PRESS RELEASE: The first presentation of the AIFC International Arbitration Centre for KazBar members took place in Almaty


Ms. Barbara Dohmann QC, Chairman of the International Arbitration Centre, Astana (“the IAC”), and Mr. Christopher Campbell-Holt, Registrar and Chief Executive of the AIFC Court and IAC, gave a special presentation on the IAC to Kazakhstan lawyers - members of Kazakhstan Bar Association (KazBar).

KazBar members were introduced to new world-class alternative dispute resolution opportunities at the IAC in Kazakhstan which has been fully operational since 1 January 2018.

Chairman Dohmann QC commented:

“I was delighted to meet with Kazakhstani lawyers and members of the Kazakhstan Bar Association and to talk with them about the unique offering provided by the IAC. The IAC applies the highest international standards of arbitration and mediation as alternatives to litigation in courts and presents new opportunities for local and international lawyers and their clients. We aim to make the IAC the number one choice for the resolution of civil and commercial disputes by arbitration and mediation in the Eurasian region.”

Aigoul Kenjebayeva, Chairman of Kazakhstan Bar Association and Managing Partner, Dentons Kazakhstan and Central Asia, commented:

“The creation of the IAC is a significant step towards enhancement of attractiveness of the investment climate in Kazakhstan. No doubt that by virtue of its unique placement at the AIFC where the AIFC Court will be the enforcing authority, as well as due to its most modern and progressive rules, the IAC will very soon become the most wanted dispute resolution option in this part of the world. On behalf of the Kazakhstan Bar Association I would like to express deep gratitude to Ms. Barbara Dohmann QC who accepted the leadership role at the IAC where her impeccable reputation, professionalism, and skills, will guarantee success.”

The IAC has its own panel of independent, highly qualified international arbitrators and mediators, drawn from a variety of jurisdictions. It provides an independent, economical and expeditious alternative to court litigation and applies the highest international standards to resolve civil and commercial disputes. Reliability, fairness, accessibility, and unconditional application of the rule of law, are the hallmarks of the IAC.


The AIFC was established on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. In December 2015 President Nazarbayev approved the Constitutional Statute “On the Astana International Financial Centre” (AIFC). The aim of the AIFC is to establish a leading international centre of financial services. The objectives of the AIFC are to attract investment into the economy through the establishment of an attractive environment for investment in the financial services, develop local capital markets, ensuring their integration with the international capital markets.

The AIFC Court is independent legal entity. It has its own procedural rules modelled on English common law procedures and leading international practice. It is separate and independent from the courts of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It consists of two tiers: a Court of First Instance, which includes a specialist division to be known as the Small Claims Court; and a Court of Appeal. It has exclusive jurisdiction over disputes arising out of the activities and operations of the AIFC and jurisdiction in the case of other disputes in which all parties agree in writing to give the AIFC Court jurisdiction. It does not have jurisdiction in relation to any disputes that are of a criminal or administrative nature. The AIFC Court applies the most up to date and efficient case management practices.

The International Arbitration Centre, Astana (IAC) is independent legal entity. It has its own procedural rules modelled on English common law procedures and leading international practice. It has its own panel of world leading arbitrators and mediators comprising multi-year arbitration and mediation experience in such spheres, as oil and gas, trade, construction, energy, Islamic finances, banking, copy rights and other spheres of civil and commercial law. IAC arbitration awards are recognised and enforceable in Kazakhstan and internationally.

The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA). AFSA is a legal entity and statutory body of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and is established in accordance with the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On the Astana International Financial Centre". AFSA is a regulator of both financial and non-financial services activities. It regulates Centre Participants carrying out financial and ancillary services and capital markets activities within the territory of AIFC. AFSA is also the regulator of companies registered by the AFSA that carry out non-financial services activities. The governing body of the AFSA is the Board of Directors headed by its Chairman. The AFSA Board of Directors oversees the Executive Body, carries out overall management, identifies strategic directions of the AFSA, adopts AFSA’s regulatory acts and within the AFSA’s competence exercises other powers established by resolutions of the AIFC Management Council and/or the AIFC Governor.

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