legislation.

Key clients

Ust-Kamenogorsk Titan Magnesium Plant

Lukoil Overseas Karachaganak B.V.

Nord Gold

Korea National Oil Company

Baker Hughes

Albraik Investments



Glencore UK Ltd

RG Gold

Clifford Chance Beijing




Arcelor Mittal Temirtau

Sinopec Engineering

KMG Nabors Drilling Company

Rio Tinto Exploration Kazakhstan


Borealis AG

Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Co., Ltd.

Kinstellar LLP

Counsel Almas Zhaiylgan heads the energy and natural resources practice at Kinstellar LLP, which provides a broad range of services to clients that are active in the oil and gas, power, mining and renewable energy sectors. The team’s wide-ranging workload encompasses M&A, farm-out agreements and joint ventures, commercial contracts, regulatory reviews, litigation and arbitration proceedings. Other key individuals within the practice include Joel Benjamin, firmwide managing partner, and Adlet Yerkinbayev, whose combined expertise includes debt and equity capital markets transactions and restructurings. Senior associate Anna Kornilova is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Almas Zhaiylgan

Other key lawyers:

Joel Benjamin; Adlet Yerkinbayev; Maksim Grekov; Anna Kornilova


‘Very confident and smart team.’

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a strong reputation for its involvement in complex energy-related transactions, attracting prominent players across the oil and gas, mining, and power (both traditional and renewable) sectors. The team is well-placed to handle matters involving M&A, joint ventures, dispute resolution, project development and project finance, as well as regulations and compliance. General director Aset Shyngyssov – who also serves as managing partner of the firm’s offices in Almaty and Astana – heads up the practice, which also includes experienced corporate partner Bakhytzhan Kadyrov and Asem Bakenova, noted for her expertise in infrastructure transactions.

Practice head(s):

Aset Shyngyssov

Other key lawyers:

Bakhytzhan Kadyrov; Asem Bakenova


‘The team had deep sector-specific knowledge and successfully acted on our behalf on both the buyer and seller sides of the project’s acquisition transactions, delivering top-quality advice and practical solutions on complex matters.’

‘Aset Shyngyssov is an exceptional partner. He is a diligent and pragmatic advisor.’

Key clients

Wabtec Corporation

Tin One

Alstom Transportation

Compass Group

Magnetic Oil

ArcelorMittal JSC


Kusto Agro


EDGE Group

Work highlights

  • Represented an international investment giant in a proposed strategic M&A transaction in the sphere of energy.
  • Represented a mining conglomerate in a proposed acquisition of a company owning a strategic mining deposit.
  • Represented a mining company in an M&A transaction involving the sale of a company holding stakes in major mining deposits in Kazakhstan.


SIGNUM Law Firm is the first port of call for international investors and project developers, with the team able to advise on all types of energy projects and oil & gas transactions in Kazakhstan. The practice is jointly led by managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova, Liza Zhumakhmetova, Gaukhar Kudaibergenova and Talgat Sariev, all of whom are based in Almaty. Zhylkaidarova is the key point of reference for complex cross-border project developments, while Sariev is an expert in litigation and arbitration proceedings. Kudaibergenova’s work in the field includes concession agreements, EPC and exploration contracts, and project negotiations.

Practice head(s):

Sofiya Zhylkaidarova; Liza Zhumakhmetova; Talgat Sariev; Gaukhar Kudaibergenova


‘We use the firm for dispute resolution advice, specific to energy and natural resources as well as for taxation. Their competences exceed expectations.’

‘Signum has a market-leading reputation in energy and natural resources; they handle multi-billion dollar oil and gas projects, representing many global companies.’

‘Sofiya Zhylkaidarova is the number one oil and gas lawyer in Kazakhstan.’

Key clients

Excellence Logging Ltd


Australian Gas Group

Work highlights

  • Advising a multinational power generation and electrical equipment manufacturing company on the construction of a renewable energy wind farm in Kazakhstan.
  • Advising one of the world’s leading solution providers in the energy sector in arbitration proceedings under the Rules of the International Arbitration Center of Kazakhstan under the sales and purchase agreement.

Unicase Law Firm

Unicase Law Firm has a standout reputation in the renewable energy sector, as is reflected by its strategically significant work for major public bodies, large multinationals, financial institutions and private sector investors. The team has extensive experience in the structuring and financing of transactions, as well as the development of new legislation – within the renewable space, as well as the oil and gas and mining sectors. The group is jointly led by Saniya Perzadayeva and Raushana Chaltabayeva, whose combined expertise spans corporate and M&A, project finance, infrastructure, and public-private partnerships (PPP). Nurlan Kubenov and Sanzhar Amangeldy are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Saniya Perzadayeva; Raushana Chaltabayeva

Other key lawyers:

Nurlan Kubenov; Ayana Unerbayeva; Sanzhar Amangeldy


‘Reliable and experienced team in the field of renewable energy. It is responsive and delivers high quality products within the given time.’

‘Raushana Chaltabayeva is an experienced attorney and has good connections within the administration. She is highly qualified, speaks fluent English, and is used to handling both the regulatory and corporate aspects of renewable energy matters.’

‘An efficient litigation machine that has successfully defended our interests in an international consortium.’

‘The team have very strong connections in the energy market and an outstanding reputation generally.’

‘Excellent collaboration and patience for all client concerns.’

‘Saniya Perzadayeva and Sanzhar Amangeldy possess exceptional expertise, loyalty and patience to clients.’

Key clients


The World Bank

Vestas Deutschland

Zhongman Petroleum and Natural Gas (Gulf) FZE


Geo Consultants B.V.


Almaty University of Power Engineering and Telecommunications

JCHX Mining Management Co Ltd

Witteveen+Bos Consulting Engineers

Work highlights

  • Advising AUPET and USAID on the first ever USAID-funded pilot project on the preparation and implementation of a rooftop solar pilot project in Kazakhstan.
  • Advice to Geo Consultants B.V. and EBRD on all aspects of Solid Waste Management system in Semey project execution, including preparation of conceptual design, tender documentation, assistance with tendering, tender evaluation, contract administration and supervision of construction, as well as set up of the disbursement system.
  • Advising an independent power developer on a deal to build a 1GW wind farm in Kazakhstan with battery storage capacity up to 500MW/1GWh.


AEQUITAS‘ energy and natural resources department focuses on subsoil use (oil and gas and solid minerals), with the team acting for leading mining and processing companies. The group have experience advising on a diverse range of issues, including M&A, financings and business structurings, as well as mineral exploration and production contracts between investors and the state. It is also well-placed to handle international arbitration proceedings and litigation in the Kazakh courts to settle mining-related disputes. Almaty-based partners Yelena Manayenko and Nurlan Sholanov head up the practice, which also includes managing partner Olga Chentsova.

Practice head(s):

Yelena Manayenko; Nurlan Sholanov

Other key lawyers:

Olga Chentsova

Key clients

UK Investment Company

Petroleum processing and petrochemical companies

Global independent producer of electrical energy

Kazakhstan gold mining and production company

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

The team at Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited acts for Kazakh and multinational companies operating in the oil and gas, mining and power sectors. Managing partner Azamat Kuatbekov heads up the practice; he is an established practitioner in the energy and natural resources arena, with significant experience as an in-house counsel in major oil and gas companies. Beyond its transactional advice, the group has experience in matters involving licensing regulations, real estate and construction (EPC contracts), employment, IP, antitrust, tax and trade compliance. It is also well-versed in international arbitration proceedings and local litigation. Counsel Igor Kolupayev frequently assists with the firm’s work.

Practice head(s):

Azamat Kuatbekov

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Korobeinikov; Nurgul Abdreyeva; Alexander Korchagin; Igor Kolupayev

Key clients

Alliance Altyn LLC

Fortescue Future Industries


Everlight Electronics

Tethys Petroleum

Epiroc Central Asia LLP

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Alliance Altyn LLC (borrower and project owner) in connection with attracting $180m project financing from VTB Bank for the construction of mining facilities and a processing plant at Jerooy gold ore deposit in the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • Advising the client on various matters (including litigation against the Ministry of Energy in connection with the refusal to sign an amendment to a subsoil use contract, the transition from exploration to the production stage, assessment of resources, negotiations with the regulator and other related matters) on a joint venture project between the client and the Government of Kazakhstan in connection with the development of a uranium deposit.

Haller Lomax

Haller Lomax's energy and natural resources group draws on the expertise of practitioners in ancillary departments, such as corporate and finance, infrastructure, foreign exchange regulations, labour, antitrust and dispute resolution. The practice is noted for its focus on mining projects and transactions, including advice on joint ventures, mining rights and licensing, construction issues, access to infrastructure and financings, among others. Arman Bigazin and Timur Odilov jointly head up the team, whose further experience spans complex regulatory matters and collaborations with the Government of Kazakhstan on the development of new legislation.

Practice head(s):

Arman Bigazin; Timur Odilov


‘Competence and expertise of the team is very high. It is responsive and client oriented.’

‘Professional, reliable, and allocate labour resources effectively. Special thanks are expressed to partner Arman Bigazin.’

‘Number one team specialising in mining and infrastructure sectors in Kazakhstan. It is strategic and business oriented, boasting sharp legal minds that can solve complex issues while appeasing other objectives.’

Key clients

Eurasian Group LLP

World Bank

Silver Bull

Kazzinc LLP

Asian Development Bank

Fortescue Kazakhstan LLP

Pallas Resources Ltd

Discovery Ventures Kazakhstan

Central Asia Metals PLC

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit

Temir-Service LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Eurasian Resources Group on the buyback of Marganez Zhairema JSC from Kazzinc LLP, which the latter acquired from Eurasian Resources Group in 2014.
  • Advised Shubarkol Komir JSC on a FIDIC Silver Book-based EPC contract for the construction of a special coke production plant for Shubarkol Komir JSC with a capacity of 400,000 tons per year.
  • Advised Temir-Service LLP on regulatory issues pertaining to its mining contract for phosphorite at Chilisai deposit.

Sayat Zholshy & Partners

Sayat Zholshy & Partners has a strong profile among clients operating in the oil and gas and mining sectors, with the group drawing on the expertise of ancillary departments – including antitrust, tax, corporate and dispute resolution – to handle complex projects. Almaty-based Amir Begdesenov heads the team, whose experience covers M&A, joint ventures, regulatory matters, restructurings and litigation, among other areas. The team is also a key port of call for a range of technology and equipment suppliers, providers of transportation services, and foreign investors that have been referred by leading international law firms. Other key individuals include Dmitriy Chumakov and counsel Gulmira Abenova.

Practice head(s):

Amir Begdessenov

Other key lawyers:

Dmitriy Chumakov; Gulmira Abenova

Key clients

PM Lucas Kazakhstan LLP

Ekibastuz GRES-1

Ekibastuz GRES-2

Moynak HPP JSC

KazGerMunai LLP

FLS Germany Holding GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised PM Lucas Kazakhstan LLP on a number of issues arising out of the tender for procurement of oil and gas services.
  • Advised Ekibastuz GRES-1 LLP, Ekibastuz GRES-2 JSC and Moynak HPP JSC on matters concerning antitrust compliance policies.
  • Represented KazGerMunai LLP in Kazakhs courts in connection with their dispute with the antitrust authority.

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP

The team at White & Case Kazakhstan LLP is praised by clients for combining its energy and natural resources work with the firm’s wider capability, including the corporate and M&A, capital markets, and project development and finance departments. Astana-based Maxim Telemtayev specialises in cross-border M&A, commercial deals, and corporate governance in the mining and natural resources sectors. He co-heads the group with local partner Semion Issyk, who joined from AGZ / Zan Hub in February 2022. Other recent noteworthy arrivals include counsel Zangar Nogaibay, who brings more than 15 years of experience in the oil and gas sector to the team.

Practice head(s):

Maxim Telemtayev; Semion Issyk

Other key lawyers:

Zangar Nogaibay


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

Key clients

Nostrum Oil & Gas plc

The Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan

RCF Management and Verny Capital

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Silver Bull Resources

Work highlights

  • Representation of Nostrum Oil & Gas, a premium listed company with oil and gas assets in Kazakhstan, on its proposed restructuring of US$1.1 billion of notes due in 2022 and 2025.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of Silver Bull Resources and Arras Minerals (Canadian based mineral exploration affiliated companies) in relation to various mining exploration properties.

AGZ / Zan Hub

AGZ / Zan Hub has extensive experience in cross-border matters spanning the full gamut of energy sector work, including renewable energy, electricity transmission, power production and distribution, nuclear power, and oil and gas. The team’s regular engagements range from joint ventures and commercial contracts, to financing deals and litigation proceedings. Astana-based partners Madiyar Bekturganov and Aituar Madin jointly chair the practice.

Practice head(s):

Madiyar Bekturganov; Aituar Madin

Key clients

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

Almaty Electric Stations JSC



Samruk-Energy JSC

JSC Ekibastuzskaya GRES-2

Batys Tranzit LLP

Airliquide Kazakhstan

Mangistau Regional Distribution Company

Petro Synthesis LLP

Nostrum Oil & Gas


Work highlights

  • Advised EBRD on the financing of an electricity distribution system in western Kazakhstan.
  • Advised Ekibastuzskaya GRES-2 on the resumption of a project related to the construction of the third block of a power plant.
  • Advised EBRD on the $80m financing of the Atyrau Oil Refinery Plant in western Kazakhstan.

Deloitte TCF, LLP

Deloitte TCF, LLP is noted for its involvement in the oil and gas, mining and renewable energy sectors. The team is particularly experienced in matters concerning M&A, corporate structuring, and commercial contracts, while clients also turn to the firm for its regulatory expertise and familiarity with tax disputes. In a key development, director Olessya Kirilovskaya now heads the practice, following the departure of Agaisha Ibrasheva in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Olessya Kirilovskaya

Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP

Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP regularly guides both domestic and international investors in the oil and gas, mining and power sectors in the expansion of their business activity in Kazakhstan. While tax forms the foundation of the practice, the team is also experienced in joint developments and restructurings, disputes with government authorities, and regulatory issues connected to subsoil use, among other matters. Dinara Tanasheva co-heads the practice alongside directors Aziz Abdukarimov and Gulfiya Kurmanova, all of whom are based in Almaty.

Practice head(s):

Dinara Tanasheva; Aziz Abdukarimov; Gulfiya Kurmanova

Other key lawyers:

Erlan Dosymbekov


Integrites‘ team acts for national government agencies, local government departments, and energy providers (both traditional and alternative) across the oil and gas and mining sectors. Almaty-based Svetlana Shtopol heads up the mining practice, drawing on her expertise in areas such as M&A, real estate and dispute resolution. Elsewhere, oil and gas mandates are led by managing partner Kurmangazy Talzhanov, whose expertise further encompasses banking and finance matters, as well as the development of energy-related legislation.

Practice head(s):

Svetlana Shtopol; Kurmangazy Talzhanov

Key clients

Kazpetrol Group

GRK Metallinvest

Merena Enterprises Company Limited

RTI Limited