Poland's JS Legal and Zieba & Partners law firms have merged to form B2R Law Jankowski Stroinski Zieba.
According to B2RLaw, "in February 2020 the partners of JS Legal (established by Bartlomiej Jankowski and Rafal Stroinski) and Zieba & Partners (established by Rafal Zieba) voted to merge. The new firm will be known as B2R Law Jankowski Stroinski Zieba (commonly known as B2RLaw) and will consist of 14 partners and in excess of 70 lawyers, with nearly 85 staff in total."
According to B2RLaw, "the combination is the first-ever merger of two similar medium-sized Polish law firms to form one of the largest firms in Poland."
The firm will be structured, it reports, around thirty-two practices falling into four categories: Advisory, Contentious, Regulatory, and Transactional. In addition, B2RLaw reports, "the firm will be based on three core pillars – Transactions, with no less than six partners focused on Corporate, M&A (including Private Equity and Venture Capital) and Finance chaired by Senior Partner Rafal Stroinski; Disputes and Investigations with four partners chaired by Senior Partner Bartlomiej Jankowski; and Real Estate, Infrastructure and Construction chaired by Senior Partner Rafal Zieba. However, the firm will host a number of practices ranging from Data Protection to Tax."
The new firm will begin with offices in Warsaw, Krakow, and Katowice, though it claims to have "exciting plans for future expansion."
“I am very excited by the merger and the prospects it brings," stated Bartlomiej Jankowski. "This is very much a merger of equals. Behind the scenes the teams have been working closely together for several months, and it’s especially pleasing to see how enthusiastic everyone has been. Both firms are very ambitious and this merger provides the platform to realize those ambitions. However, its not just about business. New friendships have been formed across the team, and clients will reap the benefit from this collaboration. Each individual within the firm shares the same values of teamwork, working together, helping each other, and collectively assisting our clients to provide the best possible level of service. It should also be noted that while the decision to merge was made prior to COVID-19, much of the behind the scenes work to achieve this announcement was conducted during lockdown from our homes, and it’s a testament to the team that we have been able to do so in the difficult circumstances. In fact, I believe we are the first law firm merger globally, of a sufficient size, to have taken place almost completely remotely.”
“I’ve worked a long time with Bartlomiej Jankowski and it’s wonderful to join forces with Rafal Zieba," added Rafal Stroinski. "I am absolutely thrilled by the possibility of our respective teams working together and the fantastic synergies and opportunities which the merger creates. As a transaction lawyer I’m supremely excited to work with what will be one of the largest and highly skilled transaction practices in Poland. There is a huge amount of international and cross-border expertise, and I can confidently say [that] we have one of the leading transaction practices for the technology industry, while at the same time providing state of the art M&A advice for the brick and mortar businesses. Together, as a team, we have worked on a significant share of the venture capital deals involving Poland and Polish companies, but also on a fair portion of mid-cap and larger transactions involving private equity funds and other investors. I believe our strategy is rare for the Polish market. We have built a team with expertise to cater for the full lifespan of a business, from that early investor through venture capital, taking on debt finance to scale the business, to seeking a private equity sponsor to achieve globalization, concluding with a full sale to an industry investor or an IPO on the Polish or a foreign stock exchange.”
“From the very first moment that our teams met, there was immediate chemistry," noted Rafal Zieba, finally. "We share the same values and view of the legal market. The extensive synergies between our firms meant that joining together just made sense, and we felt we could provide a better service to our clients working closely together. Our large team, which will grow further, has full capabilities to cater for every legal need. We also have a very international outlook, and there is a huge amount of international and cross-border expertise. We have UK and US law capability and many of our lawyers have either studied or practiced law abroad, whether in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, or elsewhere. This puts us in a very strong position over our competitors to assist Polish companies going international, as well as to assist international investors taking their first steps in Poland. I’m very excited about the future and look forward to working with my new partners and friends to develop Poland’s law firm.”