Poland

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Krajowa Izba Radców Prawnych (National Council of Legal Advisors)

Competition authority: Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

Financial regulator: Polish Financial Supervision Authority

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction: 

Banking, Capital markets : Debt, Capital markets : Equity, M&A, Project developmentProject finance 

Jurisdiction overview

Poland is a civil law jurisdiction backed by the country’s constitution. The two primary groups in the Polish legal market are adwokat (advocate) and radca prawny (legal adviser). Radca prawny is the equivalent of a solicitor as they don’t handle criminal matters.

As a member of the EU, the country abides by the freedom of movement regulations for lawyers from the EU and EEA. In general foreign lawyers can practice their home country and international law and EU lawyers do have the option of requalifying as a Polish lawyer.

There are few restrictions on foreign firms practising and there is no licensing regime except the requirement to register with the local bar.

The market has a number of international firms present, most being the Polish offices of UK or US firms. Those firms tend to employ Polish or dual qualified lawyers with the occasional foreign lawyer employed to coordinate cross border matters. 

The market’s domestic firms are in general larger operations by headcount and dominate the market in areas such as regulatory and licensing work.

Financial and corporate lawyers in Poland can often cover a range of work and will handle matters across the corporate finance or M&A areas, however the market is becoming increasingly specialised with lawyers dedicating more time to one or two specialisms.

Financial and corporate
Allen & Overy A Pędzich

Allen & Overy A Pędzich, in line with the global firm’s focus, is strongest in Poland in banking and finance and debt capital markets work, but it has strength across financial and corporate.

In banking and finance, as you’d expect the firm has a strong lender side practice advising on acquisition finance and restructurings for the likes of Bank Pekao, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, mBank and PKO. A standout deal as the firm act on the financing of the acquisition of the Allegro Group.

In the capital markets a clear standout deal for the debt team was work on the Polish state’s debut ‘Panda bond’ issue. The firm also advised the likes of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, Bank Zachodni, PKO Bank Hipoteczny and Tauron on bond issues and the establishment of debt issue programmes.

In M&A a regional deal highlight with a Polish element saw the firm advise Asahi on its acquisition of SABMiller’s CEE beer brands. At a local level the firm also took a role advising Naspers on the sale of the Allegro Group.

In the projects space the firm has been active in the energy and transport sectors acting on financings of wind farms and hydroelectric projects in Georgia, Poland and the Western Balakans. Another highlight saw the firm act on the financing of the Third Kraków Bypass.

Staffing changes include the additions of capital markets lawyer Mariusz Banaś, M&A senior associate Marcin Czaprowski and the departure of banking senior associate Agnieszka Lipska and M&A lawyer Jacek Michalski.

Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski

Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski’s strongest suits in Poland are capital markets, M&A and projects work

In banking and finance the firm has been active on project and real estate finance acting for both lenders and borrwers. Standout deals including work on the financing of the Banie wind farm, the financing of a waste to energy PPP in Poznań and the financing of the Warsaw spire project.

In the capital markets the firm has been most active on the debt side advising on new issues and acting for a range of clients on updates to debt issuance programs. Key clients include the likes of Bank Pekao, Credit Agricole Bank Polska, ING Bank Sląski, mBank.

In M&A the firm has acted on deals in the energy, food and beverage and real estate sectors advising the likes of Johnson Controls, Theo Muller and Varian Medical Systems.

In project development the firm has been active on PPP projects including a number of waste, waste to energy and healthcare projects for the likes of Ondeo Polska and SUEZ.

Staffing changes include the additions of finance partner Krzysztof Haładyj from Wierzbowski Eversheds and counsel Paweł Wajda from White & Case and the addition of three senior associates in the energy team Piotr Ciepiela, Michał Piekarski and Katarzyna Sosnowska. On the other side finance partner Jakub Celinski left to join Dentons while M&A partner Paweł Świrski joined PwC.

Client feedback

“Specialised in local public offerings; highly professional and prudent; understanding of business; client- oriented approach." – Capital markets

“Highly satisfied with the cooperation with the team. Long standing relations with leading partner Krzysztof Haładyj, with whom we worked for several years, even before he joined BKM.” – M&A

Michał Głowacki

“Extremely prudent, diligent and reliable, very responsive and available, meeting tight deadlines, having Michał in the transaction means 100% comfort that all legal issues are fully and properly taken care of.”

Krzysztof Haładyj

“Excellent business lawyer. Long standing relations for several years, even before he joined BKM. Great communication, good understanding of commercial side of our business, expert knowledge in the area of capital markets laws and Warsaw Stock Exchange. Reasonable approach to billing and fees.”

Bird & Bird Szepietowski & Partners

Though best known for its IP work UK firm Bird & Bird is also a credible player in the financial and corporate markets in Poland.

The banking and finance team has been heavily engaged in regulatory work, particularly in the banking sector. Its advisory work has also encompassed refinancing and financial disputes.

Energy and TMT have been areas of focus for Bird & Bird’s M&A practice, with the firm acting on a number significant cross-border matters. This notably included its advisory work for Wilhelmsen Maritime Services, who sold a part of their business to Survitec Group in a $220 million deal that involved almost 30 jurisdictions.

In the project finance and infrastructure space, energy and natural resources have been areas of significant emphasis for the firm.

The firm’s key clients include Ernst & Young, DNB Bank, FujiFilm, Tom Tom and BNK Petroleum.

Client feedback

“We are very happy with the legal support provided by Bird & Bird. They are commercial, pragmatic and have continued to provide support following the acquisition which has been vital in understanding an unfamiliar jurisdiction.” – M&A and corporate restructuring

“They provide a high-quality service. Solutions are delivered even in the case of complicated matters”. – Banking and finance

Rafal Dziedzic

“Rafal is cool and calm, even at the climax of a deal. His calm, methodical approach makes him a safe pair of hands.”

CDZ - Chajec Don-Siemion & Zyto

For Chajec Don-Siemion & Zyto, the TMT sector has been central to much of the firm’s work, with its M&A team, in particular, boasting a variety of clients from this industry.

Its capital markets practice has dealt primarily with bond issues and redemption, while in the banking area, it has advised on both equity and debt financing.

Some of the firm’s most important clients include Echo Investment, Enterprise Investors, FOX International Group and Capital Partners.  

Clifford Chance Janicka Krużewski Namiotkiewicz

Clifford Chance has strength across the board in Poland with no obvious areas of weakness.

In banking and finance the firm has been active on debt restructurings and acquisition finance matters during the research period primarily acting for the lenders including the likes of Bank Pekao, Bank Zachodni, ING and PKO. A highlight saw the firm advising the lenders on the Zl2 billion restructuring of Polimex-Mostostal.

In the capital markets area clear highlights include work on Poland’s sovereign green bond issue, a world first, where the firm advised the joint lead managers; and work for the EIB as a subscriber on Tauron’s hybrid bond issue. The firm also acted on the establishment of a number of bond programmes. On the equity side the firm advised the underwriters on a share issue by Alior Bank.

In M&A a standout deal came in the private equity space with the firm advising Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa Partners on the acquisition of Allegro Group. The firm has also acted for the likes of AXA, IK Investment Partners and PZU.

In the projects area the firm has acted on waste to energy projects, a road PPP in lower Silesi, a tram project in Warsaw acting for the likes of the European Investment Bank (EIB), PKO, EEW Group and the LHI Group.

Client feedback

“We retained Clifford Chance for a multijurisdictional acquisition/public-to-private transaction. We appreciated that we at all times had a single point of contact which ensured a seamless service covering all legal angles in all jurisdictions affected. Very high level of professionalism. Outstanding accessibility. High level of technical and legal solutions.” – Capital markets

“Very responsive, accessible and flexible. Always ready to adjust their advice and legal documentation to changing reality of the project. They work well under time pressure with no detriment to the quality of the legal products. Perfect choice for any urgent and unexpected matters. Excellent client relationship management - I feel comfortable contacting them on any matter.” – Banking and finance

“Used in the context of a bid on a company going through a restructuring, good combination of skills between insolvency and corporate and M&A, fluent in English, proactive, deep knowledge of market practice, nice to work with.” – M&A

"Their strengths are that they are professional, reliable and competent.” - Banking and finance

"True professionals, client-oriented, high level of corporate culture, extremely constructive in negotiations, masters in finding win-win solutions, very good understanding of business, first-choice partner in DCM transactions on both client and bank side.” – Capital markets

Grzegorz Abram

“Very co-operative and helpful, highly client-oriented.”

Mateusz Chruściak                                                        

"Very responsive and competent, excellent client management skills, delivers high quality advice under time pressure. Intuitively understands clients’ needs and expectations. One of the most promising senior associates I ever worked with."

Tomasz Derda

“Good corporate restructuring M&A practitioner, good understanding of the issues and process, proactive, pleasant to work with, hard working.”

Wojciech Polz                                                                  

“Wojciech and his team were able to efficiently coordinate the regulatory/M&A/capital markets advice we asked for in various matters. He was always available to address any issue and had a very hands on approach.”

“Competent and reliable.”

Andrzej Stosio

“Accessible and trustworthy, actively supervising team members work; gives client the feeling that the younger associates work is supported by his extensive expertise.”

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang Pośniak & Sawicki

In Poland CMS is best known for its projects work across the energy and infrastructure areas but it also has credible banking and M&A practices.

In banking and finance the firm has acted on acquisition, corporate and real estate finance matters acting for the likes of Bank Zachodni, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, ING, PKO and RBS.

In the capital markets area the firm has been focused on equity matters acting on a range of Warsaw Stock Exchange IPOs including that of i2 Development. The firm also picked up work on some bond issues on the debt side.

In M&A the firm has acted on matters in the consumer goods, finance and technology sectors. Highlights include work for China Everbright International on the acquisition of Novago and work for Mid Europa Partners on the sale of Żabka Polska.

In projects the firm has picked up work in a range of different areas including work on the A1 motorway project, a waste incineration plant PPP in Gdańsk and a hospital in Żywiec, acting for the likes of Gdańsk Transport Company and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Staffing changes include the departure of finance senior associate Anna Wawrzynczak-Palynyczak, capital markets lawyer Michał Pawłowski, M&A senior associates Paulina Lasocka-Wysoczańska and Tomasz Waligórski and counsel Joanna Błaszczyk and projects partner Karolina Siedlik and counsel Zbigniew Kozłowski.

Client feedback

 “Very good job delivered every time I work with them. Especially valuable balance between legal and commercial perspective. Good negotiators and excellent team work easily visible.” – M&A

“Understanding of client needs, excellent negotiation skills.” – Banking and finance, investment funds

"Strengths include professional lawyers, high availability and efficiency." – Project development

“Very clever and accessible junior lawyers.” – Banking and finance, M&A

Beata Barwinska - Piotrowska

“Experience and flexibility.”

Rafał Kluziak

“A very talented lawyer with commercial approach; doesn't create problems but solves them.”

Iga Lis

"Professional, high availability and very effective."

Marek Sawicki

“Working with him directly for more than 15 years, I value him primarily for his excellent balance between the legal and commercial perspective. Marek is very professional, open to new ideas and runs his team as a great leader. He is also very good negotiator.”

Czabański Gałuszyński & Partners

Czabanski & Galuszynski are a domestic, independent firm who have been operating in the Polish market for almost 20 years.

The banking and finance practice has been primarily focused on debt financing, advising both borrowers and lenders in the process. It has also acted on financial restructuring matters.

Some of their most noteworthy clients include ING, UNILINK, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank and mBank.

Dentons Europe Dąbrowski & Partners

In Poland Dentons is best known for its projects practice but also comes recommended for capital markets and banking work.

In banking and finance the firm has been focused on real estate and project finance matters. Key deals include work on the refinancing of P3 Logistic Parks and work for LOTOS Petrobaltic on the financing of the B8 Oil and Gas exploration project. The firm has also worked for the likes of PKO, mBank and Bank of China.

In the capital markets, on the equity side a standout deal saw the firm advise the underwriters on the GetBack IPO. The firm also worked on some notable bond deals and advised Flextronics International on a securitisation.

The M&A team picked up on roles on some of the markets most notable deals during the research period include work for Liberty Global on the acquisition of Multimedia Polska and work for EDF on the sale of its Polish energy assets. The firm has also been active on real estate matters.

Alongside the firm’s M&A work in the energy sector the projects team has also been active. Anotable example is the firm’s work on the Kozienice coal power plant, specifically the extension of the construction deadline. The firm also had a role on the construction of the Banie wind farm.

Staffing changes include the additions of counsels Jarosław Bełdowski from Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego and Agnieszka Lipska from Allen & Overy. In the capital markets the firm hired Jakub Celiński, Ryszard Manteuffel and Piotr Kowalik from Baker & McKenzie.

Client feedback

"High commercial understanding and availability of the partners, very good communication. Good track record and market knowledge. Recently strengthened in ECM by acquisition of one of the leading lawyers in Poland. For middle level staff, it depends on the area, very good in M&A, good in ECM." – Banking and finance, M&A

“Very high level of professionalism, outstanding accessibility, high level of technical and legal solutions.” – Banking and finance, capital markets

“High level professionals, client-oriented, extremely constructive in negotiations.” – Capital markets

“In projects, energy and project finance, very good work. On the M&A side, good work.”  – M&A, project development

"We were very happy with the work of the Warsaw team, led by Arkadiusz Krasnodębski, Piotr Dulewicz, Pawel Grabowksi and Tomas Janas because they provided excellent strategic and creative technical advice, were very available and reliable and demonstrated excellent negotiation skills and good and rapid understanding of our institution as client." – M&A

“Generally very client oriented, focused on solving problems rather than creating them. Good factually knowledge in the relevant field.” – Project finance

Jakub Celiński

“True expert in public offering area, strong negotiation skills, supportive, effective in finding win-win solutions.”

Piotr Dulewicz

"Very good business approach and perfect communication with the client - increases chances for transaction to take place.”

“Excellent knowledge of industry, great strategic view and knowledge of industry sector and fine negotiator.”

Robert Dulewicz

“The "first choice" lawyer in DCM practice, constructive, supportive, the highest level professional.”

Paweł Grabowski

“Excellent technical skills, creative legal solution, great communication and tough negotiator.”

Tomasz Janas

“Rising energy specialist, excellent knowledge of energy sector and environmental matters, great attention to details and fine legal analysis, a young partner to watch.”

Maria Kleszczewska

“Helpful, very client-oriented.”

Arkadiusz Krasnodębski

“Very good, very responsive.”

“Excellent insight on the polish energy sector.”

Agnieszka Kulińska

“Proactive, client-friendly, creative.”

Michał Mężykowski

“Knowledgeable, up to the point, no wasting client´s time and task oriented.”

Jakub Podkowa

“Great knowledge of the specific field, good understanding of clients' needs.”

Michał Śmiechowski

“Very high level of professionalism, outstanding accessibility, high level of technical and legal solutions.”

DLA Piper Wiater

DLA Piper Wiater is active across financial and corporate but has gaining in traction in banking and M&A work in recent years.

Its banking practice has advisd on a number of financing and securitisation matters, while in capital markets the team have advised on the acquisition of secondary shares and secured bonds, among other matters.

In M&A the firm has mostly advised buyers on issues that have ranged from share swap transactions to public acquisitions.

The energy sector has been central to its project finance and development work.

The firm’s project finance practice was strengthened by the arrival of Mariusz Hyla in December 2016.

Client feedback

“DLA are very organised. They made the execution of a complex, cross-border transaction possible. They have a great eye for detail and have exemplary communication skills. They also possess outstanding negotiations skills.” – Capital markets

“DLA Piper has an impressive transactional track record and is able to handle complex, multi-jurisdictional structures. The firm helped us considerably in our investments into mezzanine loans and bonds issues.  We were particularly impressed by their deep knowledge concerning different structures/frameworks of bonds/ equity instruments. In our opinion excels in client service and the firm is strongly client-orientated. All of our transactions involved multi-jurisdictional issues and DLA coped with that very well.” – Capital markets

Wojciech Kalinowski

“He possesses great attention to detail and very deep sector knowledge.”

Marek Sawicki

“Marek is one the brightest lawyers in Warsaw. He is hard working and dedicated, and does whatever is needed to close a deal.”

“He is a business-oriented and dedicated lawyer with a strong focus on effective deal closing. Moreover, Marek has very strong business network and has a very proactive approach.”

Domański Zakrzewski Palinka

Domański Zakrzewski Palinka is one of the leading Polish domestic firms and acts for Polish corporates and banks and as a local contact for international firms. The firm has a solid offering across the board but is best known for its M&A and projects work.

In the banking and finance area the firm is primarily engaged as a regulatory counsel but has picked up transactional work on loan restructurings. Clients include the likes of Commerzbank, HSBC, Idea Bank and JPMorgan.

In the capital markets the firm picked up work for Open Finance on a rights issue and advised Getin Noble Bank on a subordinated bond issue.

In M&A standout deals include work for Idea Bank on the sale of GetBack and work for New Baby Tula on the sale of the US Baby Tula Group.

The projects team has been active on projects across a range of sectors including energy, waste management and roads. Standout deals include work on a gas power plant in Toruń and the expansion of the coal power plant at Kozienice.

A significant staffing change at the firm during the research period saw it add energy lawyer Rafał Hajduk and his team from Norton Rose Fulbright. The firm also hired David Shasha as an of counsel in the M&A space.

Client feedback

“The senior associates in the team are very competent and demonstrate a very high degree of legal knowledge and ability to work under pressure.” – M&A

Krzysztof Zakrzewski

“He has a very long experience of the law and functioning in the market, he has a great understanding of the business ramifications.”

Maciej Zajda

“Very competent corporate and M&A lawyer, very responsive to challenging deal structures

Wojciech Dziomdziora 

“Probably the best media regulatory lawyer in Poland."

FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz

FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz is a domestic Polish firm.

Dispute work has dominated its activity in the Banking and finance space, with labour, CHF and foreign exchange derivatives disputes forming the majority of such work. It has also engaged in a variety of restructuring and insolvency work.

In M&A, the firm has mostly advised buyers in a spate of public acquisition matters, with the technology and energy sectors a significant focus in this space.

Some of the firm’s most significant clients include Bank BGŻ Paribas, mBank, Alior Bank, Pekao Bank, Orange Polska and Viking Malt.

Client feedback

 “FKA are very knowledgeable in their own jurisdiction and possess an excellent grasp of conflict of law and international procedural law issues. They are very responsive, speak  excellent English and offer perfect cooperation, which culminate in a smooth transactional process” – Banking and finance, M&A

“They are extremely knowledgeable, professional and business oriented. In addition, the firm possesses strong people skills, are capable of working with very demanding clients and will go the extra mile”. – M&A

Leszek Rydzewski

“Leszek is the perfect counterpart; his strengths, which includes a great understanding of foreign law aspects, responsivity and organisation ensured a smooth operation.”

Edyta Jusiel

“Edyta is extremely technically strong, very committed and always proactive”.

Garrigues

Garrigues is a Spanish law firm with a decade-long Polish presence.

Regulatory issues have formed much of its banking and finance work, although financial restructuring and project finance matters have also featured.

In M&A, the firm’s transactional work has seen it advise buyers and sellers alike.

Some of the firm’s clients include Grupo Aldesa, Wonga and Rover Alcisa.

Gide Loyrette Nouel

Gide Loyrette Nouel are an international firm that deals with a variety of local and international work.

Its banking and finance team has engaged predominantly with debt work, with refinancing and acquisition finance issues forming the bulk of this. One standout matter saw the firm advise Unibail-Rodamco in a €200 million refinancing of a Warsaw shopping centre.

In M&A, the firm has been busy advising buyers and sellers alike. Perhaps its most significant deal concerned the acquisition of a 12.8% stake in Bank Pekao by the firm’s client, Polski Fundusz Rozwoju.

Notable clients include mBank, Bank Milennium, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole.

Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak

Banking and finance and M&A are Greenberg Traurig’s strongest suits in Poland with real estate work being at the core of both practices.

In the banking and finance area the firm has been active on banking sector M&A and real estate financings. The firm’s clients include the likes of Alior Bank, Invesco Real Estate and PWW.

In the capital markets the firm has picked up a number of notable equity capital markets matters during the research period including a share offer by Alior Bank and the IPOs of Gremi and X-Trade Brokers X-Trade Brokers Dom Maklerski. On the debt side the firm acted on bond issues by Alior Bank and Bank Pocztowy.

In M&A the firm took roles on some of the largest deals in 2016 including acting for CVC Capital Partners’ on the acquisition of Żabka Polska and advising the sellers on Asahi’s acquisition of SABMiller CEE beer brands. The firm also advised Alior Bank on the acquisition of Bank BPH’s core business.

The firm is focused more on real estate than projects work but it has picked up contracts work in the oil and gas sector during the research period.

Client feedback

“Excellent cooperation, lots of flexibility, full involvement. Very professional, creative and determined to reach the target.” – Capital markets, M&A

"Strengths are their great involvement, business orientation, focus on timing and delivery." – Banking and finance

“Very high quality of advice, strong commitment to clients, timeliness and fun to work with and they are really nice people.” – Capital markets, M&A

“High level of intensity of the entire firm. Good level of delivery under pressure and meeting ambitious client and regulatory demands. – Banking and finance, M&A

“Openness, strong competencies, very close cooperation and reliability.” – Capital markets, M&A

Karolina Dunin-Wilczyńska

“Local partner, very hard working and competent, fun to work with.”

“Extreme levels of intensity, high quality delivery, approachable and friendly, always helpful.”

“Deep knowledge, strong support.”

Jarosław Grzesiak

“Top of the tops."

“Excellent lawyer, strong skill set, great contact network.”

Przemysław Kozdój

“Great knowledge and involvement.”

Ireneusz Matusielański

“Excellent ECM skills."

Ireneusz Matusielański and Karolina Dunin-Wilczyńska

“Very strong knowledge, full flexibility, always delivering.”

Rafał Sieński

“Strong skill set, fast response times.”

Andrzej Wysokiński

“Top professional.”

Krassowski

Krassowski are a boutique M&A firm.

Its transactional highlights include advising Nile Invest and Highlander Partners on the disposal of a 90% stake in Medi-System.

It has, for this research period, focused primarily on the healthcare and IT sectors.

The firm’s most important clients include PwC, LUX MED and Raiffeisen Bank.

Linklaters C Wiśniewski

Banking and M&A are clear focuses for the Linklaters team in Poland but the firm is strong across the board in finance matters.

In the banking space the firm typically acts for the lenders advising the likes of Alior Bank, Bank Zachodni, mBank and PKO Bank. Highlight deals include advising on the refinancing of Arctic Paper and on a number of significant real estate financings.

In the capital markets UniCredit has been a key client for the firm with the team advising on issues of equity linked certificates and a rights issue. The firm has also worked for Ciech, Prairie Mining and PZU.

In M&A the firm has been active on a number of regional and wider international deals. In terms of Polish domestic work, highlights include work for Rhône Capital on the sale of Eden Springs and work for PZU on acquisition of Bank BPH.

In the project development space the firm acted for GTC in an urban road project in Warsaw, Most of the firm’s other work is confidential but it can be said that it has acted on energy, oil and gas and toll road projects.

Magnusson

Magnusson is an independent law firm with significant cross-border expertise.

The firm’s banking and finance team has focused heavily on the real estate sector, with project finance, financial restructuring and acquisition finance matters making up the bulk its work.

Its team was strengthened significantly by the arrival of Marek Król from legacy firm Chadbourne & Parke in June of 2016.

Magnusson’s key clients include Bank Pekao, RIDA Development Corporation and Mars FIZ.

Mrowiec Fiałek

Mrowiec Fialek & Partners is a domestic firm focused on M&A.

Its M&A team has advised buyers and sellers, from a range of different sectors, on a number of acquisition and divestment matters.

The firm’s most noteworthy clients include Vienna Capital Partners, Argus Capital and Qubick Games.

Norton Rose Fulbright Piotr Strawa and Partners

Norton Rose Fulbright Piotr Strawa and Partners’ strongest areas of practice in Poland are finance in energy, with the later encompassing both projects and M&A work.

In banking the firm’s work is split fairly evenly between lender and borrower side mandates with highlights including work for Inter Cars on its latest financing and work for the lenders on a loan to Polish rail company, Przewozy Regionalne. The firm also picked up asset and real estate finance work and refinancings.

In terms of staffing changes the firm took a blow in April 2017 with the departure of energy lawyer Rafał Hajduk and his team who left for Domański Zakrzewski Palinka.

In the capital markets, debt side mandates were a clear area of focus during the research period with the firm taking bank side roles on bond issues by both TMF Poland and Schoeller Allibert Group.

In M&A, a key client for the firm is Abris Capital Partners who the team advised on both a sale of shares in Novago and an investment in Druk Markuszewscy. The firm also picked up roles advising Fortum Holding on its acquisition of Grupa Duon and First State Investments acquisition of a stake in Gdańsk Transport Company.

In projects the firm has been more active on project refinancings during the research period in the energy sector, though it did work on a waste to energy project for a confidential client.

Client feedback

"NRF is a good and solid legal firm on the local market. They participate in numerous transactions and benefit from international experience." – Banking and finance

Grzegorz Dyczkowski

“Helpful and experienced.”

“Very experienced and knowledgeable lawyer.”

Prof Marek Wierzbowski & Partners

Prof Marek Wierzbowski & Partners is best known for its capital markets work.

The firm’s capital markets team has been exclusively focused on IPO and SPO matters, with technology and real estate being industries of key focus, while its M&A practice has been busy with public acquisition and divestment work.

Some of the firm’s most notable, publishable clients include the State Treasury of Poland, Mediacap, Archicom and Global Cosmed.

Client feedback

 “They are a highly professional law firm with a team of extremely qualified, business-minded lawyers.” – M&A.

Marek Wierzbowski

“Marek is a highly qualified lawyer with plenty of experience and business practice”.

Radzikowski Szubielska & Partners

Radzikowski Szubielska & Partners consists of the bulk of the former Chadbourne & Parke team in Poland. The US firm merged into Norton Rose Fulbright in 2017 and in advance of this the Polish team decided to go its own way.

The firm’s banking and finance team has been involved in a large number of acquisition and project finance matters, working almost exclusively with lenders in the process.

In M&A, the firm has predominantly been concerned with equity matters, comprising mostly of share repurchases and public acquisition work. One interesting mandate had the team represent Multimedia Polska in its acquisition by Liberty Media.

In all areas, the firm has a focus on, and is a leader in, the energy, oil and gas and real estate sectors of the market.

Its most notable clients include Bank Pekao, Este Group Bank and Multimedia Polska.

Schoenherr Poland

Schoenherr Poland acts across both banking and M&A and is best known for its work in the latter area.

Although much of the firm’s work is confidential, the banking and finance team has advised lenders on the establishment of numerous corporate loan facilities, while in the capital markers space it has been overwhelmingly engaged in debt financing, advising on the issuance of senior bonds, among other corporate debt issues.

Its M&A team has been busy on multiple fronts, and in a multitude of different sectors. Public acquisitions, mergers and private equity buyouts comprise the majority of its work, while the firm has also advised on the formation of several joint ventures.

Some of the firm’s most significant, publishable clients includes ASSA ABLOY, Samsic, EVO Payments International and Mann+Hummel.

Client feedback

“Schoenherr is always responsive and performs excellently.” – Banking and finance

Paweł Halwa

“Pawel is always on top of things, responsive and has an excellent knowledge of financing and capital markets matters.” 

Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak

Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak is a well-established firm with a broad sector focus that advises both Polish and foreign clients.

In the banking and finance space its debt work has seen the firm advise both lenders and borrowers on a multitude on matters encompassing acquisition finance, corporate refinancing and project finance. In addition, the team has provided cross-border regulatory advice in the context of acquisitions and clearance.

Its M&A work was consisted mostly of public acquisition and takeover work, with buyers comprising most of its clients. In one standout deal, it advised Mexican group, Finaccess Capital, in its takeover of AmRest.

Among the firm’s more notable clients are RBS, mBank, MasterCard Europe, European Investment Bank, AXA Real Estate and British American Tobacco.

SSW Pragmatic Solutions

SSW’s equity capital markets work is its key strength and is the area in which it ranks highest. IPO and regulatory matters have dominated its work in this space, while its debt capital markets group has advised on the establishment of various bond issuance programs.

Its M&A team has advised on a number of equity investments, together with various corporate restructurings and reorganisations, while the firm’s banking practice has recently advised both lenders and borrowers in relation to loan and credit agreements.

Some of its most notable clients include UBS, Unilink Group, GetBack and Haitong Bank. 

The firm’s M&A team has been strengthened by the arrival of Sebastian Ponikowski, who joins from Baker & McKenzie.

Client feedback

 “Very strong capital markets team. Very organised. No improvements needed.” – Capital markets

“They are highly qualified and always available when needed. Very good communication. The firm has vast knowledge of the tech industry which has proven extremely useful and has made the process of working together very easy.” – Capital markets

“They have a very strong team that is specialised in capital markets. I really like working with them. They are always very professional.” - Investment funds, Capital markets

“They are very flexible and proactive, as well as being experienced and very good quality. The team led by Mr Szymon Okon is one of the best banking teams in Poland. They are always happy to help. They combine their legal and financial knowledge well and provide legal services at the level of international law firms but for less money. Highly recommended.” – Investment funds, Capital markets

“SSW has very strong team in equity capital markets headed by Szymon Okoń. They are available 24/7, know the gaming industry very well and are the leaders in the market.” - Capital markets

“SSW are very competent, agile, have a good understanding of and give top-level advice. This unique combination has allowed us to work with SSW on many projects for a number of years.” – Capital markets, M&A

“They are business oriented, available on request and mitigate business risks before they arrive.” - Capital markets, M&A

“The firm has excellent M&A capabilities, and their prompt addressing of issues is outstanding. They possess very good knowledge of other areas (like tax), making the process easier and smoother.” - Capital markets, M&A

Katarzyna Dymel

“Great on financing issues”.

Szymon Okoń

“Szymon Okoń always finds optimal solutions. He is very proactive and professional.”

“He has good communication and negotiation skills, and is commercial-minded, which is crucial.”

“Szymon always pays great attention to detail, is very easy to work with, and is goal oriented. He possesses great legal and tech knowledge and is experienced in the IPO process.”

The best lawyer specialized in debt matters I have ever met. Active in debt public offering, private debt issues, debt issues to financial institutions. Always available, very proactive. Leading lawyer on the market.

“He is a very competent, proactive, business-orientated legal counsel. His superb knowledge and interpersonal skills make working with Szymon a positive experience.”

“The lawyer to be recommended is Szymon Okon. I really appreciate his unique depth of legal and financial knowledge. Szymon’s practical approach what helped the formal procedures go smoothly and his advice was always clear.”

“He is business-orientated, extremely reliable, very creative and user-friendly. Szymon quickly gets to the point. He is an absolute leader in the legal banking industry.”

Sebastian Ponikowski

“One of the most talented M&A lawyers in Warsaw. Practically no weaknesses to be pointed out.”

Taylor Wessing e|n|w|c

Taylor Wessing in Poland can call on the wider firm’s 33 offices worldwide.

Although much of the firm’s banking and finance work is confidential, it has worked in a variety of different sectors, including financial services and real estate, while its M&A team has acted on a number of cross-border acquisitions.

The firm’s publishable clients include OpenX and TEVA Pharmaceutical.

Wardyński & Partners

Wardyński & Partners is a well-balanced law firm that has been operating in Poland for almost 30 years.

In the banking and finance space, fintech and energy have been sectors of key strength, whereas debt restructuring and refinancing has comprised much of its real estate work. Securitisation and acquisition finance matters make up the rest of the team’s focal activities.  

Its capital markets practice has been engaged mostly with equity work, while its M&A team has advised on a number of public acquisitions and private equity buyouts. In one impressive example of their work in the retail sector, the firm advised IKEA on their sale of 25 shopping centres to Pradera for €900 million

The firm’s project finance and development work has been dominated by PPP and public procurement work – a standout example of which concerned its advisory role in the construction of a unit of a coal power plant.

Bank Zadchoni, Credit Suisse, Dell Bank International, Brown Brothers Harriman, Legg Mason, Hella and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems are among the firm’s most notable clients.

Client feedback

 “Wardyński & Partners' work is of a high quality and represented good value for the client.  They quickly understood context and expectations and delivered on everything asked of them in a timely fashion. They considered their advice carefully and raised corporate-related matters that had an important bearing on the financing side of the transaction. They understood well the international context in which they were operating and the market expectations of a primarily English law governed financing and acquisition. Their communication with us and others involved in the transaction was relevant, precise and always moved matters forward”. – Banking and finance

 “Wardyński & Partners is a solid and reliable partner. We have a trust in their experience, knowledge and ethics. The only problem from time to time is limited accessibility of individual lawyers.” – Banking and finance, Restructuring and insolvency

“They are efficient, professional and very knowledgeable. To be honest, no real weakness was acknowledged during our work.” – Banking and finance

“The firm always provides us (and our clients) with top-quality and clear legal and tax advice. Despite dealing with complex matters, they deliver a user-friendly output that can be easily understood by both the lawyer and client. Their advice goes right to the point and always hits the target. They are not mere followers of instructions and therefore, if needed, they recommend solutions that best fit the Polish market and legislation. There is nothing to complain about. They are responsive and everything works in accordance with our agreement and our highest expectations.” – Banking and finance

Michał Kalicki

“He was responsive, authoritative and marshalled things well.”

Krzysztof Libiszewski

“Strong negotiations skills, common sense and responsiveness.”

Mirella Lechna

“She is professional and responsible.”

“Mrs Lechna is an excellent lawyer. She has perfect communication skills combined with good attention to detail and broad legal knowledge”.

Łukasz Szegda

“He provides quick, reliable advice and service, without reinventing the wheel.”

Daniel Smarduch and Mateusz Tusznio

“They form an unavoidable part of the banking and finance team we cooperate with on a regular basis. It’s quick and reliable advice.”

Weil Gotshal & Manges – Paweł Rymarz

Though Weil Gotshal’s team in Poland is relatively small the firm picks up impressive mandates in banking, capital markets, M&A and in the energy sector.

In banking acquisition finance is a clear focus of the firm’s practice and a clear highlight for the team this year saw it advise the lenders on the financing of the acquisition of the Allegro Group by Permira, Cinven and Mid Europa Partners. The firm also acted for Bridgepoint on the financing of its acquisition of the Smyk Group and for the lenders on CVC’s acquisition of Żabka Polska. The firm also picked up notable restructuring and refinancing work.

In the capital markets the firm has been active on the debt side advising on debt issues by the likes of Polska Grupa Gornicza, GetBack and Echo Investment. In terms of equity matters a clear highlight was work for Dino Polska on its IPO. The firm also had a role on the proposed (and later suspended) IPO of Raiffeisen Bank Polska.

In M&A, the firm was active in the banking sector advising UniCredit on the sale of its stake in Bank Pekao and PZU on its acquisition of a stake in Alior Bank. The firm also picked up work for Echo Investment on the sale of its stake in Echo Prime Properties.

In project development the firm has been active on general corporate matters including the setting up of companies, licensing and contract work. Key projects include work on the expansion of the Ostrołęka coal power plant.

Client feedback

“This is very competent law firm with unique business experience on the market.” – M&A

“Highly professional team with great deal of experience.” – M&A

“Working with equity capital markets team at Weil Gotshal & Manges – Paweł Rymarz in Poland is great pleasure due to their professionalism and focus on solutions of any issues.” – Capital markets

"Always on time, very professional, reliable, people very devoted, very good quality of the feedback (verbal, written)." – Banking and finance, M&A

Marek Durski

“One of the top energy lawyers in Poland with a lot of experience both in commercial issues and in the regulatory area.”

Łukasz Szatkowski

“I would definitelly recommend Łukasz to all my colleagues!”

Jacek Zawadzki

“Jacek is focused on the client's needs and solving problems. Jacek is highly experienced in the capital markets in Poland. 

White & Case M Studniarek & Partners

White & Case in Poland is best known for its finance practice particularly its debt capital markets capability but the firm has picked up impressive work recently in the M&A space as well.

In the banking and finance area the firm has acted on a range of restructurings and refinancing for the likes of Echo Investment, Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, Kompania Węglowa and various lenders. A highlight deal saw the firm act for P4 as it took out Zl7 billion in new financing.

In the capital markets the firm has picked up work for issuers and underwriters with highlights being work for the Polish Minsitry of Finance on a green bond issue and work for the banks on a covered bond programme by PKO Bank Hipoteczny. On the equity side the firm acts primarily for underwriters taking roles on the IPOs of Dino Polska and Griffin Premium. 

In M&A deal highlights include work for UniCredit on its sale of shares in Bank Pekao, work for Mid Europa Partners on its sale of shares in Żabka Polska and its joint acquisition of Allegro and work for a consortium on the acquisition of EDF’s Polish assets.

Wierzbowski Eversheds Sutherland

Wierbowski Eversheds Sutherlands is the Polish arm of the newly merged UK firm Eversheds Sutherland.

While much of its banking and finance work is confidential, it has mostly concerned debt issues, with regulatory work also featuring reasonably often. The firm’s capital markets practice has worked on a number of IPO and dual-listing matters, while loan portfolio transactions have also featured. 

In the M&A space the firm has been involved in a variety of mid-market corporate transactions, advising mostly sellers in matters consisting of cross-border public and private acquisitions, mergers and asset sales.

Krzysztof Haładyj, previously a partner in the banking and finance team, left for Baker McKenzie in November 2016.

Some of the firm’s most prominent clients include Avis, American Express, Ryanair, Starbucks, AmRest and Milestone Medical.

Client feedback

 “Their strengths include a deep knowledge and market understanding, exceptional motivation and attention to details, great communication and responsiveness” – M&A

Grzegorz Kott

“Exceptional industry knowledge, commercial understanding, as well as great ability to work on pressure and short deadlines”.

Wiewiórski Legal

Wiewiórski Legal is a domestic firm established in 2004.    

Much of the its banking and finance work has comprised of loan and credit agreements, advising both lenders and borrowers in the process.

Its key clients include Work Service Capital Group, EIKA and Bank of New York.

Client feedback

“We have collaborated with Wiewiorski since starting Polish operations 12 years ago which illustrates our satisfaction with their services. Work is always performed in a timely manner, with attention to detail and an understanding of our business aims. They have great technical knowledge and manage the projects properly.” – Regulatory

Agnieszka Woldan-Waleczek

“She embodies all of Wiewiorski’s strengths referred to above.”

WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr

WKB Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr is a domestic firm that is perhaps best known for its project finance work and expertise in the energy industry.

Its banking and finance practice has acted various lenders on debt restructuring and refinancing matters, while in the capital markets space, the firm has been heavily involved in regulatory work, advising, in particular, on the implications of two EU measures. It has also advised on the establishment of a covered-bonds programme.

In M&A, it has focused considerably on public and private acquisition issues, advising both buyers and sellers in this process. Spinoffs and freeze-out mergers in the energy sector have also been recently worked on.

Its project finance and development team has been overwhelmingly focused on the energy and oil and gas sectors, acting on behalf of state and private alike on complex regulatory and contract questions, together with a multitude of PPP deals. This has included advisory work for state-owned Gaz-System in the Baltic pipe project, aimed at the creation of a new supply corridor in the European gas market. The firm has also operated significantly in the transport and construction sectors.

The banking and finance practice were strengthened in October 2016 with the arrival of Marcin Smolarek, who arrived from Wardyński & Partners.

Among the firm’s most significant clients are Bank BGŻ BNP Pariba, Mitsui & Co Deutschland, mBank, IKEA, EBRD and Carrefour.

Client feedback

“They are very good, easy to work with and understand the process”. – Banking and finance

“They are very professional, responsive and competent.  No weaknesses detected so far.” – Real estate finance, M&A

“WKB is a professional law firm, providing high-level services. Their individual lawyers support good relations with clients. They have wide business experience and they counsel all branches of the law, from corporate through to tax, bonds and regulation”. – Banking and finance, Regulatory

Piotr Grabarczyk

“He is competent and very responsive.”

Marcin Smolarek

“He is open-minded and flexible.”

Agata Szczepańczyk Piwek

 “Very professional and easy to work with.”