12 December 2022 | Category : Blogs
A combination of the Kazakh spirit of innovation and those who believe in the plan
The number seven holds a special place in Kazakh culture. It is a lucky number and a highly spiritual number associated with historically valuable notions particular to the Kazakh people, such as ‘Zheti yrys’, ‘Zheti ata’, ‘Zheti kazyna’, and ‘Zheti Zhargy’.
Embracing this cultural heritage, our firm has taken the name Zheti Zhargi, the seven fundamental pillars of the Kazakh code of laws introduced by Tauke Khan in the 17th century. However, this is not only linked to the name and, by extension, the legal system. Our firm has seven principal areas of practice: Privatisations and Government Financing, Innovation and Technology, Space and Aerospace, Enterprise, Dispute Avoidance, Pioneering Entrepreneurs, and Company Formation.
Kazakhstan is a country steeped in history, and Kazakhs are a people that place great emphasis on innovation. This innovative spirit is typified by the September speech from President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who expressed his intention ‘to make the country a leading player in the technologies, crypto ecosystem, and regulated and transparent digital mining. Following the recent re-election of President Kassym-Jomart, there can be little doubt about the active pursuit of his vision for Kazakhstan. In truth, we have already seen the beginnings of this future, with pilot projects underway, particularly in the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC).
This innovation-focused vision expressed by the President reflects the thriving pioneering spirit that has been ever-present in Kazakhstan. Not only does Seven Pillars Law support the vision of the President and the continued development of Kazakhstan, but perhaps more importantly, we embrace the spirit of innovation of the people of Kazakhstan. This is reflected not only by our mission and attitude toward innovation but also by our actions.
The President has spoken on several occasions about building a government that cedes a greater degree of power to the individual, about building a government that moves towards citizens being in greater control of the environment that they operate in, and this (at least in part) points towards significant developments in the court systems. Kazakhstan has seen significant development in its courts since gaining independence in 1991. As the President aims to be a global leader in technology, and specifically mentioned the ‘crypto ecosystem ’, there are tremendous opportunities to combine these elements, particularly in developing a citizen-centric legal system in line with his broader vision. Kazakhstan could consider implementing a blockchain-based court records system, as we have seen in the Abu Dhabi Global Market courts. Still, while this would be an exciting development for the future of digital courts in Kazakhstan, it arguably only scratches the surface of what is possible, even if we only consider the possibilities with blockchain technology. Perhaps we will see the development of a fully integrated blockchain-managed court system, arguably even more exciting, would be a court built fully in virtual reality, a metaverse court if you will, which would allow not only court hearings but also mediation and arbitration proceedings to take place entirely within virtual reality. This could be an excellent development in pursuing increased access to justice. This ties in well with the firm’s vision, particularly around LegalTech and justice, as we regularly provide expert advice on the subject, with co-founder Professor Mark Beer OBE often mentoring start-up companies in the industry and advising Governments around the world on various aspects of Justice.
It is also important to highlight the first fintech accelerator program completed this year and organised by the AIFC Tech Hub, in partnership with Mastercard and banks such as Altyn Bank, Eurasian Bank, and Freedom Finance Bank. This project aimed to support financial start-ups, strengthen cooperation between banks, and introduce open innovation practices in Kazakhstan’s financial sector. According to the AIFC Tech Hub, 300 applications were received from start-ups from 11 countries, illustrating the great interest and success in the region. Closely tied to the field of fintech, albeit far from the only use of the technology (as evidenced above), is one of the fastest growing industries in the last 2-3 years, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. This industry, if nurtured, can provide a competitive advantage for any country and has been outlined as a crucial part of the President’s plan for the country. Seven Pillars hopes to play a role in the development of this industry in Kazakhstan, with our team of experts already working with companies in the industry in general, as well as those who are looking to enter the Central Asian market and see Kazakhstan as the perfect place to do so, particularly via the AIFC. These are exciting developments and further steps toward reaching the President’s end goal.
Given Kazakhstan’s inextricable links to space travel and development history, we would be remiss not to mention it. The country played an important role in sending the first man to space and was part of the region’s collective efforts, which saw the first satellite launched into space. Not only is space and aerospace one of the central practice areas of our firm, representing one of the seven titular pillars, but we, as a firm, are also committed to being at the forefront of the industry ourselves. This takes many forms, but one such example is that Seven Pillars Law is the first law firm registered in space with the space nation of Asgardia.
Kazakhstan’s future looks bright, and In President Tokayev they have a leader with has a grand vision. The execution of that vision will require tremendous support and the ability to execute, both of which he has in Seven PIllars Law.
If you would like to learn more about how you can be a part of this extraordinary story, contact us at email@example.com
Article written by Matthew Farmer, with Support from Ainur Tursynbayeva