KYIV - Baker & McKenzie today announced that Serhiy Chorny and Serhiy Piontkovsky have been appointed as the Co-Managing Partners of the Kyiv office. They will assume their new management roles in January 2011, succeeding James T. Hitch, who has served as the Kyiv office's Managing Partner since 2002, and who is retiring as a Partner of the Firm effective December 31, 2010.

Baker & McKenzie is the largest international law firm in the world and has had an office in Kyiv since 1992. During Mr. Hitch's 9-year term, the total number of fee earners in the Kyiv office increased from 23 in 2002 to 62 in 2010.

The Kyiv office has been ranked by Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, PLC Which Lawyer?, IFLR, and Legal 500 as "first tier" in the areas of Banking & Finance, Corporate/M&A, Restructuring/Insolvency, Tax, IP, Real Estate and Construction, and Employment, and was named "Law Firm of the Year in Ukraine in 2010" by Chambers Europe.

Additionally, the Firm announced that English law qualified Corporate/M&A Partner, James Richards, will join the Kyiv office. Mr. Richards joined Baker & McKenzie in London in 1994 and became a Partner in 1998. Mr. Richards specializes in corporate finance transactions, acquisitions, and disposals.

James Richards said: "I am delighted to be joining our Kyiv office at this important moment. Baker & McKenzie has long been the pre-eminent international law firm in Ukraine and I look forward to working with my colleagues to build on that success."

Serhiy Chorny heads the Kyiv Office's Banking & Finance and Capital Markets Practice Groups, and is a member of the Firm's European Banking and Finance Steering Committee and European Securities Steering Committee. Serhiy joined the Firm in 1993 and became a Partner in 1998. He focuses on advising both foreign and domestic financial institutions and corporate clients on various aspects of international finance transactions, including syndicated loans, Eurobonds, securitizations, IPOs and debt restructurings.

Serhiy Piontkovsky heads the Kyiv office's Energy, Chemicals, Mining and Infrastructure and Real Estate and Construction Practice Groups. He joined the Firm in 1995 and became a Partner in 2001. Mr. Piontkovsky represents major production, mining and steel companies, international hotel chains, developers, construction companies, investment funds, embassies, and private investors on various Ukrainian law issues related to property pre-lease and long-term leasing, the acquisition of land lease rights, construction, design, and letting. He is also involved in major privatization projects held in Ukraine within the steel, mining, energy, and industrial sectors.

Commenting on the news, CIS Managing Partner, Carol Patterson, said: "It has been a great pleasure for me to work with James Hitch both in the global and in the CIS offices of Baker & McKenzie for 20 years. The promotion to co-manage the Kyiv office of Serhiy Chorny and Serhiy Piontkovsky, Ukranian citizens who were among our first lawyers there, is a key development of our practice in Ukraine, as well as the addition of our English law qualified Mergers & Acquisitions Partner, James Richards".

Founded in 1949, Baker & McKenzie advises many of the world's most dynamic and successful business organizations through more than 3,750 locally qualified lawyers and over 5,700 professional staff in 68 offices in 40 countries. Baker & McKenzie is known for having a deep understanding of the language and culture of business, an uncompromising commitment to excellence, and world-class fluency in its client service. Baker & McKenzie's global revenues for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, were US$2.104 billion. Eduardo Leite is Chairman of the Firm's Executive Committee.

USUBC NOTE:  Baker & McKenzie is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Washington, D.C.,  USUBC and its members wish Managing Partner Jim Hitch the very best for the future.  It has been a pleasure working with Jim and his support for USUBC has been much appreciated.   He was responsible for Baker & McKenzie becoming a member.  Jim has been strong supporter for an improved business environment in Ukraine and active in many private voluntary organizations and cultural activities.  His commitment and personal involvement will be missed.