“Overall, we appreciated their responsiveness, clarity and ability to comply with the instructions provided and meet relevant deadlines.”
The Legal 500 2022
“Aequitas Law Firm is very responsive and knowledgeable, and the advice they give is clear.”
Chambers Asia Pacific 2022
“They were good in trying to engage in the process and figure out what works from a local perspective.”
Chambers Asia Pacific 2021
The firm's practice in the energy sphere dates back to the first days of the firm's activities – AEQUITAS advised major foreign investors on the issues of applying the European Energy Charter and the Treaty thereto in Kazakhstan in connection with entering into the first contracts for raw hydrocarbons with Kazakhstan. The firm actively represented investors in negotiations with a view to enter into the coal and uranium contracts, and participated in projects involving privatization of the energy sector, including privatization of a network of thermal power stations and the largest oil refinery. AEQUITAS lawyers were involved to draft regulatory legal acts in the energy sphere, including one of the laws on electrical energy.
To date, AEQUITAS is actively advising clients on the use of renewable energy sources, petroleum products sale business restructuring and various M&A projects in the sphere of energy and energy resources. The firm's lawyers actively participate in different local and international forums and conferences dedicated to the issues of energy and energy resources.
AEQUITAS is particularly proud of its subsoil use practice (oil and gas and solid minerals). The firm’s clients are the world’s largest mining and processing companies. AEQUITAS has accrued huge practical and theoretical expertise in any matters of both current and already abolished or drastically amended Kazakh legislation relating, directly or indirectly, to natural resources.
AEQUITAS lawyers specializing in this area have been advising clients on a most diverse range of issues, including business structuring, asset acquisition and privatization. AEQUITAS lawyers participated many times in negotiations on mineral exploration and production contracts between investors and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and assisted in international arbitrations and Kazakh courts to settle disputes over matters related to the activities of mining and processing companies.
AEQUITAS experience in the natural resources area is domestically unique, because the firm participated in the projects of national significance and projects completely new to Kazakhstan. AEQUITAS acted as a legal advisor to the US-based Santa Fe Pacific Gold when the latter obtained the first combined gold exploration and production license in the history of Kazakhstan and signed the relevant contract in 1994. Zhaikmunai, Kazakhstan’s leading oil and gas company, signed Chinarevskoe field production sharing agreements with AEQUITAS’s legal assistance.
AEQUITAS implemented a full due diligence of Kazakhmys Corporation LLP and acted as a sole local law expert for all parties to the transaction in connection with Kazakhmys Plc. (the world’s largest copper mining corporation) IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
AEQUITAS partners, Yuri G. Bassin and Olga Chentsova, were engaged to develop legislative acts governing subsoil use activities. They were on the working group to develop the Petroleum Law (1995), and Yuri G. Bassin partook in work on the Subsoil Law (1996). Olga Chentsova, being one of the leading subsoil use lawyers, participated in the development of the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Production Sharing Agreements in Offshore Petroleum Operations (2005) and in the preparation of amendments to the Law on Subsoil and Subsoil Use (2006).
Year in, year out, Who’s Who Legal, Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and Best Lawyers are rating AEQUITAS partners, Olga Chentsova and Natalya Braynina, among the leading lawyers in Oil & Gas and Energy. Olga Chentsova is the Vice President of Kazakhstan Petroleum Lawyers’ Association (KPLA).
Local and foreign editions are constantly and for years featuring articles by the firm’s lawyers on various subsoil use legal regulation topics. AEQUITAS has many times prepared subject reviews (Gas Regulation, Oil Regulation and Mining) for IBA’s Getting the Deal Through. AEQUITAS lawyers also prepare, on a regular basis, general overviews of the oil and gas and related legislation for NeftGasPravo Kazakhstana and Petroleum maga
- Advice and preparation of legal opinions on various aspects of natural resources legislation, including oil and gas and mining sectors.
- Advice on different options to invest in subsoil assets, with emphasis on such issues as investment protection, profit repatriation, general taxation principles, investment-related financial and registration compliance, insurance, etc.
- Project concept development and advice to choose the best option for the acquisition of interests in subsoil use assets.
- Due diligence of companies in Kazakhstan’s natural resources sector (hydrocarbons, uranium, gold, nickel, zinc, coal, copper, etc.) in connection with M&A transactions.
- Advice regarding exercise of the state’s preemptive right in the event of alienation of subsoil use rights and/or related objects; assistance in the preparation of applications for the state’s waiver of its preemptive right and for permission to alienate the subsoil use rights and/or related objects; monitoring of the process of permitting documents obtainment from the competent authority.
- Negotiations with the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan over minerals exploration and extraction contracts and over settlement of disputes relating to the oil, mining and processing companies’ activities in international arbitration and local courts.
- Drafting, or assisting foreign advisors in the drafting, of transaction documents, including memoranda of understanding, shares sale and purchase agreements, and legal opinions; determination of the conditions precedent and conditions subsequent required for subsoil use projects implementation.
LEGAL UPDATES & PUBLICATIONS
You can find a complete list of AEQUITAS publications and information memoranda in Press Center