Mongolia

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Mongolian Lawyers Association 

Competition authority: Mongolia's Authority for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection (AFCCP)

Financial regulator: Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia (FRC)

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:

Financial and corporate (published October) – Financial and corporate, Project Development

Jurisdiction overview

In 1990 Mongolia completely reformed its system away from socialism and towards a market economy and rule of law. The Mongolian legal system has been influenced by the Romano-Germanic legal system division between civil and public law, with public law concerning the relationships between the citizen and the state, and civil law regulating affairs between private individuals.

The legal profession itself is made up of prosecutors, advocates and notaries owing to its socialist legacy. The prosecutors act for the state; the advocates advise the public and act in court; and the notaries witness and authenticate documents. Each group has separate structures, rules and admission requirements. At the moment there is a limited market for advocates working in commercial law and so training for the indigenous in the market is not a pressing need.

With this in mind, it isn’t surprising that the legal landscape is challenging for international firms. A few years ago, the country was driven by a mining boom off the back of a number of projects. This enticed a number of law firms such as Minter Ellison, Allens and Hogan Lovells to open up offices, with Shearman & Sterling and Sidley Austin having active offshore practices. But Mongolia is a very large country that’s underdeveloped, and it will need a lot of capacity building to cater to a financial and corporate legal market. 

Adam Majeed - Asia Editor

Financial and corporate
Melville Erdenedalai

Melville Erdenedalai (M&E) is a Mongolian law firm that was formed in 2017 by partners Chris Melville and Erdenedalai Odkhuu following its acquisition of the business and assets of Hogan Lovells’ Mongolian office. The firm now works in association with Hogan Lovells on the basis of an agreement.  

The firm provides Mongolian and English law advice and is transactionally strong in banking and finance, M&A, energy, mining and infrastructure.  

Key clients of the firm include European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, JOGMEC, Freeport-McMoRan Exploration Corp and other clients in the energy, mining, industrials and financial services sectors.

During the research period the firm kept busy with financing and loan work, investments, regulatory matters and mandates in mining, battery and renewable energy.

The firm brought in lawyers Bolormaa Gulguu, Baigalmaa Tsookhuu, and Turtuvshin Bat-Erdene from Hogan Lovells and Undraa Sergelenbaatar from the Mongolian Mining Corporation. Turtuvshin Bat-Erdene departed the firm to Avinex Partners. 

M&E provided pro bono legal support to the The Nature Conservancy in relation to eco-tourism, Veloo Foundation on the acquisition of land and construction of a kindergarten for underprivileged children, and supports SmartAir Mongolia.

Deal highlights

-Freeport-McMoRan Exploration Corporation/ JOGMEC $60 million Mongolian copper deposit farm-in transaction

-MCS Group $88 million multi-tranche syndicated loan facility

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Professionalism, excellent knowledge of the matters of law, high responsibility and client-orienting approach.”

“Strategic recommendations to clients, user friendly and easy to work with, client-focused, responsive, commercial, cost effective, experts on Mongolian law and practices, with great local connections (including in government).”

Project development

“Understands Mongolia and its laws and politics.” 

Nomin & Advocates

Nomin & Advocates is a full service law firm in Mongolia with advising foreign and domestic clients from its base in Ulaanbaatar. The firm also offers an official translation service to its clients.

It is best known for its work in incorporation, finance, M&A, securities, capital markets, corporate governance and restructuring and insolvency; and is strong in the energy, infrastructure and mining sectors. 

Key clients of the firm include XacBank, Mandal Insurance, SB Energy, Green Gobi Energy, Tenuun Gerel Construction, DBM Asset Management and Toyoko Inn. 

The firm has kept busy over the research period with project finance and development mandates in renewable energy and mining alongside loan work, securitisation and regulatory mandates.

Deal highlights

-MIAT Mongolian Airlines $37 million operating lease ABS

-Oyu Tolgoi 501MW hybrid renewable energy project

-Sermsang Khushig Khundii 15MW solar project