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‘Anyone who is admitted to the firm can become its owner’

Aleksandr Khachaturyan, ranked as one of Armenia’s ‘Highly Regarded’ lawyers by IFLR1000 in 2021, explains the significance of diversifying career interests

As one of the founding members of TK & Partners, Aleksandr Khachaturyan highlights that the firm’s ambitious and forward-thinking outlook is a key driver for attracting Armenia’s most-talented aspiring lawyers to the firm.

Khachaturyan served as the managing partner of TK & Partners from 2012 to 2016, before returning to the firm following a sabbatical in 2018. During his first spell, he managed to transform the firm from a team of three people to a boutique law firm advising clients on complex financial and corporate matters. He also grew the firm’s portfolio by 20% annually.

“Since inception, our purpose was to create a true partnership and walk away from traditional one-man shows that are very common in the market,” Khachaturyan told IFLR.

“It required a lot of effort both in terms of designing the vision for the firm and implementing it. This changed the overall perception about the firm, and demonstrated that anyone who is admitted to the firm can become its owner.” 

Khachaturyan notes that the firm has an unwritten policy against hiring individuals who do not aspire to eventually become a partner.

“This completely changes the perspective of a team member and the internal dynamics at large,” said Khachaturyan. “I am convinced that our firm is one of best in the market in many respects, including for growth opportunities and a friendly environment.”

During his time away from the firm, Khachaturyan was invited to assist as an advisor to the Prime Minister of Armenia. He also worked as the CEO of the Center for Strategic Initiatives, a public-private partnership advising the government on a number of key economic and public administration reforms and strategies.

Khachaturyan mentions that the public-private partnership law remains an area that the government remains keen to clarify and that investors should be aware of potential regulatory changes. He also warns of possible significant amendments to existing corporate laws.

TK & Partners actively track market changes and always remain ready to react, Khachaturyan suggests. The firm were able to improvise quickly as national lockdown measures were imposed in mid-2020 to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the firm were swiftly able to assist clients on enabling general meetings to be held via video conferences.

“We have drastically increased our focus on the developments arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, through preparing specialised client notes and alerts, as well as proposing amendments to the legislation necessary in the new realties.”

Khachaturyan has regularly led assignments for TK & Partners in the areas of banking, finance and corporate transactions. He also has significant expertise acting in the non-profit, energy and private equity funds sectors.

In recent times, Khachaturyan notably worked on advising a group of energy sector companies in connection with the consolidation and acquisition of renewable energy licences. He also helped the client secure financing of around $20 million for the construction of solar power plants. Other assignments included advising a Cypriot company on a fundraising round for a German tech group, and advising a jewellery company on their investment into a Swiss subsidiary of an Armenian holding company.

In addition to his work at TK & Partners, Khachaturyan serves as a board member at various non-profits, such as the Armenian Energy Agency and the Armenian Institute of Directors. He also works as a lecturer of corporate finance law at the French University in Armenia.

As an expert across many fields, Khachaturyan emphasises the importance of young people building their portfolio and expanding their credentials, even if they have already planned for a career in law.

“It is not enough to be just a lawyer and the world is gradually moving towards blended expertise,” he said. “I would expect that lawyers should definitely have a second degree or training in other areas, unrelated to law.”

Khachaturyan studied for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law as a part of a dual recognition programme between the French University in Armenia and Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3. He later completed a further master’s degree in financial and banking law as a scholar at Boston University in 2012. During his stint in Massachusetts, he was awarded the Dennis S. Aronowitz Award for Academic Excellence in Banking and Financial Law owing to his strong examination performance.

Away from the office, Khachaturyan’s passions includes learning more about the impact of digital transformation across different aspects of life. He also notes the growing commercial viability of this sector in Armenia.

“I see two potential areas of market growth,” said Khachaturyan of the sectors to watch in Armenia for 2021. “Climate change and environmental matters, and everything related to digital and data privacy.”

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