Firms To Watch: Competition/antitrust

Since his arrival at Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka in 2020, Jarosław Lukawski has rebuilt the competition law department; the team is now instructed by a large and continuously growing roster of clients from a multitude of sectors, with particular focus on FMCG. Proceedings before the Polish Competition Authority are a mainstay of the practice.
At Eversheds Sutherland Poland, antitrust projects concerning distribution, franchising and compliance, and representation of clients in merger control proceedings before the Polish Competition Authority are the two key specialisms. Senior associate Dariusz Aziewicz is the key name to note.

Competition/antitrust in Poland

Allen & Overy, A. Pedzich sp. k.

As an integrated part of Allen & Overy, A. Pedzich sp. k.‘s US and European antitrust group, the Warsaw-based team is well placed to advise on multi-jurisdictional competition mandates. As a consequence of its reputation for litigious work, the group is regularly instructed by clients appearing before Polish Competition Authority, the European Commission, and domestic courts of all levels. ‘Unquestionable number one on the Polish market‘, Marta Sendrowicz, heads up the practice. Senior associate Olga Wiśniewska-Łukasiuk is singled out as a ‘very unique kind of lawyer‘.

Practice head(s):

Marta Sendrowicz


Other key lawyers:

Olga Wiśniewska-Łukasiuk; Elżbieta Krajewska; Agnieszka Kolasińska-Czerwińska


Testimonials

‘This firm understood our case immediately and were able to help in an effective way, directing resources where absolutely necessary without wasting time and money. They were very precise and fast with their work and communicated very clearly.’

‘The people I worked with were able to explain complicated issues in a clear way and responded very quickly to all our enquiries. We were very happy with the team that was put together.’

‘Best antitrust team in Poland, with experience in highly complex and challenging cases that they help to address in a pragmatic, focused and efficient manner.’

Key clients

The Saudi Arabian Oil Company


CVC


Yetico S.A.


Cemex Polska


Polski Standard Płatności (PSP)


Polish Development Fund S.A.


Abris


Innova/6


Ørsted Wind Power A/S


Liberty House Group, part of the GFG Alliance


Exponent Private Equity


Green Investment Group Limited and IVO Energy Limited


OCI Group and Kumho Petrochemical Group


Work highlights


  • Advised the Saudi Arabian Oil Company on a wide range of competition law matters relating to its investment in Poland’s refining, wholesale, and jet fuel marketing segments through a number of acquisitions from Polish oil refiner and fuel retailer PKN Orlen.
  • Advised CVC on merger aspects of the planned acquisition of Polmos Bielsko-Biała by the Stock Spirits Group.
  • Advising Polski Standard Płatności and its shareholders on the competition law aspects of the expansion of the client’s activities into the buy-now, pay-later market.

Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski i Wspólnicy Sp.k.

According to one client, the team at Baker McKenzie Krzyzowski i Wspólnicy Sp.k. is ‘currently one of the strongest on the market‘. The group’s contentious expertise spans cartel investigations, private enforcement litigation and EU competition cases. On the advisory side, merger control and state aid are the two key areas of focus; in the former sphere, senior associate Michał Derdak‘s recent work for PKN Orlen stands out. ‘Absolute starMarcin Trepka and ‘skilled‘ counsel Mikołaj Piaskowski jointly lead the department.

Other key lawyers:

Elżbieta Buczkowska; Martyna Wurm; Łucja Olszewska; Michał Derdak; Marta Banaś-Klimkiewicz


Testimonials

‘Responsive, thoughtful and reputable competition team; strong in consumer, cartel and private enforcement cases; easy to work with, forward thinking and very practical.’

‘Marcin Trepka is an expert competition lawyer who is able to provide concrete advice that can be implemented by the business in furtherance of its goals. He offers a practical analysis and superb client service; solution-orientated, sensible and commercial. Marcin takes a practical approach and is always quick to respond. In addition, he has great communication skills.’

‘Marcin Trepka – highly qualified in competition law issues, he has not only theoretical knowledge but has also a good and practical understanding of business.’

Key clients

MINOVA Ekochem SA


Sport Project sp. z o.o.


MERIDA Polska sp. z o.o.


KIA Polska


PKN Orlen S.A.


TERG S.A.


Google Polska sp. z o.o.


GN AUDIO A/S


Raiffeisen Bank International AG


Actona Group A/S (Lars Larsen Group)


SPIE


Stark Corporation Public Company Limited


Gruppo Villa Maria (GVM)


CANAL+ Polska S.A.


BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A.


Zakłady Farmaceutyczne Polpharma S.A.


Asbud


ORICA Limited


Work highlights


  • Represented PKN Orlen in merger control proceedings before the European Commission, in relation to the planned acquisition of a network of nearly 200 petrol stations in Hungary and Slovakia from MOL.
  • Successfully represented Minova Ekochem in an appeal case against the decision of the Polish Competition Authority, which imposed a significant penalty for alleged cartel activity on the market of chemical products.
  • Represented KIA Polska in an antitrust investigation conducted by the Polish Competition Authority, which concerned alleged anti-competitive pricing, exclusivity and tender-related practices on the Polish automotive market.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang Posniak i Bejm sp.k.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang Posniak i Bejm sp.k. is described by a client as ‘really one of the best‘ in the competition field. On the contentious side, the team is regularly instructed to act throughout both internal and competition authority investigations, including dawn raids and antimonopoly proceedings. The group is also recognised for its merger control expertise, advising on this aspect as part of the most prominent M&A transactions across a wide range of industries. Practice head Małgorzata Urbańska also chairs the firm’s consumer product sector focus group in Central and Eastern Europe. At senior associate level, Izabela Biernat-Sadlak is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Małgorzata Urbańska


Other key lawyers:

Agnieszka Starzyńska; Izabela Biernat-Sadlak; Krzysztof Sikora


Testimonials

‘The team is very dedicated, available for us any time and with a hands-on approach. They simply offer the highest standard of services. They understand our objectives and offer tailored and practical solutions from various perspectives.’

‘Małgorzata Urbańska is an experienced lawyer providing excellent client care. She is business-oriented, engaged and reliable.’

‘Antitrust practice is unique mainly because of excellent people – perfect in their job, always available for our smaller or bigger topics. Possessing comprehensive knowledge of our industry as well as up-to-date practices of local authority. Excellent communication skills.’

‘Małgorzata Urbańska and her team are really one of the best we worked with in the last years. Availability, short response time, and possibility of direct contact with Małgorzata is really unique for us.’

‘In cases under time pressure, CMS is able to provide us with the whole package of services.’

‘The CMS competition team is very competent, very responsive and very client-oriented. They do much more than expected from lawyers and provide us with invaluable assistance.’

‘Agnieszka Starzyńska is our key point of contact and is always available to help and assist.’

Key clients

Alstom


Van Tilburg-Bastianen Group / TB Truck & Trailer Service Sp. z o.o.


Stuart (DPD Group)


Partner in Pet Food (PPF)


PZ Cussons


Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)


Panattoni Development


Honeywell


Diageo


CooperVision Poland


Medtronic


Bausch Health


Sportsdirect


Hasbro


Medicover


JTI


Canon


MOL Group


AFI


Work highlights


  • Representing Van Tilburg-Bastianen Group, as well as its Polish subsidiary TB Truck & Trailer Service – the authorised dealer of DAF heavy vehicles – in a cartel case conducted by the Polish Competition Authority against five DAF dealers in Poland.
  • Representing MOL Group in merger control proceedings before the European Commission regarding the acquisition of Lotos Paliwa’s chain of retail petrol stations in Poland.
  • Advising AFI Europe on securing merger clearance to establish a joint venture with Echo Group.

Dentons

The highly specialised team at Dentons fields a roster of experts in core sectors and areas of competition law. Senior associate Maciej Marek focuses on selective distribution and franchising, while counsel Anna Gulińska is noted for her private antitrust enforcement work; in addition, the former has particular knowledge of the chemicals and TMT fields, while the latter’s industries of expertise are media and real estate. The group’s dedicated state aid practitioners are Michał Bernat and Aleksandra Siemieniec. Agnieszka Stefanowicz-Barańska heads up the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Michał Bernat; Aleksandra Siemieniec; Anna Gulińska; Maciej Marek


Testimonials

‘Maciej Marek provides very professional and helpful advice, extremely quick responses.’

‘Agnieszka Stefanowicz-Barańska has a unique talent for maintaining relationships with her clients. While not imposing herself she is one step ahead providing relevant market updates and insights. She is very approachable, practical, diligent and thorough, with vast knowledge of the competition law, and as such she inspires trust. Huge pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Air Products


Airwair


American Eagle


Audi


BPD Partners


CANPACK


Celanese


Cornerstone Investment Management


COSTA Coffee


Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG


Elanco


EPP


FM Forte


Ghelamco


Globalworth


Goldenpeaks


Green Investment Group


GreenArt


Henkel


Hines


ITT Corporation


Kinguin Poland


Lhoist


Munich Re


Norsk Hydro


Oaktree


Ocean Winds


PCC


Porsche Investments


Redefine Properties


Skanska Property


TD Synnex (Tech Data Corporation)


Tensai Property Services


The Coca-Cola Company


Valeo


Veolia


Volkswagen


Woolworth


YIT


Zuru Inc.


Work highlights


  • Successfully advised several Volkswagen Group companies on obtaining a number of unconditional merger control clearances from the Polish Competition Authority for establishing joint ventures.
  • Successfully advised Norsk Hydro on obtaining an unconditional merger clearance from the Polish Competition Authority for establishing a joint venture between Hydro Rein and Macquarie Asset Management’s Green Investment Group with the aim to build and operate Feijão, a 586MW combined wind and solar power project in the northeast of Brazil.
  • Successfully advised Cornerstone Investment Management, a corporate and real estate private equity investment manager, on obtaining an unconditional merger clearance from the Polish Competition Authority for the acquisition of a portfolio of five office properties in Warsaw from Globalworth.

Linklaters

Linklaters assists a roster of high-profile international corporations – including Nivea and PepsiCo – and their local subsidiaries with merger control, state aid, consumer protection, and foreign investment issues, as well as handling the gamut of competition-related contentious work. Practice head Małgorzata Szwaj is equally well versed in both Polish and EU competition law issues, and is consequently an advisor of choice when it comes to multi-jurisdictional mandates. Anna Laszczyk – who was recently promoted to managing associate – is singled out for her knowledge of the infrastructure, telecoms, media and pharmaceutical sectors.

Practice head(s):

Małgorzata Szwaj


Other key lawyers:

Wojciech Podlasin; Anna Laszczyk; Barbara Wanat; Joanna Koterbska


Testimonials

‘They provide great legal advice, run valuable courses and legal panels, and go above what’s needed of them.’

‘All engaged in their tasks and professional lawyers. Working with them has been a pleasure and has always brought the expected results.’

‘The collaboration is each time based on thorough understanding of the business side of cases, combining it with excellent legal evaluation and risk assessment.’

‘Cooperation with Małgorzata Szwaj and Anna Laszczyk allows clients to always be up-to-date with legal changes and new engaging topics that might be of interest for the client. Their advice, based on professional experience and exceptional legal knowledge in the field, focuses always on practical solutions for legal questions.’

‘Excellent knowledge of competition law. Linklaters tailors its advice to the client’s expectations. For quick queries, the client can receive short answers. If the client expects a broader analysis, that is what the client receives. All advice is backed up by in-depth knowledge of the client’s business.’

‘The cooperation is not only substantive but also purely human. The advisors are characterised not only by great knowledge but also by high personal culture. It is a great pleasure to talk to members of the Linklaters team, especially Małgorzata Szwaj and Anna Laszczyk. The client feels the commitment of the advisers and their willingness to help.’

Key clients

Brother


JD Sports


Kronospan


Millennium


Nivea


Orange Polska


PepsiCo


Polski Fundusz Rozwoju (PFR)


Work highlights


  • Advised the Polish state – as represented by Polski Fundusz Rozwoju – on the state aid aspects of reviewing its support schemes aimed at helping companies combat the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Representing Kronospan Mielec and Kronospan Szczecinek in appeal proceedings before the Court for the Protection of Competition and Consumers against a decision by the Polish Competition Authority on allegedly restrictive horizontal agreements.

WKB Lawyers

WKB Lawyers‘s ‘go-to team‘ is instructed by notable local and international clients, including key players from the energy, luxury goods, financial services, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and insurance sectors. The firm’s wide-ranging competencies cover issues ranging from cartels, leniency programs, distribution agreements and other vertical relations, to practices amounting to abuse of a dominant position and merger control filings. Alongside practice head Aleksander Stawicki, Bartosz Turno and Dorota Karczewska are the key names to note at the most senior level. The arrival of counsel Izabela Szewczyk-Krzyżanowska from the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in June 2022 brough further in-house expertise into the group.

Practice head(s):

Aleksander Stawicki


Other key lawyers:

Bartosz Turno; Dorota Karczewska; Wojciech Kulczyk; Aleksandra Dziurkowska; Izabela Szewczyk-Krzyżanowska


Testimonials

‘Exceptional understanding, and a very pro-business team. They are timely, they come up with legally sound solutions that play well with companies and their business reality.’

‘The most reliable and timely lawyers we ever had the pleasure to work with. They understand our needs and go beyond what is asked of them, they understand the business perspective like no others and we would reccommend them to anyone seeking legal advice.’

‘WKB’s competition team is clearly a top competition team in Poland.’

‘Aleksander Stawicki is among the best competition lawyers in Poland. He is very experienced, very pragmatic and has a great in-depth knowledge of the Polish competition law. He quickly understands what his clients need.’

‘The firm provides comprehensive legal assistance with the participation of specialised teams of lawyers (taking into account the specificity of the commissioned case).

‘WKB lawyers are distinguished by a flexible approach to the case, taking into account its practical aspects. All WKB lawyers with whom we cooperated demonstrated a very high professional level, in particular Aleksander Stawicki, Bartosz Turno and Aleksandra Dziurkowska.’

‘This is a go-to team in Poland for EU and competition matters.’

‘Knowledge and competence – this goes without saying. But what distinguishes them from other advisors is the pursuit of the best possible understanding of the client’s specificity, needs and expectations.’

Key clients

Glovo


HBO


Industrial & Commercial Bank of China


Xiaomi


Schweitzer-Mauduit


Volkswagen Financial Services


Agora S.A.


CEMEX POLSKA S.A.


DNB Bank Polska


DBK Group


Pfeifer & Langen


Lidl Polska


Siemens Group


PKO BP, Pekao S.A.


Jeronimo Martins


Polska Liga Koszykówki S.A.


Warner Discovery TVN


Pekao Leasing


Stock Spirits


Tauron Polska Energia & Enea


Ekstraklasa S.A.


Work highlights


  • Representing Ekstraklasa in proceedings before the Polish Competition Authority related to contracts with bookmakers.
  • Representing DAF dealer DBK Group – as well as a number of its managers – in proceedings before the Polish Competition Authority and the courts related to an alleged cartel in the commercial vehicle sales market.
  • Representing the Goldman Sachs and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China in merger control proceedings concerning the formation of a joint venture aimed at the distribution of wealth management products.

Clifford Chance

The practice at Clifford Chance is headed up by Iwona Terlecka, who is recognised as ‘one of the most prominent competition lawyers on the Polish market‘; under her guidance, the team acts in some of the highest profile cartel, abuse of dominance and antitrust damage cases. The firm has recently built up a significant bank of successes when representing clients in major investigations before the OCCP and European Commission. Away from litigious work, compliance advice and matters concerning state aid are the key strengths. In March 2022, the team welcomed associate Natalia Hartung from Modzelewska&Pasnik.


Practice head(s):

Iwona Terlecka


Other key lawyers:

Marta Szczecińska; Natalia Hartung; Filip Stawicki; Aleksander Ostafil


Testimonials

‘The major winning arguments were all worked out by Clifford Chance. I appreciate most their hands-on approach, commercial awareness and thorough knowledge of the Polish competition law and procedural rules.’

‘It is difficult to find another firm offering such a perfect mixture of legal expertise and understanding of their client’s business. They just exceeded our expectations.’

‘Iwona Terlecka is one of the most prominent competition lawyers on the Polish market. She combines in-depth knowledge of Polish regulations with understanding of our business.’

‘They’re confident and thorough in their practice. They adjust easily to their clients’ needs.’

‘Iwona Terlecka, Filip Stawicki and Aleksander Ostafil are three lawyers who strongly and personally commit to their tasks, They go above given tasks in taking care of a client.’

Key clients

Mondelēz


Allegro


Pfleiderer


L’Oréal


Axel Springer and Ringier Axel Springer


LafargeHolcim


A. Weber


Carrefour


CVC


Macquarie


Montagu


Cinven


Permira


Advent


Work highlights


  • Advised Allegro on its acquisition of 100% of the shares in Mall Group and WE I DO CZ from the selling shareholders PPF, EC Investments and Rockaway Capital, for a total consideration of €881 m.
  • Representing Allegro in antitrust proceedings conducted by the OCCP concerning the alleged abuse of a dominant position by the client on the Polish market for online B2C intermediary sales services.
  • Representing Allegro in a preliminary investigation by the OCCP concerning the charging of commission on sales; the terms and conditions of refunding the commission charged; and the functioning of the Allegro Smart service.

DLA Piper Giziński Kycia sp.k.

DLA Piper Giziński Kycia sp.k. is particularly noted for bringing together regulatory sector expertise and competition law experience within one department. Public procurement law is an area for which the group is especially well known; counsel Michał Orzechowski leads in this space. Unilateral and multilateral practices, merger control issues and cartel cases also make up part of the team's typical workload. Senior associate Agnieszka Staszek regularly handles proceedings before the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. 'Impressive' practice head Andrzej Balicki is much lauded for his extensive knowledge of the life sciences sector.

Practice head(s):

Andrzej Balicki; Michał Orzechowski


Other key lawyers:

Agnieszka Staszek


Testimonials

‘Wide scope of services and extensive experience. They are always available and very easy to work with.’

‘Fast and efficient. A very good professional practice.’

‘They have an individual approach to a client and create a kind yet expert enviroment.’

‘Very pragmatic and down to earth, combining legal and business thinking.’

‘Andrzej Balicki is an impressive lawyer. He always sees the big picture covering legal, business and human aspects of projects. Highly recommended.’

‘Dedicated team of highly skilled lawyers. Very responsive and pragmatic. A leading team on the market.’

‘DLA Piper Poland is part of an international law firm, which naturally gives it an edge in international transactions. Also, they have a strong local team in Warsaw, which means they can get things done on the ground. The combination of those two elements is what I appreciate most about their team.’

‘Michał Orzechowski: I like his responsiveness and ability to organize the time of his team. Such a trait is especially useful for assignments which have a short deadline, which is, as it happens, usually the case in the legal business.’

Key clients

Allergan


Allegro.pl


AmeriGas (UGI)


Generali


HCL Technologies


Hubert Burda Media


Lotos Air-BP Polska


Trek Bicycle Corporation


Żabka Polska (a portfolio company of CVC Capital Partners)


PKP Energetyka


Work highlights


  • Representing Lotos Air-BP Polska, a joint venture between Lotos and BP, in merger control proceedings before the European Commission concerning the acquisition of Lotos by PKN Orlen.
  • Representing DER Touristik in merger control proceedings related to the creation of a joint venture with a US-based AlliedPRO before the Polish Competition Authority.
  • Advised Polish Enterprise Fund VIII on its acquisition of a significant minority stake in technology company Ekoenergetyka-Polska.

Greenberg Traurig Nowakowska-Zimoch Wysokinski Sp. k

Greenberg Traurig Nowakowska-Zimoch Wysokinski Sp. k is seen by clients as a ‘creative team delivering amazing results‘. Merger control proceedings – including notifications to the European Commission and Phase I and II notifications to the Polish Competition Authority – are a key strength. In a recent highlight, the firm represented Agora in a precedent-setting case which saw the court overturn the OCCP’s decision. The group also regularly advises on the competition law aspects of significant M&A deals. ‘Titan of the fieldRobert Gago helms the practice.

Practice head(s):

Robert Gago


Other key lawyers:

Filip Drgas; Anna Celejewska-Rajchert


Testimonials

‘A hard working, creative team delivering amazing results. They are characterised by a high level of team work and a high level of work culture.’

‘Robert Gago is certainly a titan of the field. The effects of his commitment are visible at first glance. In the field of litigation, he is a demanding opponent, which makes the client feel very comfortable and safe. He is not rigidly attached to his concepts and is able to adjust the style of work to the client’s needs. He quickly acquires industry knowledge and is able to efficiently use it as part of cases he conducts.’

‘Great time management, delivery and atmosphere.’

‘They provide timely and in-depth legal analysis.’

Key clients

Agora S.A.


Allianz SE


Unimot S.A.


Cyfrowy Polsat S.A.


Polkomtel sp. z o.o.


Telewizja Polsat S.A.


Zespół Elektrowni Pątnów-Adamów-Konin S.A.


Madison International Realty


Dom Development


Black Red White S.A.


Smithfield Group/Animex Food


AMS S.A.


Allegro sp. z o.o.


Stock Spirits Group


Work highlights


  • Successfully represented Agora in its appeal against the OCCP President’s decision prohibiting the client from taking control over Eurozet.
  • Represented Allianz in European Commission merger control proceedings related to the acquisition of the Polish life and non-life insurance operations, pensions and asset management business, as well as life insurance and pensions operations in Lithuania, from Aviva.
  • Represented Unimot capital group in OCCP merger control proceedings related to the acquisition of Lotos Terminale from Grupa Lotos.

Hansberry Tomkiel

Specialised boutique Hansberry Tomkiel is differentiated by the combined years of experience which practitioners bring to the team from previous high-ranking positions in competition authorities; Małgorzata Krasnodębska-Tomkiel, for example, served as the chair of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection between 2008 and 2014. Krasnodębska-Tomkiel jointly heads up the practice with her counterpart Dorothy Hansberry-Bieguńska – the duo are singled out as 'absolute leaders in competition law in Poland'. Cases concerning cartels, illegal horizontal and vertical agreements, and abuses of dominance all fall within the group’s sphere of expertise.

Other key lawyers:

Grzegorz Materna; Dorota Podsiedzik-Malec


Testimonials

‘Being a specialised practice, it offers hands-on experience in all aspects of antitrust law. It is a small but highly client-focused team with very deep and up-to-date knowledge in all aspects of antimonopoly law.’

‘Małgorzata Krasnodębska-Tomkiel has highly relevant competition law knowledge in Poland and EU. She has specific experience from a long-time role as antimonopoly watchdog in Poland and resulting from numerous past client assignments in the field. She also represents a highly pragmatic approach in negotiations and a good commercial sense.’

‘Straight-talking and considered advice – always helpful.’

‘Excellent comparative analysis which is very helpful on international matters.’

‘Great experience from both sides (many of their lawyers worked previously in anti-monopoly authorities). They are eager to understand the business of the client. Very responsive. All advantages that you would expect from a high-profile boutique law firm.’

‘Supportive and responsive. I feel that you are in good hands. They can evaluate the risk and help you to make the best decision, when not everything is black and white.’

‘Dorothy Hansberry-Bieguńska has a very deep understanding of the Polish Competition Authority, their way of proceeding and their needs, and is a strong advocate of the client’s interest. Able not only to understand, but also to explain the proceedings and feelings of the Authority for the benefit of the client.’

‘Dorothy Hansberry-Bieguńska and Małgorzata Krasnodębska-Tomkiel are absolute leaders in competition law in Poland.’

Key clients

Mastercard Europe Société Anonyme


Essity (formerly known as SCA)


Platinium Wellness


Orange Polska


Nowa Era


LPP


Elcowire GmbH


Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa S.A.


Morvan Le Berre sprl (European Research Executive Agency)


Work highlights


  • Representing Mastercard Europe Société Anonyme in a civil damages case brought by a plaintiff in Poland concerning interchange fees and an alleged violation of EU and Polish competition laws.
  • Represents Platinium Wellness before the competition authority and court in appeals concerning three separate decisions to charge the client with violations of Polish and EU competition laws, and with obstruction of a dawn raid search.
  • Successfully obtained the consent of the Polish Competition Authority, allowing client Elcowire to acquire Mansfelder.

Hogan Lovells (Warszawa) LLP

The team at Hogan Lovells (Warszawa) LLP 'consists of great specialists in their field'; dawn raids and compliance issues, M&A-related matters, appeals against the decisions of the Polish Competition Authority, private enforcement cases, and cartel proceedings all make up part of the firm's broad practice. Counsel Piotr Skurzyński leads the team, and is instructed largely by leading names from the financial, telecoms, pharmaceutical, retail and FMCG sectors. Recently, the firm has increasingly been focusing on mandates relating to foreign direct investments.

Practice head(s):

Piotr Skurzyński


Other key lawyers:

Hanna Parkot


Testimonials

‘Clarity of advice, not overcomplicated legal language.’

‘Very rational and pragmatic approach in advising clients.’

‘Great antitrust advice for both Europe and specifically Poland, deep expertise. Practical trainings. Relevent resourcing. Good balance between cost and quality. Very happy to partner with them!’

‘The team consists of great specialists in their field, with extensive substantive knowledge and extensive practical experience. The pro-business approach and the ability to understand business and its needs are certainly unique on the market.’

‘So far, I have had the pleasure of working mainly with Piotr Skurzyński. He stands out above all because he understands the business and looks for solutions that meet the client’s needs. He has enormous substantive knowledge and a lot of practical experience. In addition, he is also a very nice person with a great sense of humor, which makes working with him a real pleasure.’

Key clients

Uber


Santander Consumer Bank


Intel


BNP Paribas


Mars


Kraft Heinz


Ford


Castorama


Tikehau


Makro Cash and Carry Polska S.A.


Saur


Hitachi Energy


mBank (Commerzbank Group)


Nationale Nederlanden Insurance


Nike


PVH Europe


Air Products


Ergo Group


Rain Technologies Inc.


Raiffeisen Centrobank AG


Groupon


Veolia


Avon


Work highlights


  • Representing Veolia Energia Warszawa in cartel proceedings before the Polish Competition Authority, and in subsequent court proceedings.
  • Representing Santander Consumer Bank in proceedings before the Polish Competition Authority concerning consumer protection issues, and appealing a decision to impose a fine of €10m.
  • Representing Uber in proceedings conducted by the Polish Competition Authority concerning alleged infringement of collective interests of consumers.

Modzelewska&Pasnik

Highly regarded boutique Modzelewska&Pasnik is lauded by clients as ‘one of the best experts in competition law in Poland‘. The firm’s competencies span the gamut of relevant work, from merger control, distribution issues and compliance matters, to investigations and litigation. Agnieszka Kowalczyk-Zagaj oversees the dedicated consumer law sub-group, focusing particularly on the financial services sector. Małgorzata Modzelewska de Raad and Piotr Paśnik jointly head up the practice; the latter is noted for his expertise in the regulated industries.


Practice head(s):

Małgorzata Modzelewska de Raad; Piotr Paśnik


Other key lawyers:

Irena Gajewska; Agnieszka Kowalczyk-Zagaj


Testimonials

‘The team is excellent! They have immense know-how on competition law and its practice in Poland. They are business-oriented, fast, very up to date with Polish and EU developments, they understand business and business understands them. The team has handled major competition law disputes in Poland.’

‘Client focused service – highly experienced attorneys and experts – combines substantive and litigation expertise.’

‘Małgorzata Modzelewska de Raad is my go-to lawyer for Poland. I find her to be very knowledgeable, pragmatic, dedicated and easy to correspond with.’

Key clients

Astra Zeneca


PSA Stellantis


ORANGE Polska


PGNIG


ASHAI BEER


Roche Polska


MAKRO Cash and Carry


Auchan Polska


WSiP


OBI


Konsalnet


PCC Rokita


Calypso Fitness


Oknoplast


ZAP Sznajder Batterien


SPOKEY


POLPHARMA BIOLOGICS


PGNiG Termika


VOLVO FINANCIAL SERVICES


Edipresse


Edipresse Home


Lotte Wedel


HEBE


GRUPA AZOTY


Work highlights


  • Represented Calypso Fitness and it subsidiaries throughout an investigation into an alleged cartel between fitness studios operators and Benefit Systems.
  • Represented PGNiG Termika in antitrust proceedings launched by the Polish Competition Authority, focusing on alleged collusion between the client and Veolia Energia Warszawa on the heating market in Warsaw.

Rymarz Zdort Maruta

Leveraging its strength in both Polish and European Union competition law matters, as well as its cross-departmental capabilities, Rymarz Zdort Maruta handles the gamut of merger control, state aid, cartel and M&A-related mandates. Iwona Her – who has overseen the practice since its establishment – continues to lead the team, supported by experienced counsel Irmina Wątły. In January 2022, the group welcomed senior associate Tomasz Kordala, formerly of Dentons; he brings additional expertise in consumer protection laws and foreign direct investment screening mechanisms to the department.

Practice head(s):

Iwona Her


Other key lawyers:

Irmina Wątły; Iwona Her


Testimonials

‘Iwona Her is an experienced competition practitioner in Poland, which a great understanding of the Polish merger review procedure. She was able to navigate us and our client through a challenging issue.’

‘Tomasz Kordala was an excellent associate on the case, very responsive and diligent.’

‘Exceptional depth of knowledge of legal regulations, practice and legal climate; holistic approach to client’s needs; understanding of underlying business; anticipating issues.’

‘Quick minds combined with exceptional knowledge; attentive to specific needs of the client; available for quick check-ins.’

Key clients

Grupa Lotos S.A.


Innova Capital LLC


Vectra S.A.


Polski Fundusz Rozwoju S.A.


Santander Bank Polska S.A.


APG Investments


Grupa Maspex


PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A.


Echo Investment S.A.


Leading oil and gas company in Poland


Groupe CANAL+


Bounty Brands


Work highlights


  • Advised Grupa Lotos on the antitrust aspects of a merger with PKN Orlen, and represented the client in phase II merger clearance proceedings before the European Commission.
  • Advised Innova Capital on the antitrust aspects of its abandoned sale of Trimo to Kingspan Holding Netherlands, which included representing the client in phase II merger clearance proceedings before the European Commission.
  • Advised Polski Fundusz Rozwoju on the merger control and state aid aspects of an aid program which it will implement as part of the government scheme which aims to mitigate the economic consequences of Covid-19.

Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak

Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak's practice head, Krzysztof Kanton, is recognised by clients as 'consistently one of the best lawyers specialising in competition and consumer law'. Under Kanton's guidance, the team regularly handles merger control matters, particularly focusing on phase II cases, as well as representing clients in abuse of dominance proceedings and appeals of Polish Competition Authority decisions. Private antitrust litigation is likewise an area in which the firm has seen notable successes. Marek Kolasiński is another key senior member of the group.

Practice head(s):

Krzysztof Kanton


Other key lawyers:

Marek Kolasiński; Joanna Marek


Testimonials

‘The high substantive level combined with a business approach to the conducted cases distinguishes the team on the market.’

‘Krzysztof Kanton is consistently one of the best lawyers specialising in competition and consumer law. Krzysztof can easily explain the most intricate matters. High level of experience and knowledge always lead to the development of the best solutions for clients.’

‘Very competent and experienced in antitrust law, open and focused on client, with practical approach.’

‘Open, honest and available, always providing feedback on time, with many years of experience and knowledge.’

Key clients

Shell


Engie


Wintershall


OMV


Uniper


ENGIE Energy Management Holding Switzerland AG


Jeronimo Martins Polska SA


Benefit Systems S.A.


Eurocash S.A.


Eurozet Sp z o.o.


Swiss Krono Sp. z o.o.


NEUCA S.A.


Polkomtel. Sp. z o.o.


Brand New Galaxy (BNG)


Work highlights


  • Represented ENGIE Energy Management Holding in appeal proceedings against the decision of the Polish Competition Authority, which imposed a fine for the alleged obstruction of the Nord Stream II probe.
  • Represented Benefit Systems, together with its subsidiary companies, in an antitrust investigation which pertains to the alleged division of the market and other collusive practices between the client and various fitness clubs.
  • Represented Eurocash in merger control proceedings before the PCA, relating to the acquisition of Arhelan, an operator of more than 100 retail stores in Poland.

Wardynski & Partners

Antoni Bolecki brings over 20 years of experience acting in regulatory and administrative proceedings to his role as practice head at Wardynski & Partners; the firm is consequently particularly sought after by clients seeking representation in cases before the Polish Competition Authority. In terms of sector specialisms, financial, FMCG, energy, TMT, and rail are the key areas of focus. Marcin Kulesza, Sabina Famirska and Andrzej Madała complete the roster of recommended senior practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Antoni Bolecki


Other key lawyers:

Marcin Kulesza; Andrzej Madała; Sabina Famirska


Testimonials

‘Highly specialised and devoted to delivering high quality opinions and advice. Their knowledge, based on regulations and jurisprudence, is wide and they have ability to transfer it into practical advice and recommendations. They deliver their opinions on time. They are versatile and have the ability to look at the subject matter from the business perspective.’

‘The practice consists of great specialists. We would like to emphasise the commitment of Antoni Bolecki and Sabina Famirska to advise our company. They advised us effectively on a competition law project that required specialised professional knowledge but also possession of business perspective.’

Key clients

Alior Bank


ALDI


ArcelorMittal Poland


Asahi Breweries


Bank Pocztowy


Barclays Bank


BEST


Brembo


Canpack


Carlsberg


Cassinos Poland


Castorama


CCC


Cement Ożarów (CRH Group)


Daikin


Elavon


For Farmers


Garia


Hikvision Poland


Konsorcjum Handlowe „STOFARB”


Linas Agro Group


Melle


Mennica Polska


Moris


Nestle


Netto


NEWAG


Pepco Poland


Ringier Axel Springer


Roca


Sage


Samsung


Sandvik Machining Solutions


Shopee


Ströer


Vinted


Stokke


Urban & Co


Veolia


Thule


Zara


Work highlights


  • Represented the former CEO of Veolia, who was fined by the Polish Competition Authority for alleged cartel conduct, and secured a figure which was only 10% of the maximum possible fine.
  • Advised Mayr-Melnhof Cartonboard International on issues relating to the acquisition of Kotkamills OY and International Paper Kwidzyn.
  • Representing Arcelor Mittal Poland and Moris in merger control proceedings concerning the establishment of a new joint venture in the steel and railway sector.

GESSEL Attorneys at Law

Former Vice President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Bernadeta Kasztelan-Świetlik, helms the practice at GESSEL Attorneys at Law, and stands out as a ‘go-to advisor in Poland for all matters related to competition law‘. In the litigious sphere, the team regularly represents clients in abuse of dominance and collusion proceedings before courts of all levels. On the advisory side, compliance programmes and commercial agreements are the typical areas of focus. Recently, the firm has been particularly active in the renewable energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Bernadeta Kasztelan-Świetlik


Other key lawyers:

Karolina Krzal-Kwiatkowska; Karolina Olszewska


Testimonials

‘Bernadeta Kasztelan-Świetlik is the go-to advisor in Poland for all matters related to comptetition law. Her past experience with the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in Poland and her ability to look much wider than only to the law codes and jurisprudence is invaluable.’

Key clients

MS Galleon Group


Ricard Pernod


Ocean Winds


Polski Bank Komórek Macierzystych


Work highlights


  • Represented MS Galleon in merger control proceedings before the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.
  • Represented ENGIE and EDP Renováveis before the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in a case concerning the establishment of a joint venture in the electricity generation and the renewable energy sector.
  • Advising Raya on issues concerning its investments into Makarony Polskie as part of the Act on Foreign Direct Investment Control.

Gide Loyrette Nouel

The Warsaw-based Gide Loyrette Nouel team operates as an integrated part of the firm's multi-jurisdictional network, and is consequently particularly well placed to handle competition law mandates with complex cross-border elements. As well as advising on the gamut of consumer protections issues, the group regularly assists with matters relating to commercial agreements, including distribution systems. Dariusz Tokarczuk heads up the practice, with Szymon Chwaliński also playing a key role.

Practice head(s):

Dariusz Tokarczuk


Other key lawyers:

Szymon Chwaliński


Testimonials

‘Very good team that worked well on an inter-office matter. Sound advice all around and smooth merger control procedure in front of the Polish authority. Very professional.’

‘Szymon Chwaliński worked well with a partner from another office, each contributing expertise and insights into their fields of work.’

Key clients

Auchan


ETI


PKO Bank Polski


Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH)


BPI Real Estate


KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. (KGHM)


Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa S.A.


i2 Development


BNP Cardif


Groupe LDC


Work highlights


  • Advising KGHM Polska Miedź, a 55% shareholder in a joint venture company in Chile, on a multi-jurisdictional merger clearance process related to the introduction of a new joint venture partner.
  • Advising i2 Development, a Polish real estate developer, on the antitrust aspects of joint ventures organised by its shareholders in the real estate sector.
  • Assisting Auchan with the adaptation of its supply contracts to the new regulatory regime concerning trade in agricultural and food products.

Kieszkowska Rutkowska Kolasinski Kancelaria Prawna sp. j.

Kieszkowska Rutkowska Kolasinski Kancelaria Prawna sp. j. is differentiated by its focus on matters at the intersection of competition law and life sciences; this 'unique specialisation' is much lauded by clients, and ensures that the firm is instructed by a sizeable roster of leading names from the healthcare sector. Distribution agreements between market players, merger control issues and abuse of dominance cases are the key areas of activity. Marcin Kolasiński leads the team of 'seasoned experts'.

Practice head(s):

Marcin Kolasiński


Other key lawyers:

Marta Urbańska-Arendt


Testimonials

‘Smart, open-minded, experienced, positive thinking, focused on problem solving.’

‘This law firm really works as a team! The resources are allocated to tasks based on experience but also allowing younger members to learn. However, it is without any drawback for the client.’

‘The team has a solution-based approach and are always interested in how things work in practice. Moreover, certain members of the law firm are also engaged in discussions about shape of the laws in various committees so from the very beginning they are aware of upcoming changes and possible results.’

Work highlights


  • Representing a subsidiary on an international group of companies manufacturing and distributing audio-visual devices and systems in court proceedings following a dawn raid.
     
  • Representing a large sales and service automotive network in proceedings before the Polish Competition Authority, relating to the suspicion of illegal agreements between a multinational transport vehicle manufacturing company and its dealers.
  • Represented a distributor of dietary supplements before the Polish Competition Authority, and in an appeal process regarding alleged price fixing with retailers on the dietary supplements market.

Traple Konarski Podrecki & Partners

Traple Konarski Podrecki & Partners is known for representing a diverse roster of clients before courts of all levels and major administrative bodies in Poland. Most commonly, the firm appears in proceedings before the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, and in litigation related to appeals against the body’s decisions, in cases involving the abuse of a dominant position, competition-restricting agreements, and practices infringing collective consumer interests. Paweł Podrecki and Tomasz Targosz are the key names to note.

Practice head(s):

Paweł Podrecki; Tomasz Targosz


Other key lawyers:

Katarzyna Menszig-Wiese


Testimonials

‘The individuals of Traple Konarski Podrecki & Partners that I work with combine academic knowledge with flexible business practice.’

‘I appreciate the unique approach of Paweł Podrecki and Tomasz Targosz.’

Key clients

Fabryka Farb i Lakierów Śnieżka S.A.


Henkel Polska Sp. z o.o.


Siemens Energy Sp. z o.o.


Stowarzyszenie Producentów Betonu Towarowego / Polish Association of Ready Mixed Concrete Producers


Stowarzyszenie Producentów Cementu / Polish Cement Association


Grupa Maspex Sp. z o.o.


Diasorin Poland sp. z o.o.


Ringier Axel Springer Polska sp. z o.o.


White & Case M. Studniarek i Wspólnicy - Kancelaria Prawna sp.k.

White & Case LLP's ability to provide sector-specific competition law advice ensures that the firm is instructed by a significant roster of global and domestic industry leaders. The practice is predominantly focused on representing clients in Polish and EU antitrust investigations, assisting with merger control and state aid matters, and providing ongoing compliance advice. Katarzyna Czapracka - who splits her time between the Warsaw and Brussels offices - plays a key linking role between the two locations, while Jakub Gubański oversees work on the ground.

Practice head(s):

Jakub Gubański; Katarzyna Czapracka


Other key lawyers:

Iwo Małobęcki; Maciej Gac


Testimonials

‘A premier practice for any Polish competition matter.’

‘Katarzyna Czapracka is an extremely professional, commercial and experienced lawyer who I would be comfortable to entrust with any matter.’

‘The team is responsive and willing to help on every occasion, no matter how last minute the request is. They are experienced and thorough.’

‘Availability and understanding of our business in different markets.’

‘Jakub Gubański is great and really understands our business.’

‘Trustworthy, reliable and professional team who proved to be very helpful in resolving the client’s antitrust and competition law issues.’

‘Katarzyna Czapracka is very knowledgeable and very attentive to clients’ needs.’

‘Maciej Gac is a very helpful antitrust and competition law professional.’

Key clients

Liberty Global


Play Group


Legrand France


Polenergia


Synthos


Toyota Industries Corporation


Metric Capital


Invest Line E S.A


BEKaP Fundusz Inwestycyjny Zamknięty


IFS AB


Nets Holding (Nets Denmark)


Grupa Pracuj


RTL Group


Aroundtown


Aquiline Capital Partners Limited


CTP


Work highlights


  • Advised Synthos on competition law issues relating to the acquisition of Trinseo’s synthetic rubber business.
  • Advised Liberty Global on competition law issues relating to the sale of 100% of the share capital in Polish cable operator UPC Poland to Play.
  • Advised the Play Group on its agreement with InfraVia Capital Partners for the sale of 50% of the shares in Play Group’s subsidiary FiberForce.