Yerzhan graduated with first honors from Kazakh Humanitarian Law University in 2004. In 2002 – 2003 he studied corporate law at the Center of European Law and Economic Studies. 

Yerzhan has extensive experience in the areas of Construction and Infrastructure, Real Estate and Telecommunications.  Prior to joining GRATA International, Yerzhan worked in the Kazakhstan Investment Fund group, in a major Kazakh development company, and in the largest international law firm. Yerzhan acted as a consultant on a number of large infrastructure projects realized over the last decade in Kazakhstan, including work as a head of the legal team of Kazakhstani largest ski resort reconstruction project realized within the frameworks of Asian Games 2011; leader of the team of consultants working on reconstruction of the largest electrical energy producing enterprise in Kazakhstan with overall project value of approximately US$ 700 million; and leader of the team of consultants representing Kazakhstan’s largest infrastructure construction company in several judicial proceedings with overall value of the claims of approx. US$ 70 million. Yerzhan led the project on legal support of launch of Uber service in Kazakhstan, and represented a shortlisted consortium of Spanish, French and Turkish companies in a second stage of public tender for construction and operation of Big Almaty Ring Road (BAKAD), including review and negotiations over concession agreement with the Ministry of Investments and Development.

Yerzhan is ranked by The Legal 500 2017 (Tier 1 Real Estate & Construction Practice in Kazakhstan), Asia Law Profiles 2014-2017 (Leading Lawyer – Construction and Real Estate, and Energy) and China Business Law Awards 2015 (Best Practice – Energy, Projects and Infrastructure).

Yerzhan is an author of numerous articles relating to EPC contracts, real estate investments and construction permits. He regularly contributes to the annual World Bank Doing Business surveys “Dealing with Construction Permits in Kazakhstan” and “Registering Property”. In 2016 he contributed to “Rule of Law Index 2016” by the World Justice Project. In 2016 Yerzhan also commented to UK Construction Law Journal on practical aspects of use of FIDIC contracts in Kazakhstan; to Asia Business Law Journal on implementation of construction projects in Kazakhstan within the frameworks of “One Belt, One Road” initiative, and to China Business Law Journal on Chinese real estate investments in Kazakhstan.

Yerzhan speaks English, Russian and Kazakh



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Some of the key projects:
  • Advising an international consortium in the energy sector in connection with construction and development of a coal-fired thermal power plant in Central Kazakhstan. Total project value – approximately 4 billion USD;
  • Advising a consortium of major Kazakhstani and Russian energy producers in connection with reconstruction of the largest electrical energy producing enterprise in Kazakhstan, including drafting of EPC contracts. Total project value – over 700 million USD;
  • Representing Kazakhstan’s largest infrastructure construction company, in several connected judicial proceedings with a subcontractor in relation to demands of the subcontractor to reimburse the value of additional scope of work in excess of approx. 5 billion KZT, counterclaims of the main contractor to return advance payment and foreclosure upon a advance payment bank guarantee, and rehabilitation issues, the taking of injunctive relief and challenging the actions of enforcement officers;
  • Representing main contractor in a judicial proceeding with a customer in relation to developing project designs of several large railroad facilities. The project was comprised of several simultaneous judicial proceedings at various levels of the judiciary on matters, such as, reconsideration of judicial acts on newly discovered circumstances, seeking recognition of the validity of acts of acceptance, recovery of debt, etc.;
  • Advising construction holding headquartered in Germany with regard to reconstruction of power plant in Kazakhstan, including advice on taxation and form of legal presence in Kazakhstan, drafting and negotiations of construction contracts based on FIDIC forms, registration of legal entities in Kazakhstan and obtaining necessary permits.
  • Advising a large construction company with headquarters in Spain with regard to construction of several infrastructure facilities in Kazakhstan, including bridges and roads. Our services include drafting EPC-contracts, obtaining licenses and authorizations, advising with regard to organization of activity in Kazakhstan, tax and labor issues.
  • Advising a top-tier transportation company headquartered in France in connection with construction of a modern turnkey tram-line in Astana, including advice on regulations applicable to Astana New City Special Economic Zone;
  • Advising several top-tier Italian construction companies in connection with a construction of roads in Western and Southern Kazakhstan and related disputes with state authorities/subcontractors;
  • Advising an international construction company headquartered in South Korea in connection with participation in the largest residential construction project at the outskirts of Almaty, Kazakhstan, including general advisory services on Kazakhstani construction regulations and standards, participation in project structuring, drafting EPC contracts and other commercial agreements in construction area;
  • Advising a world-leading consulting company headquartered in Singapore in connection with the project of reorganization of legislation in the area of special economic zones (SEZ) in Kazakhstan, for purposes of increase of their effectiveness, modernization of infrastructure and attraction of investments; including preparation of a comprehensive analysis of legal issues relating to activity of SEZ's and recommendations aimed at improvement of SEZ’s activity.
  • Advising a group of major petrochemical companies with participation of both Kazakhstani and international state and private companies, in connection with construction of a petrochemical plant in Western Kazakhstan, including drafting EPC contracts. That was a pioneer transaction with FIDIC EPC сontracts successfully used in Kazakhstani petrochemical industry, and synchronized with local norms and regulations. Total project value – approximately 1 billion USD ;
  • Advising a global clothing brand on acquisition of numerous premises in Kazakhstan, including advice with respect to reconstruction, maintenance, servicing of the building and leases. The overall value of acquisitions – approximately 30 million USD;
  • Advising numerous foreign companies, including banks, global banking and financial services organizations, information products providers, airlines and management companies in connection with various issues related to leases in Kazakhstan;
  • Advising Uber in connection with launch of service in Kazakhstan, including licensing, tax and other issues, drafting commercial agreements, participation in negotiations with state authorities.
  • Representing a shortlisted consortium of Spanish, French and Turkish companies in a second stage of public tender for construction and operation of Big Almaty Ring Road (BAKAD), including review and negotiations over concession agreement and tender documentation, advice on various aspects of Kazakh law, participation in direct negotiations with Kazakh Ministry of Investments and Development. BAKAD is the major concession project to be realized in Kazakhstan in the near future based on Build-Transfer-Operate scheme, with the matter value is over US$ 700 million.
  • Representing the Client, one of the major development and property management companies in the country, in connection with acquisition of several real estate facilities (including business centres and shopping malls) in capital Astana and other cities of Kazakhstan, including due diligence, drafting and negotiation of project documents, registration of title and other formalities. 
  • Providing legal support in acquisition of Foodpanda online service by Chocofamily internet-holding, including drafting transaction documents, verification of corporate authority, and other corporate and finance law advice. 

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GRATA International has been recognised as an ‘outstanding’ law firm according to Asialaw Profiles 2017

According to the results of the analysis, the Asialaw Profiles directory – one of the leading guide to the Asia Pacific region, has once again ranked GRATA International as an outstanding law firm in Kazakhstan.

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov and Shaimerden Chikanayev, commented for Mergermarket

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, Partner, and Shaimerden Chikanayev, Partner, commented for Mergermarket with regard to Kazakhstan M&A trends in 2017. Yerzhan Yessimkhanov commented on current trends in energy market, including potential sales and mergers among power generating companies. Shaimerden Chikanayev commented on key M&A trends on financial market. 

GRATA International provided legal support in acquisition of Foodpanda online service by Chocofamily internet-holding

For the past three years, Foodpanda.kz was a key competitor to Chocofood.kz. The consolidation of these two companies will enable Chocofood.kz to take a leading position in Kazakhstan's market for online food delivery services with a market share of 80%. 

GRATA International organised a seminar on Infrastructure Disputes

On 12 May 2017 in Astana GRATA International organised a practical seminar:  Dispute Resolution In Infrastructure Projects together with German engineering firm  ILF Consulting Engineers. 

GRATA International in Legal 500 EMEA 2017

GRATA International entered the ranks of best law firms across 5 countries: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Dispute Resolution in Infrastructure Projects - Practical Seminar

12 May, 2017

The Technology, Media & Telecommunications Review 2017: Kazakhstan

GRATA International Kazakhstan contributed to the The Law Review series - The Technology, Media & Telecommunications Review 2017 with the chapter on Kazakhstan. 

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov commented to Vlast on legal aspects of the 'second wave' of privatisation in Kazakhstan.

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov - Partner, GRATA International, commented to Vlast on legal aspects of the 'second wave' of privatisation in Kazakhstan.


Yerzhan Yessimkhanov commented for Asia Business Law Journal

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, partner and head of Construction & Infrastructure practice at GRATA International, commented for Asia Business Law Journal on implementation of infrastructure projects in Kazakhstan within the frameworks of "One Belt, One Road" initiative. 

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov took part in annual FIDIC International Contract Users' Conference

On 6-7 December 2016 in London (UK) annual FIDIC International Contract Users' Conference was held. 

Asialaw Profiles 2017 ranked GRATA International among the best law firms in Kazakhstan

Asialaw Profiles – the guide to Asia-Pacific’s leading lawyers  and law firms has identified key legal practitioners in Kazakhstan

Several Practical Aspects of Use of FIDIC Contract Forms in Kazakhstan

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, partner at GRATA International, commented for UK Construction Law Journal on several practical aspects of use of FIDIC contract forms in Kazakhstan. 

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, partner at GRATA International, commented for China Business Law Journal on legal aspects of Chinese real estate investments in Kazakhstan.

Homes away from home: Chinese real estate investment overseas

Licensing of construction activities in Kazakhstan

This Article is intended to bring attention of construction companies considering entering the construction market in Kazakhstan to general provisions of Kazakh law regulating licensing of construction and design activities.

GRATA International advised Uber in connection with launch of their business in Kazakhstan

On 10 June 2016, there was the presentation of Uber service in Astana (Kazakhstan). The services of one of the most popular on-line services in the world, a company valued over than 62.5 bln US dollars and having covered over 70 countries for the recent 7 years is now available in Kazakhstan. 

Review of main changes in the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan related to the accession to the World Trade Organization

We would like to draw your attention to some important changes in the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan regarding the country's accession to the World Trade Organization.

GRATA International received China Business Law Awards 2015

China Business Law Journal released winners of “China Business Law Awards 2015” in its second issue for 2016

Activity of Chinese companies in Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Eastern Europe

We note that the views expressed below are preliminary and may require further research and analysis. We also note that below information shall not be considered as a legal advice, and is provided as a general overview of business activity from the standpoint of legal consultant.

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov commented to China Business Law Journal (November 2015)

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, Partner, Head of Telecommunications and Transport, Construction and Infrastructure (TTCI) department of GRATA International Almaty (Kazakhstan), commented to China Business Law Journal (November 2015)

Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review 2015 for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Lawyers of GRATA International, including Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, Partner (Kazakhstan), Assel Kalmagambetova, Senior Lawyer (Kazakhstan) and Nodir Yuldashev, Partner (Uzbekistan) contributed for the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review 2015.

GRATA International received high appraisals from Asialaw profiles in 2016

GRATA International was reviewed by Asialaw profiles 2016 as one of the leading experts and a premier law firm in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan launches privatization of 60 largest state-owned companies

In September 2015 Kazakhstani Government announced that in furtherance to large-scale privatization program being realized in Kazakhstan over the last couple of years, 60 major state-owned companies will become private before 1 January 2018

Experts of GRATA International took part in the Kazakhstani Legal Forum 2015

On 18 September 2015, the Kazakhstani Legal Forum has been organized in Almaty

GRATA Representatives took part in the Business Meeting of Malaysian and Kazakhstani Petroleum Companies

On 8 June 2015, in Almaty there was a business meeting of representatives of Malaysian and Kazakhstani oil-and-gas companies.


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Partner, Head of Telecommunication & Transport, Construction & Infrastructure Department

Almaty