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Andrew Kozlowski is Counsel (and former Managing Partner) at CMS in Warsaw, where he specializes in energy and project finance, corporate/M&A, privatizations, and international capital markets. He has been involved in numerous infrastructure projects in Poland and across CEE and various project finance transactions in the energy and transportation sectors, from motorways, railways, and waste, to energy utilities.

The commercial real estate market in Poland continues to be on a growth path. In 2017, the market recorded high demand in all major asset classes, breaking records in the hotel and warehouse sectors. The total value of transactions is growing consistently, and in 2017 it reached EUR 5.1 billion – the highest level in the history of the Polish market.

I love my profession. It has given me the privilege of being a witness to and an active participant in the significant changes which have unfolded in Poland over the last 30 years. I graduated in 1985 when the Polish economy was socialist. Nothing at that time could lead one to realistically expect that the socialist regime would fall in a few years, with Poland becoming a free country. When I went to study in Oxford in 1988, I left a socialist Poland, only to return to a Poland already on its path to a free market economy.

Against the backdrop of the many significant and at times highly controversial changes being made to Polish law at the moment, the country is close to enacting its first ever serious whistleblower protection laws. What will this protection look like, and what does its passage mean for Poland?

The real estate market is booming in Poland and other CEE countries, as it has been for the last several years. New investments are being made to develop commercial centers, office buildings, residential properties, and logistic centers.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: Who was your mentor, and what was the most important lesson you learned from him or her?

The widespread perception remains that the real estate market in CEE is undervalued and continues to offer exciting opportunities for investors. It would seem this is with good reason and early signs suggest that this year we may approach record levels of activity in the sector.

More than two years ago a new system for examining trademark applications was introduced in Poland. The purpose of the so-called “opposition system” was to adapt Polish regulations to EU and international regulations and the jurisprudence of the EU Court of Justice.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”

In December 2017, CMS published the latest edition of its annual “Infrastructure Index” report, which compares the political, economic, and legal environments for investors in infrastructure in 40 countries and constitutes a guide to the world’s most attractive destinations for infrastructure investment. According to the report, the five most attractive destinations for infrastructure investment are the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).

In Western Europe, offshore wind farms have been successfully used for a long time. Meanwhile, no power-generating installation of this type is currently operating on the waters of the Baltic Sea under Polish control.

Andrzej Posniak started his career in law at CMS in 2003 as a corporate trainee and, step by step, become a qualified tax advisor, then a Partner and Head of the Tax Team in CMS Warsaw's Corporate Department. In addition, Andrzej also fulfills General Counsel and Risk Manager roles for the firm in Poland. CEE Legal Matters sat down with Andrzej to learn more about his unique role.

The current government campaigned before the elections with the slogan “Plugging leaks in the tax system,” and it is now trying to achieve that goal by focusing its efforts on fighting harder against VAT fraud, counteracting aggressive tax optimization in income taxes, and increasing the effectiveness of tax audits.  

On Thursday, November 30th, leading legal practitioners from across Central and Eastern Europe gathered in Prague to help CEE Legal Matters celebrate its fourth successful year as the leading chronicle of the legal industry in the region, participating in an expert Round Table conversation about the year just concluded and enjoying an evening of dinner, drinks, and bonhomie. 

The Polish Government has recently presented a draft Program on Fighting Corruption for 2018 through 2019. This is another step in the ongoing effort to introduce legal mechanisms aimed at reducing corruption in Poland. The process of systematically fighting corruption started several years ago, and it has allowed Poland to move from 43rd place in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index in 2010 up to 29th place in 2017. The aim of the contemplated regulations is to push Poland further up the ranking and continue its transition to a true western-style economy.

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