Memoranda of Understanding signed between the AIFC Court, International Arbitration Centre and the Law Society of England and Wales

On 4 March the AIFC Court and International Arbitration Centre (“IAC”) signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Law Society of England and Wales. The Law Society is a strategic partner of the AIFC Court and IAC in providing and developing the rule of law in their respective jurisdictions and internationally.

The signing ceremony was held at a special seminar organised by the Law Society in partnership with the Bar Council of England and Wales, the AIFC Court and IAC. The seminar was opened by Ms. Christina Blacklaws, President of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Law Society of England and Wales president Christina Blacklaws said:

“We are delighted to have signed Memoranda of Understanding with the AIFC Court and IAC and to help with the promotion of English common law internationally.

The Law Society of England and Wales is committing to sharing best practices in English common law with our AIFC colleagues and working together to protect and strengthen the independence of the legal profession and rule of law in Kazakhstan. Our members are international in their outlook and the AIFC will provide an opportunity for our members to work alongside their Kazakh colleagues in the best interests of their clients.”


The Rt. Hon. The Lord Woolf CH, Chief Justice, AIFC Court, said:

“I am sure our cooperation by this Memorandum of Understanding will contribute to the further development and positive promotion of the rule of law in the UK, Kazakhstan, and globally. It will further emphasize the importance of international legal services and adherence to highest professional standards and conduct in the courts, including in our AIFC Court in Kazakhstan.”


Ms. Barbara Dohmann QC, Chairman, IAC, stated:

“The International Arbitration Centre, Astana, is delighted actively to cooperate with the Law Society of England and Wales and its members. The MOU between our two bodies will deepen our mutual understanding and assist in our work as the IAC aims to become the number one choice for alternative dispute resolution in Eurasia.”


At the seminar, UK legal practitioners had the opportunity to hear more about the AIFC Court and IAC, how to use their services, and future opportunities for cooperation and work for business clients in the CIS region.

The Law Society is a professional body that represents over 180,000 solicitors in England and Wales. It represents, promotes and supports solicitors. It works to ensure that no-one is above the law and aims to protect access to justice for all.

The Law Society will be actively involved in the educational and promotional activities of the AIFC Court and IAC. There will be joint seminars and training events to develop the legal profession as it relates to the AIFC Court and IAC through the highest standards of professionalism and client care.




AIFC. 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 for financial services. The objectives of the AIFC are to attract investment into the economy through the establishment of an attractive environment for investment in financial services, develop local capital markets, ensuring their integration with the international capital markets.

The AIFC Court is an independent legal entity. It has its own procedural rules modelled on English common law procedures and leading international practice. The AIFC Court is separate. It consists of two tiers: a Court of First Instance, which includes a specialist division 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. It applies the most up to date and efficient case management practices.

The International Arbitration Centre (IAC) is an independent legal entity. It has its own procedural rules modelled on best international practice. It has its own panel of leading international arbitrators and mediators having many years of arbitration and mediation experience in commercial law, including oil and gas, trade, construction, energy, financial services, banking, Islamic finance, insurance, and intellectual property. IAC arbitration awards are recognised and enforceable in Kazakhstan and internationally.

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