Shaimerden Chikanayev has over 13 years of experience in Kazakhstani legal services market as well as big experience in matters dealing with former Soviet Union and Central Asia.

Currently Shaimerden Chikanayev is a partner, Global Head of the GRATA International law firm’s Banking & Finance practice. Mr. Chikanayev focuses his practice on a wide range of finance and M&A transactions, including project finance and capital markets, public-private partnership (PPP) and infrastructure transactions, and workouts and restructurings in many industries.

Shaimerden has developed concentrated knowledge in a wide range of industries, in particular in energy, mining, power generation/transmission, utilities and social infrastructure, financial services and transportation.

Mr. Chikanayev is admitted to practice in Kazakhstan from 2003 and he has an advocate status (member of the Almaty City Bar Association). Chambers, Legal 500, Asialaw Profiles and International Financial Law Review consistently rank Shaimerden among the top Kazakhstan lawyers for his experience in project finance, M&A and capital market.

Noted for his cutting-edge knowledge of his PPP practice area, Shaimerden has written on related topics for professional journals, and he is a senior lecturer of the corporate law and civil law practical courses at the Adilet Law School of the Caspian University (Almaty).

Shaimerden is a member of expert council on PPPs at the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan.


  • PhD programme (candidate of legal sciences) of the Kutafin Moscow State Law University (Russia), current extramural student, degree expected 2019;
  • LL.M. from the Duke University School of Law (USA), 2006;
  • Specialist degree in law (JD equivalent) from the Eurasian National University Faculty of Law (Kazakhstan), 2003;
  • Completed non-degree course of studies for foreign diplomats in the China Foreign Affairs University (PRC), 2003.


  • Project finance and PPP
  • Corporate finance/M&A
  • Capital markets
  • Insolvency and bankruptcy
  • Foreign investment

Industry Sectors:

  • Energy
  • Mining
  • Power generation and Utilities
  • Financial services and Banking
  • Transportation


  • English
  • Russian
  • Kazakh
  • Putonghua (conversational)


Overview of the current energy mix, and the place in the market of different energy sources

Major Kazakhstan Legislation Changes For 2019

Recalibration of public–private partnership policy in Kazakhstan — what to expect?

What Clients Say:

Chambers Global: Shaimerden Chikanayev provides international financial institutions with local law support on project financing and transactional matters. Sources describe him as "enthusiastic and thorough" and as "very good, very sensible."

Chambers Asia Pacific: Shaimerden Chikanayev provides domestic law support to international financial institutions involved in local project financings. He is known in the market for his experience on PPP mandates. He assisted the EBRD with a number of high-value loan arrangements to prominent Kazakh banks.

Individual awards/rankings
Chambers Asia-Pacific 2022
Chambers Asia-Pacific 2022
In the rankings, released by Chambers & Partners, GRATA International has confirmed its standing as one of the leading firms in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan received ratings across major practice areas.
Asialaw Profiles 2021, Distinguished Practitioner
Asialaw Profiles 2021, Distinguished Practitioner
Chambers Global 2020, Band 3
Chambers Global 2020, Band 3
"He can demonstrate his argument in a very articulate and convincing manner".
Chambers & Partners, Individual, 2020
Chambers & Partners, Individual, 2020
The best lawyer.
Asialaw Profiles, Distinguished Practitioner, 2020
Asialaw Profiles, Distinguished Practitioner, 2020
Shaimerden Chikanayev and Yerzhan Yessimkhanov have been identified as leading legal experts in Kazakhstan and praised by asialaw Leading Lawyers as Distinguished Practitioners
Asialaw Profiles, 2019
Asialaw Profiles, 2019
Chambers & Partners, Ranked Lawyer, Band 4, 2019
Chambers & Partners, Ranked Lawyer, Band 4, 2019
Partner Shaimerden Chikanayev regularly supports international corporates and law firms with domestic law issues. "He works well in facilitating the international team's understanding of local law issues and co-ordinating with local authorities".