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Asia Guide

Energy & Natural Resources — Kazakhstan

Band 1

第一等

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Aigoul Kenjebayeva and Almas Zhaiylgan 
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Enjoys an excellent reputation for advising multinational natural resources groups on subsoil use, tax, M&A and corporate structuring mandates. Also experienced in handling corporate disputes in the oil and gas sectors and advises on issues affecting the financing of large-scale projects.

Strengths "They have a very strong oil and gas practice with good professionals and have been on the ground for many years, building up a good track record."

"Their environmental law knowledge is excellent." 

Significant clients Chevron, CNCP, Halliburton, North Caspian Operating Company, Shell.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Aigoul Kenjebayeva is a prominent figure in the domestic energy market, particularly well regarded for her expertise in Kazakh oil and gas regulatory and transactional matters. Interviewees report that: "Clients respect her experience; she's one of the leading individuals in the field."

Almas Zhaiylgan focuses on corporate mandates. Joint venture structuring is a particular area of expertise. He also maintains strong regulatory insight. Sources call him "a good and experienced oil and gas lawyer. A very good technical lawyer."

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Band 1

第一等

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Aset Shyngyssov
- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Market-leading energy-focused practice maintaining electricity, nuclear and hydro expertise alongside a traditional oil, gas and mining skill set. Acts for a client base of significant Asian corporates with cross-border transactional mandates a key area of strength across all sectors of the energy and natural resources market.

Strengths "Good knowledge of the law, experience in support of transactions and excellent negotiation skills."

"Amazing specialists in the sphere." 

Work highlights Acted for Geo-Jade Petroleum in its USD350 million acquisition of Kazakh oil company KoZhaN.

Advised China’s Xinjiang Zhundong Petroleum Technology on a USD100 million investment in the development of an exploration and production hydrocarbon field in North-West Kazakhstan.

Significant clients Airbus Group, EBRD, GE, PetroKazakhstan, Teliasonera.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Aset Shyngyssov is widely identified as a market-leading oil, gas and energy specialist. He focuses on corporate mandates in the sphere, including M&A and joint venture agreements, and is praised by sources for his "very strong negotiation skills."

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Band 2

第二等

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Maxim Telemtayev and Pavel Kornilov
- 2 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handles M&A and project finance mandates on behalf of mining corporations, exploration companies and project sponsors. Noted for its representation of major domestic corporate clients in the mining industry and also acts for international financial institutions involved in project financing in the oil and gas sector.

Work highlights Represented project company KLPE and its sponsors with regard to multiple aspects of the proposed development of a major petrochemical facility in Atyrau.

Acted for Glencore subsidiary Kazzinc in respect of its USD100 million sale of Orion Minerals to Polymetal.  

Significant clients Kazakhstan Petrochemicals Industries, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas.

Notable practitioners

Maxim Telemtayev is well regarded for his close focus on and extensive experience of energy issues. He advises major domestic clients on transactional and corporate issues, representing clients from the mining, oil and gas sectors.

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Band 3

第三等

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Olga Chentsova and Natalya Braynina 
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Respected domestic practice, well versed in subsoil-related regulatory issues. Also maintains a strong corporate structuring and advisory practice focused on providing domestic law support to leading international oil and gas corporates.

Strengths "If we think about local players, they're one of the strongest."  

"They have some strong individuals who have been around longer than most firms." 

Work highlights Regularly advises multinational oilfield services provider Schlumberger on Kazakh subsoil and other local issues.

Advised coal-mining company Bogatyr Komir in connection with a possible legal requirement to expand its research and development activities.

Significant clients Chevron, ExxonMobil, Hatch Engineering & Consulting, Rio Tinto, Tengizchevroil.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Olga Chentsova is a highly respected figure in the energy market. She combines general oversight of the practice with hands-on involvement in complex subsoil regulatory issues.

Natalya Braynina enters the table this year, supported by the praise of clients who respect her regulatory knowledge and applaud her "very deep understanding of the legal particulars and their impact." She advises on subsoil issues as well as financing projects in the energy market.

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Band 3

第三等

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Joel Benjamin
- 2 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Focuses on high-value project financing in the energy and natural resources markets, regularly acting for international financial institutions. The practice also assists natural resources sector clients with corporate governance and structuring matters. 

Strengths "Very responsive, clear and succinct advice on complex issues." 

Work highlights Assisted KazMunayGas with amendments to its corporate structure and corporate governance documentation.

Significant clients Eurasian Resources Group, VTB Capital.

Notable practitioners 

Associate Lena Makarenko provides domestic law regulatory support to clients involved in energy project financings. She acts both for international financial organisations and domestic energy clients.

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Band 3

第三等

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Yerzhan Kumarov
- 2 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Particularly adept at advising a client base of domestic and regional natural resource corporates on mining and subsoil issues. Also maintains M&A, corporate structuring and project financing capabilities.

Work highlights Advised Sumeru and Sumeru Gold on their proposed sale of Altynalmas Gold to Polymetal International for USD618 million, a transaction requiring the co-ordination of expertise in Almaty, London and Toronto.

Advised Sequa Petroleum on transactional, due diligence and regulatory aspects of its proposed acquisition of an interest in an oil and gas exploration contract in Kazakhstan.

Significant clients Almex Group, Caspian Pipeline Consortium, RosNeft, Sberbank, Yildirim Group. 

Notable practitioners

Managing partner Yerzhan Kumarov is respected as "an experienced lawyer" with a particularly "good mining practice" and a high level of visibility in that space. He also acts for oil and gas companies in transactional and corporate structuring matters.

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Band 3

第三等

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Sofiya Zhylkaidarova 
- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Domestic practice acting for large local and international oil and gas and services companies. Provides corporate, regulatory and licensing support alongside a strong contentious offering in which corporate, tax and environmental regulatory disputes are key areas of focus.

Strengths "They have a great can-do attitude and supply pragmatic advice." 

"They have considerable expertise in natural resources, handling oil, gas and mining projects."

Work highlights Acted as local law counsel to Reach Energy with regard to its USD155 million acquisition of extensive oil and gas assets in South-West Kazakhstan.  

Significant clients Inkai, Jupiter Energy, KATCO, OMV Petrom.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova acts for clients on contentious matters in the oil and gas market and is particularly well known for her subsoil regulatory knowledge. One source says of her: "She has specialised in oil and gas for a long time: she's very knowledgeable, very highly regarded, very pragmatic and always finds solutions for her clients."

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Band 4

第四等

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Victor Mokrousov 
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Compact team assisting energy clients with corporate structuring, transactional and regulatory mandates. Acts for major domestic and Asian oil and gas corporates, drawing upon its impressive global network to support mandates.

Strengths "Good in the technical aspects of Kazakh law." 

Notable practitioners  

Victor Mokrousov focuses on corporate issues in the oil and gas sector. Clients appreciate his blend of legal acumen and commercial insight, one saying: "I'm impressed; he knows the market and has a good understanding of the law and practice." He is characterised as "a very frank, careful and thoughtful lawyer." 

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Band 4

第四等

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for Principally represents state-owned and other domestic energy and mining companies, assisting with corporate matters, subsoil regulatory issues and contentious mandates.

Strengths "They do play a significant role in this sphere." 

Notable practitioners 

Yessen Massalin and Diyar Ereshev are the key points of contact.

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Eminent Practitioner

Aequitas Law Firm

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Managing partner Olga Chentsova is a highly respected figure in the energy market. She combines general oversight of the practice with hands-on involvement in complex subsoil regulatory issues.

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Band 1

Dentons

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Managing partner Aigoul Kenjebayeva is a prominent figure in the domestic energy market, particularly well regarded for her expertise in Kazakh oil and gas regulatory and transactional matters. Interviewees report that: "Clients respect her experience; she's one of the leading individuals in the field."

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Band 1

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Managing partner Aset Shyngyssov is widely identified as a market-leading oil, gas and energy specialist. He focuses on corporate mandates in the sphere, including M&A and joint venture agreements, and is praised by sources for his "very strong negotiation skills."

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Band 1

SIGNUM Law Firm

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova acts for clients on contentious matters in the oil and gas market and is particularly well known for her subsoil regulatory knowledge. One source says of her: "She has specialised in oil and gas for a long time: she's very knowledgeable, very highly regarded, very pragmatic and always finds solutions for her clients."

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Band 2

Dechert LLP

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Victor Mokrousov focuses on corporate issues in the oil and gas sector. Clients appreciate his blend of legal acumen and commercial insight, one saying: "I'm impressed; he knows the market and has a good understanding of the law and practice." He is characterised as "a very frank, careful and thoughtful lawyer." 

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Band 2

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Maxim Telemtayev is well regarded for his close focus on and extensive experience of energy issues. He advises major domestic clients on transactional and corporate issues, representing clients from the mining, oil and gas sectors.

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Band 2

Dentons

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Almas Zhaiylgan focuses on corporate mandates. Joint venture structuring is a particular area of expertise. He also maintains strong regulatory insight. Sources call him "a good and experienced oil and gas lawyer. A very good technical lawyer."

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Band 3

Aequitas Law Firm

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Managing partner Olga Chentsova is a highly respected figure in the energy market. She combines general oversight of the practice with hands-on involvement in complex subsoil regulatory issues.

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Band 3

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Managing partner Yerzhan Kumarov is respected as "an experienced lawyer" with a particularly "good mining practice" and a high level of visibility in that space. He also acts for oil and gas companies in transactional and corporate structuring matters.

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Associates to watch

Kinstellar

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Associate Lena Makarenko provides domestic law regulatory support to clients involved in energy project financings. She acts both for international financial organisations and domestic energy clients.

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