Lazar Tomov is the founding partner of Tomov&Tomov and the head of its dispute resolution practice.
He practices predominantly in the field of international arbitration. He practices both as a counsel and arbitrator.
As a counsel, Lazar Tomov represents states and private clients in domestic and international arbitration proceedings. He has experience with arbitrations conducted under the arbitration rules of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). His practice covers disputes involving various industries such as energy (oil & gas, photovoltaic, and electricity power generation and distribution), telecommunications, banking, construction, and waste management services.
Significant past and present representations include:
- Plama Consortium Limited v. Bulgaria (ICSID case no. ARB/03/24);
- Novera AD et al. v. Bulgaria (ICSID case no. ARB/12/16);
- ST-AD GmbH v. Bulgaria (PCA case no.2011-06);
- EVN AG v. Bulgaria (ICSID case no. ARB/13/17);
- ENERGO-PRO a.s. v. Bulgaria (ICSID case no. ARB/15/19);
- State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman v. Bulgaria (ICSID case no. ARB/15/43);
- ČEZ, a.s. v Bulgaria (ICSID case no. ARB/16/24);
- ACF Renewable Energy Limited v. Bulgaria (ICSID case no. ARB/18/1);
- Moti Ramot and Rami Levy v. Bulgaria (ICSID case no. ARB/18/47);
- representation of a state in an investment dispute under the UNCITRAL rules related to an airport;
- representation in an ICC commercial arbitration related to an additional success payment under a share sell and purchase agreement;
- representation in an ICC arbitration related to a breach of contracts for sale of industry equipment;
- representation of a company in a commercial arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules related to a power purchase agreement.
As a counsel, Mr. Tomov acts also in proceedings for setting aside arbitral awards, proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration awards and foreign judgments, as well as proceedings before administrative and judicial bodies of the European Union.
Significant successful representations include representing a Croatian company in proceedings for recognition and enforcement of an arbitration award, representing a state in set-aside proceedings related to an arbitration award, representing clients in two competition law proceedings before the European Commission.
As an arbitrator, Mr. Tomov sits as a sole arbitrator, a party-appointed arbitrator, or as a chairman of an arbitration tribunal in domestic and international arbitrations.
Mr. Tomov is a member of the Panel of Arbitrators in the Arbitration Court of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a member of the Panel of Arbitrators in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, and a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, Netherlands. Mr. Tomov is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre and serves on the Investment Arbitration Committee, Energy Arbitration Committee, and the Post-Mergers and Acquisitions Arbitration Committee.
Lazar Tomov has been appointed as a co-arbitrator and a presiding arbitrator in more than 100 cases under the auspices of the Arbitration Court of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The cases have related to diverse matters such as mergers & acquisitions, share sell and purchase agreements, banking transactions, and construction. He has been appointed also as arbitrator in ICSID Case No. ARB/17/49 – Erste Bank v Republic of Croatia, and in ICSID Case No. ARB/17/34 – Raiffeisen Bank v Republic of Croatia.
In addition to his dispute resolution practice, Mr. Tomov acts as a counsel in high value international transactions and provides advice on matters of public international law. In this capacity, he has advised Bulgaria in regard to two sovereign bond issues and an international petrol pipeline project. He regularly advises Bulgaria and private companies on issues such as state immunity, treaty interpretation and termination, and structuring foreign investments.
Lazar Tomov has been consistently ranked at the very top by prestigious international guides to the legal profession such as Who is Who Legal Arbitration, Arbitration, GAR 100, and Legal 500, and praised in them.
Who is Who Legal, Arbitration, in the last eleven editions, has recognized Mr. Tomov as a Recommended Practitioner and Global Leader in the field of international arbitration. In 2023, Mr. Tomov is praised by Who is Who Legal, Arbitration, as “the superstar of international arbitration in Bulgaria”. Who is Who Legal also praises Mr. Tomov as “a strong tactician and a hard worker” and recognizes his ability to “pay attention to every detail in the case”.
GAR 100, in the last eight editions consistently reported that clients highly praise Mr. Tomov. For example, one client described him as an “outstanding litigator with good judgment and powerful argumentation” and another stated that his “versatile and powerful advocacy skills have been instrumental in winning many cases”.
Legal 500 has included Mr. Tomov in the list of notable practitioners in the field of dispute resolution for the last ten years. In the last two years, he has also been selected as a member of the Hall of Fame. In Legal 500 Mr. Tomov has been praised:
- in 2013 as a “brilliant lawyer with a sophisticated, rigorous and deeply knowledgeable approach”;
- in 2014 as “a class act”;
- in 2015 as “a brilliant lawyer with superb strategic instincts”;
- in 2016 as having “invaluable judgment” and being “an excellent advocate”;
- in 2017 as “a leading arbitrator”;
- in 2018 for his “strategic judgment and persuasive legal arguments”;
- in 2019 for his “broad legal knowledge, infallible strategic judgment and powerful advocacy” which “have been decisive factors in winning many cases”;
- in 2020 for his “excellent strategic judgment and powerful advocacy”;
- in 2021 as an “experienced international litigator and arbitrator” who “has been decisive for winning many cases”;
- in 2022 for his “deep knowledge”, “powerful and convincing advocacy”, and his capabilities “to make the right strategic decisions for the case”.
- in 2023 as “an exceptional counsel who excels in everything – in knowledge, convincing advocacy, and making the right strategic decision for the case.”
Mr. Tomov has graduated from the Faculty of Law of the St. Clement of Ohrid University, Sofia, with a diploma in law with distinction. He received a LLM degree in International Business Law (magna cum laude) from the Faculty of Law of the Katholike Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium. He also studied International and Comparative Law at the Academy of American and International Law, Dallas, USA, and European Union Law at the Academy of European Law, Florence, Italy, and International Arbitration, and Financial Law at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, United Kingdom.
Lazar Tomov is admitted to the Bulgarian Bar Association. He is also a member of:
- The London Court of International Arbitration
- The International Council of Commercial Arbitration
- The American Society of International Law
- The European Society of International Law
- The European Law Institute, Vienna
- The European Association of Private International Law
Lazar Tomov speaks Bulgarian (native) and English (fluent).