Osborne Clarke plants a flag in Eastern Europe with the opening of a 30-lawyer office in Poland
Osborne Clarke opened an office in Warsaw, establishing a hub in Eastern Europe with 30 lawyers, including six partners, recruited from local firms.
The new office will focus on alternative energy, infrastructure and technology, hoping to capitalize on the transition to greener energy and sustainable development in Poland and the region, Osborne Clarke management told Law.com International.
The new team, which includes four business office professionals in addition to lawyers, brings experience from independent Polish firms, Big Four firms and the GC suite.
Two former Polish law firm executives, Olgierd Świerzewski and Tomasz Olkiewicz, will assume the roles of co-managing partners.
Świerzewski, a specialist in technology transactions and transfers, comes from the Polish law firm Kochański & Partners, where he was managing director and head of the technology transactions practice. He was previously vice-chairman of the board of Lotos Paliwa, a major Polish oil company, and served as general counsel at Accor Hotels and associate managing director at Dell Polska. He was also a managing partner of Łukowicz Świerzewski i Wspólnicy, a former subsidiary of DLA Piper.
Olkiewicz, a specialist in corporate mergers and acquisitions and tax, was managing partner of MDDP Law, a multi-professional services firm founded in 2011 as a tax advisor and local equivalent of the Big Four accounting and auditing firms . Prior to that, he was a senior executive at EY Tax.
Also joining as partners Agata Demuth, a real estate partner of MDDP; Renata Dłuska, tax associate, also from the MDDP; Katarzyna Barańska, infrastructure and environment partner of Kochański & Partners, and Wojciech Wrochna, energy and European law partner, also of Kochański & Partners.
Osborne Clarke’s Polish team will represent international and domestic clients, initially in the parent company’s key sectors, including technology, media and communications; energy and utilities, and real estate and infrastructure, the company said.
Poland has been on Osborne Clarke’s radar for business reasons for five years, and planning for the launch took six months, the firm’s international CEO, Omar Al-Nuaimi, told Law.com International.
“Based on industrial sectors, we had identified Poland as a key jurisdiction for renewable energy and energy and infrastructure in general,” he said in an interview on Monday.
Noting that decarbonization, or reducing reliance on coal, and digitalization were “key transformational trends that customers are really focusing on,” Al-Nuaimi said, “we see Poland as a relatively underdeveloped jurisdiction. compared to Western Europe.
He and the managing partners also acknowledged the geopolitical context of the rapidly changing situation in Ukraine, which has ramifications for Eastern Europe’s energy supply.
“The situation has not changed our plans” to open the Warsaw office, Al-Nuaimi said. “In fact, it underscored the importance of establishing a hub in an area where customers will seek to navigate an evolving business landscape in energy and beyond.”
Olkiewicz echoed this view. “I think the current geopolitical situation requires us to diversify energy sources,” he said in an interview on Monday. “Even atomic [energy] is on the table. So it’s going to be a very exciting time in this industry, that’s for sure.
Although the Warsaw office will be the center of Osborne Clarke’s operations in Eastern Europe, the company will continue to work with its network of “best friends” companies in the region, including MDDP and other independent Polish companies. , Al-Nuaimi said.
“We are not looking to expand further east at the moment,” he added.
Osborne Clarke today has over 1,300 lawyers and over 2,000 staff and 26 international offices.