Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Tax and customs in Kazakhstan


Almaty-based Daniyar Toigonbaev heads up the tax and customs practice at Dentons, an interdisciplinary team able to leverage wider expertise in areas such as corporate, real estate and litigation. The group has a strong reputation in high-value tax disputes, with a focus on major natural resources projects in Kazakhstan, counting a number of leading energy suppliers, mining companies among its client roster. Other key workflows originate from entities operating in the aviation, automotive, infrastructure and retail sectors. Senior associate Stanislav Lechshak, whose wide-ranging practice spans the pharmaceutical, telecommunications and financial services sectors, and tax advisor Darya Vologodskaya are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Daniyar Toigonbaev

Other key lawyers:

Stanislav Lechshak; Darya Vologodskaya


‘Provide high quality support on various tax matters.’

‘Dentons is distinguished by its highly qualified team of lawyers whose goal is to find the right and best solutions.’

‘Dentons’ tax and customs team consists of strong professionals with years of experience in advising and representing clients in relation to tax matters.’

‘Dentons’ tax and customs dispute resolution experience is unrivalled. When dealing with the tax and customs authorities in Kazakhstan, Dentons’ thorough understanding of the law and the practice of the authorities is of utmost importance.’

‘Daniyar Toigonbaev helped us to win very important and difficult cases.’

Key clients

Arcelormittal Temirtau JSC


Louis Vuitton Kazakhstan LLP

Ramstore Kazakhstan LLP

Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline Company Ltd

Almaty International Airport

Geely Motors

Glovo Kazakhstan LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising Arcelormittal Temirtau JSC on various Kazakhstan tax implications.
  • Assisting Kazzinc in court on the process against the State Revenue Committee related to the recognition of a transaction as invalid.
  • Advising Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline Company Ltd on the list of conditions that should be met to apply exemption of dividends from withholding tax under Kazakhstan law.

GRATA International

GRATA International's team is made up of various practitioners with significant experience in the Kazakh tax and customs authorities, including experience in the performance of tax and customs control. The group also offers its services in tax and customs disputes and consultancy matters. Practice head Assel Ilyassova's strong reputation in this field is underscored by position on the Tax Committee of the European Business Association of Kazakhstan – responsible for proposing and initiating improvements to domestic tax law. At counsel level, indirect tax specialist Kanat Adilbekov and Shayakhmet Zharkimbayev – an experienced former in-house counsel – are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Assel Ilyassova

Other key lawyers:

Kanat Adilbekov; Shayakhmet Zharkimbayev


‘Timely, qualified responses to our requests. If necessary, the team take an active role in our meetings to clarify the questions. Most recently, the team conducted training for our company on the topic of anti-corruption law, which was very interesting and useful.’

Sayat Zholshy & Partners

Sayat Zholshy & Partners‘ core competencies include tax-related administrative and court proceedings, local and international tax planning, and the protection of rights to tax benefits through global instruments such as tax conventions. Almaty-based Rustam Ospanov has extensive experience in matters involving tax authorities, as well as tax-related cross-border M&A transactions with a nexus to the energy and transportation sectors. Ospanov co-heads the practice with Yelena Tyureikina, whose further expertise covers tax audits. Managing partner Vitaliy Vodolazkin is recommended for his involvement in tax disputes.

Practice head(s):

Rustam Ospanov; Yelena Tyureikina

Other key lawyers:

Vitaliy Vodolazkin


‘Our long-lasting cooperation with Sayat Zholshy & Partners is driven by their professional competencies and client-tailored services. Their well-coordinated teamwork and industry-specific knowledge achieves great results.’

‘We would like to note the strong professional reputation and high level of work ethic of the team led by partner Rustam Ospanov, who we’ve been working with for years.’

‘Their professionalism cannot be overestimated. They always promptly respond to our requests. They have outstanding expertise in Kazakhstan taxation.’

Key clients

Alautransservice LLP

TengizTransGaz LLP


RG Brands Kazakhstan

Nomad Insurance

Eurasian Foods Corporation JSC

Work highlights

  • Advised TengizTransGaz and Alautransservice on cost and tax efficient corporate restructuring.
  • Advised on international tax structuring for CAIH Power LLP and its participants (Ultimate Beneficial Owners).
  • Represented Nomad Insurance JSC in a number of disputes with Kazakhstan customs authorities and in the proceedings handled by the Kazakhstan Supreme Court.


A number of international clients - including various Fortune 500-listed companies - turn to SIGNUM Law Firm's Almaty-based practice for its capabilities in the energy, transportation, technology and construction sectors, among others. Managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova focuses on subsoil use taxation, including transfer pricing and international taxation, although corporate structuring issues are also among her areas of expertise. Zhylkaidarova co-heads the team with Talgat Sariev, who has extensive experience in the field of dispute resolution, including appeals of government authorities’ actions in relation to taxation, transfer pricing and customs duties matters.

Practice head(s):

Sofiya Zhylkaidarova; Talgat Sariev


‘We use SIGNUM’s team for both tax advice and tax disputes representation, including matters with millions at stake.’

‘Being our long-trusted legal counsel, SIGNUM is very knowledgeable about our business processes and goals in Kazakhstan, which makes the firm very efficient in addressing tax disputes and providing general tax and tax transferring advice.’

‘Sofiya Zhylkaidarova is the number one oil and gas lawyer in Kazakhstan in terms of reputation and expertise.’

Key clients

Canadian resource company

Work highlights

  • Advised a global agri-business with operations in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and China at the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan for challenging the non-return of VAT.
  • Advised a southeast Asian automotive manufacturer on complex regulatory matters relating to customs law potentially leading to international compliance issues for the client globally.
  • Advising a Chinese construction company on the international tax structuring relating to the $300m social infrastructure development projects in Kazakhstan, namely a hospital in the southern region of Kazakhstan, under PPP and EPC contracts.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

The tax practice at Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited is noted for its involvement in complex tax disputes in the local courts, while other areas of expertise include tax planning and the tax aspects of M&A and other transactions. Managing partner Azamat Kuatbekov has extensive experience in litigation and arbitration matters; he is a member of the Judge Recruiting Committee at the Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Kuatbekov co-leads the team with counsel Igor Kolupayev and senior associate Gulnur Bekmukhanbetova, both of whom are members of the Tax Working Group of the American Chamber of Commerce and the Tax Working Group of the European Business Association.

Practice head(s):

Azamat Kuatbekov; Igor Kolupayev; Gulnur Bekmukhanbetova

Key clients

Buzachi Operating Ltd

Epiroc Central Asia LLP

Frank’s International


Potential Oil LLP

Work highlights

  • Represented a major international IT company in a dispute with a contract party over the client’s tax compliance obligations in Kazakhstan.
  • Represented Potential Oil LLP in a tax dispute with the local tax authorities over the results of a tax audit.
  • Represented Epiroc Central Asia LLP in a dispute with the local tax authorities over the results of a tax audit.


Almaty-based partners Yuliya Chumachenko and Ardak Idayatova jointly head up the tax and customs practice at AEQUITAS. Praised by clients for its ‘deep knowledge‘, the team has experience in tax disputes before tax authorities, as well as in matters involving tax return completion, tax registration, and the drafting of IFRS-compliant accounting tax policies. The practice’s recent workload has largely revolved around clients operating in the pharmaceutical sector, including some of the world’s foremost multinationals, as well as a number of energy sector players. Other key individuals include senior associates Larissa Yemelyanova and Alexandr Chumachenko.

Practice head(s):

Ardak Idayatova; Yuliya Chumachenko

Other key lawyers:

Larissa Yemelyanova; Alexandr Chumachenko


‘A professional team with deep knowledge.’

‘Very responsive, digging into the question and details to give the best solutions.’

‘AEQUITAS provides very high-quality legal services. The work was done clearly and within the agreed time frame. We received the most comprehensive answers to our questions.’

‘Extremely responsible and always in touch.’

Key clients


Digital Health Technologies



Deloitte TCF, LLP

The team at Deloitte TCF, LLP handles a broad array of tax matters, including tax payment calculation reviews for both individuals and legal entities, as well as consulting, structuring and transfer pricing issues. Astana-based partner Andrey Zakharchuk is noted for his participation in working groups created by the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to improve tax legislation. Zakharchuk co-heads the practice alongside Almaty-based directors Yeldos Syzdykov and Aidana Abdaliyeva.

Practice head(s):

Andrey Zakharchuk; Yeldos Syzdykov; Aidana Abdaliyeva


Working across two offices in Almaty and Astana, the Kazakhstani tax practice at Integrites is headed up by managing partner Kurmangazy Talzhanov The team acts for both local and international clients, with a workload spanning transactional matters, starting from tax structuring and planning, as well as general tax advice. It also has experience with the relevant tax authorities, advising clients on the optimisation of tax schemes and negotiations with the government, including in regard to inspections and disputes. Counsel Galymbek Kereibayev is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Kurmangazy Talzhanov

Other key lawyers:

Galymbek Kereibayev

Key clients


Work highlights

  • Supported a joint venture specialising in the production of modern irrigation systems and crop yield management in the conclusion of an investment contract containing tax and customs preferences.
  • Advised a large international company operating in the food sector on tax issues.
  • Advised a global provider of pre-commissioning cleaning services, serving construction projects across the energy sector, on tax issues.