Firm Profile > DeBenedetti Majewski Szczesniak Kancelaria Prawnicza Sp. K. > Warsaw, Poland

DeBenedetti Majewski Szczesniak Kancelaria Prawnicza Sp. K.
SASKI CRESCENT
UL KRÓLEWSKA 16
00-103 WARSAW
Poland

White-collar crime Tier 3

The 'reliable' white-collar criminal team at DeBenedetti Majewski Szczesniak Kancelaria Prawnicza Sp. K. focuses on representing individuals as defendants, although it is increasingly also representing corporates as injured parties. Co-founding partner Jarosław Majewski takes the lead on criminal law matters, with significant expertise in the Polish banking sector.

Dispute resolution Tier 5

DeBenedetti Majewski Szczesniak Kancelaria Prawnicza Sp. K.'s lawyers have expertise in corporate, insurance and financial litigation, often representing clients in minority shareholder disputes. The group also has a strong commercial litigation practice. Of the practice co-heads, Jarosław Majewski takes the lead on criminal litigation and white-collar criminal defence; 'pragmaticDariusz Szczesniak handles corporate and administrative disputes; and Wojciech Baranski focuses on civil disputes involving restructuring, bankruptcy and banking law.

Practice head(s):

Jarosław Majewski; Dariusz Szcześniak; Wojciech Barański

Other key lawyers:

Janusz Strankowski

Testimonials

‘Good knowledge of the local landscape (Regulatory Authorities), good understanding of their clients’ business needs, pragmatic solutions; excellent understanding of the financials. Top availability, strong service ethos.’

‘Dariusz Szcześniak clearly understands his clients and comes up with pragmatic solutions.’

‘Reliable, experienced, well-educated, brilliant people. Advising in a number of fields of law – insurance, commercial, civil, etc. Timely and properly delivered.’

‘The firm is mid-sized, and has a great cost-benefit ratio and great partners.’

‘Dariusz Szcześniak is a great professional with a calm manner but also with the necessary strength in his statements to serve his client best.’

Key clients

Elliott Management Corp.

Nationale Nederlanden Life and Pensions Poland

Penton

Vienna Insurance Group

Notus Finanse

Long Victory Incorporation (Hong Kong)

BCD Travel

Kewpie Corp. (Japan)

TVN S.A.

KB DOM Sp. z o.o

At DMS we offer complex legal advisory services in the scope of commercial law, financial transactions and insurance, restructuring, criminal and labor law as well as court and arbitration procedures.

We often work as subcontractors for law firms in other jurisdictions, either implementing Polish aspects of cross-border transactions, or handling issues such as FCPA cases that arise in Poland in relation to international groups.

We deal with untypical matters. We specialize in advising on the legal aspects of financial transactions as well as in complicated court procedures, which are most frequently complex and multi-faceted, and which often raise social concerns and public debate. We have experience in drafting complicated transactions, tailored to the individual needs of some very demanding Clients. We offer non-standard solutions allowing our Clients to achieve their goals.

DMS has forged strategic alliances with firms around the world, thanks to our membership in the legal worldwide network Globalaw.

This allows us to work on international projects and exchange knowledge and experience with colleagues abroad. Through our involvement in a number of international projects,  we are well familiar with the realities of foreign markets and business activity.

To read more about DMS, please visit our website: https://www.dms-legal.com

Department Name Email Telephone
Commercial and Corporate Disputes Dariusz Szczesniak dszczesniak@dms-legal.com
Criminal law / White-Collar Crime Prof. dr hab. Jaroslaw Majewski jmajewski@dms-legal.com
Cross-border investments / Financial Transactions C David DeBenedetti ddebenedetti@dms-legal.com
Bankruptcy and Recovery Wojciech Baranski wbaranski@dms-legal.com
M&A Bartosz Bagieński bbagienski@dms-legal.com
Civil and Criminal Disputes Janusz Strankowski jstrankowski@dms-legal.com
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Bartosz Bagienski  photo Mr Bartosz Bagienski Partner, Attorney-at-law
Mr Wojciech Baranski  photo Mr Wojciech Baranski Partner, Attorney-at-law
Mr C. David DeBenedetti  photo Mr C. David DeBenedetti Partner, NY Attorney
Mr Jaroslaw Majewski, prof. dr hab.  photo Mr Jaroslaw Majewski, prof. dr hab. Partner, Advocate
 Janusz Strankowski  photo Janusz Strankowski Partner, Advocate
Mr Dariusz Szczesniak  photo Mr Dariusz Szczesniak Managing Partner, Attorney-at-law
Number of lawyers : 20
English
German
Polish
Spanish
Russian
Globalaw
AmCham American Chamber of Commerce

Wojciech Barański, Partner

Wojciech Barański, head of Bankruptcy and Restructuring Team, talks about the challenges of post-covid economy and on how a lawyer can assist the company in this difficult time

What do you see as the main points differentiating 2021 from previous years?

There is no doubt that the Covid 19 pandemic has changed the world and caused us to re-evaluate our lives. We have had to face a new reality, both in our private and professional lives. Endless limitations on the freedom of business activity have given rise to financial problems across entire sectors and economies. As always happens during a crisis, as some market segments collapse, others start to grow dynamically. I believe that 2021 will be marked by major M&A transactions on the one hand, and a number of restructuring procedures and bankruptcies on the other.

As a law firm, we are noting intensified moves by investment funds looking for assets to buy up at relatively attractive prices. So far there have not been very many transactions, since the differences between the prices being offered and those that are expected are still significant. Nevertheless, the longer the crisis goes on, the more difficult the situation of the entities most affected by it will become, and so the number of acquisitions will grow. As a law firm, we expect to see an increased number of M&A transactions in the second half of this year and into 2022.

One of the characteristic features of the Polish market is the intensified activity of the Polish State Treasury. Companies in which the State Treasury holds a majority share have been very active on the M&A market. They are buying up companies from the hotel sector, as well as from the banking and media sector.

On the other hand, 2021 is already experiencing an increasing number of restructuring procedures. The situation of certain sectors is becoming ever more difficult, and the availability of restructuring procedures seems to be leading to increased interest in restructuring as a way of seeing out a crisis and avoiding pressure to sell in an unfavorable situation or going through bankruptcy.

Why do you think that bankruptcy and restructuring practices will be growing over the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Due to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting drop in GDP in Europe in 2020, the need for restructuring services is growing dynamically. This is a natural phenomenon experienced during any crisis and it is typical when economies are going through dramatic changes. The total number of restructuring procedures in Poland in 2020 was almost 70% higher than in 2019.

This percentage is much higher in the sectors that have specifically suffered from the crisis, such as hotels, restaurants, advertising and events companies. The growth of interest in restructuring procedures arises not only due to reasons directly associated with the pandemic. Another factor that has contributed to this situation

was the introduction of a simplified restructuring procedure in one of the shield laws. This type of the procedure constitutes approx. 2/3 of all restructuring procedures that are pending in Poland at the moment. However, due to the fact that the majority of restructuring procedures in Poland end without success, we expect the number of bankruptcy proceedings to grow visibly, probably as early as later this year.

Three factors will dominate this area: deteriorating economic standing, unsuccessful restructuring attempts and the need to repay part of the state aid received under the shield laws.

How do the new Covid-laws affect the situation of companies that are bankrupt or close to bankrupt?

In June 2020, the Shield Act enacted provisions introducing a simplified form of restructuring. This was intended to make the restructuring procedure as informal as possible and with minimal involvement of the court. To initiate this procedure, it is enough to make an announcement in the Official Court Gazette. Once done, the debtor is protected against enforcement by its creditors, and none of the key agreements such as leasing, loan, lease or rental agreements can be terminated.

The debtor has four months in which to agree with creditors and to file for approval of the composition with the court. This procedure, in my opinion, has drastically limited the rights of the creditors, and so improved the position of the debtors.

Of course, each creditor may apply to the court to quash all the consequences of initiating the restructuring procedure, including the prohibition on enforcing its debts against the debtor’s assets. This protection is purely illusory, however, given the limitations on the operation of the courts and a visible slowdown in the way that court cases are considered.

A debtor – without any court supervision – is able to block any enforcement procedure for a period of four months, or even longer in extraordinary cases, i.e. until the court refuses to acknowledge the composition.

I don’t mean to say that debtors should not be protected during the pandemic. However, in my opinion this procedure goes too far and is often overused by debtors.

The simplified restructuring procedure can be applied for until 30 June 2021, though it is likely that the deadline will be extended.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide? Is working remotely affecting your interactions, assisting or hindering the decision-making process?

It has been a long time since technology had such an important role to play in the way that legal services are offered. The pandemic has forced us to use tools that were previously used to a much greater extent. It has turned out that modern technologies speed up communications with the client and the decision-making process. The software we have, as well as the speed of internet connection, allows such a convenient transfer of voice and video that it is almost as if we are in the room with the client, even to the extent of seeing the non-verbal elements of communication that may be of importance, for instance during negotiations. It is much easier to arrange an online meeting between the parties and their attorneys than an ordinary meeting, and is actually more time efficient and cost effective.

It is also true that law firms have had to make certain investments to ensure that remote communication is safe and that the data remains fully confidential. The costs of IT services relating to the safety of the data and the use of modern technologies are constantly increasing, but this is an expense that is certainly unavoidable, since remote business meetings will surely continue to be organized, even when the pandemic is over. We have simply learnt how useful they are.

The flip side of the coin is managing the work of employees and associates working remotely. The fact that we do not have contact every day and it is harder to share information and exchange opinions does makes the team management more difficult.

Can you give us a practical example of how the restructuring process can add value to a client’s business?

We have been on the market for over 15 years now and often deal with situations where our clients, having completed the restructuring procedure, have continued their normal business activity and enjoyed great success. Had they not contacted DMS, they most probably would have disappeared from the market. This is probably why our clients tend to recommend us to others. Most of our new clients decided to use our firm because of recommendations received.

Without getting into too much detail, due to the rules of professional secrecy, I would like to share two observations from my practice. Firstly, restructuring can often allow a company to redefine its business. More than once, a client going through restructuring has decided that its core business had become completely unprofitable, while a side business, even a marginal one, showed a great deal of potential, if appropriate forces and measures were applied. In this way, the company can not only generate funds to efficiently get out of its situation, but can also develop the company in a whole new direction of development.

Secondly, it is unfortunately a very frequent situation that companies seek help from their lawyers too late. Restructuring would often be much easier and more effective if the restructuring professionals could be involved once the first problems are diagnosed. Frequently, companies seek out legal help as the last resort, when the situation is already dramatic, which usually limits the available solutions, makes negotiations with the creditors more difficult, and the restructuring conditions worse.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms? Where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

We have a stable base of clients who have been with us for many years. A number of them have cooperated with us right from the start, which was … 17 years ago. This is a relationship based on trust and allows us to choose the optimum legal measures for them. We know our clients, we know their expectations and we try to meet their needs in all aspects. If we can satisfy them, they introduce us to new clients, who again stay with us and build a long, solid relationship.

This trust-based strategy has proven to be successful so far, so we are keen to continue following it. At the same time, we are always looking to expand the scope of the services we offer, as a fine team of the best players on the market, able to combine experience with the ability to be innovative and to think out of the box. Soon you may see new people on board, specializing in real estate or labor law. Just check our profile from time to time.

So in a nutshell, we will follow our development path that we set out on 17 years ago. We are confident that, as long as we do so, our clients will continue to come to us for solutions to their legal problems for the years to come.

Corporate Insider’s Business Excellence 2019 title awarded to DMS DeBenedetti Majewski Szcześniak

It is a pleasure for us to inform that DMS received Business Excellence 2019 award in the category of Investment funds Law Firm of the Year, awarded by a prestigious international information platform Corporate Insider.


DMS as a partner of Polmoot organized by the Second Stefan Batory High School in Warsaw

On March 23, 2019  on the first day of Polmoot devoted to arbitration organized by the Second Stefan Batory High Schoold in Warsaw, C. David DeBenedetti, partner in DMS gave a lecture entitled Arbitration clauses in M&A contracts.


Prof. dr hab. Jarosław Majewski recommended in the 2019 Chambers Europe ranking

11.03.2019

Prof. dr hab. Jarosław Majewski recommended in the 2019 Chambers Europe ranking


DMS partners taking part in Polish Seminar on EPA in Japan

C. David DeBenedetti and Bartosz Bagieński, DMS partners, took part in the 13th annual General Meeting of the Polish Chamber of Commerce in Japan and Polish Seminar on “New Possibilities of the Bilateral Economic Relations between Japan and Poland under the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)”.


C. David DeBenedetti, partner in DMS in an interview given to a Spanish journal “Expansión”

C. David DeBenedetti, attorney of the State of New York and DMS partner gave an interview to a Spanish journal "Expansión”. In his conversation with Victor Moreno, he touched on the changes on the market of legal services that occurred as a result of development of new technologies and said that DMS attempts to fully adjust to these new conditions. Based on the analysis of the M&A market in Poland and internationally in recent years, C. David DeBenedetti guaranties that despite a drop in investments in Poland, the M&A market will continue to grow while  DMS, as a member of Globalaw, expects intensified work in this area.


DMS nominated in the 3rd edition of the “CEE M&A Awards” in the Law Firm category

It is a pleasure for us to inform that DMS got a nomination in the third edition of ”CEE M&A Awards” organized by the CEE M&A Director Magazine and EuropaProperty.com, in the Law Firm category containing 11 law firms, both regional and global, including one of the biggest in Poland. The Final Gala took place on March 7, 2019 in the Westin hotel in Warsaw.