WASHINGTON, D.C. - B.C. Toms & Co, a multinational law firm of Ukrainian and international lawyers specializing in Ukrainian law, has been approved for membership in the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), the USUBC executive committee announced today on behalf of the entire USUBC membership of over 160 companies and organizations who have business operations, investments or other development programs in Ukraine.

The firm was founded by Bate C. Toms and was the first Western law firm to open a Kyiv office, having focused their practice on Ukraine at its independence in 1991. The firm has a broad corporate, tax and litigation law practice. They have handled legal work for many of the largest commercial transactions and most important lawsuits in Ukraine, and are among the larger law firms in Ukraine.

B. C. Toms & Co combines the best western expertise with the leading specialist knowledge of Ukrainian law. Unlike most western firms, they focus on Ukraine. As appropriate, they handle transactions involving different languages as well as different laws and cultures. The firms lawyers are fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, English, Polish, French, German and Italian. They have also written numerous books and articles on Ukrainian law, and are the principal author of the books “Doing Business with Ukraine” (ICC) and “The Law of Ukraine.”

The firm prepares joint venture agreements, oil and gas joint activity agreements, production sharing and license agreements, construction contracts, project financing documentation, private placement and syndicated credit agreements, real estate purchase documentation (including for exchange transactions), leases and corporate acquisition, agency, distribution, franchise and licensing contracts. We can also assist with practical commercial advice on how to set up a Ukrainian subsidiary or joint venture.

On behalf of clients, they often intervene before government ministries and committees and are involved in legislation and legal reform. In addition, from time to time, their lawyers have acted pro bono as special counsel to Parliamentary committees to assist with law reform projects

Bate C. Toms founded the firm. He studied Soviet Studies at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and law at Magdalene College, Cambridge University and Yale Law School, from which he graduated in 1975. At Yale, he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Prior to establishing the firm and handling, initially, a project financing for one of the largest European companies, Mr. Toms was a partner in the London office of one of the largest US based multinational law firms. Bate serves as Chairman of the British-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce (BUCC).

The B.C. Toms & Co law firm and the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) have worked on USUBC member related issues for several years. "I met Bate Toms in 1997 in Kyiv and we have participated together in business, legal, civic and cultural programs for the past 14 years. He is a strong promoter of Ukraine in the United Kingdom and in Ukraine," said Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office, for the SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Management Group, who serves as President of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC).

"Bate is willing to handle difficult legal cases and works hard to find a variety of ways to resolve them for his clients. USUBC is most pleased to have the B.C. Toms & Co law firm as a member and to have the opportunity to continue to work with Bate and his colleagues," according to Williams.

The principal areas of the B.C. Toms & Co law firm include: (1) project finance; (2) corporate and investment law, including handling corporate acquisitions and other investments, as well as establishing subsidiaries and joint ventures; (3) banking and securities law, including loans and other bank financings and all types of secured transactions and capital markets transactions; (4) agricultural investment and all legal aspects for agricultural operations; (5) tax advice (including for international tax planning) as well as tax litigation; (6) real estate, including acquisitions, sales and leasing and commercial and residential property development; (7) litigation and arbitration; (8) construction; (9) oil and gas and mineral law, including for exploration, development, production, pipeline and refinery projects; (10) electricity regulation; (11) telecommunications; (12) environmental law; (13) privatization; (14) antimonopoly law; (15) trade law, including structuring barter transactions; (16) bankruptcy; (17) labor and immigration; (18) administrative law; (19) franchising, distribution and sale of products and (20) intellectual property law.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: For additional information go to the website: www.bctoms.com.

USUBC now has over one-hundred sixty members. Membership in January of 2005 was eight, in January of 2007 was 22, reached 100 by January of 2009 and topped 150 in January of 2011. The complete list of USUBC members can be found at: http://www.usubc.org/members.php. For a list of the USUBC board of directors go to the following link: http://www.usubc.org/site/u-s-ukraine-business-council-board-of-directors.