Kinstellar LLP > Almaty, Kazakhstan > Firm Profile

Kinstellar LLP
050000 ALMATY

Kazakhstan > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

Kinstellar LLP’s work in banking, finance and capital markets is distinguished through its advising some of Kazakhstan’s top natural resource and energy companies. Joel Benjamin brings 25 years of experience to the team, having worked in the US and Uzbekistan in addition to the firm's Kazakhstan offices, supported by Yerlan Akhmetov. Almaty-based Adlet Yerkinbayev led the initial public offering by JSC, the second-largest IPO of 2020 and the fourth-largest in Europe. In addition, Pavel Kornilov joined the firm from White & Case Kazakhstan LLP.

Practice head(s):

Joel Benjamin; Adlet Yerkinbayev

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Morgan Stanley Citi

Work highlights

  • Advised Morgan Stanley and Citi as underwriters in connection to the initial public offering by JSC on AIX and the London Stock Exchange.

Kazakhstan > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

Kinstellar LLP has a strong track record in public M&A, handling agenda-setting deals in the infrastructure and financial services sectors. Joel Benjamin brings 25 years of experience to the team, having worked in the US and Uzbekistan in addition to the firm’s Kazakhstan offices. Almaty-based Adlet Yerkinbayev advises on leading IPOs, as well as work relating to private markets.

Practice head(s):

Joel Benjamin; Adlet Yerkinbayev; Damelya Buteyeva


‘What makes this practice unique is its huge experience in M&A deals for financial sector. Very competent personnel. Team knows in detail how to structure deals and is very helpful for clients. Team is available and ready to work 24/7. Company is very flexible in all matters from pricing, billing to workload.’

‘Adlet Yerkinalieva – Huge experience, 24/7 availability, always offers different solutions to problems, defends clients’ position.’

‘Kinstellar offers a first-rate, full-service corporate offering in the Kazakh and Uzbek markets. Their market knowledge and contacts are second to none. They offer a partner-led service offering, supported by very capable associates and support staff. The handle top-rate international and domestic matters and you will regularly find them mandated on the largest deals. They provide very in-depth knowledge of local law and market conditions.’

‘Adlet Yerkinbayev is an exceptional lawyer and provides a top-rate representation for his clients. He is well respected in the market and is immensely hard-working.’

‘Joel Benjamin is a senior statesman of the Central Asian markets and is very well respected. He brings his many years of experience to bear to his matters. Yerlan Akhmetov and Kuanysh Shekerbekov are extremely capable senior associates and are rising stars.’

Key clients

Venus Airport Holdings B.V.


Work highlights

  • Advised Venus Airport Holdings B.V. on the sale of 100% of the share capital of International Airport Almaty JSC, which is deemed to be a strategic asset under Kazakhstan law, to entities representing a consortium of TAV Airports, a member of Groupe ADP, and VPE Capital.
  • Advised the owner and management of ATFBank JSC on the sale of 99.7% of the shares of ATFBank JSC to First Heartland Jusan Bank JSC and acquisition by ATFBank’s former owner of 20% of shares in First Heartland Jusan Bank JSC.

Kazakhstan > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Kinstellar LLP focuses on complex commercial disputes, especially cross-border in nature, with environmental disputes, construction, customs and tax disputes as well as employment disputes also featuring heavily in the caseload. The team is growing its arbitration and criminal investigations practice, the latter including fraud and corruption investigations. With a number of clients from the oil and gas and mining sectors on its client roster, the practice is a particularly good choice for disputes arising in these sectors. The group frequently works in unison with international firms, both as local counsel for Kazakh law or as co-counsel.Mukhit Yeleuov in Almaty heads the practice which includes senior associate Dina Berkaliyeva, an expert in environmental law.

Practice head(s):

Mukhit Yeleuov

Other key lawyers:


‘Highly professional, dedicated team.’

‘The individuals are very keen to support every aspect of a business. They demonstrate great time management and effectiveness. Very much dedicated to work.’

They have demonstrated profound and in-depth knowledge in all aspects of ecological regulations, including emissions.’

‘Among very strong and experienced partners, I would point out Mukhit Yeleuov and senior associate Dina Berkaliyeva. Both provide excellent service and have in-depth knowledge. Both are very energetic and highly capable as litigators in many areas, which makes them two of the top lawyers in KZ.’

Kazakhstan > Energy and natural resources Tier 1

Kinstellar LLP acts for many of the largest and most active companies operating in areas such as oil and gas, mining power, renewables and other natural resources. The team is led by counsel Almas Zhaiylgan, who has over 20 years of experience in the mining and oil and gas industries. Noted for his work on upstream exploration and production projects, Zhaiylgan advises on farm-out agreements, joint operating agreements and joint ventures, among other matters. Adlet Yerkinbayev is an expert in matters such as domestic and cross-border M&A, debt and equity capital markets transactions and restructurings. Joel Benjamin and senior associate Lena Makarenko also play a key role in the group.

Practice head(s):

Almas Zhaiylgan


‘Excellent experience, knowledge, attitude, flexibility. I would emphasise Adlet Yerkinbayev, partner.’

‘Very good quality lawyers with flexible fee arrangements.’

‘Responsiveness to clients’ needs and wants, international level services based on flexibility when it comes to budgeting.’

‘The team has abundant knowledge of the relevant laws, rules and local practices and is able to provide timely and comprehensive advice to clients. They are also flexible and accommodating to clients’ and other working parties’ requests, and are often able to offer practical solutions.’

Kazakhstan > IP and TMT Tier 1

Kinstellar LLP's work in the TMT space includes corporate and M&A mandates, transformational projects, IP, data protection, competition and employment matters. Adlet Yerkinbayev has a wealth of experience leading on major M&A and capital markets transactions in the telecoms sector in Kazakhstan. In addition to being active in the local market, Joel Benjamin has acted on telecoms matters in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Managing associate Kuanysh Kanlybayev is also recommended.

Kazakhstan > Real estate and construction (including projects) Tier 2

Kinstellar LLP is noted for its work on hotel development and management matters in Kazakhstan, as well as its involvement in construction projects and disputes in the energy and TMT sectors.  Joel Benjamin brings 25 years of experience to the team, having worked in the US and Uzbekistan, in addition to the firm's three offices in Kazakhstan.

Practice head(s):

Joel Benjamin

Other key lawyers:

Anna Kornilova

Uzbekistan > Leading firms

Kinstellar is a leading firm in corporate and finance work, with capital markets mandates having been a recent source of activity. Managing partner Joel Benjamin brings 25 years of experience to the team, having worked in the US and Kazakhstan prior to joining the firm’s Tashkent office.

Practice head(s):

Joel Benjamin


‘Excellent and reactive team.’

‘It is an absolute pleasure to work with Joel, Muborak and Salim.’

‘Kinstellar are a great firm in Uzbekistan, providing solid advice and being very resourceful and business-oriented. They have a wide range of practice areas and a good dialogue with all corporates and banks in the region.’

‘Muborak Kambarova is a very capable professional, with knowledge around all areas of capital markets, banking, corporate and tax law.’

‘Joel Benjamin provides invaluable insight and the team works very well together.’


Key clients

JP Morgan Securities Plc

Citigroup Global Markets

Catara Consulting (Europe) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted as local counsel to JP Morgan, Citigroup Global Markets, Gazprombank and MUFG Securities EMEA plc, as the joint lead managers, on the dual-tranche bond issuance by the Republic of Uzbekistan worth approximately $750 million, which included an approximately $200 million tranche denominated in Uzbek soum.
  • Legal advice as Uzbek counsel to Citigroup Global Markets, the lead manager, on the debut Reg S / Rule 144a Eurobond offering by National Bank of Uzbekistan (NBU), Uzbekistan’s largest bank by assets. The managers of the offering include Natixis and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
  • Acting as Uzbek counsel to Catara Consulting (Europe) Ltd., as the arranger, and the SPV lender that will raise financing via private issuance of bonds and lending the funds to UzPromStroyBank and to Joint-Stock Commercial Bank “Asaka” (Asaka Bank).

The firm: Kinstellar is a leading independent law firm in emerging Europe, Turkey and Central Asia, with offices in Almaty (Kazakhstan), Belgrade (Serbia), Bratislava (Slovakia), Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Istanbul (Turkey), Kyiv (Ukraine), Prague (the Czech Republic) and Sofia (Bulgaria).

The firm’s office in Almaty was launched in 2013, and has experts working with years of experience assisting leading investors in Kazakhstan and across Central Asia. The team of international and local lawyers, led by a US partner with more than a decade of on-the-ground experience, is highly regarded and widely viewed by leading international law firms as the go-to team in Kazakhstan for complex transactions.

As part of Kinstellar’s seamless cross-border coverage, the Almaty office provides a wide range of legal services and is particularly strong in banking and finance, capital markets, dispute resolution and corporate and M&A.

Kinstellar serves a broad range of leading international and domestic clients active in Kazakhstan and across Central Asia. The firm’s legal experts bring international experience and local knowledge in key sectors of the Kazakh economy such as oil and gas, mining, financial services, infrastructure and telecommunications.

Areas of practice: The firm’s focal areas of practice include banking and finance; competition and state aid; compliance, risk and sensitive investigations; dispute resolution; employment and labour law; energy; infrastructure and projects; M&A and corporate; real estate, construction and planning; restructuring and insolvency and technology, media and telecommunications.

Banking, finance and capital markets Joel Benjamin
Dispute resolution Mukhit Yeleuov
Energy Joel Benjamin
Infrastructure and projects Joel Benjamin
Infrastructure and projects Adlet Yerkinbayev
M&A and corporate Adlet Yerkinbayev
Restructuring and insolvency Joel Benjamin
Number of lawyers : 200
Other offices : Belgrade
Other offices : Bratislava
Other offices : Bucharest
Other offices : Budapest
Other offices : Istanbul
Other offices : Kyiv
Other offices : Prague
Other offices : Sofia