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:
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.
Allen & Overy A Pędzich is active across all areas of financial and corporate work but strongest in banking. With strong relationships with notable banks, it is active in financing and debt work.
The banking and finance team has a strong presence in the lender’s market, advising on acquisition finance, debt refinancing and restructuring and project financing recently. On the borrowers’ side, the firm has advised on acquisition finance in the real estate and telecommunication sectors.
The firm’s project team have acted on the financing aspects energy, transport and oil and gas developments, primarily on the lenders side advising the likes of EIB and mBank. One of the highlight deals saw the firm advise on the financing of EFRA – effective refining project.
In capital markets, the firm has been active in the debt area advising issuers on the listing of subordinate bonds and euro bonds. It has also acted on securitisation of auto loan receivables where it advised the arranger.
In M&A, the firm has acted on deals in banking, infrastructure and energy sector. Its highlights include the acquisition of Deutshe Bank Polska’s retail business and the public takeover bid for 100% of the outstanding shares of Uniwheels.
Notable clients include Goldman Sachs, Deutsche bank, HSBC and EBRD.
“Excellent business knowledge, time and detail-oriented.” – Banking, capital markets, project finance, restructuring
“In general I would qualify their assessment as satisfactory. Strengths: adequate technical skills, hardworking capacity, well aware of market trends and circumstances.” – M&A, regulatory
“Strengths: certain milestones are always achieved on time, professional team, pro-active solution seeking and great industry knowledge. Weaknesses: can't think of any.” – Capital markets, M&A
Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski is notable for its work in capital markets, M&A and projects area.
In banking and finance, the firm has been active in the real estate and projects areas advising the lenders on the development of several hotels and office buildings. It has also advised bondholders and issuers on debt restructuring mandates during the research period.
In equity capital markets work, the firm has advised the likes of Exillon Energy on delisting from the Warsaw Stock exchange. In debt work, the firm has acted for consortium of banks on bond issuance programmes.
The firm’s corporate team has been active on several cross border mandates advising clients across the CEE region in the oil and gas sector. One notable mandate saw the firm advise PKN Orlen on its acquisition of Unipetrol’s remaining shares.
In projects work the firm has acted on several PPP projects across waste management, infrastructure and energy sectors, advising a mix of contractors and project developers on public procurement. One of its notable deals includes the advisory role to the contractors on the Poznan waste incineration plant project.
During the research period, the firm strengthened its corporate team by recruiting counsel Jacket Balicki from Weil Gotshal.
Key clients include ING Bank Sląski, PKN Orlen, mBank and Pekao Investment banking.
“Ireneusz Stolarski is the best project finance lawyer in Warsaw.” – M&A, project finance, restructuring
“Very proactive. Focus on delivering solutions.” – Banking, project finance, restructuring
Bird & Bird Szepietowski & Partners is the Polish branch of the global firm Bird & Bird. In Poland the firm is active in banking and M&A and the energy sector of project development.
In banking the firm advised on regulatory compliance work, refinancing and new lending, mainly for lenders. An example of its work was advising mBank Hipoteczny on a refinancing of a portfolio of six shopping malls in Poland.
An example of the firm’s recent M&A work was its role with CD Projekt and GOG with respect to their cross-border merger, working on the transfer of rights for GOG and analysing and assessing the planned restructuring.
Other noteworthy clients of the firm include Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, OpusCapita, and Bank Pocztwoy.
"Very professional and highly responsive with high standard of documents preparation." – Banking, capital markets
BSJP Brockhuis Jurczak Prusak Sroka Nilsson is a local firm recognised in project development and banking and finance.
The firm’s recent banking and finance work were mostly project financings.
In project development the frim advised Saxovent Energy in establishing a photovoltaic farm in Poland, helping its client obtain a permit and preparing an investment agreement.
Other clients of the firm are EIG Energy Invest Group, ProCon Energy, and Saint-Gobain Group.
Clifford Chance is one of the strongest firms in Poland with expertise across all areas of work.
In banking and finance, the firm has been equally advising borrowers and lenders in debt restructuring and refinancing, and acquisition and project financing mandates. It is particularly active in real estate sector where it has acted on the financial aspects of the development of warehouses and office buildings. In the financing aspect of the project work, the firm has advised the likes of EBRD and EIB on the RDF incineration plant.
In debt capital market, the firm has acted on several bond issues including working on euro bonds, hybrids and subordinate bonds for the likes the EBRD and EIB as investors. It has also acted on derivative work, advising Polish banks on exchange of margins and collaterals. The equity team acted for issuers on rights issues.
The firm’s M&A mandates were mostly driven by private equity, however, it has acted for banks and insurance companies in several buy and sell transactions, including the acquisition of Bank Pekao. Elsewhere, it has also acted on healthcare sector advising DaVita on the acquisition of 47 dialysis centres.
In projects work the firm has been active on public law aspects of deals, notably advising Basell Orlen Polyolefins on the negotiation of an off-take agreement, and ITPOK in the development of waste incineration PPP project.
Recent staffing changes include the departure of partners Marcin Bejm and Mikołaj Markiewicz to join CMS.
Key clients include mBank, Bank Pekao, TDJ Group, Advent International and Warburg Pincus.
“I am satisfied with comprehensive and prompt legal services of Piotr Bogdanowicz. I value his very good professional preparation, high speed of reaction and creativity. I appreciate his high personal culture.” – Project development, regulatory
“I am very pleased with our cooperation with Clifford Chance. The strength of the office is always their high quality of services, punctuality and comprehensive legal advice. The ability to work in an international business environment and knowledge of the specifics of various industries are definitely strong points of Clifford Chance.” – Banking, project development, project finance, regulatory
“Very responsive, highly qualified professionals, great communication and negotiation skills.” – M&A, restructuring and insolvency
CMS is active across all areas of financial and corporate work; however, its strength lies in project work in the infrastructure and energy sectors.
In banking and finance area, the firm is primarily active in acquisition finance acting for the likes of Raiffeisen bank and Coast2Coast Capital. Elsewhere, it is also active in corporate and real estate financing. The project finance teams has advised on matters in the transport, roads, waste to energy and infrastructure sectors.
Its capital market practice is mostly focused on equity transactions, advising on IPOs for issuers. In debt capital market, it has advised issuers on bonds.
In M&A the firm has acted on acquisitions, joint ventures and exits from the Polish market across food, retail, technology and finance sectors. Highlights include advising Mid Europa Partners on the sale of Żabka Polska and Maxima Grupė on the acquisition of Emperia Holding. It has also been active in the squeeze out procedures, advising new acquirers in likes of GetBack and PCC.
The firm’s projects team has acted across several sectors advising a mix of concessionaires, operators and funds managers on projects including the A1 Motorway project, Baltic Gas project and Jaworzno power plant.
The firm saw staffing changes across all practice areas. In banking and finance, partner Michał Mężykowsk joined the firm alongside his team, including Jakub Wieczorek, Jakub Pokdowa and Martyna Markiewicz. Ilona Fedurek also joined the team as counsel from White & Case. The corporate and capital markets practice hired Rafał Woźniak as partner. The projects team has a new partner in Marcin Bejm, while Agnieszka Skorupińska joined as counsel. Departing the firm were partners Wadim Kurpias and Małgorzata Chruściak, and counsels Tomasz Zwoliński, Konrad Werner, Adam Stopyra, Beata Barwińska, and Rafał Woźniak.
The firm’s key clients include CVC Capital Partners, Aareal bank, Mid Europa Partners and Coast2Coast.
“Extensive knowledge of energy sector. Able to work under tight deadlines. Strong focus on responding to client's needs.” – Regulatory
Czabański Gałuszyński & Partners is a domestic firm active in banking and finance and M&A.
Within banking and finance the firm primarily represented financial institutions acting as lenders and arrangers recently. An example of such work was advising Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girzentrale acting as consortium agent and security agent for the syndicated loan for PAS Group.
Other clients of the firm include Darby Private Equity, Bank Pekao, and Credit Agricole Bank Polska.
"Relatively small, but fast and flexible practice. Swiftly responding to client’s ad hoc needs." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, restructuring and insolvency
Deloitte Legal in Poland works in banking and finance. In terms of recent banking and finance work, the firm advised Prime Capital on the refinancing of the Nova Park shopping center.
Hubert Żółw, a senior managing associate in banking and finance, left the firm in March 2018 for Caterpillar Financial Services. Coming in, Łukasz Czujko joined the firm from EY Law in September 2017 as managing associate.
A few clients of the firm are China construction Bank, Mezzanine Management, and iAlbatros Group.
Active across all areas of work, Denton's strength lies in projects and debt capital markets work.
The firm’s capital markets work is mixture of tender offers, bonds issues, debt financing and IPOs, advising a mix of issuers, investors and arrangers. It has advised mBank on the establishment of EMTN programme and Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego on the issuance of corporate hybrid bonds in the Polish market.
The firm’s corporate team has acted on some notable M&A transactions in the energy sector advising EDF and Enea on sale and acquisition mandates respectively. Elsewhere, it has been engaged on transactions for both public and private companies across automotive, real estate and food sectors.
In the projects space, the firm has been advising contractors and project developers in transport, infrastructure, energy and waste management sectors, advising on tender procedures, negotiations and acquisition transactions. It is also active in cross border mandates, acting on offshore wind farms and coal power plants in Indonesia.
The firm saw a number of departures in the banking and finance practice as Michał Mężykowski and his team of counsels Jakub Wieczorek, Jakub Pokdowa and Martyna Markiewicz, and associates joined CMS. Counsel Artur Cieślik also left the capital markets team during the research period.
Notable clients include EDF, Liberty Global, mBank and EIB.
“Very competent and personally engaged team. I value the personal engagement of partners in transactions, which adds a lot of value during the negotiation process.” – Capital markets, M&A, project development, regulatory
DLA Piper Giziński Kycia is the Polish branch of DLA Piper. The firm is active in banking and finance, capital markets, on both the debt and equity side, M&A, and project development in infrastructure and energy. The firm is generally strong across its practice areas.
In terms of banking work, the firm worked on a myriad of transactions, with a particular strength of the firm’s team being acquisition finance, often in the real estate sector. For example, the firm advised ING Bank and Nationale-Nederlanden Levensverzekering Maatschapij on an acquisition financing for THI Funds in the real estate sector.
The firm has been active on both the debt and equity side of capital markets. In the equity markets, the firm advised on multiple public offerings, with some work on IPOs. An example of its work was representing DM PKO BP as global coordinator and joint-bookrunner and Trigon DM as joint-bookrunner on the IPO of Novaturas on both the Warsaw Stock Exhange and Nasdaq Vilinius.
The firm advised on a mix of sales and purchases in the M&A area, which was where most of its work was centered, and also saw work in mergers and joint ventures. The firm advised PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, Energa, Enea, and Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe I Gazownictwo on the acquisition of Polimex-Mostostal.
The firm has worked in the energy and infrastructure areas of project development. In Warbud’s thermo-modernisation project the firm advised on a tender procedure which involved analysis of PPP documentation.
The firm hired a new head of capital markets, Jakub Domalik-Plakwicz in April 2017 from Weil Gotshal & Manges.
A few other clients of the firm are Getin Noble Bank, Ipopema Securities, and AmeriGas Polska.
"The DLA Piper corporate team led by Jakub Domalik-Plakwicz provided me with full scope transaction advice on an M&A. The deal was a mid-cap transaction in terms of value with high level of complexity in terms of structuring. DLA’s team did an excellent job. They brought a huge amount of expertise to the table. I am very impressed with business acumen of the team, response time and great value for money. Jakub Domalik-Plakwicz is a leading transactional lawyer on the market – a very sharp and great negotiator." – M&A
"DLA has a very strong corporate team. The team led by Jakub Domalik-Plakwicz demonstrates strategic thinking, the ability to address complex legal issues and a very business-oriented approach. They're the most responsive law firm that we work with." – Capital markets, M&A
"DLA’s corporate team is providing outstanding advice. The team is highly experienced, responsive and able to address complex structural issues. I am particularly impressed with their business acumen and ability to address complex legal issues. This is currently one of few top tier transactional teams in Poland. We are very satisfied with the outstanding work provided by DLA Piper. The quality of work, responsiveness and strength in the team's depth are outstanding." – Banking, M&A, regulatory
"Extremely good value-for-money law firm with extensive knowledge in the field and with a proactive working attitude on every single case. Definitely one of the best players in the market, which is quite competitive." – Banking
"Highly experienced, responsive and able to address complex structural issues." – Banking, capital markets, M&A
"Jakub Domalik-Plakwicz is the leading individual in the capital markets practice at DLA. Prior to joining DLA, he had already built a strong reputation for himself. He is pragmatic and takes a hands-on approach on a project. In his team, Wojciech Kalinowski is his right hand man. He is a good senior associate. The younger rest of the team can develop further by focusing more on details to deliver top notch quality in any document." – Capital markets
"Professional, hardworking lawyers." – Capital markets
"The cooperation with said law firm is too recent to draw extensive conclusions, but the overall assessment is certainly positive. The main contact person allocated to us is extremely responsive, meets deadlines and makes himself available even for last minute assignments. There is expertise in all areas of law concentrated in the law firm, and this has proven very useful when dealing with various questions on short deadlines. The spirit of cooperation is pleasant, and we feel appreciated and valued as clients." – Banking, regulatory
"The performance of DLA Piper team is exceptional and they punch well above their weight when compared to other law firms in Poland. They are professional, flexible and dedicated. They work closely with us and deliver high quality services." – M&A, project development, restructuring
"The firm has worked on court disputes regarding the execution of construction works, preparation of a declaration of bankruptcy claims and legal consultations on difficult problems in the implementation of construction contracts. Their strengths include broad competences and legal knowledge, knowledge about the construction process, punctuality and timely implementation of individual tasks, commitment and resistance to stress related to time pressure. I have not noticed any weaknesses." – Project development
"Very professional. Partner was involved every step of the way on a challenging transaction. Excellent technical knowledge of both real estate and finance. They were available at all times to push the transaction forward. Real estate partner seemed to know exactly what to do in every situation with a difficult client and counterparty. Finance team was excellent, very smooth draw down of debt funds with no fuss or problems." – Banking, M&A
In banking and finance, Domański Zakrzewski Palinkahas acted on financing, refinancing and debt restructuring transactions for the likes of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.
The firm has acted on M&A across publicly listed companies and private institutions advising both buyers and sellers. During the research period one notable mandate saw the firm advise IfraCapital on its joint venture with Nokia.
The firm’s project team has been acting across range of sectors including energy, transport, aviation, and waste management, largely advising project developers and investors. Highlight mandates include advising the investor on new power plant in Kozienice and advising the consortium of bidders on Thermal Waste Treatment Installation in Warsaw.
The firm recently hired Rafał Hajduk to join the infrastructure and energy team.
Key clients include Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Europe, Credit swiss and EDF Polska.
"An excellent law firm with a huge number of lawyers which enables them to specialise in various fields of law. The advice has always been very insightful, practical and reasonably priced." – Project development
"Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka delivers reliable legal service. DZP's legal counselling is very detailed and takes into account any possible legal interpretations and their risks. Moreover, DZP is easily available and ready to help at any time, day or night." – Banking, project finance, regulatory
"DZP is a company providing high quality services. It is characterized by its professional approach to the customer and by its reliability." – M&A, project development, restructuring, regulatory
"Excellent interpersonal skills and can develop trusting relationships with everyone they work. Strong experience level, good communication skills and knowledgeable." – Banking, regulatory, restructuring
"The firm is very competent at running a private M&A deal." – M&A
"The law firm has excellent up-to-date information concerning new and planned legislation in Poland and the EU. Pawel Grzejszczak, who is the partner in charge of our company, is a very professional lawyer with an extensive knowledge of the Polish energy market. He delivers very quick and good results, and the value for money is unbeatable. Above that, he is a very pleasant person who provides excellent service. It is always a pleasure to work with him." – Regulatory
"The practice has a large and very well-qualified team. They offer a wide range of legal advice." – Project development
"Top service quality, timely and very good cooperation under time pressure." – Banking, M&A
"Very good at building and maintaining the relationship. Highly professional. Rather expensive and not very transparent with expense calculation." – Banking, project development, regulatory, restructuring
"Very professional law firm with a wide range of experts." – Regulatory
"She is friendly, highly qualified and always ready to help. Her high level of expertise allows her to solve every problem we meet in an effective and timely manner."
"He is a very professional lawyer with an extensive knowledge of the Polish energy market. He delivers very quick and good results, and the value for money is unbeatable. Above that, he is a very pleasant person with excellent ‘service feeling.’ It is always a pleasure to work with him.”
"He is a recognized specialist in the field of energy law. He is characterized by professionalism and broad knowledge in his field."
"Fully professional, perfect communication and good understanding."
"Very reasonable, practical and insightful person with capability of managing projects from foreign jurisdictions. She is also very easy to deal with."
"Very punctual and professional."
"Great professional with wide legal knowledge. He also guided us through his organisation to find us the right expertise we needed."
"He is very involved. It is quick and hassle free to contact him."
"Very good at M&A transactions. He is able to act quickly and think outside the box. He is also a good negotiator."
"He is a seasoned and knowledgeable lawyer providing sound business advice."
Michal Gajdek, Tomasz Michalczyk and Michał Wojciechowski
"All very capable and practical lawyer who is responsive and insightful."
FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz is a domestic Polish firm active in banking, capital markets, specifically on the debt side, M&A, and in project development in the energy sector.
In banking, the firm largely advised banks on lending facilities.
In M&A the firm worked on acquisitions for buyers. For example the firm advised Orange Polska on the acquisition of 100% shares of Multimedia Polska Energia, working on transactional documents, due diligence, negotiations, and competition clearance.
In debt capital markets the firm largely advised its clients on debt issuances, such as its work for Bank Ochrony Środowiska on its issuance of subordinated bonds.
Other clients of the firm are Pekao Leasing, North Base Media, and Alior Bank.
"High expertise presented by their lawyers. Good communication with them." – Capital markets, restructuring and insolvency
"Strengths include knowledge, fast response and accuracy." – Regulatory, restructuring
"Strengths: quality / price relation, mobility, accessibility, versatility of lawyers and tax consultancy." – Banking, capital markets, restructuring and insolvency
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak is the Polish branch of Greenberg Traurig with an office in Warsaw that operates in banking, debt and equity capital markets, M&A, project development, and project finance. The firm is a market leader in banking and equity capital markets, and is also a strong in its other practice areas.
In banking, the firm extensively worked on refinancing transactions recently, representing Cyfrowy Polsat Group, as an example, in its refinancing of two loans.
A highlight for the firm in the debt capital markets was advising TMF Poland on its high yield senior note issuance under New York law. On the equity side the firm advised Bank BGZ BNP Paribas on the issuance of new shares, waiving pre-emptive rights of pre-existing shareholders.
A notable transaction for the firm in M&A was representing Goldman Sachs International, through Bricks Acquisitions, on the 100% public tender offer for ROBYG. More broadly, the firm tended to work on the buy side, but this was not exclusive, seeing work on the seller side too.
The firm’s project development work was predominantly in the real estate sector, not infrastructure or energy.
Similarly the firm’s project finance work was related to its development work in the real estate sector, financing various logistics and shopping centres.
Przemysław Kozdój, a local partner in banking and project finance, left the firm for Wolf Theiss in July 2017.
Other high-profile clients of the firm are Roust Corporation, Pekao Investment Banking, and Emperia Holding.
"My assessment is entirely positive. Greenberg Traurig provides very complex support in big restructuring / bankruptcy cases. They give their advice in both legal and strategic areas. The feedback / advice response time is always satisfactory." – Restructuring and insolvency
"The firm provides strong, concise, complete and well prepared advice on transactions, with very useful historic background information on the company in scope, as well as other relevant deal information. 24/7 access to the partner responsible for the deal." – M&A
"They are professionals in the true sense of the word. Always very well prepared for talks and negotiations. They also have very good negotiation skills. Having them alongside you ensures that all legal and risk-related aspects are properly addressed." – Banking, M&A
K&L Gates Jamka is the Polish office of K&L Gates. It is active in banking and finance, M&A, and capital markets, and project development and finance.
In banking, the firm recently worked on representing financial institutions, such as Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowega, as lenders.
In M&A the firm worked for a mix of both buyers and sellers. For example, the firm advised on the acquisition of EQOS Energie by the Polish company Avallon and the Czech company Genesis.
In terms of capital markets, the firm advised Venture on its IPO on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, emblematic of its broader work advising clients on IPOs.
The firm hired Michał Pawłowski as partner in M&A and capital markets from CMS Cameron McKenna along with Adam Stopyra, who is active in banking and finance.
A few other noteworthy clients of the firm are Novaturas, OT Logistics, and ING Bank Śląski.
"Appreciate speediness and thoroughness. Fantastic value for money." – Banking, capital markets, investment funds, M&A
"Highly experienced firm in the M&A space with strong track record of successful transaction closings." – Banking, M&A
Kochański Zięba & Partners is a local firm that operates in banking, M&A, and the energy sector of project development. The firm is strongest in project development and banking.
In banking and finance the firm worked on a number of acquisition finance and refinancing transactions for its clients, who are a mix of borrowers and lenders.
The firm’s M&A practice was centered on acquisition mandates for its clients acting as buyers but also saw work on mergers and, to a lesser extent, sales. The 100% acquisition of Duon Dystrybucja by the firm’s client, Infracapital, is representative of the transactions the firm works on.
The firm works extensively in the project development area, with a notable presence in the Polish energy market, for example advising Jastrzębska Spółka Węglow Group on a series of coal projects not just in Poland but also in India and China.
Throughout 2017 the firm massively expanded its project development team, increasing from three lawyers to 17, including a new partner Łukasz Wołk, who joined from Forystek & Partnerzy Adwokaci i Radcowie Prawni in July 2017 and also now heads the firm’s Kracow Office. The firm also recruited in M&A, hiring three new partners, Ida Komorowska-Moj, Adam Kościółek, and Gabriel Olearnik. Komorowska-Moj is now head of the M&A practice and joined the firm from Bird & Bird in January 2018. Kościółek is active in private equity and joined from Kurek Kościółek Wójcik in January 2018. Olearnik is now the head of private equity and joined in September 2017 from Dentons.
Other notable clients of the firm include Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, ING Lease and ING Finance, and Energa.
"Competent and accurate experts in multiple fields. Very customer friendly and standing behind customer need. Large network and contacts to help provide solutions. Business minded attorneys up-to-date in business and political life." – Banking, insolvency, regulatory
"KZP was very professional." – Banking
"Highly professional, smart and business minded partner to have in any case."
Krassowski is a local firm active in M&A. The firm represented a mix of buyers and sellers in the M&A market, with a clear emphasis on acquisition work. An example of the firm’s work was advising Hartenberg Holding, a private equity firm from the Czech Republic, on the acquisition of 50% of Avia Prime.
Other notable clients of the firm include CD Projekt and Paged.
"Strengths: high quality legal advice, responsive team, excellent manners, conciliatory approach in sensitive conditions. Weaknesses: None." – M&A
Linklaters C Wiśniewski has a strong banking and finance and M&A practices in Poland. It also has notable presence in capital markets.
The firm’s banking team has worked on a mix of lending and borrowing transactions, advising on acquisition and real estate finance, debt restructurings and refinancing transactions. In one stand out deal, the firm advised group of lenders on the refinancing of Posnania shopping mall.
In capital markets work one notable highlight saw the team advise the issuer, Priaire Mining on the issuance of new shares. Elsewhere, the firm has advised international banks and financial institutions in regulatory matters in relation to MiFID II.
In M&A, the firm has been active on the buy side, advising across several sectors including food and beverage, furniture and real estate. It has also advised Nestlé on a merger between Nestlé Waters and Nestlé Polska.
Key clients include Triton, Griffin Real Estate, PKO Bank Polski and PZU.
MDDP Olkiewicz & Partners is the legal arm of Polish tax consulting company, MDDP.
During the research period, the firm was active in real estate sector advising Griffin Premium on its acquisition of three office properties from Echo Polska, its merger with Hala Koszyki and the issuance of private bonds.
Mrowiec Fiałek is an independent Polish firm active in M&A and debt capital markets.
In debt capital markets the firm worked on a few bond issuances for corporate clients such as Wratislavia-Biodiesel.
In M&A the firm mostly worked for acquirers but also saw work advising on sales for its clients. For example, the firm advised Altus on the acquisition of BPH.
A few other clients of the firm are Advent Libri, Nowa Era, and ESO Capital.
Active across all areas of financial and corporate, Norton Rose Fulbright Piotr Strawa and Partners’ practice is the strongest in banking and financing work.
The banking and finance team has expertise advising syndicates of lenders across acquisition finance and project finance. On the borrowers’ side, the firm has acted on debt refinancing and acquisition finance transactions. It was also active on aviation finance where it acted for Polskie Linie Lotnicze on financing agreement and leasing of first Boeing aircraft to be operated in Poland.
The firm’s project work has primarily entailed work for lenders on financial restructuring of several wind farm projects. Elsewhere it has advised the lenders on financing of Przewozy Regionalne and the development of waste-to-energy power plant in Olsztyn.
In M&A, the firm has acted equally on the buy and sell side of transactions in both domestic and cross border mandates. During the research period, the firm has advised private equity firms such as Abris Capital Partners and corporate companies the likes of Toyota Tusho on sale and the acquisition of shares respectively.
Inter Cars, UniCredit Bank London, Arbis Capital Partners, and Posco E&C are some of the firm’s key clients.
“Norton Rose Fulbright’s Polish banking team is very professional, and I like working with their lawyers, as they are not only good at what they do but are also very kind and pleasant people to deal with. On top of that, they are people I can trust, as they put the client's interest first.” – Banking, regulatory
“Very open for discussion at partner level. Proactive advice and timely.” – Banking, capital market, regulatory, restructuring
Peterka & Partners is a regional firm with offices in various jurisdictions in Central and Eastern Europe. The firm’s Polish practice is active in M&A. The firm has been active recently advising foreign companies from Western Europe on acquisitions in Poland.
MSV Metal Studenka and La Brosse et Dupont are clients of the firm.
Prof Marek Wierzbowski & Partners is a local firm active in M&A, equity capital markets, energy sector project development, and project finance.
In recent work in M&A the firm primarily held a general advisory role for a series of corporate clients, but saw some transactional work on acquisitions on the buy side too. The firm advised Projprzem on the acquisition of Makrum Project Management.
Other clients of the firm are Betacom, Mostostal Warszawa, and Stalexport Autostrady.
Radzikowski Szubielska & Partners is a local firm was active in M&A, equity capital markets, project finance, and project development in the energy and infrastructure sectors.
In project finance, the firm worked on financing deals on behalf of banks acting as lenders in the real estate sector, specifically on office buildings and shopping centres.
In M&A the firm has been representing acquirers in transactions, such as advising Tridon Clamp Products Poland in acquiring Tridon Clamp Products Germany. The firm also worked on a series of share purchases, such as advising Innogy Polska in the purchase of Foton Technik shares.
Other clients of the firm are Lagardere Duty Free, Multimedia Polska, and Rhone Capital.
"Strong technical knowledge. Very good client relationships. Value for money." – M&A, regulatory
"This is a firm you can rely on, especially when time and quality of work are considered." – M&A, regulatory
"We highly assess the corporate/M&A team for providing professional, creative and effective legal assistance. They have a deep understanding of our business, analysing our problems thoroughly and scrupulously. We appreciate their effectiveness and creativity. They are talented negotiators. We have also used their legal services for our international matters and have always been pleased with it. They have accompanied us on various business trips, participated in meetings and negotiated contracts with foreign partners - they have always provided us with safe and reliably legal advice and assistance." – Banking, restructuring
Schoenherr is a regional firm with activities across Central and Eastern Europe. The firm works in banking, M&A, and debt capital markets.
In banking, the firm represented a myriad of notable financial institutions on loan facilities. The firm advised Citigroup and Royal Bank of Canada on acquisition financing for Superior Industries International.
A transactional highlight for the firm in M&A was representing Deutsche Private Equity Management III in the acquisition of Euro-Druckservice. The firm did not exclusively represent acquirers, also seeing work on the sell side.
Notable clients of the firm are Raiffeisen Bank International, KPS Capital Partners, and Oaktree Capital Management.
"Great work. Highly responsive." – Banking, capital markets
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak is a well-established firm with speciality in financial services sector and in regulatory work.
The firm’s recent regulatory work comprises advising national and foreign banks on the implementation of EU’s financial directives. It also acted for the likes of ING Bank and WizzAir Hungary on the establishment of a mortgage bank and a lending institution respectively. The firm’s transactional highlight include advising Racing Midco as borrowers on the financing of Formel D.
“Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak provides excellent local legal support to our team in Poland. They are pragmatic, responsive and fully understanding of the business needs. They are a key partner in terms of our ability to adapt our existing products and platforms to local Polish law requirements and also in terms of the support provided to the local team on day-to-day local contract negotiations.” – Regulatory
SSW Pragmatic Solutions is a local firm that works in capital markets and project development and finance, and banking.
Within capital markets, the firm works on both the debt and equity side. In equity markets, the firm has worked on IPOs and secondary offerings, and in share transfers representing the sellers. For example, the firm represented Ten Sqaure Games on its IPO on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
In project development and finance, the firm has worked in both the energy and the infrastructure sectors. The firm is particularly active in oil and gas and mining. An example of its work in the practice area was advising PGNiG on a series of issues arising around its natural gas exploration.
This year saw turnover for the firm’s project finance and development team, with Adam Kozłowski leaving the firm in March 2018 and Michał Bagłaj joining in November 2017 from Maruta Wachta.
A few other clients of the firm are ExxonMobil, Electrum Group, and Cloud Technologies.
"A complete range of products in the legal and financial area. Quick and direct contact." – M&A
"Firm is very responsive and eager to help." – Capital markets
"Good understanding of the problems to solve, good availability, perfect legal knowledge, and high technical ability and innovations." – Capital markets, restructuring and insolvency
"Good value for money, proficient in capital markets. Poor responsiveness at times due to work load." – Capital markets, regulatory
"Hard working, easily approachable and reactive." – Capital markets
"Highly professional firm with a bunch of dedicated lawyers." – Capital markets
"Leaders in capital markets in Poland. Very strong team with expertise in complex projects. I really like working with them." – Banking, capital markets, restructuring
"Many specialists in various fields of law. SSW Pragmatic Solutions provides services at the highest level." – Banking, capital markets, investment funds, M&A, project finance, restructuring
"Market leader in equity capital markets and debt capital markets transactions. They have the skills to be able to deal with extremely complex issues. The lawyers are very responsive. They are very pragmatic and understand the client's economic needs." – Capital market, investment funds, restructuring
"Professional, accurate, always on time. We do not see any weaknesses." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, restructuring
"Quick response time, vast knowledge of international laws, regulations and finance. Always looking for the best solution, keeping the company's best interests at heart. Complex consulting services that make the client feel safe. Szymon Okoń always makes sure the task gets done in the best way possible and is always extremely helpful and knowledgeable." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, project finance, restructuring
"SSW is one of the leading law firm specialised in capital markets as well as in banking and finance. They have a very strong position in the market. As the financial advisor, we observe their projects, and we can confirm that they are participating in the most important transactions in the capital markets in Poland. We are happy to work with them as they have expertise required in complex projects." – Capital markets
"SSW Pragmatic Solutions is a professional young legal team, proving high level advice to corporate clients. Their energy practice (Dominik Strzałkowski), insolvency and restructuring practice and banking practice (Szymon Okoń, Tomasz Tomasz Kwaśniewski) are often hired by our firm, and we are proud to work with such qualified lawyers. The main advantages of working with them are extremely high level of legal advice (always very precise and clear advice), short deadlines (advice is always delivered on time) and broad expertise of the team members. Moreover, working with SSW lawyers is a pure pleasure; the lawyers are always available for us." – Project finance, insolvency, regulatory
"SSW rendered legal services for my company. They helped us during our IPO process. The lawyers have good relations with the regulatory authorities, allowing issues to be quickly resolved. A really big practice and one of the strongest teams I have ever met." – Capital markets, restructuring
"The firm is one of the best in the market. The lawyers have good expertise and are very responsive and pragmatic. They do excellent work on demanding timetables." – Capital markets, investment funds, restructuring
"They are a top capital markets law firm and have a deep understanding of all issues. They know what needs to be done. The lawyers represent an entrepreneurial approach. They also find innovative ways to answer all questions." – Banking, capital markets, restructuring
"They took part in the conceptual stage of the process of repayment of the bonds issued by our firm. We really appreciate their team specialised in both capital markets and banking and finance. The lawyers have great technical knowledge and are very pragmatic." – Capital markets
"Very professional. They delivered what they promised." – Capital markets
"Very strong, dedicated and professional team." – Banking, capital markets
Wardyński & Partners is a local firm that operates in banking and finance, capital markets, M&A, and project development. The firm’s strong suit is project development, specifically in the infrastructure sector, but it still has a notable presence across its other practice areas.
In banking and finance the firm worked for a mix of borrowers and lenders on refinancing, acquisition finance, and loan facilities. For example, the firm advised Bright Bidco, a subsidiary of Apollo Global Management, as lender on a first lien credit agreement to finance the acquisition of Lumileds Holding.
In equity capital markets the firm represented investors in share purchases, such as its work for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the purchase of shares in Mabion. The firm also represented corporate entities in share placements.
The firm has mostly been representing acquirers in the M&A sector, representing the Dutch company For Farmers in its acquisition of the Polish company Tasomix, for example. It did also see work in joint ventures, and, to a rather small extent, advising sellers.
A project highlight for the firm is representing Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe on the construction of a hard coal fired power unit. The firm worked on a series of similar transactions for power plants around Poland, representing Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe.
Weronika Pelc, partner in M&A and energy, left the firm for PZU in December 2017.
Other clients of the firm include POSCO Engineering & Construction Co., Bank Zachodni, and Simmons & Simmons.
"Very competent lawyers with very good knowledge of law. Extensive experience that is immensely important in our work." – Banking, capital markets, investment funds, insolvency, regulatory
"Very good knowledge of the market and current legal regulations. Excellent presentation and negotiation skills. Experience in complex and difficult transactions. Very high working standards and availability to suit the customer's needs. In some cases, the number of employees involved in the transaction rose the total cost of services. Some of the reports could be less complex and include only the most important risks/issues." - Insolvency
"Excellent firm. Quick, responsive and close to the market." – Banking, project finance
"Highest level of professionalism and quality of service. Flexible and open minded and task oriented." – Banking, restructuring
"Highly professional and responsive. A pleasure to work with." – M&A, project finance
"It is always a pleasure working with Wardyński & Partners - they are focused, flexible and creative in finding solutions for solving the issues arising, and we always experience them proving clear and timely advice." – Banking, capital markets, M&A
"Marcin Pietkiewicz of Wardyński & Partners, who has advised us on an equity investment into a listed company, is very responsive and provides commercial advice. The firm provides excellent value for money compared to the international law firms operating in Poland. I would use them again." – Banking, capital markets, regulatory
"The firm is solution oriented and knowledgeable." – Banking, M&A
"The work was done professionally, communication was flawless and significant help in negotiation with the counterparty was received." – Capital markets
"The Wardyński team excelled in pretty much all areas relevant for our work. Wardyński lawyers respond to every email quickly, often within a couple of minutes. In issues that were more complex, we always received a short initial analysis that was followed by a more extensive email. The firm keeps its promises regarding deadlines and fee quotes. Wardyński took over the complete communication with the company in Poland and involved us only to the extent it was necessary in negotiations. The firm made suggestions regarding work-streams which were not in their original responsibility (and not covered by their fee quote) and suggested cooperation in areas which we had not thought about. The firm knew how to talk to the banks and other counsel, about problems that were likely to arise in Poland and how to solve them." – Banking, capital markets, M&A
"Very high level of expertise, timely delivery and high level of understanding of commercial business." – Banking, M&A, restructuring
Weil Gotshal & Manges – Paweł Rymarz has expertise across all areas covered by IFLR1000 however, it is the strongest in M&A, energy and equity capital markets work.
The firm’s banking practice has a clear focus on acquisition finance and debt restructuring advising creditors such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UniCredit, and Pfleiderer Group.
During the research period, the corporate team has primarily advised the sellers on M&A transactions advising the likes of Scripps Network on its acquisition by Discovery. It has acted across media, banking, mining and real estate sectors among others. Notable highlights include advising Raiffeisen Bank on its disposal of Polish assets.
In debt capital markets, the firm has advised on the issuance of bonds, advising issuers such as Echo Investments and Globe Trade Centre. Elsewhere, it advised Powszechna Kasa Oszczednosci Bank Polski on the issuance of notes under an EMTN programme. In the equity area, the firm advsied the banks Santandaer and Raiffeisen on a share offering and IPO respectively.
In projects work, the firm’s work includes advising investors on financing in the mining sector and the concessionaire on an EPC contract.
Staffing changes include the departure of partners Arture Zawadowski and Rafal Zwierz.
Key clients include Bank of America Merril Lynch, BNP Paribas, HSBC and Echo Investment.
“Competent, calm and available.” – Investment funds, project development, regulatory
“Great mix of strong M&A and restructuring experience.” – Banking, capital markets, M&A, restructuring and insolvency
“High knowledge of energy sector and public procurement law. Great availability.” – Banking
“I believe Weil's Warsaw team is a complete and client-focused one with no particular weaknesses I can currently think of. They are very dedicated and customer-centric in their approach, offering full availability of their junior and senior lawyers around the clock.” – Banking, capital markets, M&A, regulatory
“Strengths: solution-oriented approach. Experience in energy field.” – Banking, M&A, regulatory
“Very professional, well organised, highly experienced team and ready to work under time pressure.” – Capital markets, investment funds, project finance, restructuring
"Weil provides efficient and timely advice. They understand my business and help me as general counsel to deal with various important projects in my organisation. They work proactively and work beyond my expectations." – M&A, project development, regulatory
White & Case is known for its expertise in capital markets and M&A work. However, it also has notable strength across other areas of financial and corporate and projects work.
In banking and finance the firm has acted for both the lenders and borrowers on debt refinancing and real estate and acquisition finance, with both domestic and cross border elements. During the research period, the firm advised Ghelamco on debt refinancing and financing of the Warsaw Hub.
The firm’s corporate team has acted across several large M&A mandates in the country, advising buyers FTF Galleon and Polska Grupa Energetyczna. Notable highlights include advising private equity firm on the sale of Zabka Polska and Polska Grupa on the acquisition of EDF assets.
In capital markets, the firm has been primarily active in the equity market advising the shareholders and joint bookrunners on IPO transactions and new share issues.
In the projects space, the firm has acted for the banks on project financing the development of oil fields and a river terminal. Elsewhere, it advised Stalexport Autostrada on the implementation of electronic toll system.
Key clients include Ghelamco, EBRD, Coast2Coast Capital and PGE Polska Grupa.
Wierzbowski Eversheds Sutherland is the Polish arm of Eversheds Sutherland. The firm works in banking, M&A, and project development, and in capital markets on the equity side.
In banking and finance the firm advised clients on a mix of regulatory compliance matters and financings, representing banks acting as lenders primarily.
Similarly to banking, the firm’s capital markets work was driven to a large extent by regulatory advice for its clients. Otherwise the firm worked on share transfers, for example advising Perma-Fix Medical on both regulatory compliance and a share transfer. It saw notable activity for clients in the medical sector.
A transactional highlight for the firm in M&A was advising the Polish Ministry of Development on the creation of the Polska Grupa Lotnicza, or Polish Aviation Group, comprised of state-owned civil aviation companies. More broadly the rest of the firm’s M&A work had an emphasis on acquisitions for buyers, but there was some further work in mergers and in sales.
In project development the firm works in infrastructure and has also seen work in the energy sector. Within infrastructure the firm has experience advising both public and private clients. The firm advised the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways on the A2 motorway road project.
Patryck Galicki a partner in project development, left the firm in October 2017.
Other noteworthy clients of the firm are Nokia, Towarowa Giełda Energi, and Veolia.
"Dedicated, willing to work on very tight deadlines and ready to handle very unconventional assignments with access to specialists from different branches of law and compliance. Their sole weakness lies in their rates; those are however justified given the quality of service. On a positive note, it is possible to individually negotiate the rates for a project." – Capital markets, investment funds, M&A
"Solid team consisting of professionals in their respective areas. Smart, educated with lots of hands on experience. No weaknesses." – Banking, M&A
Wiewiórski Legal is a local firm active in banking and finance. Recent work saw the firm represent borrowers on financing agreements, for example advising Work Service on the extension of a syndicated loan agreement.
OT Logistics and Work Service are key clients of the firm.
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr is an independent Polish firm active across banking, capital markets, M&A, and project development, with particular strength in infrastructure project development work.
In banking, the firm advised Toys R Us on a multiple phase bridge financing. Otherwise, the firm worked for a mix of financial institutions acting as lenders and corporate entities acting as borrowers.
In equity capital markets work the firm saw some work in regulatory advice and a transactions on share transfers. On the debt side, the firm advised a group of noteholders in Roust on the debt restructuring of the company.
The vast majority of the firm’s work in M&A was in acquisitions for purchasers, but it also saw a small amount of work representing sellers and advising clients on mergers. For example, the firm advised PKO on the acquisition of the entirety of KBC TFI, a fund management company.
In terms of project development the firm has worked in energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure, representing private companies. A notable transaction for the firm was advising Enea on the Ostrołęka C project, a project of the Polish government in the energy sector to construct coal-fired power units.
The firm’s M&A team lost Paweł Hincz, who joined Baker McKenzie, but promoted Anna Wojciechowska to partner in January 2018.
Other high profile clients of the firm are Siemens Finance, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, and Polski Bank Komórek Macierzystych.
"Long lasting cooperation all over the years during the tendering phase and development of the modernisations of assets. The firm provides a comprehensive and business approach when providing legal services." – Project development, regulatory
Wolf Theiss P Daszkowski is the Polish office of regional firm Wolf Theiss, which has offices across Central and Eastern Europe. In Poland the firm is active in M&A, banking and finance, capital markets, namely on the debt side, and project development and finance in the energy and infrastructure sectors.
In banking and finance, a key client of the firm was Berlin Hyp, which the firm advised on a series of financings and refinancing, with Berlin Hyp acting as lender. This represents the firm’s broader work representing lenders in the practice area.
The bulk of the firm’s M&A work was in representing acquirers, but it also advised on sales and mergers for its clients. For example, the firm advised Saint-Gobain on the acquisitions of a 90% stake in ISOROC.
The firm hired two new partners, Przemysław Kozdój, who now heads the firm’s banking and finance practice, from Greenberg Traurig, and Jacek Michalski, who now heads M&A at the firm, from Allen & Overy.
A few other clients of the firm are Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, Copernicus Securities, and Polska Grupa Energetyczna.
"Top mid-tier law firm in Poland. A key strength is Stefan Feliniak, one of the best banking lawyers in Warsaw." – Banking, M&A, project finance