Wicklow Corporate Services ("Wicklow") is both the youngest and, in some senses, one of the oldest of the independent law firms in Azerbaijan.
Alum Bati, one of Wicklow's partners, founded Wicklow Group Ltd in 1996 as the first licensed foreign law firm to operate in Azerbaijan. Wicklow Group became the Baku office of Salans in 1999. Now, Alum Bati and partner Bakhtiyar Mammadov, who also started his successful legal career in Wicklow Group, have together founded Wicklow to provide its clients with legal, tax and company secretarial services with that more personal touch missing from larger law firms.
Since 1999, both Alum and Bakhtiyar have gained a wealth of experience of working and advising clients in Azerbaijan. Bakhtiyar, having worked as the senior Azerbaijani lawyer in the Baku office of Baker Botts from its opening in 1999 to its closure in 2005, has been engaged on some of the biggest oil and gas deals in the country and, since 2005, has run his own law firm, Baku Legal Services. Meanwhile, Alum, with more than 13 years experience of living and working in Azerbaijan, including over 7 years as the managing partner of Salans' law office in Baku, has worked on a broad range of clients, including financial institutions, international oil and gas giants, multinational consumer goods companies, trading houses, and government agencies.
It is part of Wicklow's philosophy that, as part of a service business, we should aim to help our clients achieve success in their business not only by giving clear and practical legal advice but also by advising on the political and economic challenges that our clients will inevitably face.
Wicklow is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan and Alum is a vice-President of the organisation.
Alum and Bakhtiyar's clients in Azerbaijan have included: Azerbaijan Gas Supply Company, Baker Hughes, BBC, BP (including BTC and SCP pipeline projects), British Council, British Embassy, Caspian Geophysical, Caspian Energy Group, Chinese National Petroleum Company, Clifford Chance, Coca-Cola, Conoco, EBRD, ENI, Ernst & Young, ExxonMobil, Freshfields, Halliburton, Global Santa Fe, Herbert Smith, Howard Energy, Japan Tobacco, KBR, Kocbank, KPMG, Lukoil, Maersk Contractors, McDermott, M-I, Morgan Stanley, Mustique Capital,
National Bank of Pakistan, , Nations Energy, , OPIC, Schlumberger, State Oil Fund of the Azerbaijan Republic, Statoil, Sturgeon Fund, Total, Transocean Sedco Forex, White & Case, , BP.
Bakhtiyar and Alum, now resume where Wicklow Group left off, namely developing a high quality legal practice advising investors in all sectors at competitive rates.
For details of our experience and services, see OurServices
WICKLOW - PARTNER BIOGRAPHIES
PARTNER - Alum Bati
Alum specialises in corporate, commercial, employment and taxation law, with particular emphasis on foreign investment in Azerbaijan and the Caspian Region. He graduated from London University, SOAS (B.A. 1977); University of Westminster (Diploma in Law, 1978); and the Inns of Court School of Law (1979). Alum was admitted to the Bar in England and Wales in 1979. Following a spell co-authoring and editing two standard practitioners' handbooks on UK taxation, Alum embarked on a chartered accountant training contract whilst working in the tax department of Arthur Young. Two years later Alum left to join BP, where he was a tax manager, tax training manager, instructing solicitor on tax matters and was, inter alia, responsible at various times for tax matters relating to BP's mining business, shipping and property operations, insurance, and international taxation. Alum was a member of a number of high industry tax and legal committees, such as the BAR Association for Commerce Finance and Industry, the General Council of British Shipping, the Confederation of British Industry's Budget Proposals Working Party, the Mining Association of the UK and the London Chamber of Commerce. In 1991-93, Alum was BP's head of tax and legal affairs in BP Japan, Tokyo.
In 1993, Alum established the office of Ernst & Young in Azerbaijan and served as its first director until 1996, when Alum left to establish the Wicklow Group Limited. Thus, Alum established the first foreign accounting services firm and the first licensed foreign law firm in Azerbaijan.
Alum has been the Azerbaijan correspondent for International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation since 1994 and is the only non Azerbaijan citizen to have been
appointed to a parliamentary commission (the Audit Chamber Commission) and to have addressed the Law Commission in Azerbaijan. He has assisted senior
government members in proffering various law reform measures.
Alum has been Adjunct Professor of Law at Western University, where he taught tax law and oil and gas law to graduate and post-graduate students and was a guest
lecturer in International Relations at Baku's Khazar University. He has also taught Business Law at Baku State University. Alum has been a frequent speaker at
conferences with regard to doing business in Azerbaijan, taxation and employment law. In 2005 he was invited by the OECD to address the International Experts Meeting on Corporate Governance held in Istanbul and in 2006 Alum was invited to address the OECD;s Experts' Roundtable on Corporate Governance in Stockholm.
Alum is a Board member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan and is Honorary Legal Adviser to the British Ambassador.
Below is a selection of comments made about Alum in various legal directories:
Described in Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers, 2003 as follows:
‘Alum Bati is popular with clients for his "wide-ranging" practice developed over ten years in Azerbaijan. One reported that he is "extremely able, well-connected and
Described in Global Counsel 3000: Which Lawyer?2002/3 as follows:
"Alum Bati (a British barrister who has been in Azerbaijan since 1993)… is a well-known tax specialist, having previously established Ernst & Young in Azerbaijan …"
Described in Chambers Global Counsel 2004-05 as follows:
"Alum Bati, …, is seen not only as a property specialist but also, according to some, as "the best expatriate tax expert in the country." Clients observed that he is "very
well regarded locally for his considered approach and adherence to deadlines."
Described in IFLR 1000 2005 as follows:
"historically the number one" in Azerbaijan'.
Described in Chambers Global Guide (online edition) in
2006 as follows:
‘the impressive Alum Bati, who "has been in the market an awfully long time."… UK-qualified Alum Bati is clearly the standout figure here. He is renowned for his tax
specialism ("because he has been there for so long he has knowledge of local tax law that other foreign lawyers can only dream of") and involves himself regularly on real estate and corporate governance issues. His long experience in the country is undoubtedly a big advantage for clients; "of all the guys at the western firms, he has the best contacts. He knows everyone and that has a certain utility down there."' Alum was ranked as No. 1 in Azerbaijan.
Described in Chambers Global Guide (online edition) in 2007 as follows:
"his experience and knowledge of the market are unparalleled" and that clients ‘are impressed by his"challenging, thoughtful, pragmatic nature; he is always
very clear in his thinking."'
Alum is the only foreign lawyer listed in Who'sWhoLegal's International Who's Who of Oil & Gas Lawyers 2005. Listings are made on the basis of nomination by peers in the industry.
PARTNER - Bakhtiyar Mammadov
Bakhtiyar Mammadov started his legal practice in 1997 with one of the first foreign law firms in Azerbaijan – Wicklow Group Ltd. From 1999 to 2005, Bakhtiyar was the leading local attorney at the Baku office of Baker Botts L.L.P. When Baker Botts closed its office in Baku, Bakhtiyar was a sole practitioner before founding Wicklow Corporate Services together with Alum Bati.
Bakhtiyar has wide experience of advising international clients on Azerbaijan law, with particular emphasis on the oil and gas sector. Bakhtiyar's practice includes diverse corporate, contractual and tax matters, and covers almost all areas of business activity.
Bakhtiyar is a member of the Azerbaijan Bar and has, therefore, rights of audience in the higher courts in Azerbaijan.
Bakhtiyar graduated in International Law from Baku State University in 1997. Thereafter, he gained a Masters Degree in Law from Khazar University in 1999; a Masters Degree in International Law from Baku State University in 2000; and an MBA from Azerbaijan Economic University in 2004. Bakhtiyar is currently pursuing a degree in Oil and Gas Management (by distance learning) at CEPMLP, University of Dundee, UK
Bakhtiyar is fluent in Azerbaijani, English and Russian and has a working knowledge of Turkish and French.