Banking and finance in Poland
Allen & Overy, A. Pedzich sp. k.
Allen & Overy, A. Pedzich sp. k.'s 'business-minded' team is praised by clients for its 'strong track record' and ability to handle risk. Finance expert Arkadiusz Pędzich advised Bank Zachodni WKB, as an agent, and a consortium of banks, including Santander Group, HSBC Bank Polska and Crédit Agricole Bank, as the lenders on a PLN1.4bn credit facility extended to Tele-Fonika Kable to finance the acquisition of shares in JDR Cable Systems. 'Extremely knowledgeable' Tomasz Kawczyński assisted Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund and Inea Group companies with the refinancing of Inea Group's debt, and capital expenditure financing. Piotr Lesiński and Dan Cocker are also key individuals.
Clifford Chance's team is jointly headed by Grzegorz Namiotkiewicz and Andrzej Stosio. It handles restructurings and financial transactions for a range of corporates and banks. Namiotkiewicz is advising Elektrownia Ostrołęka on a financing project relating to debt and capital expenditure. Counsel Irena Floras-Goode assisted DCT Gdańsk with amendments to a financing agreement for the development of a new container terminal.
Dentons' team has a strong track record in real estate and acquisition finance, as well as project and renewable energy finance. 'Excellent practice leader' Mateusz Toczyski is head of the Warsaw and European banking and finance practice at the firm. Alongside London's James Irvine, he advised HSBC Bank on €635m of real estate finance investment facilities for Chariot Top Group's portfolio acquisitions across Poland. Counsels Tomasz Zwoliński, Bartosz Nojek and Agnieszka Lipska are also key names.
At Linklaters, the team's strengths include 'deep sector knowledge, broad experience across banking and finance matters and a supportive attitude towards clients'. Artur Kulawski and Adriana Andrzejewska advised Niam on acquisition financing for the purchase of an office portfolio belonging to Skanska. Together with Marcin Schulz, 'open-minded' practice head Jarosław Miller advised Pesa Bydgoszcz on the signing of an investment agreement with the Polish Development Fund.
Baker & McKenzie Krzyżowski i Wspólnicy Spółka Komandytowa's group stands out for its ability to handle cross-border mandates, leveraging the firms global presence. In one highlight, team head Ireneusz Stolarski assisted Suez Zielona Energia with the financial closing of a PPP project, and now provides ongoing advice on finance issues, including a planned refinancing and an EU grant. Krzysztof Haładyj is another key practitioner. Tomasz Kaczmarek, formerly a counsel with the firm, joined DWF Poland Jamka Sp.k in 2019.
CMS's department is 'extremely service oriented' and has 'superb market and industry knowledge'. In 2018, it was boosted by a team move from Dentons, which led to the arrival of Michał Mężykowski, who joined to lead the banking and finance group in Poland. The office also houses Mark Segall, who coordinates the firm's offering across the CEE region. Highlights for Segall included advising Coast2Coast Capital on the financing, by way of a private placement arranged by Credit Suisse, of the acquisition of a majority stake in Stella Pack. Counsels Jakub Podkowa and Ilona Fedurek are also contacts of note.
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak sp. k.'s team handles acquisition finance, high-yield offerings, bridge and mezzanine finance, but it really comes into its own on real estate financing matters, drawing on the firm's wider expertise. On the banking M&A front, Lejb Fogelman and Łukasz Pawlak advised BNP Paribas Group on the €750m acquisition of Raiffeisen Bank International's core banking business in Poland. Aleksander Janiszewski and Agnieszka Stankiewicz advised Newbridge Poland on a senior loan provided by Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and a mezzanine loan from Teref EF III for its acquisition of various Polish malls from Aerium Fund. The team is led by Andrzej Wysokiński.
Hogan Lovells (Warszawa) LLP
The team at Hogan Lovells (Warszawa) LLP is praised by one client for its 'in-depth experience in handling difficult legal problems'. Areas of expertise include bond issuances, securitisation, real estate and infrastructure financing and banking transactions. The group is jointly led by Rafał Grochowski and Piotr Zawiślak. Grochowski advised Przewozy Regionalne on credit facilities arranged by the European Investment Bank, and a consortium led by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowegoas, for the €148m purchase of 55 state-of-the-art trains. Counsel Elżbieta Rablin-Schubert is recommended for project finance matters, while senior associate Mateusz Dereszyński is appreciated for his 'huge legal knowledge'.
Norton Rose Fulbright's team has a strong trade and commodity finance practice, but also handles asset finance and project finance involving mezzanine loans, bonds and quasi-debt instruments. Practice head Grzegorz Dyczkowski, of counsel Tomasz Rogalski and senior associate Marta Kawecka, who is a key name for project finance, are the names to note.
White & Case M. Studniarek i Wspólnicy - Kancelaria Prawna sp.k.'s 'solution-oriented' group advises borrowers and lenders on the spectrum of transactions and structuring issues. Team head Tomasz Ostrowski advised Ghelamco on real estate financing for the €370m refinancing of the Warsaw Spire building and on a €221m facility for the construction and development of a mixed-use complex in Warsaw. English law-qualified Nicholas Coddington and finance specialist Aneta Urban are also recommended.
Core mandates for the team at DLA Piper include real estate financing, securitisations, project finance and export financing transactions. Practice head Mariusz Hyla advised the European subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on granting bilateral financing, a bank guarantee and other financial instruments to Famur; the first transaction of its kind for the client.
Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka's department head Magdalena Skowronska specialises in financial transactions and financial sector M&A. She advised Zarząd Komunalnych Zasobów Lokalowych on a PLN178m loan agreement with the European Investment bank to finance the development of social housing. She also assisted Goldman Sachs as the coodinator of several refinancing transactions for Orion Group. Andrzej Foltyn is an expert in the operations of financial institutions.
At Gide Loyrette Nouel, the team provides transactional advice, as well as day-to-day regulatory assistance to Polish and international banks, insurance companies, leasing companies, financial institutions and businesses. Practice leader Paweł Grześkowiak advised KGHM on a €212m second financing facility granted by the European Investment Bank to support a modernisation programme. Marta Kamińska is recommended for structured financing mandates.
Kochanski & Partners' team advises borrowers and lenders on a variety of issues, including real estate, acquisition and asset finance. It also assists banks and other financial institutions with regulatory matters and in disputes. Senior associate Klaudia Szymanska-Rutkowska advised a consortium of senior lenders, including Goldman Sachs Bank and Morgan Stanley Bank International, on a €900m acquisition financing to Advent International for its acquisition of IPH Group. Sławomir Morawski, who arrived from Noerr in March 2018 and briefly served as practice head, left the firm for an in-house position at ING Bank Slaski in December 2018.
Rymarz Zdort's team is most noted for handling debt financing and debt reorganisation transactions. It also works closely with the regulatory and M&A departments. Highlights for the team included advising Ciech on the extension of its PLN1.6bn financing for an additional two years and on amendments to the structure of the financing. Marcin Iwaniszyn and counsel Zofia Frydrychowicz jointly lead the group.
Financial regulatory work is the focus for Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak's team, which predominantly advises banks and investment firms. It is also developing a strong reputation in the payment services sector; senior counsel Wojciech Iwański and associate Mateusz Blocher are particular names to note in this space. Marcin Olechowski was one of the advisers to ING Bank Śląski on the establishment of a mortgage lender; a matter that included a licensing process before the Polish banking regulator. Another highlight involved assisting Billon with regulatory compliance concerning its blockchain technology banking solution.
WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr's 'well-balanced' team is praised by clients for its broad expertise in credit, financing, bond issuance and restructuring. Highlights for Jakub Jedrzejak and practice head Marcin Smolarek included advising Toys "R" US as local counsel on the first phase of its $816m bridge financing. Other clients include Siemens Finance and mBank. Counsel Agata Szczepańczyk-Piwek is another key name. Counsel Michał Kalicki was a new arrival from Wardynski & Partners in 2019.
Bird & Bird Szepietowski i wspólnicy sp. k. has developed an impressive niche in the intersection between the banking sector and technology. Marta Stanisławska and group head Sławomir Szepietowski are the sole legal advisers to the Polish Banks Associate in relation to the development of its payment services standards. Counsel Jakub Ziemba is another key individual.
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP's team advises Polish and international banks, financial institutions, borrowers, local authorities, investors and sponsors of domestic and cross-border transactions. Regulatory lawyer Adam Stopyra is the key name; his highlights included advising Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas on the acquisition of credit union Skok Rafineria. As of May 2019, the firm's Poland office has been taken over by DWF Poland Jamka Sp.k. Lech Giliciński joined Wolf Theiss in June 2019.
The team at Penteris advises borrowers and lenders on a range of financing projects, including real estate, project and acquisition finance. The team is supported by a strong regulatory department. Katarzyna Sawa-Rybaczek assisted ING Bank Śląski with the refinancing of a Warsaw office building. The group is led by Marek Król, who advises Next Trade Group on construction financing for the development of a medical product factory.
Radzikowski, Szubielska i Wspólnicy sp.k.'s team has a real strength in real estate and project financing. The group also regularly advises banks and borrowers on debt financing transactions. Zbigniew Skórczyński leads the team, which includes Agnieszka Piasecka and the highly experienced Martyna Kamińska-Tabaka.
Wardynski & Partners
Wardynski & Partners' group is led by financing expert Łukasz Szegda, who advised Investindustrial on financing for its acquisition of HTL-Strefa. He also assisted Bank Zachodni WBK, ING Bank Śląski and SGB-Bank with a complex restructuring of Piotr i Paweł Group's debt. Michał Kalicki, previously a senior associate with the firm, joined WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr as counsel in 2019.
Wolf Theiss' group was boosted by the arrival of Przemysław Kozdój (who now leads the team) from Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak sp. k. in September 2017. The group advised Berlin Hyp on a number of matters, including its €187m financing extended to AEW Group for the refinancing of shopping centres in Prague, Warsaw and Gdynia. Senior associate Michał Kulig is also recommended.
Deloitte Legal, Pasternak, Korba, Moskwa, Jarmul i Wspólnicy Kancelaria Prawnicza sp.k.'s 'quality' team is commended for its 'communication skills' with clients. In cooperation with the firm's Czech office, practice head Zbigniew Korba advised PKO BP on the establishment of a branch in Prague.
FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz
The team at FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz is led by founding partner Marek Furtek, who is an expert in banking and finance disputes. He is supported by Leszek Rydzewski, who handles contentious issues, as well as all types of financing transactions and debt restructuring projects. Rydzewski advises Ferratum Bank on day-to-day issues concerning the provision of consumer finance.
Regulatory compliance is a central pillar of PwC Legal Pawlowski Żelaznicki Sp. K's practice. The team advises a variety of financial institutions and major Polish corporates. Jacek Pawłowski advised BitBay on regulatory and licensing issues concerning its cryptocurrency exchange business in Poland. Counsel Mateusz Ordyk leads the team.
SSW Pragmatic Solutions
Eversheds Sutherland Wierzbowski's team specialises in financing and regulatory issues, particularly related to infrastructure projects. Practice leader, senior associate Michał Markowski advised Alio Bank on a number of construction financing transactions. Of counsel Grzegorz Kott is another key name, with expertise in banking, consumer finance, capital markets and insurance law.