Real estate and construction (including projects) in Kazakhstan

AEQUITAS

AEQUITAS excels in advising on the construction of major industrial developments, social facilities and large residential complexes. It handles mandates on a standalone basis and also frequently acts as local counsel to international firms on construction matters. In addition to undertaking non-contentious construction work, a significant portion of the workload involves representing clients in construction disputes. Elsewhere, the firm is noted for its work on structured transactions involving land plots, as well as securing obligations to foreign lenders. One of the names to note is Nurlan Sholanov, who primarily acts for clients on project finance transactions and infrastructure projects, including the development of renewable energy sources. Olga Chentsova is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Ardak Idayatova

Other key lawyers:

Nurlan Sholanov; Olga Chentsova

Key clients

Syndicate of lenders comprising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Eurasian Development Bank, and the Islamic Development Bank

Eurochem Karatau LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising a syndicate of lenders on the first concessionary project of special significance in Kazakhstan involving the construction and operation of a ring high-speed toll road – the Big Almaty Ring Road.
  • Advising Eurochem Karatau on issues relating to the construction of a chemical facility for processing phosphates.

Dentons

Dentons' infrastructure team assists clients with all stages of construction projects, with work ranging from planning and zoning to advice on construction and procurement methods. Clients include international companies, developers, sub-contractors and vendors. The head of the real estate and construction practice is Birzhan Zharasbayev, who is an expert in infrastructure and PPPs, and leads on major infrastructure and development projects, as well as high-level negotiations with the Kazakhstan government. Abai Shaikenov advises on real estate matters. Senior associate Ruslan Nurbekov is also a key contact at the firm, as is Bogdan Piskorskiy.

Practice head(s):

Birzhan Zharasbayev

Other key lawyers:

Abai Shaikenov; Ruslan Nurbekov; Bogdan Piskorskiy

Key clients

Qazaq Soda LLP/ Yildirim Holding A.S.

KAZ Minerals PLC

Shell Kazakhstan Development BV

UPNK PV LLP

Wood Group PLC

RG Gold Processing LLP

Halliburton International Inc.

KBR, Inc.

IDOM

Work highlights

  • Advised the City of Almaty on a public-private partnership (PPP) to develop a light rail transport (LRT) system in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
  • Advised a client on the construction of new buildings at the Almaty International Airport JSC.
  • Assisted a client with developing the bid documentation as well as drafting a FIDIC ‘Yellow book’ contract for a soda ash production plant with the total capacity of 400,000 tons per year in Sarysu district of the Zhambyl Oblast in Kazakhstan.

GRATA International

GRATA International acts for international and domestic clients operating in the construction, infrastructure and energy sectors on complex and high-value infrastructure projects. Its team has experience of advising on power stations, pipelines and major 5G infrastructure deals. The head of the construction and infrastructure team is Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, who is a 'great counsellor' and has advised on a number of significant infrastructure projects in Kazakhstan. He works with senior associate Darya Zhanysbayeva, who focuses on EPC contracts and real property transactions. On the contentious side, the firm has a growing construction litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov

Other key lawyers:

Darya Zhanysbayeva

Testimonials

‘The team is responsive and well-coordinated. They are quick to provide updates and mobilise quickly on site to realise transactions. Moreover they are cool-headed and flexible. They adapt to changing needs and assess time requirements accurately.’

‘Yerzhan Yessimkhanov is responsive, attentive and a clear communicator. He is able to explain local law requirements in a comparative manner making it easy to understand and take business decisions. Yerzhan clearly underlines the risky aspects of transactions and advises on practical measures to overcome challenges. A great counsellor, well-versed in client communication.’

‘Grata International has provided perfect services to our company, helping us to understand both all aspects of the local regulations and taking care of all document preparation and communications with the local authorities.’

Key clients

KazStroyService JSC

Seker

Bureau Veritas

Madani

Benetton Real Estate International

Kumpulan Kazakhstan

Regus

Initec Plantas Industriales

Thyssen Krupp

Lior

Knauf

Siemens

Gulermak / Alstom / Marubeni / Meridiam

Rusatom Infrastructure Solutions

H&M

Work highlights

  • Representing KazStroyService JSC in a number of construction disputes against various counterparties.
  • Advising KazStroyService JSC in connection with the construction of the Saryarka Gas Pipeline.
  • Assisting Kumpulan Kazakhstan with the construction of a residential complex in Almaty.

Kinstellar LLP

Kinstellar LLP has a notable client roster spanning the energy, natural resources and hospitality sectors. It advises on significant real estate and infrastructure transactions, as well as major disputes relating to construction projects. In addition to acting for clients on a standalone basis, members of the team frequently act as local co-counsel alongside international firms. Joel Benjamin leads on all key real estate and construction projects in the CIS region. Senior associate Assel Mussina advises on hotel management matters, finance transactions and real property issues.

Practice head(s):

Joel Benjamin

Other key lawyers:

Assel Mussina

PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax & Advisory LLP

The team at PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax & Advisory LLP advises both domestic and international companies on acquisitions and disposals of properties, finance transactions and project development. In addition, it has expertise in environmental matters. Practice head Yelena Ryzhkova advises on construction management and dispute resolution. Michael Ahern, who is the head of tax and legal services, focuses on dispute avoidance and contract and commercial issues. Senior manager Assel Kazbekova is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Yelena Ryzhkova

Other key lawyers:

Michael Ahern; Assel Kazbekova

Key clients

CNEEC

Mareven

KazMunayGas

Nuctech Company Limited

Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising a client on licensing issues under the Kazakhstan legislation in regard to the reconstruction of a power plant project in Kazakhstan.
  • Advising a client on the process of signing an Engineering Procurement Construction contract in order to realize the construction of a thermal power-plant in the South Kazakhstan region.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited advises international clients on a wide range of complex, high-value commercial, industrial and infrastructure projects. It has a notably strong profile among leading international hotel chains and several foreign embassies. Curtis Masters leads the team on all real estate matters, including cross-border financial transactions. He is assisted by counsel Igor Kolupayev and associate Kuben Abzhanov.

Practice head(s):

Curtis Masters

Other key lawyers:

Igor Kolupayev; Kuben Abzhanov

Linkage & Mind LLP

Linkage & Mind LLP advises both domestic and global companies on major Kazakh real estate and construction projects, including those involving major power and manufacturing plants. Managing partner Yerzhan Manasov primarily handles arbitration proceedings relating to real estate and construction, while firm founder Madina Sypatayeva covers M&A matters.

Sayat Zholshy & Partners

The team at Sayat Zholshy & Partners handles a varied workload, including real estate transactions, development projects and leases. Also notable is that the firm's strong capabilities in the banking and finance arena make it well-suited to advising clients on project finance transactions. The firm also advises on matters involving distressed assets. Senior partner Vitaliy Vodolazkin, who is the head of the real estate and construction practice, is experienced in property acquisitions and disposals, as well as disputes. Amir Begdesenov is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Vitaliy Vodolazkin

Other key lawyers:

Amir Begdesenov

Testimonials

‘To the best of my knowledge, Sayat Zholshy & Partners is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in real estate and construction. The firm has a strong team of experienced tax experts with solid regulatory practice who have handled a number of high-profile court cases.’

‘I believe that Sayat Zholshy & Partners is one of the best Kazakhstan law firms specialising and experienced in real estate sale and purchase transaction support. SZP team includes nationally recognised tax lawyers who assist us with proper structuring of our real estate sale and purchase transactions.’

‘Our key contact person in Sayat Zholshy & Partners is Senior Partner Vitaliy Vodolazkin who is a top-notch real estate lawyer. He foresees all the risks involved in real estate investments and he has very good legal analysis skills in the real estate sector.’

Key clients

Batys Transit JSC

PSN KazStroy JSC

Nomad Insurance JSC

Resmi

Eurasian Foods Corporation JSC

TengizTransGas

Work highlights

  • Represented PSN KazStroy JSC in a dispute with its contractor under a subcontract for the construction of facilities in offshore oil fields in the Caspian Sea.
  • Advised Eurasian Foods Corporation JSC on the ownership structure of the largest industrial base in the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • Advised Batys Transit JSC on its incorporation of a subsidiary for the development of its business in the PPP sector and related issues.