Leading firms in Kyrgyzstan

GRATA International

GRATA International's Bishkek office is led by director Kanat Seidaliev, and has acted for major international clients including Procter and Gamble, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Mastercard. Seidaliev and counsel Elvira Maratova recently advised Fresenius Medical Care on a PPP project with the Ministry of Health. Associate Iskender Batyrbekov assisted on this matter; he and Nurlan Kyshtobaev also advised the EBRD on a major capital markets law reform project in the country. Working with the Moscow office of Hogan Lovells (CIS), the firm prepared an assessment of the regulatory environment in Kyrgyzstan and reviewed existing capital markets laws, liaising with relevant local authorities to provide supporting documentation for regulatory reform. Other notable cases include Kyshtobaev advising Tianjin Cement Industry Design and Research Institute Co on the $16m financing and construction of a cement factory, and a group of foreign investors on the acquisition of a controlling stake in a local bank.

Kalikova & Associates Law Firm

Kalikova & Associates Law Firm's key focus is banking and finance, and the firm assists with investments, securitisations and due diligence of assets. This practice is led by Alexander Ahn, who recently advised a major bank on a financing transaction, working on audit issues and reviewing the loan agreements. He was assisted by senior lawyer Albina Rakhmidinova, who also acted on a major mandate for the Ministry of Health, advising on a large-scale healthcare PPP project. Maksim Smirnov heads the tax and customs practice, and regularly acts for international companies on matters relating to tax review and legislative compliance. Managing partner Aicholpon Jorupbekova acts mostly on energy and natural resources matters, and often works alongside head of construction and real estate Marina Lim; their recent highlights include advising Turkish mining company Eti Bakir on establishing a joint venture with Kyrgyzaltyn for project investment in Kyrgyzstan. The duo also advised a British company on subsoil use matters and foreign investment in Kyrgyzstan, which culminated in the drafting of an investment agreement. Magomed Saaduev is also a name to note; as head of the corporate practice she assisted Centerra Gold with the corporate restructuring of the Kumtor gold mine. Dispute resolution specialist Nurbek Sabirov defended the same company against public regulators in claims of alleged environmental offences and illegal payments. Shuhrat Akhmatakhunov is also highly recommended.

Arte Law Firm

With notable strength in IP work, Arte Law Firm has acted for major international companies including Microsoft and Yandex. Omurgul Balpanova is the key name for IP, and recently advised Yandex on licensing and advertising matters relating to the launch of the Yandex.Taxi service. The firm continues its relationship with Russian IP firm Gorodissky & Partners, and has acted as the leading local counsel in Kyrgyzstan on the registration of new trade marks, including Henkel, Netflix and Kia Motors. Aisulu Chubarova assisted Air Manas airline with drafting aircraft charter and sale contracts, as well as with employment and regulatory matters. Both Balpanova and Chubarova are advising the High Technologies Park of the Kyrgyz Republic on various matters, including drafting and negotiating premises-use contracts. Saodat Shakirova is the firm's third partner, and recently assisted Balpanova in representing Microsoft in a software copyright infringement claim against a large Kyrgyz bank.

Centil Law

Centil Law's Bishkek team is led by a trio of partners, with specialisms in banking and finance, M&A, telecoms, aviation and infrastructure. Newly promoted Kerim Bergaliev handles the firm's trade and commerce practice, and continues to advise Reemtsma-Kyrgyzstan on the company's corporate liquidation, as well as assisting the firm's Tajikistan office with local matters. Zhanyl Abdrakhmanova leads the banking practice; she and senior associate Meerim Karybaeva have been advising General Electric on the drafting of a memorandum to cover issues relating to a corporate parent company guarantee under Kyrgyz law. Mining and infrastructure specialist Denis Bagrov is well versed in Tajik and Kyrgyz law, handling cases in both countries. He recently worked alongside Karybaeva to review requirements introduced by new banking laws and advise a local Kyrgyz bank on corporate governance matters.

Lorenz Law Firm

Lawyers of Lorenz Law Firm are praised for their 'experience' and ability to provide clients 'with a level of trust that goes beyond what is normally found'; indeed, 'the qualities of the practice are reflected in the individuals'. Managing partner Chynara Esengeldieva heads the corporate team; recent examples of her work include assisting a Turkish investor with the acquisition of shares in a Kyrgyz gold mining company. Etienne Claes, who joined from an in-house position in Nassau, and counsel Samara Dumanaeva are noted for their 'high professional standards and sound advice'. Dumanaeva has assisted Esengeldieva on a number of mandates, most notably advising Glavstroy, a Kyrgyz construction company, on joint activity with a foreign investor and drafting an internal employment agreement. Senior associate Kymbat Ibakova is also highly recommended, and in her position as head of the employment team has assisted the Red Cross with the termination of employment contracts and with reviewing and amending staff regulations.

Consensus Law Bureau

Consensus Law Bureau assists medium and large-scale businesses operating in various fields including banking, energy and hospitality. Director Elena Babitskaya specialises in corporate and commercial matters, as well as having experience in investment projects. Lola Feigina advises clients on subsurface use and projects, as well as construction and development.

Lex Law Firm

Lex Law Firm works predominantly with domestic banks and businesses on finance matters, and is led by managing partner Vitaliy Yen. Recent examples of his work include providing ongoing legal support to Rosinbank and assisting local beverages producer Let's Go Drinks with obtaining a state loan through a commercial bank. Batyr Akim, assisted by senior lawyer Adina Anvarova, advised Alma-Insurance on a share transfer operation to fulfill a change of company ownership.

Veritas Law Agency

The 'truly remarkableVeritas Law Agency's main strengths are banking and dispute resolution, and the firm acts for clients including Kyrgyzkommertsbank and the EBRD. Matters are led by the 'professional and trustworthyElena Bit-Avragim, supported by the 'strong and intelligentNatalia Galliamova. The duo are praised for their 'reliability, honesty and experience', and clients 'can always rely on their expertise and skills'.