asialaw Analysis

General business law

Leading firm Aequitas remains a top tier choice for local counsel. It specialises in banking and finance, labour and employment, M&A, natural resources and environmental law. The firm has been expanding in the areas of healthcare and pharmaceuticals and has developed recognition in the market for specialist areas such as insurance, media and customsIt is also foraying into the bitcoin and cryptocurrency space with recent work representations. Managing partner Olga Chentsova is a key contact. Partner Yelena Pestereva left firm in September 2020. 

Client feedback 

“Deep knowledge of the underlying matters, strong analysis skills.” – Banking and finance 

“Professional answers to questions.” – Private client 

Ardak Idayatova 

“Good client relationship management, deep knowledge of specific laws and regulations.”

Work highlights 

Advised syndicate of lenders comprising European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) on the financing of the BAKAD road project. The firm also assisted the lenders to adapt the international project finance structure to the Kazakhstan legal environment. The BAKAD project is the first PPP (concession) project of special significance in Kazakhstan financed by a syndicate of international development banks. 

Key clients 

Bank of MontrealDolphin CorpPfizerWillis Towers Watson 

Artyushenko & Partners

Real estate and construction boutique law firm Artyushenko & Partners enters the rankings for the first time this year. The firm specialises in the construction, development and litigation segments of real estatePartner Andrey Artyushenko heads the firm’s construction practice and he is renowned for his experience in FIDIC and EPC construction contracts in Kazakhstan and post-Soviet Union countries.

Client feedback 

Experienced in the construction licence sector.” – Construction  

“Flexible and accessible. Support to contract negotiation.” – Construction 

“The firm provided timely and comprehensive responses to our requests. I also appreciated the flexible approach.” – Regulatory  

Andrey Artuyshenko 

Knowledgeable with impressive legal background.” 

“He is a highly skilled legal professional.” 

“Attentive to his clients. He has good administrative skills and deep understanding of law.” 

“Andrey's team is exceptionally punctual and precise with regard to clients’ assignments and the agreed timelines.” 


Work highlights 

Advised Turanga Group on the development of the Ile-Alatau State National Natural Park.  

Advised ShalkiyaZincthe national mining company of Kazakhstan, on the development and construction of a processing plant. 

Representing Alaygir in connection with all aspects of the Alaygyr project (Tauken Samruk) in Central Kazakhstan, including EPC contract development and construction issues consulting. 

Key clients 


Bolotov & Partners

Bolotov & Partners is the undisputed leading IP specialist firm in the market. It provides services covering registrations of trademark, patent and copyright in Kazakhstan, and other Central Asian Republics of the CIS. The firm assists in the protection and enforcement of trademark rights, preparation of assignment and licence agreements, matters related to copyright, utility models, patent and domain name-related issues. Managing partner Yuri Bolotov is a registered patent and trademark attorney of Kazakhstan with more than 20 years of experience.

Work highlights 

Represented alcoholic beverages producer Global Spirits in trademark cacellation 

Advised a bank on patent invalidation. 

Key clients 

IKEASamsung Electronics

Grata International

Grata International is ranked ‘Outstanding’ in General business law. The firm has been especially active in the natural resources sector in the past year, particularly in mining, and oil and gas. Partner Yerzhan Yessimkhanov has extensive experience in the areas of construction, infrastructure, real estate and telecommunications.

Work highlights 

Advising Munaily Kazakhstan, a medium sized oil company with large confirmed oil deposits, on company restructuring issues including bringing on board a large Chinese investor. 

Representing Borealis, Europe's second and the world’s eighth largest producer of polyethylene and polypropylene, in negotiations with the government of Kazakhstan on construction of a world class integrated petrochemical complex in Atyrau to produce polyethylene. This is the largest foreign investment project by value in Kazakhstan over the past five years.   

Advising a large drilling company in Kazakhstan, mostly providing services to a Chinese National Petroleum Company, on tax dispute related to corporate income tax and VAT charges including representation of the client in the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan and in court against the tax committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 

Key clients 

Baker HughesENKAPositive Invest


Founded in 2005, CIS law firm Integrites provides legal services in the fields of banking and finance, competition/antitrust, corporate and M&A, dispute resolution, foreign trade and tax. Oil and gas is one of the firm’s key industry focus. The firm recently opened an office in Atyrau and relocated its Nur-Sultan office to the AIFC tower. Managing partner Kurmangazy Talzhanov helms a team in Almaty that includes partners with specialties in international arbitration and subsoil use.

Work highlights 

Representing a large foreign company producing plant protection products in the pre-trial settlement of a dispute. 

Representing a China-based construction company in China in the pre-trial settlement of a dispute with its customera Kazakhstani companyover a breach of a road construction contract worth more than $20 million. 

Representing a Turkish contractor in the pre-trial settlement of a dispute against a general customera Kazakhstani companyto recover the amount of debt under a contract for the supply and installation of modular blocks at the site of a construction camp.

Linkage & Mind

Linkage & Mind offers strong capabilities in corporate, energy and oil and gas matters. Recently, the firm’s corporate and finance group has been focused on several natural resources projects, winning new clients along the way. Partners Yerzhan Manasov and Madina Sypatayeva are the key contacts.

Work highlights 

Advised Qaz Techna on attracting bank financing 

Advised Berlin Chemie on corporate structuring in Kazakhstan. 

Key clients 

Green Finance CenterKazakhstan Mortgage CompanyRG Gold & RG ProcessingTranstelecom 

Sayat Zholshy & Partners

With offices in Almaty and Astana, Sayat Zholshy & Partners has been serving its clients for over two decadesThe firm has partnered with the IFC over the last three years on developing a corporate governance programme for Kazakhstan. Senior partner Arman Berdalin leads the firm’s Astana office and he is experienced in corporate governance and M&A. 

Client feedback 

The firm provides detailed answers and a flexible approach. It is highly qualified and well-mannered.” – Corporate and M&A 

The highly professional team is very client oriented and always ready to assist at any time you need. The paper work is provided in both the local and foreign languages, which is important for international clients.” – Tax  

Olzhas Daniyarov 

Skilled at corporate and M&A. Excellent negotiation skills with clients. Also understands the jurisdiction.” 

Elena Tyreikina 

Tyreikina is highly professional and very approachable. She offers support in a manner you need.” 


Work highlights 

Advised an international IT company operating mainly in the CIS countries on its acquisition of a software developer. 

Advised an international industrial holding based in Vienna, Austria, on its acquisition of substantial shareholdings in two Kazakhstan refractory material manufacturers. 

Acted for PPG Industriesan American Fortune 500 company and global supplier of paints, coatings, and specialty materials, on its merger control clearance of transactions with respect to its acquisition of Tikkurila. 

Key clients 

Area PlusBeeline KazakhstanKMG Engineering

Signum Law Firm

Signum Law Firm provides legal services in the areas of construction, corporate and M&A, dispute resolution, employment, IP and regulatory compliance. Last year the firm engaged in a number of corporate, finance and regulatory projects that impacted industry sectors and helped shape law enforcement practice. Managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova has a record of advising oil and gas, and mining companies for over 20 years on strategic acquisitions and various subsoil use issues. 

Client feedback 

Signum Law Firm developed a flawless deal structure under the Kazakh law. I was impressed with the top-notch knowledge of corporate law and corporate governance regulations. The firm’s team also took the role of the lead counsel on the transaction and assisted us with engaging other external advisers and managing the acquisition process. From client service perspective, the firm is very responsive and always available. I want to emphasise that the firm has also adopted greatly to the covid-restrictions. I felt no difference working with them before covid and during the pandemic. – Corporate and M&A 

“Highly professional consulting assistance. Very responsive.” – Corporate and M&A 

“Quick and relevant feedback, support from the partners in critical cases.” – Dispute resolution 

“Qualified team and complete analysis in a short time.” – Oil and gas 

Gaukhar Kudaibergenova 

Kudaibergenova is very attentive to clients requests and to details of the project. She proposes several variants to resolving project and recommends the most advantageous, which I value a lot. She is result-oriented, as evidenced by follow-up work even after the deal. She has deep knowledge and expertise in national legislation, as well as foreign.  For our project she undertook full-fledged legal and tax due diligence of the target company and presented a very clear and structured report about it.” 

Gaukhar Kudaibergenova, who led the team, is a superb transactional and M&A lawyer. She is a strategic thinker and an experienced manager, who supervised the smooth implementation of the acquisition from day one till the execution date. The team also showed high expertise in the pharmaceutical sector, which was a very important angle of cooperation.” 

Abylkhair Nakipov 

“Highly skilled lawyer and consultant with a pragmatic mind. Knows how to interact with the government.” 

Work highlights 

Advising a Kazakhstani subsidiary of Speedcast, an international company specialising in communications satellite technology, on financial restructuring options relating to Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filed by the company in the US.  

Acted as the only Kazakhstan law counsel on the development of a historic aKazakhstan renewable energy project aimed at developing the regulatory framework, improving the auction process and enabling competitively tendered renewables projects in Kazakhstan. This project marks the first attempt to enable competitively tendered renewables projects in Kazakhstan. 

Advised an international and publicly listed oil and gas E&P company on its sale of a concession project for the total amount $77 million   

Key clients 

EnerMechSilk Energy 


Unicase provides legal services in the areas of corporate and M&A, finance and securities, dispute resolution, environment, labour and tax law. It recently expanded into the neighbouring Uzbekistan market with a new office in Tashkent that focuses on the full economic spectrum, from working on PPP projects to growing its renewables client baseManaging partner Saniya Perzadayeva is an expert in project finance and construction. Partners Artem Timoshenko, Zhanar Abdullayeva and Rausahana Chaltabayeva round out the leadership.

Client feedback 

Aybek Kambaliyev 

He clearly knows his business and he is ready to help at any moment.”

Work highlights 

Advised a tech company on the establishment of a joint venture with a UK-based leader in metals related R&D. 

Advising the British Embassy on providing full legal support in corporate law, and on material contracts and liabilities. 

Advised a Singaporean Holding on its acquisition of 100% shares of a company based in Netherlands, for the development of a 156MW wind project in Kazakhstan under 5 PPAs.