Environmental Due Diligence (EDD) is designed to evaluate potential liability costs associated with environmental issues and is an important part of most merger and acquisition (M&A) procedures. 

Environmental Due Diligence is a relatively new discipline. Although prior to 1980s it was virtually unheard of, today it is an integral part of the transaction process undertaken predominantly by purchasers, but increasingly by vendors as well. The process has evolved over the past twenty years and may now include analysis of health and safety (H&S), employees’ exposure to toxic materials, product liability, etc.

Property owners, developers, sellers and buyers understand the need to protect themselves from future liabilities.  Environmental Due Diligence simply assures that the land being purchased does not pose potential risks or environmental hazards which may affect the area’s development or its future inhabitants.

Corporate business decisions with regards to environmental requirements should be based on reliable information taken from the actual state of affairs of a company. Environmental Due Diligence, performed by GRATA Law Firm's experienced staff, is an instrument for detecting any violations of environmental law in company's activities, providing recommendations for their solution, and preventing any such violations in the future.

Environmental Due Diligence includes due diligence performed by our lawyers with regard to companies’ activities in connection with observance of environmental requirements, and, as a result of such due diligence, provision of legal opinions and advice. We would like to bring to your attention just a few experience examples of GRATA’s Environmental Law Department in performance of environmental due diligences:

  • performance of environmental due diligence for several  mining companies (including gold-mining ones)  to identify risks associated with possible environmental offences;
  • performance of environmental due diligence for international companies rendering services on oil extraction with regard to fulfillment of legal obligations and identification of business risks;
  • performance of environmental due diligence in favour of a potential buyer (a large European bank) under a large acquisition of shares transaction of a leading bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
  • performance of environmental due diligence of activities of a large energy corporation with regard to acquisition of the corporation’s shares by one of the European banks;
  • performance of environmental due diligence of activities of a large Russian bank with regard to compliance with environmental protection legislation;
  • performance of analysis of compliance with environmental legislation by one of the largest Kazakhstani oil companies;
  • performance of environmental due diligence of activities of uranium-mining companies in favour of a foreign global investor;
  • performance of environmental due diligence of an oil company in order to identify risks associated with possible environmental offences;
  • performance of an audit of activities of an oil company in order to reveal absence of required licenses, approvals, permits of governmental bodies in the area of environmental protection;
  • performance of environmental due diligence of a ship-owner companies group in order to identify risks associated with possible environmental offences;
  • performance of due diligence of an oil company in order to assess its compliance with subsoil use permits and approvals requirements;
  • performance of environmental due diligence of a metallurgical company in order to identify risks associated with possible environmental offences;
  • performance of environmental due diligence of activities of a Kazakhstani oil company with regard to compliance with the legislation on environmental protection;
  • performance of analysis of compliance with environmental legislation by a group of Kazakhstani copper companies.

In the course of Environmental Due Diligence lawyers study and analyze all important documents of a company regarding subsoil use and environmental protection as well as information obtained in course of negotiations. Based on due diligence, lawyers prepare accurate information on the actual state of affairs of any business (mainly companies which are subsoil users) regarding their observance of environmental requirements and norms, and provide practical advice in connection with their findings.

Environmental Disputes and Liability for Environmental Violations

We were asked to assist in protecting the legitimate interests of many large trading companies, oil and gas companies, as well as large exporters of non-ferrous metals in environmental disputes.

In the recent past, we have successfully completed the following projects:   

  • advising a large oil company regarding an appeal against a Decree in an administrative offence case connected with sewage disposal;
  • successful protected the interests of a large uranium-mining company in the Economical Court in connection with an appeal against the suspension of operations for violations of industrial safety legislation;
  • successfully protecting the interests of a large oil company in the first, appellate, and cassational courts and the Ministry of Environmental Protection of RK. Our lawyers achieved a dismissal of a claim for damages and cancelation of all fines imposed for environmental violations;
  • successfully protecting the interests of an oil company in the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan. As a result of our participation fines imposed for environmental violations were annulled;
  • successfully representing the interests of a company in the chemical sector in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan with regard to settling  a dispute over ownership of production wastes;
  • successfully representing a large mining and processing enterprise in the first, appellate and supervisory courts in connection with a claim of a territorial environmental administration for compensation for damages caused by pollution of land and water resources;
  • representing the interests of a number of large foreign oil companies during audits performed by environmental prosecution bodies, territorial environmental administration and an authorised body for subsoil use. Our participation in the audits helped prevent several unreasonable claims against the company;
  • successfully protecting the interests of an oil company in connection with a claim of the regional prosecutor’s office against excessive disposal of production wastes; 
  • successfully protecting the interests of a uranium-mining company in court and in the prosecution bodies in connection with an appeal against a fine for excessive emissions. As a result the amount of the fine was reduced tenfold;
  • representing in court a major oil company appealing against fines for polluting land, waste storage, and the breach of requirements for environmental monitoring of production. Our lawyers achieved the cancelation of all fines;
  • representing in court a metallurgical company in the settlement of a dispute over payment rates for disposal of production waste; 
  • protecting the interests of an oil company during land inspections regarding administrative violations. As a result of our participation the fines were significantly reduced;
  • advising an oil company regarding the legality of fines imposed for not possessing  environmental permits and for exceeding the maximum allowable discharge levels;
  • protecting the interests of uranium mining companies in court in connection with claims against them for compensation for damages caused by waste disposal;
  • protecting the interests of a landfill owner in the court of cassation in connection with the unjustified accrual of fees for waste disposal;
  • successfully protected the interests of an oil company with regard to environmental emissions of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide as a result of associated gas flaring in courts of first instance, appeal and cassation, and the administrative court; 
  • advising a mining company in connection with the claim for compensation for damages caused by accidental pollution of water bodies;
  • advising an agricultural organisation in connection with the requirements of the tax authority to charge additional fees for waste disposal in the environment;
  • drafting a complaint to the Tax Committee with respect to the notice of the tax audit results, under which the waste recycling company was additionally charged amounts of emissions fee;
  • successfully protected the interests of an oil company with regard to an accidental oil spill into a water body in courts of first instance, appeal and cassation, and the administrative court.

Legal Advice on Environmental Issues

In the course of their careers GRATA lawyers have provided services to many large companies in oil and gas, petrochemical, gold, uranium, and other areas, as well as trade, transport and agricultural organisations.  Please find below a brief description of the most relevant work done during the last two years:

  • comprehensive legal opinion on issues relating to obtaining all necessary documents for drilling works prepared for a Kazakhstani mining company;
  • advising a major oil company regarding damage compensation caused by gas flaring without a permit from the Ministry of Oil and Gas;
  • advising a major power generation company on issues regarding reduction of rate for emissions into the environment;
  • advising a local company, which owns a large internet-marketplace, on issues regarding activities within the territory of Kazakhstan, and recognition of possible risks;
  • comprehensive legal opinion on legal liability in connection with the treatment, transportation and storage of radioactive materials for a large foreign uranium company;
  • advising a large foreign oil-and-gas company on legal liability in connection with treatment, transportation and storage of oil products;
  • advising a large oil company on issues regarding a change of environmental requirements for gas flaring as a result of the adoption of the Law of RK 'On Subsoil and Subsoil Use', and issues of liability for environmental violations;
  • legal monitoring and advising on the process of collecting documents and submitting requests to the Ministry of Environmental Protection to obtain environmental permits, performed on behalf of many large oil-and-gas companies. As a result of our actions all declared environmental emissions limits have been accepted and approved by the Ministry, as reflected in the issued permits;
  • upon the request of one of the largest oil-and-gas consortia, we analysed environmental legislation regarding production and consumption of waste, prepared systematised reference material which was used by the consortium in its day-to-day production activities;
  • comprehensive legal opinion on legal liability in connection with treatment of radioactive materials for one of the largest Kazakhstani uranium producers and exporters;
  • performed a legal risks assessment regarding certain chapters of the Environmental Code of RK and prepared a plan of corrective actions for a group of subsoil users;
  • prepared a legal opinion for a large oil company regarding issues of disposal of waste waters originating from oil production;
  • prepared legal opinions on issues of economic assessment of environmental damage and  gave other explanations to a number of large foreign companies regarding payment for environmental emissions;
  • advised subsoil users on legality of audits of state environmental bodies;
  • advised an oil company on drafting a contracting agreement and the need to obtain a permit for environmental emissions;
  • advised a phosphoric company on legal regulation of production wastes;
  • advised an oil company on drafting an agreement for disposal of strata waters in view of requirements of environmental legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
  • advised a foreign investment company on alternative energy business in Kazakhstan;
  • exhaustive legal opinion on issues of obtaining all necessary documents for drilling works prepared for a Kazakhstani mining company;
  • consulting a major oil company regarding damage compensation caused by gas flaring without the permit of the Ministry of Oil and Gas;
  • advising a major power generation company on issues regarding reduction of rate for emissions into the environment;
  • advising a local company, which owns a large internet-marketplace, on issues regarding activities within the territory of Kazakhstan, and recognition of possible risks;
  • prepared a comprehensive legal opinion on legal liability in connection with the treatment, transportation and storage of radioactive materials for a large foreign uranium company;
  • advised a large foreign oil-and-gas company on legal liability in connection with treatment, transportation and storage of oil products;
  • advised a large oil company on issues of change of environmental requirements to gas flaring as a result of adoption of the Law of RK 'On Subsoil and Subsoil Use', and issues of liability for environmental violations;
  • prepared a legal opinion for a large oil company regarding issues of disposal of waste waters originating from oil production;
  • prepared legal opinions on issues of economic assessment of environmental damage and gave other explanations to a number of large foreign companies regarding payment for environmental emissions;
  • advising a Kazakhstani energy company on obtaining quotas for emissions of greenhouse gas, drafting a memorandum for the Kazakhstani mining company on permissive documents required for drilling;
  • advising a Kazakhstani transport company on issues related to environmental emissions;
  • drafting a memorandum for a Kazakhstani oil company on the legal consequences of an accident at a well.

Environmental Requirements in Contractual Practice

  • analysis of provisions of the EPC Contract for compliance with requirements of environmental legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
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19.02.2019

GRATA International in Chambers Global 2019

For yet another consecutive year, GRATA International enters the leading legal rankings and continues to be among the most outstanding law firms in Central Asia and the Caspian region. 

18.02.2019

Guidelines for the selection of trade names of medicines and for manufacturing of finished dosage forms in the Eurasian Economic Union

The Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) approved on 29 January 2019 the Recommendations on the Guidelines for the Selection of Trade Names of Medicinal Products and the Guidelines for Manufacturing of Finished Dosage Forms of Medicinal Products in order to eliminate differences in the requirements for the manufacturing of finished dosage forms of medicines in Eurasian Member States Economic Union (EAEU).

18.02.2019

Руководства по выбору торговых наименований лекарственных препаратов и производству готовых лекарственных форм в ЕАЭС

Коллегия Евразийской экономической комиссии утвердила 29 января 2019 г. Рекомендации о Руководстве по выбору торговых наименований лекарственных препаратов и о Руководстве по производству готовых лекарственных форм лекарственных препаратов в целях устранения различий в требованиях, предъявляемых к процессам производства готовых лекарственных форм лекарственных препаратов в государствах - членах Евразийского экономического союза (ЕАЭС).

13.02.2019

Amendments to the legislation of Kazakhstan on corporate matters

On 2 July 2018, the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan No. 166-VI "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Insurance and Insurance Activities, Securities Market" was adopted. Among other things, this legislative act has amended the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated 13 May 2003 No. 415-II "On Joint Stock Companies" (the "JSC Law").

04.02.2019

GRATA International in China Business Law Journal: Deals of the Year 2018

We are glad to announce that one of GRATA International’s successful projects has been selected as of the winners of China Business Law Journal: Deals of the Year 2018.

31.01.2019

Kazakh government should concentrate on attracting cross-border Islamic financing

Though Kazakhstan adopted relevant legislation for domestic (such as the governed Kazakh law) Islamic banking transactions more than seven years ago and has a Muslim population of over 11 million, Islamic finance is still in the early stages of its development and Islamic products are rarely used. According to the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK), as of 2018, the share of Islamic banking assets account for only 0.16% of total banking sector assets in Kazakhstan. 

24.01.2019

Chairman of the Global Board and Executive Director of GRATA International Association visited Kazakhstan

GRATA International is pleased to announce that on January 18-24, 2019, Mr. Andrew Gamble and Mr. Dimitri Papadopoulos visited Almaty, Kazakhstan. 

23.01.2019

Significant developments in 2018 and 2019 in Kazakhstan: A lawyer’s perspective

The following is an outline of some of the major legal developments in Kazakhstan last year, and a selection of key changes that we anticipate for business, including Islamic finance, for this year.

23.01.2019

GRATA International contributed to the report Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform

Zulfiya Akchurina (representative of GRATA International in USA) and Mikhail Abdulov (lawyer) contributed to the report Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform.

21.01.2019

GRATA International is shortlisted for The Lawyer European Awards 2019

We are glad to announce that GRATA International has been shortlisted for Law firm of the year: Russia, Ukraine and the CIS.

10.01.2019

Almaty Light Rail Transit project in Kazakhstan

On the 29th November 2018, Almaty, the former capital and the largest city in Kazakhstan, received responses from nine international consortia, consisting of companies from Japan, France, Russia, Turkey, Spain, China and Kazakhstan, to participate in the first stage of the open tender of the Almaty Light Rail Transit (LRT) public-private partnership (PPP) project. 

10.01.2019

Российские санкции в отношении Украины: запрет на ввоз отдельных видов товаров

Постановлением Правительства Российской Федерации от 29 декабря 2018 г. № 1716-83 введен запрет на ввоз в Россию товаров, страной происхождения либо страной отправления которых является Украина или которые перемещаются через территорию Украины.

10.01.2019

Russian sanctions against Ukraine: ban on the import of certain commodities

A ban on the import into Russia of certain commodities, the country of origin of which is Ukraine or which move through the territory of Ukraine was introduced by the Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 29 December 2018 No. 1716-83.

09.01.2019

Doing Business in Kazakhstan

Let us introduce you this 'Doing Business in Kazakhstan' publication prepared by GRATA International law firm. The information in the brochure is based on theoretical and practical information available as of June 2018. The content of this brochure is intended for foreign businessmen and companies seeking to do business in Kazakhstan. 

21.12.2018

Google LLC оштрафована за несоблюдение российского законодательства

26 ноября 2018 года управление Роскомнадзора по Центральному федеральному округу возбудило административное дело в отношении компании Google, LLC в связи с неисполнением компанией обязанности подключиться к федеральной государственной информационной системе, содержащей перечень информационных ресурсов, информационно-телекоммуникационных сетей, доступ к которым ограничен на территории России (ФГИС).

21.12.2018

Google LLC is fined for non-compliance with Russian law

On 26 November 2018, the Office of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) in the Central Federal District initiated an administrative case against Google, LLC due to the company's failure to fulfill its obligations to connect to the federal state information system containing a list of information resources, information and telecommunication networks, access to which is restricted in Russia (FGIS ).

Yerbolat Yerkebulanov gave guest lecture at SDU

On 7 December 2018 Yerbolat Yerkebulanov, Partner of GRATA International law firm, gave guest lecture at Suleyman Demirel University in Almaty.

14.12.2018

EBRD will support development of national capital market in Uzbekistan

The EBRD supports the development and strengthening of local capital markets within the framework of the current reform program of Uzbekistan to ensure openness of the economy.

07.12.2018

GDPR: когда контроллерам и операторам персональных данных необходимо назначать представителей в ЕС

Требования Общего регламента по защите данных (General Data Protection Regulation) (далее - «Регламент» или «GDPR»), вступившего в силу с 25 мая 2018 г., применяются согласно его статье 3 (2) в том числе к контроллерам и операторам персональных данных, не учрежденным в ЕС, если они обрабатывают персональные данные субъектов персональных данных (физических лиц) находящихся в ЕС

06.12.2018

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov has been named among the best real estate lawyers in Who’s Who Legal 2018

We are proud to announce that Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, partner and head of GRATA International’s Real Estate, Construction & Insfrastructure, Telecommunications & Transport departments, has been named among the best real estate lawyers in the world and featured in WWL 2018: Real Estate for the second consecutive year. 

05.12.2018

Chambers&Partners Asia-Pacific 2019 released

GRATA International has cemented its position as one of the leading firms in Central Asia and Caspian region, following the release of major international legal rating Chambers&Partners Asia-Pacific 2019. GRATA International has secured a ranking in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


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Leila Makhmetova

Counsel, Director of Environmental Law Department

Almaty

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