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Kinstellar strengthens its team in Kazakhstan with appointment of Almas Zhaiylgan as Of Counsel

January 2018 – Kinstellar, Emerging Europe and Central Asia’s leading independent law firm, is delighted to announce that Almas Zhaiylgan has joined the Almaty office as Of Counsel and head of the firm’s local Energy and Natural Resources practice in Almaty.

Almas Zhaiylgan has 20 years' experience advising companies in the oil and gas and mining industries in Kazakhstan. Prior to June 2017 he was a partner at a major international law firm and headed that firm's Kazakh practice in the energy and natural resources sector. As such, he assisted clients with upstream exploration and production projects, including drafting and negotiating host government contracts, joint-venture agreements, farm-out agreements and joint operating agreements. He also has broad experience in mergers and acquisitions and regularly advises clients on various corporate, regulatory and compliance matters.

For a number of years, Almas has been consistently recognised by the leading international legal directories Chambers, Legal 500, Who's Who Legal and other benchmark publications as a leading lawyer in his field. Both directories’ 2017 editions rank him in the top tier of leading Energy and Natural Resources lawyers in Kazakhstan. Clients recommend him as a "very bright, capable, good technical lawyer" with "great experience.”

Almas has written numerous articles on oil, gas and mining topics including publications for Mineral Resources of Kazakhstan and the Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law. He is a member of the Kazakhstan Petroleum Lawyers Association and the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.

Almas holds an LLM degree in Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Law from the University of Houston Law Centre as well as a degree with honours in International Law from Al-Farabi Kazakh State National University and a B.S. in Business Law from Indiana University. Almas is fluent in Kazakh, Russian and English.

Joel Benjamin, Managing Partner of Kinstellar’s Almaty office, comments: We are delighted to have Almas join us. With his significant experience in the oil & gas and mining sectors, we believe that he will make an excellent contribution to our Energy and Natural Resources practice. We have been consistently trying to strengthen our  Energy and Natural Resources practice capabilities to complement our market-leading M&A/General Corporate and Finance practices in Kazakhstan. This appointment, coupled with the earlier hiring as a Senior Associate of Dina Berkaliyeva, an environmental law expert, significantly strengthens our Energy and Natural Resources offering. We believe Almas’s expertise will be a tremendous asset to our clients.”

For further information please contact Joel Benjamin, at +7 727 355 0527, 


, or Adlet Yerkinbayev at +7 727 355 0528,  .