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The Deal: In July, CEE Legal Matters reported that Norton Rose Fulbright had advised Grupa Lotos SA on the USD 500 million refinancing of loan facilities contracted by the company in connection with its “Program 10+” financing. Clifford Chance advised a consortium of domestic and international banks including Bank Polska Kasa Opieki S.A., Caixabank S.A., Erste Group Bank AG, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Europe) S.A., ING Bank Slaski S.A., Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A, Powszechna Kasa Oszczednosci Bank Polski S.A., and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Bank EU AG on the deal, with Credit Agricole, CIB, and BNP Paribas SA serving as agents.

Polish lawyer Anna Wawrzynczak spent 14 years in private practice with two highly-regarded international law firms before moving in-house with the Coast2Coast investment fund, where she was Regional Counsel CEE for almost three years. In October 2019 she accepted an offer to become the Legal Manager, Head of the Corporate Division at the Polish Development Fund in Warsaw. 

Poland, which still produces 80% of power and 75% of district heating by coal-fired generation, is about to face an unavoidable and profound transformation of its energy market. The Best Available Techniques (BAT) conclusions for large combustion plants that will enter into force in 2021, the derogation mechanism that will end in 2023, and the medium combustion plant emission limits that will become effective in 2026 all require that enormous and economically questionable investments be made in new filters for coal generation units.

The key Polish legal act governing dispute resolution, the Civil Procedure Code of 1964, underwent major reform this year, again. The amended version, with almost 300 changes, including many revolutionary ones, became effective on November 7, 2019.

On January 1, 2016, Poland revamped its legal framework related to the restructuring of financially distressed businesses with a brand-new Restructuring Law and significantly-amended Bankruptcy Law. The Polish restructuring (and broadly speaking insolvency) framework is now governed by two separate legal acts: the Restructuring Law, which deals with the financial restructuring of indebted companies and businesses, and the Bankruptcy Law, which focuses on the orderly liquidation of the assets of companies and businesses without feasible options to restructure their debts and continue their operations.

With GDP growth for 2019 projected to be approximately 4%, the Polish economy remains strong, and the country’s real estate sector continues to set new records. The low availability of housing, strong domestic consumption, and stable industry production have boosted the profitability of real estate investments. Demand for land is high and developers compete fiercely for the shrinking number of attractive spots. In August 2019, a new law came into force which may make real properties held in a right of perpetual usufruct (RPU) more attractive than they used to be.

Why would anyone knowingly become a law firm marketing specialist – a role that is demanding, complicated, challenging, and stressful? To explore this mystery, we went to the source. Accordingly, this time around we asked the law firm marketing specialists of CEE to complete the following question: “I went into Law Firm Marketing/BD as a career because ____________.“

5G technology is the next stage in the development of wireless telecommunications networks. Thanks to much quicker data transmission speeds and fewer delays, this technology will make it possible to offer new quality services both for public uses such as smart energy grids, transport systems, and smart cities, and for private uses such as autonomous and automated vehicles and smart homes. Also, given the greater number of devices operated by one network unit, 5G will provide for better configuration options, making it possible to offer different services to a large number of users within one infrastructure. This distinguishes 5G technology from the technologies available today, where the activity of one user has an impact on other users and reduces data transmission speed.

It has been over a year since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation became mandatory across Europe, marking a seismic shift in the way that companies collect, process, and handle personal data. Countries across the European Union and beyond have adapted their national laws to meet the requirements of the GDPR – with many introducing local derogations as permitted by the GDPR.

It is a good time for the CEE region, and for Poland. In September 2018 Poland became the first country in CEE to be ranked as a “developed market” in the FTSE Russell index. And the Polish Life Sciences market, which had previously been driven by a transition economy dogma, has made a leap from a purely generic market to a more innovative one. A few recent developments may allow Poland to become a leader in the CEE Life Sciences industry.

Artur Chrzanowski is the Head of Legal of EIFFAGE Polska. Prior to joining EIFFAGE in 2016, he was a Senior Associate with Magnusson in Warsaw for one year. Earlier still, he was Head of Legal at Metro Properties, Legal Section Manager of the A1 Motorway Project at Skanska, an attorney-at-law with the Kronospan Group, and a lawyer with Kompania Piwowarska. In the process, he has served in managerial roles as a compliance officer and as a member of various company management and supervisory boards.

The legal environment in Poland has changed substantially over the last three years as a result of changes instituted by the conservative Law and Justice government. How can investors navigate their way through increasing regulatory pressures?

In 2013 the SNR Denton, Fraser Milner Casgrain, and Salans law firms merged into one entity: Dentons. The firm capitalized on its momentum by merging two years later with China’s Dacheng law firm, making it the largest law firm in the world. On the occasion of the firm’s 5th anniversary, CEE Legal Matters reached out to Dentons Partner and Europe Chief Executive Officer Tomasz Dabrowski in Poland and Dentons Partner and Global Vice Chair Evan Lazar in Prague to ask about the first five years and to see what’s next in Denton’s strategy for Europe and CEE.

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