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Know Your Lawyer: Andrzej Stosio of Clifford Chance

Know Your Lawyer: Andrzej Stosio of Clifford Chance

Issue 10.9
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An in-depth look at Andrzej Stosio of Clifford Chance covering his career path, education, and top projects as a lawyer as well as a few insights about him as a manager at work and as a person outside the office.

Career:

  • Clifford Chance; Senior Associate/Counsel/Partner; 2008-present
  • Norton Rose; Associate/Senior Associate; 2001-2007
  • Allen & Overy; Associate; 1998-2001

Education:

  • University of Bonn; German and European Law; 1997
  • University of Warsaw; MA in Law; 1999

Favorites:

  • Out of office activity: Traveling, most recently to Latin America. Reading about languages and linguistics and learning Spanish. Playing squash and tennis 
  • Quote: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” – Author unknown
  • Book: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
  • Movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick

Top 5 Projects:

  • Advising Ciech on innovative long-term refinancing of the group in the form of a simultaneous issue of high-yield bonds, and domestic bonds, supplemented with a super senior revolving facility.
  • Advising retail distributor Empik Media & Fashion on complex group debt restructuring involving the consolidation of bank financing as well as bonds and shareholder funding.
  • Advising a consortium of lenders composed of the Polish state development Bank BGK, Bank Millennium, Bank Pekao, Santander Bank Polska, PKO Bank Polski, Societe Generale, PZU and PZU Zycie on the financing of the construction by Lotos Asfalt of a delayed coker unit and accompanying infrastructure at a Gdansk refinery.
  • Advising leading European paper producer Arctic Paper on the refinancing of the company’s debt and its capital expenditures in a transaction involving a bank-bond multi debt platform.
  • Advising Emitel on its corporate refinancing and capex facilities.

CEELM: What would you say was the most challenging project you ever worked on and why?

Stosio: Very often, the most recent project is the most challenging one as the ambition and complexity of what we do tend to increase. Over time, memory fades away and what once upon a time could have been perceived as extremely complex and challenging is less and less so as we all grow more mature and experienced. If I were to single out one project, it could be the debt restructuring and refinancing of Central European retailer EM&F. The transaction was a real roller coaster, involving a multitrack process, one of the first in my legal career when a simultaneous bank and high yield routes were pursued. It had almost everything a finance lawyer can dream of – approximately 10 jurisdictions, complex multilayer funding arrangements – multiple bank lenders, activist bondholders, interesting shareholder dynamics.

CEELM: And what was your main takeaway from it?

Stosio: No matter how well you plan and think things through, always expect the unexpected. This is where, as a lawyer, you can add the most value to your clients. While it seemed that everything was going according to plan, the barbaric shooting down of the MAS17 flight over Ukraine temporarily shut down the high-yield bond markets. It meant that the transaction structure had to be reinvented (again) which added a lot of pressure and stress connected with the debt restructuring of the EM&F Group.

CEELM: Name one mentor who played a big role in your career and how they impacted you.

Stosio: If I am to single out one individual, it has to be Grzegorz Namiotkiewicz. Even though I would like to think that when I joined Clifford Chance in 2008, I was relatively mature as a lawyer, having had a chance to work with Grzegorz and benefit from his wisdom and expertise has always been a great boon. Not only his legal expertise but also his wide horizons are an enormous resource to draw upon. For as long as I can recall, Grzegorz has always been an inspirational leader of the banking and finance community. Having been able to co-operate with him for more than 15 years has been a great privilege. Be it a discussion on synthetic securitization, IBOR replacement, or chit-chat about the latest Vermeer exhibition, you can always count on Grzegorz to elevate the conversation and inspire.

CEELM: Name one mentee you are particularly proud of.

Stosio: It has been a great pleasure to watch Milosz Golab develop his legal career. I have known him since he was a law student and I have had the honor to collaborate with him ever since. Obviously, now the times when I could call him my mentee are long gone and Milosz has been promoted to the partnership of Clifford Chance. I hope I helped Milosz throughout his legal career, but he owes his successes to himself. Milosz is currently one of the leaders of the Polish debt restructuring market and has become a mentor to many younger colleagues in our office.

CEELM: What is one thing clients likely don’t know about you?

Stosio: I used to be allergic to public speaking or large business meetings when I was a junior lawyer. It took me a very long time to overcome this.

CEELM: What is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself fresh out of law school?

Stosio: This piece of advice stands as much now as it stood a couple of decades ago: Do not try to specialize too early in your career. Do not bet your dollar too early on whatever fancy little product may be fashionable at the moment.

This article was originally published in Issue 10.9 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the magazine, you can subscribe here.

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