White & Case is first Kazakhstan licensee

White & Case has become the first foreign law firm to be licensed in Kazakhstan under rules issued by the Kazakh Ministry of Justice last year.

The Ministry's Agency for the Registration of Immovable Property and Legal Entities granted the licence to the firm's subsidiary in Almaty, White & Case Kazakhstan LLP.

The firm has been in the city since 1992.

Yurij Maltsev, head of the Almaty office, said: “As the economy of Kazakhstan has developed, licensing requirements have been introduced, including the requirement that firms providing paid legal services be licensed.”

The new licensing regime for foreign law firms was introduced last year.

In spite of initial confusion about its implementation, most of the foreign contingent in Almaty are believed to have put in applications.

Cameron McKenna, the only UK-based firm with an office in the Kazakh capital, which recently acquired the Almaty practice of US firm Faegre & Benson, has applied for its licence.

Partner Lawrence Leporte said that he expected the licence to be forthcoming fairly soon.