As a nation focused on growth and prosperity, Poland is among the top 20 global economies. Over the past 20 years Warsaw has not only regained its position as an important political and business point on the European map, but has also become one of the principal and fastest growing markets in Europe. Over 170 of the 500 largest companies in the Central and Eastern European region are located in Poland. There are more than 300 R&D institutions in Poland, and Warsaw is recognized as one of the 20 best locations for business in Europe. K&L Gates entered this important market with the opening of its Warsaw office in April 2010.
With substantial experience both advising on some of the country’s largest foreign investments and working with and on behalf of the Polish government, our lawyers provide Polish and international clients with a broad range of transactional, advisory, and dispute resolution services. In order to serve clients’ international needs, the team conducts business in Polish, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.
The Warsaw office’s key practices include banking and finance, capital markets, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, dispute resolution, regulatory, and public procurement/government contracts. The office also has a particular focus on the energy/infrastructure, construction/real estate, and defense industries.
With an extensive knowledge of Polish labor, tax, real estate, and customs issues, our lawyers also act as primary outside Polish counsel to a number of multinational firms operating in the country. In addition, our Warsaw lawyers have significant insight into the Polish political system. Many of our lawyers have held high-profile positions in governmental, parliamentary, and legal institutions and were actively involved in shaping critical policies.
We focus on foreign investment, venture capital, and leveraged acquisition transactions in Poland and throughout Eastern Europe. We advise strategic and financial investors and target companies and entrepreneurs in three core areas: foreign investment, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate disputes. Our experience includes corporate, limited liability company and partnership formation, and governance issues; charter provisions; common, preferred, and convertible equity purchase agreements; stockholder agreements; executive employment contracts; stock option and restricted stock agreements; tag along/drag along provisions; and registration rights/ initial public offering agreements.
The Warsaw office’s banking and finance practice is well known. Relevant experience includes regularly counseling to both borrowers and lenders in connection with all types of debt and equity financing. Our lawyers have provided ongoing representation in a series of complicated transactions involving the sale of shares of a bank, including structuring, drafting, and negotiation of the underlying documentation, all to the benefit of the client.
Our capital markets practice is one of the key practices of the Warsaw office. Our lawyers have advised Polish companies on foreign acquisitions and privatizations of Polish companies and have also provided advice on issues related to the European rules on state aid. In addition to providing general corporate advice to in-house lawyers, we regularly handle supply, licensing, and franchise agreements and counsel Polish clients on the business implications of often complicated contracts.
Our office dispute resolution and arbitration practice is highly recognized in Poland. We represent clients in numerous international and domestic arbitrations, including investment treaty disputes as well as commercial, administrative, and criminal litigation before the Polish courts. The Warsaw office lawyers are engaged in numerous disputes over construction contracts, white-collar criminal proceedings, litigation of labor law, and corporate disputes and insolvency matters. Our lawyers also advise intellectual property clients on anti-piracy and anti-infringement protection and represent global entertainment companies in significant arbitration and litigation cases in Poland.
Our intellectual property lawyers provide assistance in the protection of copyright and other intellectual property matters, including litigation, trademark matters, customs protection procedures and criminal proceedings with respect to anti-piracy and other disputes in this field.
We also have extensive experience in energy and infrastructure matters. Our experience includes: privatization of enterprises; financing of investments; restructuring of power plants; representation of the first Polish power exchange in regard to regulatory and corporate affairs; and representation of international investors in negotiations with the Polish Office for Energy Regulation and a Polish Oil and Mining Company.
Our construction and real estate lawyers have advised clients on how to maintain a flexible business approach in order to maximize the full potential of their real estate or mortgage investments. This includes proposing and drafting standard lease, mortgage and other documents that lenders and securities underwriters in other countries typically require when considering projects for inclusion in broad-based conventional or structured finance programs.
K&L Gates is one of a few international law firms in Poland with a full-scale public procurement practice. The team has extensive experience in the preparation of bids and administrative appeal processes, as well as litigation in the area of public procurement and public-private partnerships (PPP). We also provide advice on civilian and military contracts.
Warsaw lawyers actively participate in key sector conferences, giving presentations on legal matters, including IP, energy, tax, and construction. We are also frequently asked to comment on the current legal issues by mainstream media in Poland e.g., Rzeczpospolita, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Nowy Przemysł, Gazeta Wyborcza, and others.