Yerzhan Yessimkhanov

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov

Yerzhan Yessimkhanov is a Partner, Head of telecommunication & transport, construction & infrastructure department of GRATA International. 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. 


  • 2004 BA (Hons) – Kazakh Humanitarian Law University;
  • 2003 - Center of European Law and Economic Studies;
  • 2023 - LLM, University of Cambridge, UK.


  • Contract law;
  • Real estate.

Industry Sectors:

  • Construction and Infrastructure;
  • Real Estate;
  • Telecommunications.


  • The Legal 500: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020,2021, 2022 (Recommended Lawyer, Tier 1 Real Estate & Construction Practice in Kazakhstan, Leading Individual, Top tier);
  • Asia Law Profiles 2014-2018 (Leading Lawyer – Construction and Real Estate, and Energy);
  • Asia Law Profiles 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 ( Leading Lawyers, Distinguished practitioner - Construction);
  • China Business Law Awards 2015 (Best Practice – Energy, Projects and Infrastructure);
  • Who's Who Legal 2017, 2018 (Leading Practitioner - Real Estate);
  • Who's Who Legal 2019 (Recommended Lawyer). 
  • Who's Who Legal 2021 (Recommended Lawyer - Real Estate). 


  • English
  • Russian
  • Kazakh

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.

  • GRATA assisted a top-tier Turkish development company in connection with one-time sale of around one thousand residential real estate premises (apartments and parking lots) in Almaty, including reviewing preliminary SPA and SPA, verifying the correctness of title documents, and other necessary assistance;
  • 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;
  • Advising a Kazakh client in connection with prospective acquisition of 5-star hotel in Almaty, including detailed due diligence of ownership title and corporate structure, negotiations over structure of the transaction and other related legal advice.
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Legal 500 EMEA, Leading individual, 2024

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Asialaw Profiles 2023, Distinguished Practitioner

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Legal 500 EMEA, Leading individual, 2023


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GRATA International practices and lawyers ranked high in Legal 500 EMEA 2024

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GRATA International ranked by Legal 500 EMEA 2023 as a top law firm in Europe, Middle East, and Africa

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The Legal 500 EMEA 2022 rankings have confirmed GRATA International’s role as one of the market leaders in the region


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Introduction of 2nd 2017 Edition of FIDIC Forms of Contracts

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Administration of Almaty has officially announced public tender for participation in Almaty Light Rail Transport (LRT) Project

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Administration of Almaty has officially announced public tender for participation in Almaty Light Rail Transport (LRT) Project