Creating a “Conflict Free Zone.” Member Spotlight: Alibi Akylas

As a certified mediator and lawyer from Kazakhstan, Alibi Akylas is establishing a professional path in mediation in the United States. Akylas’s journey to mediation started out over a decade ago, when he began his career in litigation and arbitration.


Alibi Akylas is a certified mediator and lawyer from Kazakhstan. Akylas’s background has influenced both his professional and personal journey, as he recognized early on how much corruption lies within the Kazakhstan court system. After attending university, he began his professional career at a small boutique law firm. He then moved on to Grata International, Kazakhstan’s largest law firm. At the boutique law firm, he enjoyed more freedom and took on greater responsibilities. While handling each case, Akylas had the autonomy to choose strategies that he believed were best for the clients he represented. In larger law firms, he appreciated having access to a diverse team of skilled lawyers and specialists, who provided valuable advice when needed. Akylas also taught Civil Law and Civil Procedure at a university in Kazakhstan for one year before moving to the United States. He reiterates that this was an amazing experience. “When you teach, you learn more about your own subject.” The biggest wisdom he has learned from his law background and experiences that he wants to share with others is that “law was made for good purposes, and that can be difficult to remember. Don’t forget about the nature and the purpose of the law.” After working in law firms, Akylas began working at Deloitte, a global corporation and big 4 accounting firm. At Grata and Deloitte, he specialized in tax/commercial disputes. Here, decisions were made with heavy consideration of financial outcomes, something Akylas didn’t completely agree with.

From Arbitration to Mediation

Akylas emphasizes the core differences between arbitration and mediation. Working on arbitration and litigation in bigger corporations and firms, he felt that what is involved narrows down to strictly evidence, documents, deadlines, monetary matters, and discerning who is right and who is wrong. In addition to bearing witness to Kazakhstan’s corrupted court system, Akylas discerned that litigation always left one party unsatisfied with the decision made. In contrast, mediation to Akylas involves something arbitration and litigation often fails to consider: emotions. More broadly speaking, a personal connection between clients and their representative. In mediation, there is an intentional effort to understand and navigate the emotions and underlying interests of both parties rather than just one. “Only in mediation and negotiation can you find solutions that satisfy both parties. It’s the best tool we have today to dissolve conflict. That is a great benefit.” Consequently, Akylas’s career in dispute resolution began.

MBBI and on

Akylas discovered MBBI when searching for organizations specializing in mediation. He wanted to meet great professionals and learn something new, and that is exactly what MBBI has given him. “I have learned from such great people around the world. I’m glad I’m here.” Mediation offers a way to fight the system without the use of violence, violence in any and all of its forms. Akylas believes that through mediation, it is possible to effectively challenge our systems. “It’s possible. It comes from people’s desire and willingness to fight for their rights, to fight for what they believe is right. It’s possible.”

Now, with more than 10 years of dispute resolution experience, Akylas has taken up a new project: a youtube channel titled, “Conflict Free Zone.” He uses this channel to promote effective mediation, interviewing professionals in and around the field to educate and motivate viewers.

Akylas acknowledges our differences and barriers between individuals. He concludes by emphasizing the importance of open mindedness and honesty when coming to a decision. “In mediation, open mindedness and honesty aid in finding a common ground.”

Article by Reanna Bartels-Quansah, MBBI Writer