Commercial, corporate and M&A in Poland
'Always one step ahead of the competition', the 'business-minded' team at Clifford Chance is noted for its wide sector knowledge and 'dedication' to the needs of clients. In one stand-out matter, Marcin Bartnicki advised Prudential Financial on all aspects of the sale of the Polish life insurance business Pramerica Życie to Unum. In another highlight, Wojciech Polz assisted Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu with the buy-back of Stocznia Gdańsk and GSG Towers from Ukrainian businessman Sierhiej Tarutain. The group is led by Agnieszka Janicka, who was promoted to managing partner in May 2018 and has substantial experience in M&A transactions. Counsel Sławomir Czerwiński is another key name.
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak sp. k. handles transactions across a wide range of sectors in the Polish market, with a particular emphasis on the real estate and construction industry. Alongside financial institution expert Łukasz Pawlak, practice head Lejb Fogelman advised BNP Paribas Group on structuring and negotiating its €750m acquisition of the core banking business of Raiffeisen Bank Polska. Managing partner Jarosław Grzesiak and Agnieszka Stankiewicz advised Goldman Sachs International, through its affiliate Bricks Acquisition, on its €250m acquisition of Robyg. Rafał Baranowski is recommended for his energy sector expertise. Michał Bobrzyński joined the team from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in July 2018.
The group at Rymarz Zdort is led by co-managing partner Paweł Rymarz, whose highlights included advising Ergo Group on its €43m acquisition of Atena Usługi Informatyczne i Finansowe. Rymarz is supported by fellow managing partner Pawel Zdort who handled Robyg's €244m sale, by way of tender offer, to Bricks Acquisition. In a separate matter, he is assisting Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles with its €300m acquisition of Solaris Bus & Coach. Piotr Tomaszewski, Filip Uzieblo and Lukasz Gasinski are also recommended.
White & Case M. Studniarek i Wspólnicy - Kancelaria Prawna sp.k. draws on its strong offering across Europe, allowing it to advise on major cross-border transactions. The group is led by Marcin Studniarek who, alongside Aneta Hajska and Rafał Kamiński, advised Polska Grupa Energetyczna on its $1.2bn acquisition of EDF Polska; a strategically important transaction for the state-owned client. In conjunction with lawyers from the London office, Studniarek advised Mid Europa Partners on the $1bn sale of Żabka Polska to funds advised by CVC Capital Partners. Marek Sawicki, who joined the firm from DLA Piper in December 2017, and real estate-related M&A expert Maciej Zalewski are also recommended.
Allen & Overy, A. Pedzich sp. k.
Allen & Overy, A. Pedzich sp. k.'s team of 'open-minded professionals' specialises in high-value cross-border M&A transactions, relating in particular to the energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, financial services and TMT sectors. Jaroslaw Iwanicki's highlights included advising Banco Santander and its Polish subsidiary on its €300m acquisition of Deutsche Bank Polska's retail business. In another matter, he assisted Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets with its acquisition of Inea. Other key practitioners include senior associates Marcin Czaprowski, Maciej Skoczyński and Anna Osińska.
Baker & McKenzie Krzyżowski i Wspólnicy Spółka Komandytowa provides a full service to corporate clients in relation to M&A and post-acquisition work, with a niche in the healthcare and life sciences industry. It draws on its strong presence across Asia to assist a range of Asian clients with investments in Poland. Principal partner Tomasz Krzyżowski advised PKN Orlen on its €1bn acquisition of a major stake in Prague-listed Unipetrol. Jacek Balicki assisted Aflofarm Farmacja Polska with the acquisition of Trec Nutrition, while, in a separate matter, Piotr Rawski advised Greenyard on the €93m acquisition of Mykogen. Weronika Achramowicz leads on consumer goods industry matters.
According to one client, the 'excellent' team at CMS compares favourably to departments at other international firms. It often works closely with the private equity, insurance and capital markets groups to provide a full service to both domestic and foreign corporates, particularly in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. With Małgorzata Surdek, department head Marek Sawicki recently advised Generali Group on the acquisition of various insurance company entities from the Concordia Ubezpieczenia Group. Jakub Marcinkowski and energy projects specialist Piotr Ciołkowski assisted the Polish Development Fund with its investment into a power plant owned by Tauron Group. Also recommended are Błażej Zagórski and Julita Mazurkiewicz (noted for her 'skill and accuracy' in corporate matters). Rafał Zwierz joined the team from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in February 2018 and is Poland, US and UK qualified.
Piotr Dulewicz leads the group at Dentons (noted for its 'impressive quality and commitment') and, alongside Paweł Grabowski, advised EDF Group on the €1bn of sale its assets in Poland to Polska Grupa Energetyczna. Capital markets lawyer Jakub Celiński handled Globalworth's €138m acquisition of a controlling stake in WSE-listed Griffin Premium Real Estate. Marcin Paliwoda and Michał Wasiak were promoted to counsel in March 2018.
Hogan Lovells (Warszawa) LLP
Hogan Lovells (Warszawa) LLP has a strong transactional offering, predominantly relating to cross-border M&A for corporates and financial institutions in Poland and across the CEE region. 'Capable negotiator' Tomasz Żak advised Arcus Infrastructure Partners on its €417m acquisition of an 85% stake in Gdańsk Transport Company in a multi-stage transaction. The 'exceptionally knowledgeable' Beata Balas-Noszczyk assisted mFinanse and mBank with the $138m sale of Latona to Phoebe IVS. Marek Wroniak is the department head.
Linklaters predominantly handles cross-border acquisitions and exits, mergers and international corporate restructurings. Daniel Cousens and managing associate Klaudia Królak advised Flokk Holdings on the acquisition of Profin via a share-swap with Innova Capital and the remaining shareholders of the target. Marcin Schulz acted for Pesa Group on an investment agreement with the Polish Development Fund into the client's operations; while in another highlight, he assisted Nestlé, alongside Tomasz Zorawski, with all aspects of a group restructuring, involving the merger of Nestlé Waters and Nestlé Polska.
Andrzej Wierciński and Jakub Jędrzejak lead WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr's department, which handles a variety of advisory and transactional mandates for domestic and international corporates. Anna Wojciechowska advised EDF Group on the €1bn sale of EDF Polska to the state-owned PGE Group. She also assists Ryanair Group with all aspects of its operations in Poland, including in connection with the establishment of a new air carrier operator, Ryanair Sun.
Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka has 'a quick-thinking team', which acts for a broad mixture of domestic and international corporates with operations in Poland. In a prestigious transaction for the Polish energy sector, Marek Świątkowski advised Grupa Lotos on all aspects of its €10bn merger with PKN Orlen. Bartosz Marcinkowski and department head Krzysztof Zakrzewski advised Infracapital on a €300m joint venture with Nokia, which will contribute to the development of Polish fibre-optic infrastructure. Robert Niczyporuk is another key figure.
Eversheds Sutherland Wierzbowski's team 'consists of highly competent individuals', noted for the 'responsiveness' of the advice they provide. The group often works closely with the firm's London offices. Practice head Ewa Szlachetka advised the Ministry of Economic Development on the establishment of Polska Grupa Lotnicza, which will be made up of major state-owned civil aviation companies including LOT Polish Airlines. Alongside Michał Karwacki, she assisted ITP with its buyout by Abris Capital Partners. Of counsel Krzysztof Feluch is also recommended for corporate structuring matters.
GESSEL Attorneys at Law
GESSEL Attorneys at Law handles both advisory and transactional work for a variety of local and foreign corporates. The group is led by Marcin Macieszczak, who advised Bioton on the sale of a 95.6% stake in SciGen to the China-based Yifan International Pharmaceutical. Highlights for Maciej Kożuchowski included acting for Polski Bank Komórek Macierzystych on the acquisition of a majority stake in the Portuguese-listed company Stemlab. Małgorzata Badowska and Aldona Pietrzak are also recommended.
K&L Gates LLP
M&A is a core competency of the team at K&L Gates LLP, which is led by managing partner Michał Pawłowski. His highlights included advising Integer.pl and InPost on a tender offer by the investor AI PrimeBidcos.ar. Filip Urbaniak is also noted alongside recently promoted local partner Rafał Woźniak, while Andrzej Mikosz left for Taylor Wessing Poland in March 2019. As of May 2019, the firm's Poland office has been taken over by DWF Poland Jamka Sp.k. Władek Rzycki left the firm.
Noerr's M&A team mostly advises private equity houses, with particular recent experience in the food sector. Department co-heads Jakub Lerner and Ludomir Biedecki advised Continental Bakeries, which is controlled by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division and Silverfern, on its €60m acquisition of Delicpol. Arkadiusz Rumiński and Radosław Biedecki are also recommended. The group welcomed digital law expert Agnieszka Besiekierska from Bird & Bird Szepietowski i wspólnicy sp. k. in April 2018.
Piotr Strawa leads the group at Norton Rose Fulbright, which predominantly advises private equity funds and industrial clients from a variety of sectors. Grzegorz Dyczkowski is another key name. The group lost former department co-head Paweł Bajno to Bird & Bird Szepietowski i wspólnicy sp. k. in January 2019.
Penteris's 'very experienced' team stands out for its 'business-oriented' approach and 'good communication'. The team is led by Wojciech Fabrycki, who joined the firm with fellow corporate lawyers Tomasz Kudelski and Aleksandra Rogalska from Dubiński Jeleński Masiarz i Wspólnicy in 2018. Andrzej Tokaj and Tomasz Rysiak advised Jump Bikes on its acquisition by Uber. Tokaj is also instructed by Facebook in relation to its Polish operations. In January 2020, the team split from Magnusson - Kancelaria Prawnicza and now operates as Penteris. In January 2020, the team split from Magnusson - Kancelaria Prawnicza and now operates as Penteris.
Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak's team, which consists of 'hardworking professionals', is noted as 'supportive and flexible'. The group is regularly instructed by Polish and German corporates. Krzysztof Pawlisz, Piotr Andrzejak and Krzysztof Kanton advised Solaris Bus & Coach on all aspects of a €190m investment into the company by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles. Dr Marcin Olechowski assisted Globalworth Real Estate Investments with the indirect €138m acquisition of a 68% stake in Griffin Premium RE. Practice head Robert Gawałkiewicz has vast experience in M&A, restructurings and related disputes and arbitration.
Wardynski & Partners
Wardynski & Partners offers a full service to corporates with operations in Poland, with the support of the firm's sizeable banking and finance, tax, labour, environmental and IP teams. In a demonstration of the group's strength in M&A, Izabela Zielińska-Barłożek and Anna Dąbrowska advised Takata's German and Japanese subsidiaries on the Polish aspects of the $1.6bn sale of an airbag manufacturer. The duo were also local counsel to Hella in relation to its divestment from FTZ Autodele & Verktoj and Inter-Team to Mekonomen. Paweł Ciećwierz and Krzysztof Libiszewski are also key names.
Chajec, Don-Siemion & Zyto Legal Advisors's team specialises in M&A transactions, company reorganisations, demergers, joint ventures and equity investments, particularly in the TMT sector. Highlights for Szymon Skiendzielewski included advising 24/7 Communication on a merger with Headlines-Porter Novelli. Maciej Kotlicki assisted Capital Partners Investment I FIZ with the €22m acquisition of Gekoplast through a public tender. Andrzej Chajec and Jolanta Okoniecka are also names to note.
Crido Legal's 'efficient and results-oriented' group is jointly led by Mateusz Baran and Mateusz Rogoziński, who were promoted to the partnership in 2018. Rogoziński was instructed by Kruk on the acquisition of a structure containing receivables portfolios from Lehman Brothers Holding. Other team members include senior associates Katarzyna Żółcińska and Marzena Lau. Szymon Syp, formerly a senior associate with the firm, joined Olesinski & Wspolnicy in April 2019.
Deloitte Legal, Pasternak, Korba, Moskwa, Jarmul i Wspólnicy Kancelaria Prawnicza sp.k. handles M&A and corporate matters for a variety of domestic and international companies, to which it is also able to provide tax advice. Paweł Moskwa advised Eurocash on its €90m acquisition of 100% shares in the controlling company of Mila. Alongside Karol Kicun, he assisted MCI Capital with the reorganisation of three portfolio companies. Robert Pasternak and Jan Jarmul are also recommended.
Marta Frąckowiak took over as leader of the 'fantastic' corporate team at DLA Piper following the departure of the former managing partner Krzysztof Wiater, who left the firm to found NGL Wiater sp.k. The group leverages the firm's international presence and wide sector expertise to handle a range of advisory and transactional work, often with a cross-border element. Highlights for Frąckowiak included advising Kancelaria Medius on the acquisition of Kreditech Česká Republika and, in a separate matter, assisting entrepreneur, Stanisław Modliński and the company Air Club Group, with the sale of Air Club Centrum Podróży to BCD Travel. 'Top lawyer' Jakub Domalik-Plakwicz is also recommended.
FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz
Kochanski & Partners' M&A team includes Gabriel Olearnik, who became head of the private equity practice following a move from Dentons in August 2017. Corporate work is led by Rafal Rapala, who specialises in corporate conflicts of ownership. He is currently advising Mitsubishi Electric Corporation on the Polish aspects of a major restructuring and subsidiary merger; and alongside Pawel Cholewinski, is assisting Axa Direct Solutions with its merger with Avanssur. Ida Komorowska-Moj left the team for Zieba & Partners in January 2019, where she leads the M&A, corporate and private equity teams.
The team at boutique M&A firm Krassowski is noted for its 'exceptional negotiating skills'; advising a mixture of PE funds, multinational corporations and entrepreneurs. Highlights for founding partner Bartosz Krassowski included assisting Czech-based Hartenberg Holding on its acquisition of a 50% stake in Avia Prime Group. In a major transaction for the video games industry, Andrzej Chrzanowski assisted CD Projekt with its acquisition of Strange New Things.
Prof. Marek Wierzbowski and Partners Advocates and Legal Counsellors provides a full service for M&A matters, in addition to corporate-related disputes. The group has particular expertise in restructuring state-owned companies across a range of sectors and preparing them for privatisation. The team's key individuals are Marek Wierzbowski and Sławomir Jakszuk, who are vastly experienced in corporate law.
Maruta Wachta sp. j.
Maruta Wachta sp. j.'s team specialises in digital sector corporate matters and transactions, drawing on a deep well of expertise in IT, technology and e-commerce. Practice head Daniel Jastrun advised Delivery Hero on the sale of a majority stake in Delivery Hero Poland to AmRest Holdings. The firm's impressive client roster also includes Tetra Pak and Carrefour. Zbigniew Okoń is recommended for marketing law issues. Aleksandra Polak joined Zieba & Partners.
SSW Pragmatic Solutions
SSW Pragmatic Solutions' team stands out for its ability to provide 'business-oriented and focused advice' and for providing 'quality' client support. The group consists of legal and tax advisers and is often instructed on restructuring and M&A mandates. Team leader Wojciech Szczepaniak advises a mixture of Polish and foreign institutional investors, banks and venture capital funds on all areas of corporate law. Highlights for Michał Badowski included assisting Aerium Group and Bainbridge with a complex restructuring and subsequent sale of a number of companies to the Newbridge fund. Paweł Chyb is another key name.
The team at Wolf Theiss was greatly boosted by the arrival from Allen & Overy, A. Pedzich sp. k. in September 2017 of Jacek Michalski, a lawyer with experience in major transactions across Poland, CEE and Africa. The group works closely with the firm's European offices and has particular expertise in corporate, transactional and regulatory matters pertaining to banking and other financial institutions. Highlights for counsel Daniel Harbaty included advising state-owned Towarzystwo Finansowe Silesia on the acquisition of a majority stake in Fabryka Kotłów Sefako.
act BSWW's team handles the spectrum of corporate transactions. The group is jointly led by Jacek Bieniak, Marek Wojnar and Piotr Wojnar. Anita Woźniak was a new arrival from Chajec, Don-Siemion & Zyto Legal Advisors in June 2018. Marta Kosiedowska advised Fortuna Online Zakłady Bukmacherskie on an internal merger of subsidiaries.
Bird & Bird Szepietowski i wspólnicy sp. k.'s team is led by Rafał Dziedzic, who has extensive experience in M&A transactions. Dziedzic advised the New York Stock Exchanged-listed CryoLife on the Polish aspects of its $225m acquisition of Jotec. Ida Komorowska-Moj departed to Kochanski & Partners in November 2017, while the team welcomed Paweł Bajno from Norton Rose Fulbright in January 2019.
GSW Legal Grabarek, Szalc i Wspólnicy Sp.k.'s team is jointly led by managing partners Rafał Szalc (who is 'a pleasure to work with') and 'outstanding professional' Tomasz Grabarek, both of whom are noted for their 'deep knowledge' in corporate issues affecting new technology companies. The group advised Digital Care on the establishment of a Polish subsidiary and on the drafting and negotiation of a cooperation agreement with a major Russian mobile telephone operator.
JARA DRAPAŁA & PARTNERS
PETERKA & PARTNERS Kancelaria Prawnicza sp.k
PwC Legal Pawlowski Żelaznicki Sp. K's team is praised by one client for its 'corporate know-how' and 'professionalism'. Beata Kiedrowicz, who jointly heads the team with Cezary Żelaźnicki and Jacek Pawłowski, advised Goldbeck on all aspects its acquisition of Comfort, in what was the client's first Polish M&A transaction.