Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP > Almaty, Kazakhstan > Firm Profile

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP
050059 ALMATY

Kazakhstan > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP Curtis Mallet: Is particularly well known for its international arbitration practice, with experience including proceedings before ICSID, ICC and UNICTRAl. The group stands out through its focus on acting for the state and state-owned entities whom it assists with disputes in the oil and gas sector as well as with disputes arisen from the mining of natural resources such as gold. The wider disputes practice also includes litigation, both in Kazakhstan and abroad, with a particular focus on French and US courts as the lead quintet of the practice consists of Askar Moukhitdinov in Almaty and Nur-Sultan, Peter Wolrich and Geoffroy Lyonnet in Paris and Eric Gilioli and Hermann Ferre in New York.

Practice head(s):

Askar Moukhitdinov; Peter Wolrich; Geoffroy Lyonnet; Eric Gilioli; Hermann Ferre


‘The team’s ability to grasp the primary issues and principles of a dispute, however obscure and complex, is exemplary.’

Key clients

The Republic of Kazakhstan


Work highlights

  • Secured a favourable award for the Republic of Kazakhstan in arbitration proceedings arisen from claims brought by a Canadian mining company regarding the termination in 1997 of a 1996 management contract relating to certain gold mines in Kazakhstan, involving novel issues in treaty-based arbitration, raising the question whether Kazakhstan is bound by the 1989 USSR-Canada bilateral investment treaty.
  • Represented the Kazakh Ministry of Investments and Development in a road construction dispute under the ICC Rules, securing rejection of the vast majority of the claims.
  • Represented KazAtomProm in a Section 232 investigation regarding duties on imports for uranium, securing a successful outcome for the client.

Kazakhstan > Energy and natural resources Tier 1

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP's presence in the energy and natural resources industries in Kazakhstan sees it regularly handle mandates concerning oil and gas, uranium mining and gold mining. Dispute resolution is a notable bedrock of the work undertaken by the firm, as are non-contentious mandates; Askar Moukhitdinov, who divides time between Almaty and Nur-Sultan, is experienced in debt and equity financings, as well as negotiations of gas sales contracts and servicing agreements. Elsewhere in the network, Eric Gilioli (New York/Milan) has been acting for the Republic of Kazakhstan for almost 15 years. His wide-ranging expertise includes M&A, commercial contracts and contentious matters. Counsel Nurlan Mukhitdinov is another name to note at the firm. In 2020, it acted for PSA LLC and Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan (acting on behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan) in an arbitration connected with a production sharing agreement for the exploration and exploitation of the oil and gas field known as Karachaganak.

Practice head(s):

Askar Moukhitdinov; Eric Gilioli

Other key lawyers:


‘Highly professional lawyers. The team has excellent knowledge and knows the specifics of the petroleum sector.’

Key clients

PSA LLC and Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, acting on behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Republic of Kazakhstan


Work highlights

  • Represented Kazakhstan in an arbitration arising out of an oil company consortium’s improper calculation and allocation of the Republic’s share of production under a production sharing agreement for the exploration and exploitation of the Kazakh giant gas condensate field Karachaganak. This resulted in a $1.9bn settlement in favour of the Republic.
  • Represented the Republic of Kazakhstan in claims brought by a Canadian mining company arising from the termination in 1997 of a 1996 management contract relating to certain gold mines in Kazakhstan; this case presented novel issues in treaty-based arbitration, raising the question whether Kazakhstan is bound by the 1989 USSR-Canada bilateral investment treaty. This resulted in an award dismissing the claims against the Republic.
  • Represented KazAtomProm, a State-owned company in Kazakhstan and the largest producer of natural uranium in the world, to defend its interests in an unusual U.S. trade proceeding – a Section 232 investigation. This resulted in a denial of the petitioners’ requests against KazAtomProm.

The firm: Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, founded in 1830, was one of the first US law firms to develop a truly international practice. Dedicated to counselling clients involved with some of the most challenging transnational transactions and complex multi-jurisdictional disputes, Curtis represents multinational companies, international financial institutions, governments and state-owned entities, family and other privately held businesses, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. With offices in the United States, Central and East Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, Curtis is located in the key business centres where clients need the firm most.

Areas of practice: Curtis established its Almaty office in 2008. The firm’s attorneys in the region focus on oil and gas, energy, infrastructure development and public projects, investment management and international arbitration. The firm has served as legal advisor on some of the largest projects in Kazakhstan, counselling both private sector companies and government entities.

Curtis continues to be a trusted advisor to the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Justice on strategic oil and gas matters in Kazakhstan. In January 2017, Curtis partner Eric Gilioli was awarded a medal for Distinguished Labor in recognition of his legal work in the Kazakh oil and gas industry.

The office’s Kazakhstan lawyers work closely with commercial, tax and international arbitration lawyers from its London, Paris and New York offices.

The Almaty office is particularly strong in oil and gas and energy work in Kazakhstan, but also undertakes corporate and capital markets work, reflecting the developing legal services market in the country.

The firm’s market-leading international arbitration practice continues to represent the Republic of Kazakhstan in high-profile arbitrations. The team represents clients in matters ranging from complex “multiparty, multijurisdictional” disputes to mid-sized commercial arbitrations and mediations and is involved in all stages of the arbitration process, including drafting arbitration clauses and, in the event of a dispute, handling pre-arbitration negotiations and representing clients before arbitral bodies and in court proceedings to recognise and enforce arbitral awards.

The team’s practitioners have appeared before all the major European and international arbitral bodies in disputes arising under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Resident attorneys in the Almaty office are admitted to practice in Kazakhstan. Curtis Mallet-Prevost (Kazakhstan) LLP is owned by Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP (New York).

Competition and antitrust
Energy/oil and gas
Finance and capital markets
Hotels and tourism
Intellectual property
International and sovereign wealth funds
International arbitration
Investment management
Mergers and acquisitions
Private equity
Project development and finance
Real estate and construction
Restructuring and insolvency
Venture capital
Contact : Askar Moukhitdinov
Other offices : Beijing
Other offices : Bogotá
Other offices : Buenos Aires
Other offices : Dubai
Other offices : Frankfurt
Other offices : Geneva
Other offices : Houston
Other offices : London
Other offices : Mexico City
Other offices : Milan
Other offices : Muscat
Other offices : New York
Other offices : Nur-Sultan
Other offices : Paris
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Other offices : Washington DC