Almaty, Kazakhstan, 13 May 2016 - Baker & McKenzie partner Curtis Masters has been appointed a member of the International Council of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The International Council is comprised of 12 leading international lawyers, professors, judges and other legal experts personally selected by the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, Kairat Mami. Mr. Masters is the only Kazakhstan-based foreign lawyer selected for this honor. Other members include the Registrar of the Dubai International Financial Center courts.

The International Council was formed recently pursuant to the “100 Specific Steps” to implement institutional reform announced by Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, aimed at making Kazakhstan one of the world’s 30 most developed countries. Several of the President’s 100 Steps addressed judicial reform and they include a Step calling for creation of an International Council to advise the Supreme Court on matters of improvement of Kazakhstani justice. The Council members meet on a regular basis with the Chief Justice and other Supreme Court Justices to advise on such matters and to assist the courts in their efforts to meet or exceed international standards.

In addition to his new role on the International Council of the Supreme Court, Mr. Masters continues to serve as a Governing Board member and Secretary of the Kazakhstan Foreign Investors Council Association. Baker & McKenzie is the only law firm personally selected by President Nazarbayev to be a member of his prestigious Foreign Investors Council, which directly advises the President on matters relevant to the foreign investment community in Kazakhstan.

Mr. Masters’ practice focuses on financial, corporate, M&A, labor, cross-border trade and real estate advice to leading international companies operating in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other countries in the region. He is the director of the firm’s Kazakhstan office, where he has been resident since 1996. Mr. Masters holds a JD from Harvard Law School and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has been admitted to practice in 3 U.S. states.

Baker & McKenzie was the first international law firm to open an office in Kazakhstan, which serves as the firm’s hub for the Central Asian countries. It is ranked in Tier 1 of Kazakhstan law firms by Legal 500 EMEA 2016.

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