Marina Kahiani is a partner of GRATA International. Marina focuses her practice on a wide range of finance transactions, including project finance and capital markets, infrastructure transactions as well as M&A transactions, financial services regulation and workouts and debt restructurings in many industries. Her clients include international finance institutions such as Asian Development Bank (ADB), China Development Bank (CDB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Export-Import Bank of the United States, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the World Bank; foreign financial institutions such as Bank of China (Hong Kong), the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, MasterCard, UBS, UniCredit Group and major local financial institutions including banks and microfinance organizations.

Ms. Marina Kahiani joined GRATA Law Firm as a London representative office in September 2008, relocated to Almaty head office in September 2009. Previously Ms. Kahiani also worked for two years as a Banker at BTA Bank, International Funding Department. Marina has over 8 years of experience in Kazakhstani legal services market as well as experience in matters dealing with former Soviet Union.


  • 2009 - LL.M. from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE),

  • 2006 - Kazakh Master Degree with distinction from Kazakh Humanitarian Law University (specialisation - International and European Law),

  • 2004 - Bachelor degree with distinction from Kazakh State Law Academy (specialisation – Civil and Corporate law).


  • Banking and Finance

Industry Sectors:

  • Capital Markets

  • Corporate/Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy

  • Foreign investment


  • English

  • Russian

Publications and Articles:


  • English
  • Russian


  • Advised EBRD of 'Local Capital Markets' project, where GRATA in consortium with international counsel advised on improvement of legal framework of Kazakh capital markets regulations and drafted proposals to legislative amendments regarding amongst others, regulation of financial institutions, corporate governance framework, settlement of the transaction on the stock exchange and other;

  • Advised the National Welfare Fund 'Samruk-Kazyna' and Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on 'Peoples IPO' program, where GRATA in consortium with international counsel advised on improvement of legal framework and drafted respective legislative amendments regulating among others, corporate governance framework and securities regulations in Kazakhstan;

  • Acting for JSC Astana Finance, a financial services group in Kazakhstan, in relation to its financial restructuring;

  • Acting for syndicate of banks on USD 300 m loan restructuring of Ivolga Holding, a farming conglomerate which controls 1.5 m hectares of land across Russia and Kazakhstan;

  • Acted for underwriters led by Credit Swiss on an IPO of a major telecommunication company (Kcell JSC) and dual listing of its shares on LSE and Kazakh stock exchange;

  • Advising lead managers led by RBS in a debut US $ 680 m Eurobond offering of Samruk-Energy JSC;

  • Acted for US Export-Import Bank on its debt financing of Lokomotiv JSC, a subsidiary of Kazakh national rail company, to renew locomotives park 

  • Advising EBRD on the financing of a state-owned company with the purpose of modernising the water and heating systems in Aktau city, Kazakhstan;

  • Advising Korean investors on the development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Balkhash thermal power plant (ongoing debut IPP project in Kazakhstan);

  • Advising Korean investors on the development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a 100 ~ 150 MW combined cycle gas fired power plant in the Kyzylorda region, Kazakhstan (ongoing);

  • Advising an international bank on financing the modernisation of the electric networks of a city in Kazakhstan (ongoing);

  • Advising dealers and the trustee a transaction on USD 3 billion Euro Medium Term Note Programme of Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation PLC, guaranteed by Kazakh guarantors;

  • Advising Alliance Oil (the issuer) and Kazakh guarantor regarding the USD300 million Eurobonds issuance;

  • Advising the creditor, a leading Chinese bank, in a transaction on the USD7.5 billion Asian Gas Pipeline financing;

  • Advising a French bank, in a transaction on the financing of the largest Kazakh uranium company;

  • Advising EBRD regarding the questions of a guarantee issued by a Kazakh company in a transaction on a Kyrgyz beverage producing company financing ;

  • Advising EBRD on a syndicated loan to a Russian group of companies, as well as advising regarding the issues of a Kazakh company pledging its shares, movables and immovables;

  • Advising a Dutch bank on issues regarding applicable law and means of disputes resolution in transactions on financing;

  • Advising foreign creditors in a transaction on the refinancing of the largest Kazakh mining company and regarding an extension of the guarantee terms;

  • Advising a Singapore bank in a transaction on the financing of a company, issuing a guarantee  and on issues regarding a future receivables pledge;

  • Advising Korean creditors in a transaction regarding the assignment of a facility agreement;

  • Advising a Kazakh gold mining company in a transaction on GDR issuance;

  • Advising Kazakh subsidiary of a Scottish largest bank regarding Kazakh law issues related to the sale of the bank’s shares;

  • Advising International Finance Corporation on the financing of a sea vessels purchase and mortgage of fleet;

  • Advising the Eurasian Development Bank on the financing of sea vessels construction and purchase and mortgage of vessels under construction;

  • Advising the Islamic Development Bank on Murabaha transaction;

  • Advising on a potential transaction regarding the issuance of sovereign sukuk (ongoing);

  • Advising America’s largest insurance company regarding the determination of an insured event;

  • Advising a foreign financial company with regards to offering and sale of derivatives products in Kazakhstan and general local legal framework for derivatives;

  • Advising a leading international bank regarding currency related issues to loan transactions.

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GRATA International advised EBRD

Micro, small and medium-sized companies in Kazakhstan will benefit from a syndicated loan of up to US$ 50 million arranged by the EBRD for the country’s largest micro-finance organisation, KMF.

GRATA International in Legal 500 EMEA 2019

Legal 500 has recently released its annual rankings of international law firms – Legal 500 EMEA 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.

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.

Major Kazakhstan Legislation Changes for 2017

The Law on Amendments Intended to Improve Business Conditions[1] (the “Business Improvement Law”) came into effect on 12 March 2017, except certain provisions.

The purpose of the Business Improvement Law is to further improve the investment climate in line with the general policy of the country to support local entrepreneurs and foreign investors.

Renewable energy projects – next destination for investments in Kazakhstan

Renewable energy development has recently become hot topic in Kazakhstan that is actively being discussed among market existing and potential participants, relevant state bodies including the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan (the “MoE”), international development institutions and other stakeholders.


GRATA International took part at the English Law Summit

On 23-25 April, the English Law Summit was held in Astana and Almaty, where GRATA International Law Firm took an active part.

Kazakhstan: Introduction of user identification requirements aimed at regulating mass media

The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, signed, on 28 December 2017, the Law No. 128-VI on Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Issues of Information and Communication (‘the Law’). Marina Kahiani and Lola Abdukhalykova, Partner and Associate at GRATA International, provide an analysis of the obligations under the Law, including user identification, data retention and data localisation provisions, applicable for telecommunications operators and website operators.

Marina Kahiani will speak on the round table Doing Legal Business in Kazakhstan

On 31 January 2017, the Law Society is hosting a breakfast round table with experts from the region and experienced practitioners to discuss the current business climate, growing business areas, and new investment opportunities for law firms and their clients, in particular in relation to the AIFC.

Kazakhstan: New user identification requirements "further regulate social relations"

It has shown a particular interest in  the  Law of 28 December 2017 No. 128-VI on Introducing Amendments and Additions to some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Information and Communication ('the Law'), which, among other amendments, requires website operators to collect identification data of website users who post comments on such websites. 

GRATA International commented on the following questions:

1- What is the background to the Law, and the Kazakh government's reason for introducing it?

2- Which types of companies will be affected by the provisions with regard to i) identifying website users ii) retaining user data? How is this likely to affect the operation of websites, and their users? 

GRATA International organised a practical seminar: Roadmap to Profitable Small Hydro Power Plant Development in Almaty

On 28 November 2017 in Almaty GRATA International organised a practical seminar:  Roadmap to Profitable Small Hydro Power Plant Development, together with international engineering firm  ILF Consulting Engineers.

Kazakhstan - Data Protection in the Financial Sector

Over the past 25 years Kazakhstan has developed its own financial sector, which is considered to be the most advanced in Central Asia. With the evolution of financial sector and the complexities of key players involved, the need for regulation of dealing with data arose.

Marina Kahiani and Jakub Svoboda spoke at the Round Table organised in the Czech Republic as a part of the Agriculture Day

On 4 and 5 May 2017, in the Czech Republic the Agriculture Day was held. The Agriculture Day was attended by representatives of major non-governmental agro-food organisations of the Czech Republic.

Marina Kahiani and Jakub Svoboda will speak at the Round Table organised in the Czech Republic as a part of the Agriculture Day

On 4 and 5 May 2017, an important event will take place in the Czech Republic: The Agriculture Day that would be attended by large representatives of non-governmental agro-food organisations of the Czech Republic.

Aviation Law 2017: Kazakhstan

GRATA International contributed to the International Comparative Legal Guide series - Aviation Law 2017 with the chapter on Kazakhstan. 

Public Procurement 2017: Kazakhstan

Public Procurement covers common issues in public procurement laws and regulations – including application of the law to entities and contracts, award procedures, exclusions and exemptions, remedies and changes during a procedure and after a procedure. 

Corporate Recovery & Insolvency 2016: Kazakhstan

The International Comparative Legal Guide : Corporate Recovery & Insolvency 2016, 10th edition. A practical cross-border insight into corporate recovery and insolvency work.

Corporate governance 2016: Kazakhstan

Under Kazakh law, all legal entities fall into two categories, depending on whether or not the acquisition of profit is the main purpose of their activity: commercial organisations; and noncommercial (non-profit) organisations. 

Legal framework of securities market (including IPO and Eurobonds) in the Republic of Kazakhstan

The securities market is primarily regulated by the provisions of the Kazakh Civil Code, the Securities Law, regulations of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NBK) and internal rules of the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE).

Legal Alert On Recent Changes in Legislation of Kazakhstan

We draw your attention to the following recent changes in Kazakhstan legislation that occurred during the period of January - December 2015.

GRATA International in Georgia

GRATA International is pleased to announce the opening of a foreign desk in Georgia

Article on Kazakhstan capital market developments

This article examines recently adopted and proposed regulatory and legislative changes related to the development of local equity and debt capital markets in Kazakhstan and makes recommendations for future reforms.

GRATA Law Firm is recognized as a regional contributor to the World Bank Doing Business Report 2013

Doing Business 2013 is the 10th in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.

Developments in Financial Legislation in Kazakhstan

Two main laws have been developed (one of which has already come into effect, while the other is yet to be passed).

"Latest legal developments in the financial regulation of Kazakhstan". Article by Shaimerden Chikanayev, Partner, GRATA Law Firm, and Marina Kahiani, Senior Lawyer, GRATA Law Firm, at IFLR1000 Guide

This article provides a general overview of the Law on Minimisation of Risks (the 'Law') that came into effect on February 1 2012 (apart from certain provisions). The main purpose of the Law is to separate Kazakh banks from expressly or impliedly affiliated structures. In addition the Law has introduced further improvements of IPO regulation and legislation relating to securities.

07-08 February 2014 in Almaty the 2013 reporting conference of the EURASIAN LAW FIRM «GRATA»

07-08 February 2014 in Almaty the 2013 reporting conference of the EURASIAN LAW FIRM «GRATA»

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