Firm Profile > AEQUITAS > Almaty, Kazakhstan

ALMATY 050000

Dispute resolution Tier 1

AEQUITAS's dispute resolution team focuses on cross-border commercial disputes. Practice head Valikhan Shaikenov represented VTB Bank in a $30m dispute over jurisdictional governing and guarantee termination; he was supported by senior associate Lyailya Tleulina on this matter. The pair also acted on a debts dispute in the pharmaceuticals industry. Counsel Violetta Kim represented Auto Linoriss against a state-owned enterprise in a $40m dispute over improper termination of a supply contract for train cars. Senior associate Ardak Idayatova has acted on complex contractual disputes, most notably in the construction industry.

Real estate and construction (including projects) Tier 1

The team at AEQUITAS is best known for advising on the construction of major industrial and social facilities and large residential complexes in Kazakhstan. In addition, the firm regularly provides support to infrastructure projects. Olga Chentsova and Nurlan Sholanov lead the team.

Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

AEQUITAS advises on financial lending, transaction regulations and project finance. Yelena Pestereva leads the banking and finance team, supported by project finance specialist Nurlan Sholanov. The firm assisted Gazprombank on a number of separate projects, including amendments to a facility agreement with a foreign borrower. Associate Renata Tkach is noted.

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

AEQUITAS has key strengths in restructuring, M&A and asset transfers, with notable expertise in labour law. The firm advised Knauf Gypsum in relation to the proposed acquisition of Bias Tech, which owns gypsum factories across Kazakhstan. Lead partner Nurlan Sholanov was supported by a large team that included Natalya Braynina and Yuliya Chumachenko. Braynina also advised a Chinese energy client on issues relating to the acquisition of Kazakh assets, namely a subsoil use company and parent company; senior associate Yelena Manayenko, who has experience in the natural resources sector, supported on this matter.

Energy and natural resources Tier 2

The team at AEQUITAS has a 'highly professional approach' and provides 'excellent quality of legal services'. Natalya Braynina led a team providing local counsel on a transaction involving the alienation of Kazakhstan assets with respect to six different subsoil use companies. In this matter, Braynina was supported by senior associate and fellow subsoil expert Yelena Manayenko, who clients praise as 'very professional'. Olga Chentsova is also highly recommended.

Tax and customs Tier 3

AEQUITAS provides general customs advice, tax consultation services, assistance with regulatory compliance and representation in court. Natalya Braynina is the key contact for tax issues, while Yuliya Chumachenko handles customs matters.

AEQUITAS, a Kazakh national law firm, was founded in 1993. One of the founding partners was Professor Yuri G. Bassin, Doctor of Law, a forefather of civil law science in Kazakhstan.

In the early 90s, AEQUITAS was one of the first firm’s to provide legal support both to foreign investors coming to Kazakhstan’s market and to those starting domestic businesses. The first joint ventures with foreign participation in Kazakhstan were organized with AEQUITAS providing the legal support.

AEQUITAS is one of Kazakhstan’s leading law firms acknowledged in the global legal services market. For many years, authoritative legal guides, such as Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500, and Who’s Who Legal, have rated AEQUITAS,  its partners and associates as the country’s most recommended law firm.

AEQUITAS’ clients are companies active in the leading sectors of economy from more than 50 countries, including major international corporations, companies representing world famous brands, banks and financial institutions, most of them have worked with AEQUITAS for many years.

AEQUITAS lawyers have been actively participating in the development and improvement of the most important legislative acts governing market relations and business activities in Kazakhstan. This allows the firm not only to keep abreast of potential amendments in legislation, but also to influence, to a certain extent, the making of the rules of the game.

The firm has offices in Almaty and Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan).

In 2019, AEQUITAS has become an AIFC Participant, and is doing business in the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) as AEQUITAS Law Firm (AIFC Branch) and providing legal services under the commercial license No. AFSA-O-CD-2019-0063.  The branch office is located in the same building as the AIFC Court and International Arbitration Center.

Our values

Our values are the key principles our practice and team relationships are built upon.

We take pride in unswervingly discharging our responsibilities when helping clients and business partners achieve their goals. We take pride in being trusted. We are appreciated for high quality services, honesty, transparency and efficiency. We aspire for leadership, upholding traditions and finding new solutions, and seek to meet and exceed expectations.

We value our people and care about them. We trust each other. We believe in each one’s personal contribution to the general cause. Our firm is blessed with an atmosphere of mutual respect, team spirit and everybody’s high involvement, which are the fundamentals of our continuing success.

Over more than 27 years of its successful practice, AEQUITAS has accumulated respectable professional experience and theoretical knowledge in the areas most sought after when doing business in Kazakhstan, which enables its lawyers to navigate clients through the most complex legal issues. World famous companies trust and cooperate with AEQUITAS.

The key areas in which AEQUITAS, year after year, enjoys deserved recognition as the leading and most recommended law firm in Kazakhstan, include business law, corporate law, banking & finance, natural resources and environmental, labor & employment, and M&A.

Certain areas of the firm’s practice have altered – AEQUITAS has always been quick to respond to changes in the legal regulation and economy and seeks to develop and enhance the areas of practice most in demand by clients during certain historical periods of time. In the 90’s the firm’s important area of practice was legal support of privatization projects. AEQUITAS lawyers were advising the largest foreign investors and governmental agencies in the course for privatization of the country’s major enterprises and facilities. In recent years, the firm’s actively developing areas of practice are healthcare, medicine and pharmaceuticals, and the potentially popular – public-private partnership.

The firm has gained a most positive reputation in such areas as insurance, mass media, customs, and many others.

AEQUITAS lawyers are also ready to assist individual clients in matrimonial and inheritance law matters, providing services that involve the drafting of various contracts and court documents, as well as client representation in court.

Business law. A large portion of AEQUITAS ’s day-to-day practice comprises services relating to the legal support of its clients’ businesses. The firm’s lawyers are assisting clients in diverse matters — from the drafting of contracts to due diligence of companies.

Corporate law. AEQUITAS’ corporate law practice started at the same time as the adoption of the new Kazakhstan’s legislative acts on legal entities, and with the establishment of Kazakhstan’s first joint ventures with foreign capital participation in 1993.

Banking & Finance. AEQUITAS ’s long-standing clients are the world’s leading investment and commercial banks, state-owned organizations, international payment systems, institutional investors and other players in the capital markets.

Environmental. AEQUITAS’ environmental practice is one of Kazakhstan’s strongest. The key clients using aequitas environmental legal services are the leading local and international companies active in the construction, industrial production and subsoil use sectors in Kazakhstan.

Natural Resources. AEQUITAS is particularly proud
of its subsoil use practice. AEQUITAS ’s experience in the natural resources area is domestically unique, as the firm partook in the national-significance projects and projects completely new to Kazakhstan.

Labor & Employment. AEQUITAS’ labor law practice is the best in Kazakhstan. The firm’s lawyers are advising on most intricate issues unregulated by local legislation. AEQUITAS possesses extensive experience in defending both employers and employees, in and out of court.

M&A. AEQUITAS’ M&A practice was launched together with the privatization of the key entities of Kazakhstan’s economy in the early 90s. The firm’s legal support accompanied the largest subsoil deals in Kazakhstan.

Competition & Antitrust. AEQUITAS’ antitrust practice dates back more than ten years. The firm boasts dozens of successful approvals of M&A transactions significant to Kazakhstan’s economy. AEQUITAS’ lawyers are perfectly familiar with the legislation and the law-application and judicial practice and can address most complex aspects of the national and supra-national antitrust legislation application.

Regulatory compliance. The advent of large foreign companies to the Kazakhstani market increasingly brings the term ‘compliance’ into practice. Although management of legal and compliance risks is still an under explored domain, AEQUITAS has amassed a considerable experience in this area.

Construction & Real Estate is one of AEQUITAS’ oldest and most active areas of practice, accumulating the firm’s impressive experience. AEQUITAS has contributed its legal support to projects involving construction of major industrial and social facilities and large residential compounds in Kazakhstan.

Infrastructure Projects. Public-Private Partnership (PPP). AEQUITAS is regularly supporting infrastructure projects of great importance for different sectors of the Kazakhstan economy: energy, transportation, mining, etc. Regardless of the industry and project complexity, the firm’s lawyers possess sufficient experience and knowledge to promptly render legal services necessary to implement the project. Taking into account the state policy pursued in this area and the clients’ interest, AEQUITAS is paying most serious attention to PPP matters.

Healthcare, Medicine & Pharmaceuticals. Legal services in the field of healthcare is AEQUITAS’s actively developing area of practice. The firm’s lawyers are rendering all-round support to large pharmaceutical companies coming to the Kazakhstan market for their business establishment and development.

Industry & Trade. AEQUITAS has amassed noteworthy expertise advising clients active in the production, distribution, marketing and sale of consumer and industrial goods, including contract drafting and negotiation, client representation before governmental agencies and dispute settlement.

Transport & Merchant Shipping. The firm regularly advises clients on a variety of issues pertaining to legal regulation of transportation activities in Kazakhstan. AEQUITAS is one of the few local law firms possessing experience in the merchant shipping area.

Agriculture. In the past several years, AEQUITAS’ lawyers have been advising the leading banks and financial companies, such as BNP Paribas, Société Générale, HSBC France, as well as major local agricultural producers, on various issues of trade finance secured by grain and cotton collaterals in Kazakhstan.

Dispute Resolution. AEQUITAS has a successful dispute resolution practice, representing clients in the Kazakh courts at all levels, including in cases involving financial instruments, debt restructuring, construction contracts, employment, transportation and insurance.

IT and communications. AEQUITAS’ clients, in differing IT and communications projects, have been the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and major international cellular, landline and postal operators.

Law-Making. AEQUITAS’ partners and associates are engaged, on a regular basis, to participate in the law-making activities to develop new acts and improve current legislation. The Civil Code, Foreign Investment Law, Privatization Law and Petroleum Law and other Kazakh legislative acts have been developed with AEQUITAS participation.

Department Name Email Telephone
Law-Making Olga Chentsova +7 (727) 3 968 968
Construction & Real Estate Olga Chentsova +7 (727) 3 968 968
Energy & Natural Resources Natalya Braynina +7 (727) 3 968 968
Regulatory compliance Natalya Braynina +7 (727) 3 968 968
Corporate law Nurlan Sholanov +7 (727) 3 968 968
Infrastructure Projects & Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Nurlan Sholanov +7 (727) 3 968 968
Agriculture Nurlan Sholanov +7 (727) 3 968 968
Labor & Employment Yuliya Chumachenko +7 (727) 3 968 968
Healthcare, Medicine & Pharmaceuticals Yuliya Chumachenko +7 (727) 3 968 968
Industry & Trade Yuliya Chumachenko +7 (727) 3 968 968
Transport & Merchant Shipping Yuliya Chumachenko +7 (727) 3 968 968
Banking & Finance Yelena Pestereva +7 (727) 3 968 968
Environmental Yelena Pestereva +7 (727) 3 968 968
Dispute Resolution Valikhan Shaikenov +7 (727) 3 968 968
M&A Yelena Manayenko +7 (727) 3 968 968
Competition & Antitrust Anna Kornilova +7 (727) 3 968 968
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Anton Alexeyev  photo Mr Anton Alexeyev
Ms Natalya Braynina  photo Ms Natalya Braynina
Dr Olga Chentsova  photo Dr Olga Chentsova
Mr Alexandr Chumachenko  photo Mr Alexandr Chumachenko
Ms Yuliya Chumachenko  photo Ms Yuliya Chumachenko
Ms Ardak Idayatova  photo Ms Ardak Idayatova
Ms Yekaterina Khamidullina  photo Ms Yekaterina Khamidullina
Mrs Violetta Kim  photo Mrs Violetta Kim
Ms Anna Kornilova  photo Ms Anna Kornilova
Mr Tair Kulteleev  photo Mr Tair Kulteleev
Ms Yelena Manayenko  photo Ms Yelena Manayenko
Ms Yelena Pestereva  photo Ms Yelena Pestereva
Mr Valikhan Shaikenov  photo Mr Valikhan Shaikenov
Mr Nurlan Sholanov  photo Mr Nurlan Sholanov
Ms Lyailya Tleulina  photo Ms Lyailya Tleulina
Ms Larissa Yemelyanova  photo Ms Larissa Yemelyanova
Almaty : 20
Nur-Sultan : 2
International Bar Association (IBA)
Kazakhstan Bar Association
Ius Laboris - Global Human Resources Lawyers Alliance
Ius Laboris
Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
Kazakhstan Petroleum Lawyers Association