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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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.

05.12.2018

Общий регламент ЕС по защите данных (GDPR): территориальное действие

Общий регламент по защите данных (General Data Protection Regulation), принятый Европейским парламентом 17 декабря 2015 г. (далее - «Регламент» или «GDPR») вступил в силу с 25 мая 2018 г.

27.11.2018

GRATA International выступит на Саммите Лидеров Рынка Инфраструктурных Проектов

11 декабря 2018 г. пройдет Саммит Лидеров Рынка Инфраструктурных Проектов в г. Москва, Россия.

26.11.2018

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov was a speaker at the CLF 2018 Forum

On 23 November 2018, Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, Partner of the GRATA International law firm, spoke at the CLF 2018 Forum on Construction Regulation.

16.11.2018

Partners of GRATA International were speakers at the XIII Kazakhstan Forum of Corporate Lawyers

On 8-9 November 2018, the XIII Kazakhstan Forum of Corporate Lawyers was held in Almaty.

21.11.2018

Simplifications for small and medium sized companies

On November 9, the Parliament passed a package of changes introducing simplifications in tax and business law aimed for entrepreneurs. 

21.11.2018

Act on 9% CIT rate

On November 14, President Andrzej Duda endorsed an act introducing 9% rate of corporate income tax (CIT) for small businesses as well as certain changes regarding tax deductible costs in case of acquisition and exploitation of passenger cars by companies.

 

21.11.2018

Possibility of conducting a business activity despite the death of the owner

On November 25 the provisions will come into force that will allow businesses to continue operations despite the death of the enterprise’s owner. 

16.11.2018

Партнеры GRATA International выступили на XIII Казахстанском форуме корпоративных юристов

8-9 ноября 2018 г. состоялся XIII Казахстанский форум корпоративных юристов в г. Алматы.

15.11.2018

GRATA International в рейтинге Asialaw Profiles 2019

В очередной раз GRATA International получила высокую оценку от Asialaw profiles, одного из ведущих справочников по лучшим юридическим фирмам в Азиатско-Тихоокеанском регионе.

15.11.2018

GRATA International ranked in Asialaw Profiles 2019

For another consecutive year GRATA International received high appraisals from Asialaw profiles, one of
the leading legal guides to top law firms and practitioners in Asia-Pacific.

14.11.2018

Natural monopolies in Kazakhstan: The right time to invest?

The importance of the so-called natural monopolies in Kazakhstan can be seen in the fact that some of Kazakhstan’s largest and most powerful corporate empires, such as the KEGOC (national transmission grid operator) and KTZ (national railway company), are officially subject to natural monopoly regulation.

09.11.2018

Санкции России в отношении украинских юридических и физических лиц

22 октября 2018 г. Президент Российской Федерации подписал Указ № 592 "О применении специальных экономических мер в связи с недружественными действиями Украины в отношении граждан и юридических лиц Российской Федерации", согласно которому федеральным органам государственной власти, органам государственной власти субъектов Российской Федерации, иным государственным органам, органам местного самоуправления, организациям и физическим лицам, находящимся под юрисдикцией России, необходимо в своей деятельности исходить из того, что со дня вступления данного Указа в отношении отдельных физических и юридических лиц, определенных Правительством РФ, применяются специальные экономические меры.

09.11.2018

Russian sanctions against Ukrainian nationals and legal entities

On 22 October 2018, the President of the Russian Federation signed Decree No. 592 "On the application of special economic measures in connection with the unfriendly actions of Ukraine in relation to citizens and legal entities of the Russian Federation", according to which the federal government bodies, local authorities, organizations and individuals under the jurisdiction of Russia need in their activities to proceed from the fact that from the date of entry into force of this Decree special economic measures are applied in respect of certain individuals and entities identified by the Government of the Russian Federation.

GRATA International ranked across several jurisdictions in ILFR1000 2019

IFLR1000 has released its 2019 rankings identifying leading firms and lawyers worldwide.

GRATA International has been ranked in 7 jurisdictions in Europe and Asia: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. IFLR1000 paid special attention to GRATA’s wide geographical coverage in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

06.11.2018

Executive Director of GRATA International Association was on an official visit to Kazakhstan

Dmitri Papadopoulos, Executive Director of GRATA International Association - a Swiss Verein, was on an official visit to Almaty on 5 November 2018. 

02.11.2018

GRATA International became a Swiss Verein

We are happy to announce that we have now become GRATA International Association - a Swiss Verein registered in Switzerland.

30.10.2018

Partner Shaimerden Chikanayev - Member of the Almaty City Bar Association

After successfully passing the exam and obtaining an advocate license, Shaimerden Chikanayev joined the Almaty City Bar and received the status of an advocate, granting him the right to protect the interests of his clients now not only in civil but also in criminal and administrative matters.

29.10.2018

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov gave a presentation at the trading session organised for Malaysian companies

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, Partner of GRATA International, gave a presentation at the trading session organised by the Malaysian Embassy in Kazakhstan for Malaysian companies interested in entering the Kazakhstani market.

26.10.2018

How to register a business in Astana International Financial Centre

The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) was launched on the 5 July 2018. It is a financial hub located in Astana, Kazakhstan. The aims of AIFC are to attract investment and bring in clients from Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

23.10.2018

GRATA Azerbaijan participated at the Joint AmCham/BCC Career Fair

On 5 October 2018 Joint AmCham/BCC Career Fair was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. 
 


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Leila Makhmetova

Counsel, Director of Environmental Law Department

Almaty

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