Dispute resolution in Poland
Clifford Chance's 'committed and commercially-minded' team handles a variety of disputes in Poland and the CEE region, including arbitration, commercial litigation, criminal and regulatory matters. Alongside London's Audley Sheppard QC, the 'engaged' Bartosz Krużewski is representing Invenergy in a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arbitration against Poland concerning a set of legislative measures that curtailed the client's investments in the Polish wind energy sector and the attempted withdrawal by the Polish government from long-term contracts concluded with the client's affiliates. Marcin Ciemiński is acting for Mondelēz Polska and LU Polska in its claim against competitor company Lotte Wedel alleging unfair competition and an infringement of IP rights. Counsels Michał Drwal and Robert Moj are recommended for construction disputes, while senior associate Adelina Prokop is noted for her 'big-picture perspective' in arbitration and contentious banking matters.
CMS's 'meticulous' team demonstrates 'an ability to provide clear recommendations and master crisis situations'. The team comprises experts in contentious competition, infrastructure, IP, real estate, employment and tax issues, but it also stands out for its pro bono human rights work for non-governmental organisations, where its 'sensitivity to social issues' is praised by one client. Department head Małgorzata Surdek specialises in investment arbitration and was appointed to the ICC International Court of Arbitration in June 2018. Anna Cudna-Wagner is defending mBank against multiple class actions brought by retail clients, concerning mortgage loans indexed in Swiss francs. Arkadiusz Korzeniewski represents Millennium Bank in an Office of Competition and Consumer Protection investigation into alleged infringement of collective consumer interests. Katarzyna Kucharczyk and Joanna Młot are also recommended.
The team at Dentons is 'tenacious and not afraid to work on cases which, at first sight, seem hopeless'. The 'diversified' team is divided into sub-groups, including construction, infrastructure and real estate; white-collar and criminal law; healthcare; corporate disputes; insolvency; and domestic and international arbitration. The team is co-led by Wojciech Kozlowski and Anna Maria Pukszto, who specialise in commercial litigation and banking disputes respectively. Kozlowski and Michał Jochemczak represent a consortium of Saipem, Techint and PBG that is seeking the payment of costs incurred as a result of changes to Polish law, in an ICC arbitration against Polskie LNG. Former judge Patrick Radzimierski specialises in civil law procedure and is noted as 'an expert in litigation strategy'. Agnieszka Wardak leads on criminal litigation and investigations. Stanisław Żemojtel moved to PwC Legal Pawlowski Żelaznicki Sp. K in October 2018.
Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka has 'a strong team of high-quality professionals', who are 'able to conduct the most difficult court disputes in the construction sector'. It is also able to handle transport and communications disputes and arbitral proceedings related to trade, finance and insurance. Paweł Lewandowski is representing Obrascón Huarte Lain in its claim against PBG to share the loss incurred on a construction project, following the bankruptcy of three other consortium members. Józef Palinka represented the City of Wrocław in claims agianst Max Bögl relating to overpayments for the construction of the Wrocław City Stadium. Pawel Paradowski is another key name, with expertise in business disputes, white-collar criminal defence and company law. Senior associate Maciej Orkusz is noted for his 'exceptional knowledge of the practical aspects of civil litigation'.
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP is noted for handling BIT proceedings and disputes concerning energy and infrastructure. Department head Maciej Jamka and senior associate Dawid Rapkiewicz are representing Covec, the leader of a consortium engaged in the construction of a motorway, in a dispute initiated by the State Treasuty in relation to the grounds for termination of contracts. Rafał Morek is representing Orlen Koltrans in criminal proceedings and a civil claim brought by PKP concerning a railway accident. Counsel Elżbieta Buczkowska is noted for her expertise in EU and international law, while fellow counsel Maciej Antoniak stands out for his crisis management work. As of May 2019, the firm's Poland office has been taken over by DWF Poland Jamka Sp.k.
One client cites 'a high degree of competence' and 'far-reaching legal knowledge' among the strengths of the team at Linklaters, which handles international and domestic contentious work and is developing an active international arbitration practice, predominantly in relation to the banking sector. President elect of the Polish International Chamber of Commerce, group leader Cezary Wiśniewski represented Abris Capital Partners and PL Holdings in investment arbitration proceedings initiated in Stockholm against the Republic of Poland relating to the uncompensated expropriation of the client's equity investment in FM Bank PBP, leading to an award of PLN760m in damages and €3.5m in legal costs. 'Outstanding' counsel Zbigniew Kruczkowski is representing BGŻ BNP Paribas in a class action brought by 59 ex-clients of Amber Gold seeking compensation for lost deposits from the client.
Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak has competencies in large-scale infrastructure and construction disputes, corporate litigation, bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings, as well as intellectual and industrial property protection matters and unfair competition cases. It also handles the challenge, recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards and the enforcement of foreign judgments. Dariusz Skuza successfully represented Budimex in three claims against PKP arising from an agreement for the acquisition by the client of 100% shares in one of the defendant's companies. Dr Marcin Olechowski and Dr hab Andrzej Szlęzak are recommended for arbitration cases, while Professor Stanisław Sołtysiński specialises in civil, commercial and foreign investment law. Construction disputes lawyer Rafał Waszkiewicz took over as head of the team in January 2019.
Wardynski & Partners
Founding partner Tomasz Wardyński jointly heads the dispute resolution team at Wardynski & Partners alongside contentious commercial and civil lawyer Jan Ciećwierz, arbitrator Monika Hartung and infrastructure dispute specialist Paweł Mazur. Mazur and Marcin Lemkowski successfully represented a consortium of affiliated French and Italian civil engineering companies, including Systra and Systra-Sotecni, in five inter-related disputes brought against Astaldi and Torpol, the general contractors in a large public transport project, pertaining to contract termination.
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak sp. k.'s Paweł Pietkiewicz leads the litigation and arbitration team, which works closely with the office's other departments on a variety of litigation and arbitration matters. The group has particular expertise in proceedings initiated by the Polish financial regulator. Pietkiewicz is representing mBank in a consumer class action, consisting of 1,300 claimants, arising out of foreign currency denominated mortgages; having overturned the second instance decision before the Supreme Court, the case is now at the Court of Appeal in Łódź. Andrzej Wysokiński is representing PZU against a claim brought by minority shareholder Manchester Securities, seeking compensation for the alleged non-payment of dividends in 2007. Paweł Tatarczak is recommended for his expertise in commercial arbitration, while Robert Lis focuses on contentious corporate and IP matters. Michał Bobrzyński joined the team from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in July 2018.
Laszczuk i Wspólnicy sp.k.'s key specialism is BIT and post-arbitration litigation. The team is jointly headed by vastly experienced arbitrators Justyna Szpara and Maciej Łaszczuk. It also includes Marek Korcz, who specialises in judicial and administrative proceedings and telecoms law. The group has a hugely active practice defending airlines in passenger rights issues.
The 'very professional' team at specialised dispute resolution firm RöHRENSCHEF stands out for handling high-profile arbitration proceedings and major commercial litigation. Highlights for 'committed' name partner Marcin Radwan-Röhrenschef included successfully defending Volkswagen against a group action brought by diesel car owners requesting compensation following the emissions scandal; claims which were rejected at the first instance but are now before the Court of Appeal. Justyna Tokarzewska represents BGŻ BNP Paribas in several disputes with self-employed commercial agents over the payment of indemnification following the termination of their cooperation agreements. Bartosz Piechota and Katarzyna Petruczenko are also recommended, alongside of counsel Marta Litwińska-Werner.
Allen & Overy, A. Pedzich sp. k.
Allen & Overy, A. Pedzich sp. k.'s team has 'high competence in the field of financial litigation'; providing 'insight based on their vast experience' and using its 'vast network more effectively than its competitors'. Department head Krystyna Szczepanowska-Kozłowska represents Orange Polska in various disputes, including in its appeal against the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection's decision to fine the client for an alleged breach of collective consumer interests. Bartosz Merczyński is representing a major Polish bank as a claimant in three litigation proceedings against an insurer, testing the scope of the insurer's liability and the duties of an insured financial institution. Senior associates Monika Murawska, Marek Neumann and Paweł Bartosiewicz stand out for their ability to provide 'swift and professional support'.
Baker & McKenzie Krzyżowski i Wspólnicy Spółka Komandytowa's Łukasz Hejmej and Tomasz Krzyżowski are representing Alcatel-Lucent Polska in a number of civil and criminal proceedings concerning counterclaims between the client and ORSS in relation to two projects financed with EU development funds. Sebastian Pabian is representing Vienna Life TU na Życie in Supreme Court proceedings regarding the limitation period that should be applicable to claims resulting from unit-linked insurance policies. Counsel Sylwia Piotrowska, who has arbitration experience, is another key individual.
Eversheds Sutherland Wierzbowski stands out for handling disputes in the TMT sector, including employment and IP-related litigation. It also has an active contentious construction and infrastructure practice and continues to represent the State Treasury in a number of proceedings. Counsel Maciej Jóźwiak leads the team and has expertise in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. Paweł Lipski and managing partner Tomasz Zalewski are defending FS File Solutions in a class action consisting of Polish publishers concerning potential IP infringements on the client's platform. Krzysztof Wierzbowski is another name to note, particularly in investment and regulatory disputes.
Gide Loyrette Nouel handles a variety of civil and criminal litigation, as well as arbitration before domestic and international courts. The group has particular expertise in commercial defamation cases. The General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways remains a client for practice head Piotr Sadownik, who represents the authority in a number of proceedings related to the construction of main roads in Poland. He is also representing PGNiG in a series of claims made by and against the client. Counsel Krzysztof Ciepliński specialises in commercial disputes.
Kochanski & Partners' core dispute competencies are small to mid-sized portfolio claims, domestic commercial litigation and arbitration, and international and investment arbitration across a variety of industries. Marek Jezewski, who leads the investment arbitration practice, is representing Muszynianka in a BIT dispute with Slovakia relating to a stalled investment project in the country. Senior associates Magdalena Papiernik and Michał König are recommended for arbitration matters. In January 2019, Konrad Orlik left the group to join new firm, Zieba & Partners.
'Fine advocate' Marcin Boruc leads the litigation and alternative dispute resolution team at Radzikowski, Szubielska i Wspólnicy sp.k., which is noted for its 'responsiveness and professionality'. Adam Zwierzyński, who was promoted to the partnership in January 2020, successfully defended local newspaper Tygodnik Nowy against a defamation case brought by a public figure, in a case in which a cassation request is pending before the Supreme Court. In another highlight, Sylwester Pieckowski represented Hydrobudowa Polska in a damages claim brought against the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways and the State Treasury stemming from the termination of a construction agreement.
Rymarz Zdort's team represents a variety of domestic and international clients before the common and arbitration courts, with particular expertise in the infrastructure sector. Practice head Andrzej Miklas is defending EmiTel in a €44m damages claim brought by Magna Polonia in related to an alleged breach by the client of a non-disclosure agreement. Karina Aust-Niewiadomska and Łukasz Zak are also recommended.
White & Case M. Studniarek i Wspólnicy - Kancelaria Prawna sp.k. advises on a variety of disputes, including matters relating to arbitration and the enforcement of arbitral awards. The group handles commercial disputes before civil and administrative courts, particularly relating to construction, M&A and real estate transactions. Paweł Samborski represented GD Granit and its consortium partner in parallel proceedings resulting from its termination of a contract with the state road authority. The team, which includes counsel Piotr Bytnerowicz and senior associate Aleksandra Oziemska, is led by Michał Subocz.
WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr's team is noted for its 'great commitment' and its 'creative problem solving', particularly in relation to its speciality, construction and infrastructure-related disputes. Bartłomiej Jankowski is representing a number of banks and wind farms, including DNB Bank Polska and Livingstone, in proceedings instituted by state-owned company Energa-Obrót attempting to annul long-term agreements for the sale of green certificates; a case which was decided in the clients' favour at the first instance. Tomasz Kwieciński, Jordan Zafirow and Natalia Kabacińska are also key names.
The team at Bird & Bird Szepietowski i wspólnicy sp. k. handles a variety of investment and domestic arbitration, construction and IP disputes and white-collar criminal law matters. Bartłomiej Niewczas, who leads the team, has expertise in complex construction disputes, and is supported by criminal law specialist Arkadiusz Matusiak and Jakub Ruiz, whose areas are contentious IT and technology matters. Adam Kowalczyk joined the team from PwC Legal Pawlowski Żelaznicki Sp. K, where he was head of the litigation, regulatory disputes and white-collar crime department, in September 2018.
Chajec, Don-Siemion & Zyto Legal Advisors specialises in contentious insolvency and restructuring matters, as well as disputes concerning healthcare and unfair competition. In addition to representing corporates, it also handles a number of private client disputes and matters pertaining to human rights law. Krzysztof Żyto is representing the heirs of the former owners of a central Warsaw property in a damages claim against the Treasury and the City of Warsaw for an unlawful nationalisation of the property. Marcin Bącal was promoted to the partnership in March 2018.
DLA Piper's 'results-oriented' team 'punches well above its weight when compared to other law firms in Poland', with a practice spanning litigation, arbitration, internal investigations, alternative dispute resolution and regulatory issues. Group lead Krzysztof Kycia is representing Polish state broadcaster Telewizja Polska in civil proceedings brought before the District Court in Washington DC by Spanski Enterprises in relation to allegations of wilful infringement of copyright law.
FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz
Name partner Marek Furtek leads the litigation and arbitration department at FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz, which specialises in contentious banking issues. Tadeusz Komosa and Leszek Rydzewski are representing Bank Pocztowy in its claim alleging unjust enrichment against another Polish bank. Milena Wieczorek-Waszewska is another key name, with experience acting for German banks and leasing companies in enforcement and insolvency proceedings.
GESSEL Attorneys at Law
GESSEL Attorneys at Law's team is 'distinguished' in the field of arbitration, drawing partly on the expertise of Beata Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz, who is a member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris. Highlights for Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz included representing a Polish joint-stock company as the claimant in a dispute with a seller before a Polish court of arbitration. Managing associate Natalia Jodłowska is another key name.
Hogan Lovells (Warszawa) LLP
Hogan Lovells (Warszawa) LLP's team is predominantly focused on corporate and commercial disputes pertaining to infrastructure and product liability, as well as investigations and white-collar criminal matters. Wojciech Marchwicki and department head Marek Wroniak are representing Piotr Wawrzecki, whose father was convicted of fraud connected with the prohibited commercial sale of meat under the Communist regime in 1964 (a judgment that was annulled by the Supreme Court in 2004), in a dispute with the State Treasury concerning the return of a confiscated estate. Agnieszka Majka is another key practitioner.
JARA DRAPAŁA & PARTNERS
JARA DRAPAŁA & PARTNERS represents clients involved in disputes concerning the construction and automotive industries. In a landmark judgment, Przemysław Drapała and Andrzej Sokołowski successfully represented Porr, as the claimant in appeal proceedings against the Polish government concerning price increases in the construction market after Euro 2012; a judgment which secured increased remuneration for the client.
BSJP Brockhuis Jurczak Prusak Sp. k.
BSJP Brockhuis Jurczak Prusak Sp. k.'s team specialises in disputes arising from infrastructure projects, and is noted for being 'excellent with English clients'. 'Strategically minded' department head Krzysztof Kowalczyk is recommended alongside 'hardworker' Katarzyna Reszczyk-Król and Marta Drela, who has 'great construction sector knowledge'.
Doktór Jerszynski Pietras Adwokaci i Radcowie Prawni Spólka's team has vast expertise in financial sector disputes, including for financial institutions. Department co-head Łukasz Doktór has a niche in contentious issues arising from derivative financial instruments. Fellow co-head Gracjan Pietras is noted for civil proceedings.
KKLW Kurzynski Lyszyk Wierzbicki sp.k
The team at KKLW Kurzynski Lyszyk Wierzbicki sp.k is noted for its 'friendly approach' and 'detail-focused work'. Krzysztof Lyszyk defended the state-owned airport operator Porty Lotniczein a dispute with BH Travel and Baltona, concerning the termination of 11 duty-free retail lease agreements at Warsaw Chopin Airport in a case that ended with a settlement. Przemyslaw Wierzbicki is another key name, and has extensive arbitration experience. Jacek Kosinski left the firm to found Jacek Kosiński Adwokaci i Radcowie Prawni in January 2018.
Lesnodorski, Slusarek & Partners specialises in contentious matters regarding the entertainment industry, including personal rights, goodwill, reputation and image cases, as well as media crisis matters. Maciej Ślusarek successfully represented Fundacja Rozwoju Demokracji Lokalnej as the claimant in a defamation case against Wiadomości. Maciej Kubiak acted for Penta Investments as the claimant in a breach of personal rights case brought against Gazeta Wyborcza, concluding in a satisfactory settlement. Władysław Bieńkowski and Marcin Melzacki are also recommended.
Prof. Marek Wierzbowski and Partners Advocates and Legal Counsellors represents domestic and international clients in the spectrum of commercial disputes and arbitration proceedings. The team is led by Anna Krysiak, who specialises in commercial and civil matters, including unfair competition. Mariusz Rypina is recommended for administrative proceedings.
At Penteris, Andrzej Tokaj is representing Switzerland-based Bel-Invest in a set of co-related disputes concerning an investment in a Polish company, including claims for damages, proceedings for the return of loans and bankruptcy proceedings in which the client is a creditor. Daniel Klementewicz is acting for Aviva Life & Pensions UK in connection with the enforcement of claims in the bankruptcy proceedings of its Polish debtor. In January 2020, the team split from Magnusson - Kancelaria Prawnicza and now operates as Penteris.
SMM Legal's team draws on its thorough knowledge of energy, civil and procurement matters, enabling it to handle a wide variety of disputes. Managing partner Przemysław Maciak leads the team and, with Maciej Mataczyński, is representing Energa-Obrót in 22 procedures pending before common and arbitration courts with companies from the renewable energy sector, seeking the invalidity of agreements due to non-compliance with public procurement law. Aleksander Czech is another key name.
SSW Pragmatic Solutions
Wolf Theiss is most noted for handling construction and real estate disputes, but it is also regularly instructed on contentious IP and IT issues, tax disputes, bankruptcy litigation and financial criminal matters. Peter Daszkowski represents a number of Raiffeisen Group companies in a series of disputes connected with a failed acquisition of Krakow real estate, including a claim for Evolution Gamma against the owner of the real estate alleging illegal establishment of a mortgage. Marcin Asłanowicz leads the team, which also includes Paweł Wysocki.
Wozniak Legal's team of 'very professional and enthusiastic' lawyers is led by 'high-class' founding partner Grzegorz Wozniak, who represents ING Bank in a case against state-owned PKN Orlen that concerns the collection of OW Bunker Supply and Trading's receivables against one of the defendant's. Filip Kowalczyk is the other key name with particular experience in construction disputes.