Associate

Kulzhan Mehrabi

Associate Solicitor

Kulzhan is a dual qualified English lawyer and Kazakhstan advocate. She is also an advocate with a right of audience to represent parties at the Astana International Financial Centre’s Court (AIFC Court) in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

Kulzhan specialises in dispute resolution including commercial and contractual disputes, international arbitration, fraud, conflict of laws, asset-tracing and enforcement matters. She has over 20 years of professional legal experience that covers a broad range of cross-border commercial transactions and dispute resolution involving Russia and CIS clients and including a number of high-profile cases that involved states, corporate and high-net-worth individuals.  

Kulzhan speaks English, Russian and Kazakh languages.

Recent Work

Dispute Resolution

  • Acting for a defendant in a London-seated complex arbitration matter brought by EBRD against a Kazakhstan state-owned company under a guarantee agreement
  • Advising a Kazakhstan client in a LCIA arbitration in a dispute arising under a share purchase agreement involving a large energy company 
  • Acting successfully for a Kazakhstan client in an HMRC claim in relation to an inheritance tax helping the client to keep their home and to slash inheritance tax by £1.3 million
  • Acting for a large international pharmaceutical company in relation to allegations of bribery committed by its Russia based senior employees  
  • Assisting a senior partner in a matter in relation to the UK Office for Fair Trading (OFT) investigation into the hotel online booking sector for price-fixing
  • Representing Chinese shareholders in a shareholder dispute against joint venture partners arising out of a management contract in a Kazakhstan energy company 
  • Providing additional expertise and in-depth knowledge of Kazakhstan law by way of expert witness reports and legal opinions in relation cross-border dispute resolution
  • Conducting due diligence and pre-litigation investigation in respect of the Russian and CIS companies and high-net-worth individuals in energy, financial and banking industries and their involvement in complex international and local disputes, including arbitration, litigation, fraud, asset recovery and corporate investigations

Corporate & Commercial

  • Acting for an on-line gambling company to provide advice on terms of business, compliance, regulatory, employment and tax matters
  • Acting for a Kazakhstan client to provide an advice and legal assistance in setting up an investment fund to manage their investment portfolio
  • Advising clients in the context of M&A projects and drafting complex contractual documents
  • Advising Russian and CIS clients and providing a creative solution for a range of business issues, generating millions in revenue and securing favourable contractual terms 
  • Providing an advice matrix on distribution of various types of financial products into Kazakhstan for a German commercial bank 
  • Advising a number of international businesses and overseas companies on various aspects of Kazakh law for the purpose of establishing business operations in Kazakhstan and structuring their business locally 
  • Advising Russian and CIS clients on a broad range of legal issues, coordinating and managing projects involving English law and the law of other jurisdictions 
  • Providing legal opinions and expert reports on matters of Kazakhstan law and/or on topical issues including marketing activities, financial products and securities market, corporate and joint ventures, employment, investment and subsoil use laws, commercial contracts, enforcement of foreign court judgments and arbitral awards, fraud, corruption, etc. 

Reported Cases

  • Acting for a defendant in the defence of a claim against a major Kazakhstan corporation involving multi-million fraud by its former management and shareholders, Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc & Ors v Zhunus & Ors [2016] EWHC 2363 (Comm)
  • Acting for a Russian private bank in a claim in relation to a US$180 million fraud committed by former employees, Otkrytie International Investment Management Ltd. & Ors v Urumov & Ors [2014] EWCA Civ 1315  
  • Acting for one of the largest Kazakhstan banks in its asset recovery claim concerning fraudulent transactions of over US$6 billion entered into by its former management, JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2013] EWCA Civ 928   
  • Assisting a client, a large Russian telecommunication company, in relation to their  claim against the Kyrgyz Government for wrongful acquisitions and misappropriation of shares in a Kyrgyzstan-incorporated telecommunications company, Bitel LLC v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Limited and Altimo Holdings and Investment Limited v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Limited 

Background 

Prior to joining the firm, Kulzhan worked as a consultant solicitor at a city law firm, was a senior counsel and a partner at Russian and Kazakhstan law firms, and worked as a consultant and a paralegal for magic circle English practices on various high-profile cases.

Her experience also includes working in-house at an energy company, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and international organisations. Kulzhan has received numerous academic accolades including First Class degrees from universities in England and Kazakhstan including an Award for Outstanding Academic Performance at the BPP Law School at a Master level.  She has published articles in English and in Russian on topical issues of legal services in England and Kazakhstan.  

Education: 

  • LLM in Professional Legal Practice, BPP Law School (Distinction and Outstanding)
  • Legal Practice Course (LPC), BPP Law School (Distinction)
  • GDL and LLB Conversion course, BPP Law School (Upper Second Class)  
  • Diplomatic Courses, Institute of International Relations “Clingendael”, The Hague 
  • LLB in International Law, Karaganda State University, Kazakhstan (Distinction)  

Professional Qualifications & Memberships

  • Solicitor of England & Wales
  • Advocate, Kazakhstan 
  • Advocate / Right of audience at AIFC Court 
  • The Law Society of England and Wales
  • The Junior Lawyers Division of the Society of England and Wales
  • The British-Kazakh Law Association