Entrusted by a mix of high-profile owners, developers, lenders and managers, the team at Dentons is well-versed in projects concerning airports, railways, roads and new developments - commercial, residential, and mixed-use. Headed up by Astana-based Birzhan Zharasbayev, the team’s varied workload ranges from land use planning and zoning to construction (including procurement methods), commissioning, operation, financing and development management. Energy and natural resources projects are another key driver of work, including advice related to oil and gas installations, pipelines and renewable energy facilities. Names to note at associate level include Bogdan Piskorskiy, who works out of the firm’s Nur-Sultan office.
Real estate and construction (including projects) in Kazakhstan
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is very knowledgeable and communicative. We rely on their expert opinion, and they reach out to other members of the team if the question falls outside of their area of expertise.’
‘Birzhan Zharasbayev has become one of the key legal advisors to all aspects of our operations in Kazakhstan. He is handling not only transactional work but providing useful guidance on corporate, land, and regulatory issues.’
Sungrow Power Supply Co., Ltd.
Royal Reesink BV
- Advised Royal Reesink BV on the acquisition of retail premises for selling special/agriculture machinery for its local subsidiary, including drafting and negotiating of the preliminary sale and purchase agreement, the main sale and purchase agreement and the mortgage agreement.
GRATA International advises local and international construction, infrastructure, telecoms, transport and energy companies on major projects. The team handles on matters of national significance, including the first major PPP projects in Kazakhstan; areas of expertise include M&A, project financings, concession contracts, and construction-related litigation. Practice head Yerzhan Yessimkhanov is noted for having previously worked at the Kazakhstan Investment Fund Group, a major Kazakh development company. Counsel Darya Zhanysbayeva – whose expertise includes commercial contracts and transport sector matters – is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team executed the requested services in a very rapid way, clearly defined the response, and had perfect knowledge of local norms and legislation.’
‘Yerzhan Yessimkhanov has a unique and exclusive approach, availability, and rapid management of inquiries.’
Tetra Tech ARD
- Assisted OJSC KazStroyService with the implementation of several large-scale infrastructure projects in Kazakhstan and Russia, including construction of a major gas pipeline in Kazakhstan and a major industrial facility in Russia.
- Represented Siemens Energy in Kazakhstan in connection with various legal issues, including real estate advice, drafting commercial contracts, taxation and corporate issues.
- Advised AX-Team in Kazakhstan in connection with a number of legal issues, including corporate and taxation structuring, establishment of legal entities and general advisory services.
Managing partner Joel Benjamin is the main point of contact at Kinstellar LLP; he brings more than 25 years of experience in real estate and construction to bear, having worked in the US and Uzbekistan, as well as the firm’s three offices in Kazakhstan. The Almaty-based team, which is preferred local counsel in Kazakhstan for several leading international law firms, has a standout reputation in hotel development and management matters. Beyond complex transactional advice, the group is also involved in construction disputes, PPP projects and project development issues in the renewable energy, payment services and TMT sectors.
Noted for its capability in cross-border deals, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP represents major corporate clients, real estate companies, investment banks, equity funds and financers across the real estate and construction space. The team draws praise for its involvement in hotel management and hospitality matters in Kazakhstan, while other drivers of work include projects in the fields of industrial construction and commercial construction. Headed up by managing partner and general director Aset Shyngyssov, the team comprises a number of seasoned practitioners based in offices across Almaty and Astana, notable among whom is Bakhytzhan Kadyrov.
Other key lawyers:
Bakhytzhan Kadyrov; Assem Bakenova; Karina Ilyussizova
‘The team at Morgan Lewis are, in addition to being technically and business-wise excellent, wonderful people to deal with. They are personable, responsive, available, and easy to work with.’
‘Assem Bakenova was the lead counsel in charge of construction matters we were dealing with. She is very focused on the client’s needs and concerns, gives sound legal advice in relation to complex contractual and regulatory matters, and is always looking for a strategy that is in the best interests of the client.’
‘Karina Ilyussizova rendered great support from a transactional point of view. Our team values her for her permanent availability to go the extra mile for the client.’
- Represented an international construction and development giant in a series of complex lease deals.
- Represented a defence and high-tech industry company on a complex and strategic construction project in a foreign jurisdiction.
- Represented an international public association in a series of wins in complex court disputes against state authorities to secure key construction permits.
The construction and real estate department at AEQUITAS is known for its involvement in the construction of major industrial and social facilities, as well as large residential complexes in Kazakhstan. Construction-related litigation and international arbitration form a significant portion of the team’s workload, although it is also well-placed to provide foreign investors with transactional advice in relation to land plots, buildings, and residential and administrative compounds. Ardak Idayatova and Nurlan Sholanov jointly head up the practice. Valikhan Shaikenov left the firm in February 2022.
Ardak Idayatova; Nurlan Sholanov
AGZ / Zan Hub
Astana-based Madiyar Bekturganov heads the construction and real estate practice at AGZ / Zan Hub, which has extensive experience in PPP and construction projects in Kazakhstan. The team advises on all aspects of the construction, acquisition and financing of infrastructure concessions, while other areas of expertise include disputes, project finance transactions and real estate acquisitions. Its recent workload demonstrates the firm’s strong presence in the energy and natural resources sectors, reflected by the recent client additions of Almaty Electric Stations JSC and Petro Synthesis LLP. Senior associate Altynay Mambetalina is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
European Bank of Reconstruction and Development
Almaty Electric Stations JSC
Baiterek Venture Fund JSC
JSC Ekibastuzskaya GRES-2
Caspian Legacy Construction
Batys Tranzit LLP
Mangistau Regional Distribution Company
Petro Synthesis LLP
- Advised EBRD in connection with the pledge of the electricity distribution system in Western Kazakhstan.
- Advised Ekibastuzskaya GRES-2 on resuming a project related to the construction of a third block (660 MW).
Artyushenko & Partners Boutique Law Firm
Artyushenko & Partners Boutique Law Firm specialises in real estate investment, development and operational matters, as well as litigation and arbitration proceedings; recent client additions include Vkusnaya Korzinka, Avatariya Children Parks, and Turanga Group. The practice is headed up by managing partner Andrey Artyushenko, renowned for his experience in FIDIC and EPC construction contracts in Kazakhstan. Another name to note is Gulnar Ospanova, who is a certified arbitrator of the Kazakhstan International Arbitration and the International court of Arbitration, among others.
Other key lawyers:
Saraiva + Associados
Avatariya Children Parks
Almaty-based director Olessya Kirilovskaya leads the team at Deloitte TCF, LLP. The group has extensive experience advising national and multinational clients operating in a range of sectors, including energy and resources, construction, mining and manufacturing, among others. Areas of expertise include drafting and reviewing EPC and O&M contracts, regulatory requirements and obtaining permit, licences, and consents for construction-related projects. Agaisha Ibrasheva left the firm in June 2022.
Sayat Zholshy & Partners
Under the leadership of managing partner Vitaliy Vodolazkin, the practice at Sayat Zholshy & Partners is well-placed to handle real estate transactions and disputes, leasing matters and development and construction investment projects, including public-private partnerships. The team has particular expertise in real estate finance and lending projects – due in large part to the firm’s strong banking practice – as well as distressed assets and encumbered real properties.
‘The team at Sayat Zholshy & Partners has a profound understanding of real estate, construction and development projects, and can foresee all the risks inherent in such kind of transactions.’
‘We always approach Vitaliy Vodolazkin, who is a top-notch lawyer and always takes a client-focused approach to real estate transaction advice.’
‘Sayat Zholshy & Partners has been rendering legal advice to our parent company and subsidiaries on a wide range of issues. Most of our real estate sale and purchase transactions, including those which involved banking and finance, were supported by the team, whose perception of the real estate market is especially keen.’