Kinstellar announces new promotions to Counsel

February 2024 – Kinstellar is delighted to announce the promotions to Counsel of: Yerlan Akhmetov, Kuanysh Shekerbekov (Almaty, Kazakhstan), Cătălin Dinu, Cătălin Graure (Bucharest, Romania), Barnabás Sági (Budapest, Hungary), Yulia Eismont, Maksym Tesliar (Kyiv, Ukraine), Michal Forýtek (Prague, Czech Republic),  Andrijana Kaštelan, Vedran Kopilović, Marija Vuchetich (Zagreb, Croatia).


Yerlan Akhmetov focuses on banking and finance, M&A and capital markets matters.

Having been with the Firm for nine years, Yerlan has earned a reputation for cultivating strong client relationships, demonstrating leadership qualities and making significant contributions to our firm's success. He has played a key role in advising on the establishment of banking and financial institutions, showcasing a deep understanding of complex regulatory frameworks and financial transactions. His notable experience in high-profile finance and capital markets transactions, particularly within the banking sector, underscores his commitment to delivering exceptional legal counsel. Yerlan has also pioneered in a major cross-border petrochemical project working with colleagues from the Budapest and Prague Offices.

Client feedback from Legal 500 describes Yerlan Akhmetov as ‘‘extremely capable’’ and ‘‘a rising star’’. Yerlan has also been consistently recognised by Legal 500 as a Next Generation Lawyer from 2017 to 2019, and as a Rising Star from 2020 to 2023. 

Kuanysh Shekerbekov focuses on corporate law, M&A, banking, tax, financial, and cross-border transactions and boasts over 10 years of experience.  He has represented international and domestic clients in various cross-border capital market transactions, including IPOs, liability management exercises, and bond issuances. His particular focus is on oil & gas, mining, energy, and telecommunications sectors, and he has played a key role in the success of numerous projects.

Serving as the primary client contact for Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC)-related matters, Kuanysh has effectively managed diverse projects within this jurisdiction, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to driving legal innovation within the hub. Kuanysh has recently been admitted as a Solicitor in the Senior Courts of England and Wales. This qualification also allows him to navigate through all projects in the AIFC, given the close alignment between AIFC law and English law.

Kuanysh joined Kinstellar upon our establishment in Almaty in 2013. Kuanysh has been recommended for ‘‘his very capable transactional assistance’’ and recognised as a Rising Star by both Legal 500 and IFLR1000 since 2020, while Chambers Asia-Pacific has identified him as an Associate to watch.


Cătălin Dinu specialises in real estate and renewable energy projects. He has more than 10 years of experience and has led several headline transactions for the office. 

Cătălin regularly assists international and domestic clients on due diligence, property and real estate M&A transactions, land development (permitting and construction), and asset management (leases, property management etc.). He has extensive experience across many asset classes, including industrial, retail, office, and agricultural. With a solid real estate background, Cătălin has also gained significant expertise in renewable energy projects. He regularly coordinates and assists high-profile energy companies on securing project land, development of wind and solar farms, sale and purchase of renewables projects, co-developments and project management. 

Cătălin joined Kinstellar as a Junior Associate in 2012. After having worked for local law firms, Cătălin rejoined us in 2020 as a Senior Associate and was promoted to Managing Associate in 2021.

Cătălin has been recognised as a Rising Star by international legal directories, being appreciated as ‘‘an outstanding lawyer, with great business-oriented skills, doing an excellent job”.

Cătălin Graure focuses on competition and energy matters and has 10 years of experience. He advises on competition matters including cartel investigations, sector inquiries, dawn raids, internal compliance programmes, and merger control analysis and filings. He is a seasoned FDI screening expert, having conducted extensive deal analyses and filings under Romania’s recently introduced FDI screening regime.

Cătălin also advises clients on electricity generation, distribution and supply, natural gas trading and supply, or oil & gas upstream aspects, as well as in targeted investigations carried out by the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority.

Cătălin joined Kinstellar as a Junior Associate in 2014. After having worked for an international law firm, he rejoined in 2020 as a Senior Associate, and was promoted to Managing Associate in 2021.

In recent legal directories clients praise him for being very professional, with excellent knowledge and expertise, hardworking and accommodating’’.


Barnabás Sági is the Co-Head of the local Real Estate service line and has more than 10 years of experience.

Barnabás advises investors on the acquisition, disposal, leasing, financing, construction and development of commercial and industrial real estate, including shopping centres, office buildings, warehouses, factories and other commercial/industrial developments. He has significant experience in negotiating sale and purchase agreements, preparing complex retail, office and industrial leases, and advising on complex construction and development projects. Barnabás also has extensive experience in greenfield investments both in the industrial and energy sectors where he leads our teams in some of the landmark investment projects.

Barnabás has been with the Firm since 2016 and became Managing Associate in 2022.


Yulia Eismont has 14 years of experience in corporate law, commercial, regulatory, antitrust/competition and compliance matters.

She focuses on competition and antitrust law issues, including obtaining antitrust and merger clearances for domestic and cross-border transactions from the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU). Yulia also has considerable experience in a wide variety of compliance matters, in particular, background checks, auditing, establishing, enhancing and localisation of compliance programmes, internal investigations driven by anti-corruption legislation (e.g., FCPA and UK Bribery Act), data protection and sanctions.

Yulia joined Kinstellar as an Associate in 2017 and was promoted to Managing Associate in 2023. She lead the Competition service line in our Kyiv office.

Maksym Tesliar has close to 10 years of experience in employment and labour law. He focuses on employment matters, military law, immigration and other regulatory matters. He works on complex employment reorganisations, relocation of business and personnel, mass layoffs, as well as market-entry solutions.

His experience includes handling personnel crisis measures, resolving conflict terminations and assisting clients with labour law audits, workforce restructuring and other employment-related issues.

Maksym is featured in International Employment Lawyer's Tomorrow’s Leaders 2023 list, the only lawyer representing Ukraine in the list of 40 rising stars from across the world.

Maksym joined Kinstellar in 2021 and became Managing Associate in 2023. He leads the Employment and Labour Law service line in our Kyiv office.


Michal Forýtek focuses on energy, competition, state aid and public procurement law. In his over 15 years of experience, Michal has advised a number of major clients on energy sector M&A transactions as well as regulatory aspects, including NET4GAS (a Czech gas TSO) on the construction and development of the Capacity4Gas gas interconnector (one of the largest infrastructure projects developed and built in the Czech Republic); Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) on the development and construction of a new nuclear unit at the Dukovany Power Plant; and Veolia on its acquisition of Pražská teplárenská, one of the largest district heating companies in the Czech Republic.

Michal co-authored a Czech Energy Act commentary issued by renowned publishing house C.H.Beck and was also appointed to advise the relevant government body on the drafting of new Czech energy legislation. He is a regular speaker at various energy conferences and a frequent contributor to a number of specialised periodicals.  

Michal joined Kinstellar as a Junior Associate in 2008 and was promoted to Managing Associate in 2019.

In 2023, Michal was recognised by Legal 500 as a Rising Star in the Projects and Energy category. In recent legal directories clients single him out as a “a valued expert in the energy sector’’.


Andrijana Kaštelan specialises in commercial real estate and M&A and has 11 years of experience.

She has extensive experience in the acquisition, development and lease and disposal of commercial real estate, including retail, logistics, leisure, and office properties. She regularly advises clients on M&A transactions, joint ventures, corporate governance and group reorganisations. In addition, Andrijana is the first point of contact for maritime investors and shipping companies active in Croatia and advises on all legal issues relevant to the industry. 

She joined Kinstellar with the Zuric i Partneri team in 2022.

In recent legal directories clients describe her as: ‘‘a highly educated professional in the field of real estate and is able to handle complex matters’’, and others add that she is ‘‘an experienced, hardworking and smart lawyer, who delivers an outstanding service’’. Andrijana has been ranked as a Rising Star in Real Estate by Legal 500 for the last four consecutive years.

Vedran Kopilović focuses on corporate law and commercial contracts, TMT, and employment law and has 10 years of experience.

Vedran provides consistent counsel to clients on projects related to high-tech production facility construction and property management. Vedran is also the first point of contact for clients from various industries in relation to dispute resolution and represents clients in various proceedings before courts, administrative bodies, and other authorities. In addition, Vedran is trusted by several notable clients in the audio-visual entertainment industry.

He Kinstellar with the Zuric i Partneri team in 2022.

In recent legal directories clients praise him as ‘‘an excellent attorney, with great legal knowledge and natural confidence’’ and further add that he ‘‘displays a practical and fast-thinking approach’’.

Marija Vuchetich focuses on the energy sector and has 11 years of experience.

She assists clients on a broad range of corporate and M&A issues, including structuring of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate restructuring projects.  She has significant experience in energy and natural resources-related transactions, especially in the electricity and natural gas sectors. She is involved in several major renewable energy development projects and has strong expertise in national and European energy regulatory legislation.

Marija is also the first point of contact for clients in the aviation industry and advises on regulatory and compliance matters, aircraft engine and other aircraft equipment lease agreements, as well as aircraft ownership and hypothecation.

In recent legal directories clients describe her as: ‘‘focused on finding solutions in order to reach the targeted goal’’ and add that she is ‘‘very pleasant to work with’’. Marija is ranked as a Rising Star for Privatisation/Projects/Energy in the latest edition of Legal 500.

Kristóf Ferenczi, Firm Managing Partner, comments: ''I congratulate and thank each of them for their hard work and contribution to the Firm. They have consistently demonstrated outstanding professionalism, leadership, strong skills in winning and managing transactions, team spirit, and commitment to our values. Their promotion is a clear reflection of their commitment and drive, embodying the essence of what we strive for as a team. We look forward to their continued contribution, and I wish them every success in their new roles!''

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