Leading firms in Uzbekistan
The key figures at Azizov & Partners are managing partner Aziz Aripdjanov, who specialises in commercial law, and senior partner Ilkhom Azizov, who is experienced predominantly in banking and finance matters. Both partners assisted the Chinese ZTE Corporation in negotiating cross-border engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts, as well as representing Lukoil in a competition law matter relating to the price of imported fuel. The duo also advised Lukoil on a joint venture between the client and a local fuel retailer.
The 'forward-looking' team at Centil Law is 'always one or two steps ahead of its competitors', and has a list of clients that includes international corporations such as Turkish Airlines and Carbo One. The firm is especially experienced in banking and finance matters; the 'great' Sofia Shakhrazieva advised the Islamic Development Bank on $100m-worth of cross-border finance facilities extended to local private companies, assisted by senior associate Natalya Kim. Also highly recommended is Umid Aripdjanov, who assisted Russian corporation United Heavy Machinery with establishing a joint venture with an affiliate company of Uzbekneftegaz, as well as advising Carbo One on regulatory issues including tax and asset ownership. In both matters, Aripdjanov was assisted by senior associate Valeria Ok. Zafar Malikov, Otabek Suleimanov and Dilshad Khabibullaev are also recommended; Suleimanov advised a foreign manufacturer on drafting a joint venture agreement, and Khabibullaev negotiated an alliance agreement for an international client.
The 'very professional' team at Dentons has expertise in corporate, finance, employment and dispute resolution matters, and supports clients from a broad range of industries including mining, telecoms and pharmaceuticals. One such client is SkyPower Global, which the firm advised in relation to a $1.3bn direct foreign investment to build solar energy production facilities across Uzbekistan. Managing partner Eldor Mannopov and counsel Shukhrat Yunusov, who is praised for his 'individual approach to each customer', led on this matter. Mannapov also advised Hyundai Engineering on the $678.2m modernisation of the Takhiatash thermal power plant, which will vastly increase the plant's capacity from 730 to 930MW. Senior associate Ulugbek Abdullaev, who is especially experienced in corporate work, assisted on this matter, and advised Çalık Enerji on the $1.6bn construction of two power plants in the Namangan and Navoi regions. Outside of projects work, the firm is active in banking, with Yunusov advising China Development Bank on a $250m financing extension to the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of Uzbekistan, as well as advising Landesbank-Baden Württemberg on the Uzbek law aspects of financing to support SMEs in the country.
The team at GRATA International is praised for its 'good knowledge of the law', and the close collaboration between offices facilitates an 'international perspective'. Bakhodir Jabborov is managing partner, and is noted as an 'exceptional negotiator'. His 'outstanding experience in all spheres of law' was notably evident when assisting Jogmec in negotiating with the government on the terms and conditions of a $200m uranium deposits exploration project, obtaining licenses, permits and land allotments. He also advised General Electric on corporate, tax and employments matters relating to a $300m EPC contract to modernise a Tashkent power plant. Nodir Yuldashev, head of the firm's telecoms, construction and tax practice, is similarly highly recommended. His 'great expertise in tax, labour and corporate matters' proved beneficial when acting for Bureau Veritas on a tender to provide engineering consultancy services to Lukoil. 'Very strong and responsive' senior associate Rustam Akramov supported banking and finance specialist Atabek Sharipov in providing advice on foreign exchange, trade financing and tax matters, among others, to German manufacturer Knauf International.
Kosta Legal 'provides hands-on experience' and is 'one of the strongest legal teams in Uzbekistan', with 'some of the most professional lawyers in the country'. Managing partner Azizbek Akhmadjonov specialises in real estate and construction and is also a skilled litigator; alongside recent arrival Vazgen Grigoryan, who joined from the now-defunct Grigoryan and Partners, he represented a major pharmaceuticals corporation in a dispute with its joint venture partner over local production facilities. Both lawyers are recommended for their 'professionalism, dedication and perseverance'. The 'accessible, proactive and prompt' Nail Hassanov is a 'well-known expert in the pharmaceuticals industry'; he recently advised GlaxoSmithKline on the regulatory requirements for over-the-counter drug circulation in Uzbekistan, with the assistance of 'strong and professional' senior associate Maxim Dogonkin, who is recommended for his 'solid knowledge in many areas'. A notable highlight of his is advising Pilot Corporation on its expansion in Uzbekistan and distribution agreements with local companies.
Kinstellar opened a Tashkent office in March 2018, managed by long-serving partner Joel Benjamin, who is based in the firm's Kazakhstan office. The arrival of counsel Muborak Kambarova from Dentons has boosted the team, as has the arrival of associate Akmal Abdisamato, who has finance experience. Kambarova has a strong track record in banking and finance matters, having previously worked with international financial institutions and development banks.
Boutique firm Leges Advokat was founded by banking and finance lawyers Azamat Fayzullaev and Nizomiddin Shakhabutdinov. Fayzullaev recently worked with major international law firms to advise a consortium of international lenders on the $2.5bn financing of the construction of a synthetic fuel power plant in Uzbekistan. Similarly, Shakhabutdinov has been working since 2008 with a US firm to represent Uz-Kor Gas Chemical on the $4.6bn 'Surgil' project, which will develop a gas production field and associated petrochemicals plant. Upon its return to the market after an eight-year absence, the duo advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the $12m financing of an Uzbek pharmaceuticals company and the $14m financing of an agricultural products producer.
Founded in early 2018, Winfields works mainly with foreign enterprises on investment opportunities in Uzbekistan. The firm has a 'well-regarded practice in banking and finance', where a particular strength is 'knowing the peculiarities of local legislation'. Co-founders Janibek Abdurazakov and Mahdi Magdiev are described as 'client-oriented and very responsive', and are recommended for their 'precise legal advice'. Abdurazakov advised Chinese enterprise Run Tong Metal Industrial on contractual matters relating to the $115m construction of a metal pipe production facility, demonstrating his 'competence in resolving complex corporate and commercial issues'. Magdiev recently advised Guring on an agreement with a local automaker, and the pair combined to assist Eco Paper Industry with the negotiation of a $110m EPC contract.
Legalmax Law Firm
Specialist IP firm Legalmax Law Firm provides advice on trade marks, patents and copyright issues and supports clients in IP enforcement and litigation procedures. Tashkent-based Mukhammadali Makhmudov is managing partner at the firm, and oversees operations in both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Lola Islamova handles the majority share of patents work, while Madina Tursunova specialises in IP protection and copyright issues. Of counsel Ravil Kassilgov handles litigation matters.