White-collar crime in Poland
The white-collar, regulatory and compliance team at Clifford Chance stands out for its expertise in compliance issues and anti-corruption measures that comply with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Bribery Act. The group also regularly defends corporates and individuals in criminal proceedings before the Polish law enforcement authorities; benefiting from the firm's international presence to handle investigations involving multiple jurisdictions, particularly the US. Drawing on the Warsaw office's banking and finance, capital markets and competition law expertise, the department is well equipped to handle the spectrum of matters related to business crime. Experienced defence counsel Marcin Ciemiński heads the team; he specialises in cases involving corruption, fraud and criminal regulatory issues. Counsel Paweł Pogorzelski is also recommended for his knowledge in anti-corruption and cybercrime and experience in internal investigations.
‘The team is very well organised and able to work under the pressure of time. They react fast to a changing situation.‘
‘Pawel Pogorzelski knows the relevant proceedings very well, very client oriented, always looking for simple and practical solutions, Marcin Ciemiński has very good communication skills, and is down-to-earth and composed.‘
‘The firm is experienced in white-collar crime cases as well as the associated legal processes.‘
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang Pośniak i Bejm sp.k.
CMS' team is well versed in business criminal law, with particular experience in anti-bribery and corruption issues, anti-money laundering and criminal proceedings. It also regularly represents companies in international and local investigations, in addition to providing internal investigation services. Crisis management is another key area for the group, as is assisting with the implementation of compliance programmes and training. Arkadiusz Korzeniewski leads the department, as well as heading up the CEE white-collar crime initiative for the firm. Senior associates Maciej Kópczyński and Mariusz Minkiewicz are experts in anti-bribery and corruption cases.
The group at Dentons represents companies and individuals in proceedings and investigations relating to the spectrum of business crime in Poland, as well as handling the Polish aspects of cross-border cases. Areas where the team, led by Agnieszka Wardak, stands out are corruption, money laundering and fraud cases, criminal public procurement matters, asset stripping cases against debtors, abuse of office investigations and cyber criminal cases. Compliance is another strand of the practice, and the team has significant expertise advising on internal procedures and risk assessments. In 2019, senior associate Piotr Grabowski joined from a District Court judicial position.
‘Good understanding of the business and fast responses.‘
‘I especially appreciate the cooperation with Agnieszka Wardak and Joanna Kornaszewska.
Mayland Real Estate
ING Bank Śląski
Fortum Power and Heat
AstraZeneca Pharma Poland
White Star Real Estate
- Assists a multinational conglomerate headquartered in Asia with the provision of a whistleblowers’ hotline service for its local subsidiary.
- Representing an automotive company in criminal and related civil proceedings against a former distributor concerning fraud committed to the client’s detriment through ordering deliveries without the intention of paying, as well as asset stripping.
- Representing Philips in a large-scale corruption and tender law violation case related to tenders for medical devices organised by public hospitals.
Linklaters excels in long-term crisis management, as well as internal investigations, and representation before the Polish authorities, in external investigations and in the criminal and civil courts. In a demonstration of the firm's strength, group leader Tomasz Manicki is representing GetBack as the aggrieved party in a criminal investigation initiated by the Regional Prosecutor's Office, arising from fraudulent activities by its former management board and senior officers that led to the client's insolvency.
‘Tomasz Manicki has a unique ability to balance the interests of various stakeholders in a white-collar case. He will ensure security for all stakeholders, regularly brief HQ, keep local management engaged, ensure full understanding on local legal counsel level.‘
‘They are one of leading practices on the market. They have a unique overview of the latest trends and developments in this field.‘
‘Tomasz Manicki has a very pragmatic and realistic approach to cases. He organises work to be as effective and swift as possible.‘
Abris Capital Partners
DNB Bank Polska
DNB Assets Holdco
Santander Bank Polska
- Assisted Abris Capital Partners with an internal investigation of GetBack, to establish the scale of the improper activities conducted by its former management board.
- Representing GetBack as the aggrieved party in a criminal investigation conducted by the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw, and as the subject of regulatory investigations in front of the Polish Financial Supervisory Authority concerning multiple fraudulent activities of the former management board, and senior officers of the company – which led to its insolvency.
- Representing DNB Bank Polska n criminal and associated civil (asset tracing and recovery) proceedings in connection a significant brokerage fraud committed by a representative of the bank to the detriment of a group of its clients.
Wardynski & Partners
Led by Łukasz Lasek, the dispute resolution and business crime department at Wardynski & Partners has experience representing clients in fraud, money-laundering and corruption cases, as well as handling crisis management issues and internal investigations. Lesak acts for corporate and individual victims and as defence counsel, as well as advising clients on extradition matters. Cybercrime is another area of expertise. Vice-chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Polish Bar Council, Artur Pietryka advises on corporate criminal liability, as well as representing corporates and individuals in a variety of criminal investigations and proceedings. Jakub Znamierowski is noted for defending clients against economic criminal allegations.
‘I had the privilege to work with Lukasz Lasek and Maria Kozlowska and my experience with them was absolutely positive. They handled the case in a very transparent and professional way, always looking at the relevant issue from different angles.‘
‘The lawyers are approachable and fascinated about their work. They also provide advice of great quality. Thus the clients feel secure and protected.‘
‘Strong local Polish and regional expertise. Very pro-client attitude. Good cost management.‘
Rymarz Zdort‘s white-collar team, which transferred after the firm spun out from the Warsaw offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, represents defendants and injured parties in a variety of business-related criminal cases. The group, led by Karina Aust-Niewiadomska, regularly act in cases before the Appellate Public Prosecutor’s Office and Polish regulators. Aust-Niewiadomska is particularly experienced in cases involving insider trading and securities fraud, while senior associate Maria Szczepanska is another name to note for criminal issues arising from capital markets.
‘The highest level of professional service. The best understanding of client needs.’
Chmielniak Adwokaci is a boutique litigation and white-collar criminal defence firm based in Katowice. Lawyers represent individuals and corporates as defendants and injured parties, with a real focus on the representation of senior executives involved in corruption, criminal tax and fraud cases. Founding partner Łukasz Chmielniak heads the team and has substantial trial experience, which informs his ancillary corporate compliance practice.
‘They possess in-depth knowledge of all the issues in business law and related areas.‘
‘Łukasz Chmielniak has broad experience and very high personal standards.‘
‘Lukasz Chmielniak possesses not just incredible legal knowledge, but can be easily reached and provides solid, practical solutions. He is totally trustworthy, reliable and goes the extra-mile for the clients.‘
- Represent the board members of a leading Polish healthcare company in a case concerning the alleged corruption of a state official.
- Represented a Polish transportation company in a criminal case against state officials.
- Defending two entrepreneurs from the IT sector in a white-collar crime case concerning economic crime.
DLA Piper's team is well integrated into the firm's global practice, which enables it to advise clients on FCPA and UK Bribery Act issues, as well as on domestic compliance and criminal defence matters. Other areas of expertise include dawn raid preparations, risk management, cyber criminal matters and tax-related criminal proceedings. Former prosecutor Tomasz Rudyk leads the team, and specialises in criminal and fiscal cases. Senior associate Dominika Wolf-Jezierska is an experienced defence attorney.
‘The lawyers, acting as defence attorneys, were very innovative and demonstrated outstanding experience concerning representation in the course of the criminal proceedings. They were committed to their work from the very beginning.‘
‘Tomasz Rudyk is a highly skilled lawyer with a pragmatic approach and always dedicated to find best solutions to the problems arising during the trial.‘
‘The team offers great knowledge and experience in a wide variety of proceedings, regulations and procedures. They are able to provide a comprehensive package of know how and able to propose solution oriented, focused actions.‘
- Assisting Brenntag Polska with compliance issues.
- Advising Cersanit on compliance- and risk-related issues.
- Advising Trakcja PRKiI on enhancing its internal policies and procedures.
Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka's team is noted for its expertise across the breadth of the white-collar space. It is often called upon to represent individuals and corporates in cases relating to economic and financial fraud, breach of trust, economic corruption and money laundering. The group is well placed to handle crisis situations, such as searches, interrogations and indictments, and has vast experience of judicial proceedings. Compliance is another core competency, particularly in relation to Polish regulation, the FCPA and UK Bribery Act. Counsel Hanna Gajewska-Kraczkowska heads the department. Artur Nowak is the name to note for criminal tax cases.
‘A combination of academic legal knowledge with advocacy capabilities.‘
The business crime department at Laszczuk i Wspólnicy sp.k. is instructed by domestic and international corporates in Polish and cross-border criminal proceedings, with expertise in cases involving fraud, money-laundering and bribery; and stand-out experience in criminal tax matters. In addition, the team regularly acts for clients in civil cases concerning asset recovery matters. Jan Rysiński and Justyna Szpara are the practice heads.
Jan Rysiński; Justyna Szpara
‘I value Jan Rysiński’s knowledge, professional experience obtained on the basis of complex and multi-threaded criminal proceedings, ability to translate theoretical knowledge into practical solutions, ease of communication and genuine openness to the new professional challenges (even the most difficult ones).‘
‘A team of great lawyers, specialists in the field of white-collar; not only having extensive knowledge but also practical experience.‘
Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak's team is geared towards corporate representations and handles defence work and investigations across a wide variety of sectors; with experience in cases involving allegations of fraud, corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, creative accounting and cybercrime. It also regularly advises on business crime mitigation and criminal liability prevention as well as the establishment of regulatory compliance programmes. Tomasz Konopka heads the department, with significant experience representing clients before the Polish authorities, particularly in tax fraud cases. Katarzyna Randzio-Sajkowska is often instructed in fraud and bribery cases.
- Advised BSA and Microsoft Corporation on anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting matters.
The team at act BSWW has experience across the white-collar space, with particular expertise in handling cases involving criminal liability in workplace accidents, and economic crime, including corporate bribery cases. In terms of compliance work, the team is often called upon to advise on the necessary structures and codes of conduct. Other areas of expertise include corporate defence and investigations, both internal and external. With a commercial litigation background, Piotr Wojnar, who has substantial experience before civil, administrative and criminal courts, jointly leads the team alongside experienced criminal defence lawyer Piotr Pośnik.
Piotr Wojnar; Piotr Pośnik
‘Experience in many cases, high involvement, fast response, large team.‘
‘Piotr Posnik has very good client-facing skills.‘
Crido Legal is able to utilise the wider firm's tax expertise to assist clients with a range of criminal tax matters, but it also has a strength in anti-money laundering, advising on compliance procedures, as well as representing corporates and individuals in criminal procedures. Senior associate and anti-corruption expert Katarzyna Witkowska heads the department.
DWF Poland Jamka Sp.k's team, comprising lawyers who moved over from K&L Gates' Warsaw offices in 2019, primarily acts for corporate clients. The group has a strength in handling compliance crisis management and internal investigations, but it also has experience representing companies in criminal proceedings as injured parties. In addition, lawyers are instructed to defend corporates and individuals in criminal litigation. Counsel Maciej Antoniak heads the department and is an expert in compliance procedures. Senior associate Łukasz Gembiś has experience in criminal proceedings, but also specialises in compliance matters and internal investigations.
‘They show true professionalism.‘
‘Vast knowledge and composure in every situation.‘
Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa
Lubelski Węgiel Bogdanka
- Advised on the drafting and implementation of the compliance procedures for the JSW Capital Group (JSW and its affiliated companies), day-to-day advisory with regard to compliance issues Also handling the coordination and performance of internal investigations regarding potential irregularities.
- Representing Orlen Koltrans in criminal court proceedings related to a major train crash in Białystok.
- Representing Huta Zabrze in proceedings related to the civil and criminal liability of the former member of the board related to a high-value procurement.
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak sp. k.'s white-collar criminal defence department often works closely with the firm's European and US offices, providing international clients with an on the ground presence for cross-border cases involving Poland. The group is led by experienced litigator Paweł Pietkiewicz.
Hogan Lovells (Warszawa) LLP's white-collar and fraud practice is embedded into the firm's global offering, making the the group well placed to assist with multi-jurisdictional issues, including cross-border investigations and enforcement actions. Areas of particular expertise include domestic anti-bribery legislation, FCPA and UK Bribery Act issues. Compliance issues are another area where the team stands out, and it is regularly called upon to advise on internal compliance programmes, as well as providing robust dawn-raid preparation services. The department is headed by senior associate Agnieszka Majka.
- Assisting international corporates with cross-border and local internal investigations.
- Assisting companies facing dawn raids conducted by law enforcement authorities and competition authorities.
B2R Law Jankowski Stroiński Zięba, the result of a 2020 merger between Zieba & Partners and JSLEGAL - Jankowski, Stroinski & Partners, comes into its own for individual representations, handling a wide range of white-collar criminal representations, for both injured parties and defendants. The group has experience before Polish courts at all levels, and also government agencies, including the prosecutor's office, police and the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau. Bartłomiej Jankowski leads the department.
‘A diverse and stable team, experienced, always available.‘
- Represented Abu Zubayda as the injured party in criminal proceedings concerning the unlawful retention and torture of the client as a prisoner of the CIA held on Polish territory.
- Defending Weijing Wang, a former manager at a global telecoms company, arrested in Poland on charges of spying.
- Defended Andrzej Jakubiak, who together with his deputy and five other officials from the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, was accused of negligence in service referring to the supervision over one of the financial market entities; the court deemed that the detention of the client was unjustified.
White-collar criminal litigation is a core competency for Kondracki Celej Adwokaci sp.p., which predominantly represents individuals in a range of criminal cases, although it is also instructed by corporate clients as victims of crime, assisting them to recover losses. It is also able to advise on criminal compliance matters and the implementation of risk management procedures. Experienced advocate and co-founding partner Marcin Kondracki leads the team.
- Represented Marek Chrzanowski, a public officer acting on behalf of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, against charges relating to private financial gain, in exchange for favourable treatment of one of the largest banks on the Polish financial market.
- Representation of a possible suspect during a criminal investigation regarding carousel fraud and extortion of bank loans.
- Acting for a notary public, suspect of a criminal investigation regarding official misconduct; the investigation was terminated following a motion for discontinuation of the proceeding.
PwC Legal Żelaźnicki sp.k. is mostly noted for its ability to handle economic and criminal tax issues, drawing on deep firm-wide expertise in regulatory litigation and forensics. The group also assists clients with tax transparency and risk minimisation, as well as compliance. In addition, the group has experience handling matters involving semi-criminal corporate liability. Counsel Michał Rams heads the department and specialises in economic criminal law.
‘Michał Rams has extraordinary communication skills and personal engagement.‘
‘If you reach the team with an issue they are very supportive and they quickly come up with the solution needed. This customer focus is highly appreciated.‘
- Defending Jerzy Krzanowski, CEO and co-founder of Nowy Styl, against corruption allegations.
- Defended Amicus in a case regarding unpermitted construction works, alongside allegations of damaging a monument and inciting bribery from a public official.