Energy and natural resources in Kazakhstan

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP's presence in the energy and natural resources industries in Kazakhstan sees it regularly handle mandates concerning oil and gas, uranium mining and gold mining. Dispute resolution is a notable bedrock of the work undertaken by the firm, as are non-contentious mandates; Askar Moukhitdinov, who divides time between Almaty and Nur-Sultan, is experienced in debt and equity financings, as well as negotiations of gas sales contracts and servicing agreements. Elsewhere in the network, Eric Gilioli (New York/Milan) has been acting for the Republic of Kazakhstan for almost 15 years. His wide-ranging expertise includes M&A, commercial contracts and contentious matters. Counsel Nurlan Mukhitdinov is another name to note at the firm. In 2020, it acted for PSA LLC and Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan (acting on behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan) in an arbitration connected with a production sharing agreement for the exploration and exploitation of the oil and gas field known as Karachaganak.

Practice head(s):

Askar Moukhitdinov; Eric Gilioli

Other key lawyers:

Nurlan Mukhitdinov

Testimonials

‘Highly professional lawyers. The team has excellent knowledge and knows the specifics of the petroleum sector.’

Key clients

PSA LLC and Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, acting on behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Republic of Kazakhstan

KazAtomProm

Work highlights

  • Represented Kazakhstan in an arbitration arising out of an oil company consortium’s improper calculation and allocation of the Republic’s share of production under a production sharing agreement for the exploration and exploitation of the Kazakh giant gas condensate field Karachaganak. This resulted in a $1.9bn settlement in favour of the Republic.
  • Represented the Republic of Kazakhstan in claims brought by a Canadian mining company arising from the termination in 1997 of a 1996 management contract relating to certain gold mines in Kazakhstan; this case presented novel issues in treaty-based arbitration, raising the question whether Kazakhstan is bound by the 1989 USSR-Canada bilateral investment treaty. This resulted in an award dismissing the claims against the Republic.
  • Represented KazAtomProm, a State-owned company in Kazakhstan and the largest producer of natural uranium in the world, to defend its interests in an unusual U.S. trade proceeding – a Section 232 investigation. This resulted in a denial of the petitioners’ requests against KazAtomProm.

Dentons

Dentons has been a major player in the energy and natural resources industry in Kazakhstan for over 25 years. It has an outstanding reputation in oil and gas, uranium and solid mineral mining projects. Clients turn to the firm for advice on farm-outs, joint ventures and consortium agreements, well services and drilling contracts, M&A and procurement issues. Recent work included advice to clients on non-performance of obligations under subsoil use contracts because of Covid-19. Elsewhere, Ruslan Nurbekov and Birzhan Zharasbayev assist clients with issues arising from renewable energy and conventional power generation projects. Daniyar Toigonbaev leads the energy and natural resources practice. Aigoul Kenjebayeva is another key individual.

Practice head(s):

Daniyar Toigonbaev

Other key lawyers:

Aigoul Kenjebayeva; Birzhan Zharasbayev; Nazym Bekturova; Ruslan Nurbekov

Key clients

Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V.

North Caspian Operating N.V.

Cameco Corporation and Cameco Kazakhstan LLP

Halliburton International

Shell Kazakhstan Development BV

Kellogg, Brown and Root UK

Qazaq Soda LLP/ Yildirim Holding A.S.

PETROFAC International (UAE) LTD

SUNGROW POWER SUPPLY Co., Ltd.

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC

OMV Petrom

Moore Control Systems Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. on a wide range of legal issues related to its activities as a major oil and gas producer.
  • Advised Cameco Corporation on highly technical and sophisticated legal issues related to the activity of its joint venture with the national uranium company.
  • Advised OMV Petrom on its entry into a conditional agreement for the sale of its 100% shareholding in Kom-Munai LLP (KOM) and Tasbulat Oil Corporation LLP (TOC) to Magnetic Oil Limited.

GRATA International

GRATA International is known for its work in the oil and gas and mining sectors, where it handles all aspects of upstream and downstream projects for clients. The firm's standing in the market sees it act for clients such as Korea National Oil Company, Baker Hughes, Sinopec Engineering and Glencore UK Limited. Its wide-ranging workload includes assistance with M&A, joint venture agreements, EPC contracts, tax and dispute resolution. Almat Daumov recently led the advice to Positive Invest LLP on its sale to Nostrum Oil and Gas. The practice is jointly led by Daumov, Baizhan Bekzhanov and Yerbolat Yerkebulanov, alongside Nur-Sultan-based Maxim Burak.

Practice head(s):

Almat Daumov; Baizhan Bekzhanov; Yerbolat Yerkebulanov; Maxim Burak

Testimonials

‘A very professional team.’

‘I find the Grata team are very competent specialists who are ready to provide assistance 24/7. They have a large staff of specialists, divided by departments who work well in a team.’

‘For more than 5 years we have been working with the partner of the firm Mr Baizhan Bekzhanov. We would like to highlight his professionalism, responsibility and high knowledge of law and excellent negotiation skills.’

Key clients

Ust-Kamenogorsk Titan Magnesium Plant

Lukoil Overseas Karachaganak B.V.

Nord Gold

Korea National Oil Company (KNOC)

Baker Hughes

Albraik Investments

Dietsmann

TATNEFT

Glencore UK Ltd

RG Gold

Clifford Chance Beijing

Winston&Strawn

JV KUATAMLONMUNAI LLP

CNPC

Arcelor Mittal Temirtau

Sinopec Engineering

KMG Nabors Drilling Company

Rio Tinto Exploration Kazakhstan

ENKA

Borealis AG

Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented Ust-Kamenogorsk Titan Magnesium Plant, one of the largest metallurgical enterprises in the world producing titanium and magnesium alloys.
  • Represented the client during the custom audit initiated by the Tax Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
  • Represented Borealis, Europe’s second and world’s eighth largest producer of polyethylene and polypropylene, in negotiations with the Government of Kazakhstan onconstruction of a world-scale integrated petrochemical complex in Atyrau on production of polyethylene. Project value is approximately $6.5bn.

Kinstellar LLP

Kinstellar LLP acts for many of the largest and most active companies operating in areas such as oil and gas, mining power, renewables and other natural resources. The team is led by counsel Almas Zhaiylgan, who has over 20 years of experience in the mining and oil and gas industries. Noted for his work on upstream exploration and production projects, Zhaiylgan advises on farm-out agreements, joint operating agreements and joint ventures, among other matters. Adlet Yerkinbayev is an expert in matters such as domestic and cross-border M&A, debt and equity capital markets transactions and restructurings. Joel Benjamin and senior associate Lena Makarenko also play a key role in the group.

Practice head(s):

Almas Zhaiylgan

Other key lawyers:

Joel Benjamin; Adlet Yerkinbayev; Lena Makarenko

Testimonials

‘Excellent experience, knowledge, attitude, flexibility. I would emphasise Adlet Yerkinbayev, partner.’

‘Very good quality lawyers with flexible fee arrangements.’

‘Responsiveness to clients’ needs and wants, international level services based on flexibility when it comes to budgeting.’

‘The team has abundant knowledge of the relevant laws, rules and local practices and is able to provide timely and comprehensive advice to clients. They are also flexible and accommodating to clients’ and other working parties’ requests, and are often able to offer practical solutions.’

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a first-rate reputation in energy and natural resources projects in Kazakhstan and other neighbouring countries. Under the leadership of Aset Shyngyssov, its team is able to advise on M&A, financing arrangements, equity capital markets transactions, tax issues and dispute resolution. In 2020, Shyngyssov and Karina Ilyussizova were among the advisers to VTB Bank PJSC on the provision of circa $200m to KazTransGas as part of a debt refinancing. Bakhytzhan Kadyrov, Asem Bakenova and Marat Mukhamediyev are other practitioners of note at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Aset Shyngyssov

Other key lawyers:

Bakhytzhan Kadyrov; Asem Bakenova; Marat Mukhamediyev; Karina Ilyussizova

Testimonials

‘The collaboration with the team was excellent overall. The communication was quick, direct and effective. Their output was always timely, accurate and valuable.’

‘Skilled and very professional partners and associates. I would like to give a specific mention to Mr Aset Shyngyssov and Mr Bakhytzhan Kadyrov for their great business strategy vision that materialized through valuable insights and advice.’

‘The firm is extremely capable in energy practice, especially in renewables. Morgan Lewis supported most of the country’s significant transactions in the RE industry.’

‘Managing partner Mr Asset Shyngyssov and associate Ms Karina Ilyussizova are always ready and able to provide their outstanding knowledge of a subject matter. Partner Asem Bakenova is very experienced in EPC matters.’

Key clients

China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporation

Compass Group / Eurest Support Services

Magnetic Oil Ltd.

Arcelor Mittal JSC

Indian Oiltanking Limited

EBRD

RG Processing LLP

EDGE Group PJSC

Smape srl

AltynAlmas

Work highlights

  • 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. There was embedded financing and debt assignment.
  • Assisted a large international oil and gas company in connection with the proposed acquisition of 100% of shares in a subsoil user.
  • Represented VTB Bank PJSC in connection with financing of KazTransGas JSC – the largest gas supply company and operator of Kazakhstan’s major gas pipeline system. The loan proceeds were used to refinance the borrower’s outstanding current debt applied in respect of project for construction of booster stations on main gas pipeline.

SIGNUM Law Firm

SIGNUM Law Firm is prominent in groundbreaking projects in the oil and gas, mining and renewable energy sectors. Notwithstanding challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the practice continued to remain active, with it generating work from longstanding clients, in addition to securing new client wins. Recent highlights included advising PTTEP (which had previously acquired Partex Oil & Gas) on setting up a branch company in Kazakhstan and registering the branch with the local state authorities. Almaty-based managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova works with Abylkhair Nakipov, Liza Zhumakhmetova, Talgat Sariev and Gaukhar Kudaibergenova.

Practice head(s):

Sofiya Zhylkaidarova; Abylkhair Nakipov; Liza Zhumakhmetova; Talgat Sariev; Gaukhar Kudaibergenova

Testimonials

‘SIGNUM Law Firm is our preferred counsel in Kazakhstan due to its outstanding oil & gas sector expertise.’

‘Sofiya has been the Kazakh market benchmark oil & gas lawyer for years. She is a fantastic tactician and negotiator. Her experience is second to none in the Kazakh market; that, paired with her international background, makes her the preferred oil & gas lawyer for foreign investors in Kazakhstan.’

‘Talgat Sariev is SIGNUM’s point of reference for dispute resolution instructions, a superb dispute resolution strategist. I was impressed with his top-notch knowledge of the Kazakh judicial system, procedural aspects as well as taxation challenges and incentives.’

Key clients

EBRD

MKAT Solar Plant

Partex Oil & Gas

Nobel Oil Group

Work highlights

  • Advised a Chinese investor on securing a $100m loan from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China for the construction of a wind power station, which is the largest China-Kazakh renewables project in Central Asia, valued at $130m.
  • Advised on the review of the procurement procedures relating to the development of Stage 3 of the Dunga Field by one of the largest global actors in the bunker fuel and lubricants markets, the one of seven “Supermajor” oil companies in the world, for the total amount in $300m.
  • Represented the interests of the state of Kazakhstan in the joint venture with the largest oil producer in Kazakhstan, accounting for the extraction of 26.5 million barrels of crude oil annually, which is 20% of all Kazakh oil.

Unicase Law Firm

Unicase Law Firm is able to provide a full service to clients in relation to energy and natural projects in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Its team handles the structuring, development, financing and implementation of projects, as well as advising on the development of new legislation. The firm is notably active in the renewable energy sector, where it is supporting the Kazakhstan government’s goal of developing its renewable energy supply. Elsewhere, oil and gas and mining are other areas of activity. The practice is led by Saniya Perzadayeva. Raushana ChaltabayevaZhanar AbdullayevaAyana UnerbayevaNurlan Kubenov and Sanzhar Amangeldy are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Saniya Perzadayeva

Other key lawyers:

Raushana Chaltabayeva; Zhanar Abdullayeva; Ayana Unerbayeva; Nurlan Kubenov; Sanzhar Amangeldy

Testimonials

‘Unicase’s main strength is their deep dive into the client’s business and, subsequently, ability to provide business-oriented and, certainly, professional advice. Unicase’s work has a high standard of quality, professional skills and experience.’

‘All of them are experienced professionals who quickly respond to any of our questions.’

‘Excellent knowledge of Kazakhstan’s electricity sector and a good network of partners in the Central Asia region.’

‘I have known Raushana Chaltabayeva as a very knowledgeable but also highly engaged and reliable commercial partner during almost a decade of repeated collaboration.’

‘Unicase Law Firm team’s strengths and key capabilities are professionalism, effectiveness and customer orientation. Compared to other law firms, Unicase Law Firm understands what the client needs and how to make the client satisfied by the legal services. We are very grateful for the quick and effective result of the services provided by Unicase.’

‘We want to thank counsel Ayana Unerbayeva for finding an approach to our goals and provision of good quality legal services.’

‘Responsive to client needs, well-researched recommendations, fast response times, creative approach.’

Key clients

TetraTech ES

VPCGmbH

METKA – EGN KZ

Vestas Deutchland

The World Bank

DNV GL Energy Advisory GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised TetraTech, along with USAID on implementation of by-laws and regulations for the recently adopted Law on Amendments to the Renewable Energy and Electricity Laws, including analysis of the competitive landscape of the Central Asian regional power market by assessing the ownership structure of energy generation.
  • Assisted ADB, the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan and VPC GmbH on undertaking a comprehensive review of existing national legislation and regulations covering the legal and regulatory framework for heat supply, taxation regulation and heat tariff regulation.
  • Advised Metka-Eng in connection with obtaining permits and licenses required for the construction and commissioning of 50MW Solar Power Plant in South Kazakhstan and high voltage substation from relevant authorities in Kazakhstan.

AEQUITAS

AEQUITAS' team has experience of advising clients on mineral exploration and production contracts with the Kazakh government. The practice specialises in subsoil use and its clients include leading mining and processing companies. Practitioners are also able to advise on Islamic finance and alternative financing instruments. The firm has recently become a member of the global law network TerraLex. Almaty-based partners Yelena Manayenko and Nurlan Sholanov and managing partner Olga Chentsova work with a number of international clients across different areas of the energy and natural resources sectors.

Practice head(s):

Yelena Manayenko; Nurlan Sholanov; Olga Chentsova

Work highlights

  • Advised the largest Italian oil company on issues of occupational safety and health, including preparation of draft documents for the appointment of responsible persons, as well as issues of vaccination of employees and sanitary rules applicable to the company, including in the conditions of a pandemic.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited is able to provide a broad cross-section of services to clients that are active in the power, mining and oil and gas sectors. Its transactional work encompasses advice to foreign companies investing in Kazakhstan, as well as domestic companies operating both in and outside of the local market. In addition, the group has expertise in licensing regulations, real estate and construction, IP, litigation, arbitration and antitrust, among other areas. The firm's key clients include Maire Tecnimont, Potential Oil and Nelson Petroleum Buzachi BV. Azamat Kuatbekov is noted for having previously worked for Kazakhoil. Igor Kolupayev is also a key individual.

Practice head(s):

Azamat Kuatbekov

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Korobeinikov; Nurgul Abdreyeva; Alexander Korchagin

Key clients

Maire Tecnimont S.p.A

Nelson Petroleum Buzachi BV

Potential Oil LLP

Frank’s International ITL Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. with various legal matters, including advice on contractual, corporate, tax, construction, employment, procurement, regulations on COVID-19 related restrictions and other related matters, as well as on its project regarding the operation of a joint venture company that provides services to oil and gas companies in Kazakhstan. This project is important as it is aimed at full scope legal support of a joint venture that provides modern and innovative services in the oil and gas sector.
  • Advised a major French uranium company on various operational matters (including litigation against the Ministry of Energy in connection with the refusal to sign an amendment to a subsoil use contract, transition from exploration to 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. This project is important given that matters considered have a decisive impact on the further development of the project, which relates to one of the biggest uranium deposits in Kazakhstan.
  • Assisted Frank’s International ITL Ltd with various legal matters, including contractual, corporate, tax, construction, employment, procurement and other related matters.

BOND STONE Law Firm

BOND STONE acts for small and mid-sized subsoil use companies and subcontractors operating in the mining industry. It is able to assist subsoil users with a variety of issues associated with starting a mining business, including regulatory and licensing requirements. The firm recently won a number of new clients, including Kusha Madan Consulting Engineers, KIABI and CARGEX. The practice is led by Almaty-based managing partner Sanat Ablakov and Nur-Sultan-based practitioner Yerzhan Shatenov.

Practice head(s):

Sanat Ablakov; Yerzhan Shatenov

Key clients

Kusha Madan Consulting Engineers

KIABI

CARGEX S.A.

DNV GL AS

China International Water & Electric

Corporation

Hetero Drugs

STADA CIS/Biopharma

IQ Option

Work highlights

  • Advised Kusha Madan Consulting Engineers on mining and construction of copper ore processing plant at Borly deposit worth $19m.
  • Advised China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE) on investment and construction of Turgusun-1 hydroelectric power station with capacity of 25MW worth $35m.

Deloitte TCF, LLP

Agaisha Ibrasheva, who heads up the practice at Deloitte TCF, LLP, is a well-known name among clients in the oil and gas sector. Prior to joining the firm, she worked in-house at several of the biggest oil companies in Kazakhstan. Ibrasheva assists clients with structuring M&A deals, subsoil use and environmental issues, among other areas. Olessya Kirilovskaya and Dariga Tokpayeva are other key practitioners in the group, which also handles the drafting and negotiation of commercial agreements, licensing and permits and employment matters. Elsewhere, the firm is increasingly active in the renewables industry.

Practice head(s):

Agaisha Ibrasheva

Other key lawyers:

Olessya Kirilovskaya; Dariga Tokpayeva

Testimonials

Professional team. Quick responses. Clear and well-presented reports.’

Haller Lomax

Jointly led by founding partners Arman Bigazin and Timur Odilov, Haller Lomax's team maintains a focus on handling all aspects of mining projects and transactions for clients such as Kazakhmys Corporation, Kazzinc and Fortescue Metals Group. The department is particularly noted for its strong regulatory expertise and it assists the government of Kazakhstan with the development of new legislation. In addition, the group is able to count of support of ancillary practice areas to handle matters concerning corporate and finance, infrastructure, labour and antitrust, as well as dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Arman Bigazin; Timur Odlov

Other key lawyers:

Zarina Baikenzhina

Testimonials

‘The presence of the main partners in Kazakhstan allows for better communication on emerging issues. Also, the Haller Lomax team is distinguished by its readiness to be very customer-oriented, competence and willingness to explore new directions.’

‘Timur Odilov partner of HL, was one of the main people who wrote Mining Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He also routinely gives his expert opinion to the leaders of the industry, to regulators and writes academic articles. Thus his construction of the Mining Code and his deep understanding of the industry and legislation is invaluable.’

‘Haller Lomax is one of the most experienced law firm in Kazakhstan. The expertise in subsoil use area is considered as the most strong area of expertise. Compared to other firms, it should be mentioned their ability to learn new spheres of law and their huge experience as consultants specifically in subsoil use, environment and procurement of goods and services. The work of Haller Lomax is usually done above expectations.’

‘I worked with Timur and Zarina and I was amazed by their experience, approach to work, the compliance with deadlines and the manner of how to organize the project. It was a great pleasure to work with such professionals.’

‘Key personnel in this law firm are the main drafters of the two RoK largest codes – on subsoil use and environmental code. This factor makes this firm unique, as its employees have an understanding of all the details and implications laid down in the said codes. Accordingly, their services are valuable in the application or interpretation of those codes.’

Key clients

Eurasian Group LLP

State Committee for Geology and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Kazakhmys LLP

Kazzinc LLP

Expoengineering LLP

Fortescue Kazakhstan LLP

Pallas Resources Ltd

Discovery Ventures Kazakhstan

Central Asia Minerals PLC

Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources

Work highlights

  • Advised Sokolov-Sarybai Mining Production Association JSC, the largest iron ore mining and processing company in Kazakhstan and part of a leading international natural resources holding, Eurasian Resources Group, on all aspects of its corporate restructuring, including regulatory, licenses and subsoil use matters, which resulted in the establishment of a new joint-stock company whom four mining licenses and major assets worth over USD 10 million were transferred.
  • Acted as adviser to the environmental regulatory authority on the environmental reform and the lead drafter of the concept paper and the draft new Environmental Code, as well as the ancillary law amendments and by-laws, participating in discussions of the drafts with various state bodies, business entities and environmental NGOs, getting the drafts approved by the Government of Kazakhstan and the Kazakhstan Parliament.
  • Advised the State Committee for Geology and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the proposed reform of the mining legislation aiming to boosting foreign investment and making the Uzbekistan mining market more open and competitive.

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP's clients benefit from the firm's ability to combine local market knowledge with a wider understanding of global best practices in the energy and natural resources industries. Maxim Telemtayev is the names to note in Nur Sultan. He works with other offices in the firm's network to provide support on corporate, capital markets, project development and finance. Telemtayev is working with practitioners in the London office to assist Nostrum Oil & Gas Plc with a $1.1bn restructuring of notes. Pavel Kornilov joined Kinstellar LLP.

Practice head(s):

Maxim Telemtayev

Key clients

Nostrum Oil & Gas Plc

JSC NC “KazMunayGas”

Work highlights

  • 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 KazMunayGas, a state oil and gas company of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and KMG Finance in connection with solicitation of consents by KMG and KMG Finance to the holders of the notes for certain proposed amendments to the terms and conditions of such notes.

AGZ / Zan Hub

AGZ / Zan Hub is noted for its involvement in cross-border energy and natural resources projects, where it works with international law firms, engineering companies and accountancy firms. The firm is highlighted for its strengths in renewable energy, electricity transmission, power production and distribution, as well as nuclear power and oil and gas. Its notable work included advising electricity distribution company ShygysEnergoTried on long-term electricity purchase agreements with power producing companies. Madiyar Bekturganov leads the team and is supported by senior associate Altynay Mambetalina.

Practice head(s):

Madiyar Bekturganov; Altynay Mambetalina

Key clients

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

Asian Development Bank

Baiterek Venture Fund JSC

UGEL

Samruk-Energy JSC

JSC Ekibastuzskaya GRES-2

VK REK JSC

Batys Tranzit LLP

Petro Synthesis

Airliquide Kazakhstan

Mangistau Regional Electricity Company

JSC Kazakhstani Center for the Modernization of Housing and Utilities Sector

Burnoye Solar

SWECO

Work highlights

  • Assisted European Bank of Reconstruction and Development in providing a loan to Atyrau Oil Refinery LLP.
  • Advised Burnoye Solar in relation to interaction with EBRD to avoid default under-financing documents and Turn Key Construction Contract (design, delivery and installation of equipment) for a 50 MW solar power plant in Kyzylorda region on the matters relating to the possible outcomes of litigation with the EPC contractor and legality of the structure by substitution of the requirement of EPC Contract related to the irrevocable bank guarantee.
  • Advised Samruk-Energy and Ekibastuzskaya GRES-2 in relation to resuming the project of construction of 600 MW power plant launched in 2009.

Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP

Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP has a strong profile among companies operating in the oil and gas, power, mining and minerals and utilities sectors. Dinara Tanasheva leads the team, which advises on regulatory issues relating to subsoil use, PSA-related matters and disputes with government authorities. Tax is a bedrock of the practice, with the group handling tax compliance work, tax audits and disputes related to tax assessments.

Practice head(s):

Dinara Tanasheva

Other key lawyers:

Erlan Dosymbekov; Roman Yurtayev; Aziz Abdukarimov; Ayan Sarinov; Rafael Khaidarov

Key clients

Branch Office of INPEX North Caspian Sea, Ltd in Kazakhstan

Branch Office of North Caspian Operating Company N.V. in Kazakhstan

Work highlights

  • Advising the Branch Office of INPEX North Caspian Sea, Ltd in Kazakhstan on day-to-day matters since 1998, including PSA-related matters and other aspects of the company’s activities in Kazakhstan in connection with legislative changes relating to tax administration.
  • Advised the Branch Office of North Caspian Operating Company N.V. in Kazakhstan for over 20 years, advising on various tax and legal matters including issues relating to PSA stability and legislative changes.

Integrites

Integrites acts for clients in the energy and natural resources sphere on projects and transactions, in addition to providing day-to-day operational support and handling contentious matters. Kurmangazy Talzhanov leads the oil and gas practice and is able to leverage expertise in areas such as corporate and M&A, banking and finance, domestic litigation and international commercial arbitration. Another key contact at the firm is Svetlana Shtopol, who heads up the mining practice. Counsel Galymbek Kereibayev has tax expertise.

Practice head(s):

Kurmangazy Talzhanov; Svetlana Shtopol

Other key lawyers:

Galymbek Kereibayev

Key clients

Total E&P Dunga

Sitek Caspian LLP

Petrolvalves S.p.A

DKV Euro Service

Hydratight LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Total E&P Dunga on subsoil use.
  • Advised Sitek Caspian LLP on various corporate, contract, tax and labour law matters.
  • Advised Petrolvalves S.p.A. on an M&A deal where the client had sold part of its share in the local Kazakhstani subsidiary to the local partner.

KM & Partners LLP

At KM & Partners LLP, managing partner Yerzhan Kumarov handles both energy and mining-related matters, with his work encompassing financing, ownership and licensing matters. Kumarov also generates mandates from strategic investors in relation to exploration, development and production of minerals, as well as joint ventures and equity/asset acquisitions and sales. Senior associate Aliya Ashigaliyeva also plays a key role in major projects.

Practice head(s):

Yerzhan Kumarov

Other key lawyers:

Aliya Ashigaliyeva

Testimonials

‘Prompt, thorough advice.’

‘User-friendly.’

‘Exceptional expertise in this space and high attention to client needs.’

‘Yerzhan Kumarov must be the most competent natural resources M&A and corporate finance legal professional that I have met in the past 10 years in Kazakhstan, with impeccable credibility, razor-sharp intelligence and masterful negotiation tactics.’

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Goshawk Aviation

Tengri Partners Investment Banking

Jiangxi Copper

Eurasia Red Group of companies

JSC Bank Centre Credit

RLG International Inc.

IMI International

Willis Lease Finance Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised International Finance Corporation (IFC) in connection with matters related to a $30m convertible loan and $20m equity investment to finance Eastcomtrans (railroad leasing wagon company) including establishment and amendment of a security package and corporate governance matters.
  • Advised Goshawk Aviation and global councils and Air Astana in connection with two separate cross-border aircraft lease DPR securitization transactions (aviation industry) including preparation of an extensive jurisdictional due diligence questionnaire.
  • Advised Tengri Partners Investment Banking in relation to acquisition of oil and gas assets. The advice included complex regulatory and contractual issues and investment contracts and SPA.

Sayat Zholshy & Partners

Sayat Zholshy & Partners has an excellent reputation in the oil and gas and mining sectors in Kazakhstan, as is reflected by its work for foreign investors, suppliers of technology and equipment, and providers of transportation services to businesses operating in the energy arena. The firm is able to advise clients on the implementation of large projects by leveraging the experience of practitioners in areas such as corporate, antitrust, tax and dispute resolution. Having worked on projects including the construction of a 500kV transmission line connecting Western and Northern Kazakhstan, it now works with major national companies such as Premium Oil Trans, KMG Engineering and Alautransservice. The practice is led by Almaty-based partner Amir Begdesenov. Gulmira Abenova was promoted to of counsel in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Amir Begdesenov

Other key lawyers:

Rustam Ospanov; Dmitriy Chumakov; Gulmira Abenova

Testimonials

SZP was involved in the most important large-scale projects in Kazakhstan. This firm is capable of covering all legal aspects, such as commercial, antitrust, M&A, tax, etc. This is why we do not need to involve other advisors for our various projects.’

‘In each of our projects, we involve Amir Begdesenov, who has been a SZP partner since 2014. Amir is a business-focused lawyer who understands our business and has a good understanding of what we want.’

Key clients

PSN KazStroy JSC

TengizTransGaz

Alautransservice

CAIH Power LLP

KMG Engineering

Premium Oil Trans

Work highlights

  • Advised TengizTransGaz and Alautrans service on cost and tax efficient corporate restructuring.
  • Represented PSN KazStroy JSC – the largest provider of brownfield services to oil and gas companies – in a dispute over construction of facilities in offshore oil fields in the Caspian Sea.
  • Advised and represented KMG Engineering in antitrust dispute with respect to certain engineering services for oil and gas enterprises.