Clyde & Co raids Dentons for Poland debut with 20-strong team

Three current and former energy-focused partners join with their teams in Warsaw

(l-r) Agnieszka Kulińska, Arkadiusz Krasnodębski and Radoslaw Goral Images courtesy of Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co has hired a team of more than 20 lawyers led by one current and two former Dentons partners to open its first Polish office, in Warsaw.

The incoming team is led by Agnieszka Kulińska, who heads Denton’s Polish energy practice, fellow energy specialist and former Warsaw managing partner Arkadiusz Krasnodębski, who left the global firm in June, and former disputes partner Radoslaw Goral, who also departed in June.

The remainder of the group is made up of around 20 counsel and associates. 

Clydes’ chief executive, Matthew Kelsall, said that opening in Poland had been a “long-term ambition” for the firm. 

“Poland is Europe’s sixth largest economy and will be a significant player in the energy transition as it seeks to move away from fossil fuels and improve its energy security at pace,” he said. “This high calibre team provide a strong foundation for our Warsaw office to grow, bringing with them energy sector expertise alongside a broad corporate and contentious offering.”

Kulińska, who will head Clydes’ energy practice in Poland, focuses on the development and construction of renewable projects, including contracts, supply and maintenance of renewable energy installations and offtake contracts, as well as M&A transactions related to renewable assets and energy storage. 

Krasnodębski has advised clients in the energy sector for more than three decades on regulatory, contractual and corporate matters. He has also worked on privatisations of companies in the energy sector and, more recently, acted as a strategic advisor to investors on transactions for projects in renewable and non-renewable energy sources, Clydes said. He was Dentons’ managing partner in Poland for more than nine years before his departure. 

Meantime Radek specialises in dispute resolution with a focus on insurance and financial sector clients, but also works with the telecoms, energy and other regulated industries. His practice covers risk, claims and damage matters and he regularly appears before courts of all instances, including the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court in Poland. He also left Dentons in June, according to his LinkedIn profile, and like Kulińska and Krasnodębski had previously practised at French law firm Salans. 

Clydes said the Warsaw office would open in the new year. The launch marks the firm’s move into the CEE region and continues a run of office openings globally in recent years.

The firm opened five offices in 2021 across Canada, the US and Germany and since then has opened bases of its own in Boston, Bangkok, Calgary and Milan and also launched associated offices in Cairo and Santiago. 

“The opening of Clyde & Co’s Warsaw office is a milestone in the firm’s international expansion,” said David Bennet, global chair of Clydes’ energy, marine and natural resources practice. “The country’s commitment to the transition to renewable and clean energy sources is unequivocal and backed by significant government investment. We welcome Arek, Agnieszka, Radek and the rest of the team and look forward to engaging with clients on the energy transition in Poland and in the broader CEE region.”

Following the departures, Dentons will employ around 180 lawyers in Warsaw, including 37 partners.  

A spokesperson for the firm commented: “We confirm the planned departure of Agnieszka Kulińska on February 20, 2024. Dentons’ energy team of 25 lawyers in Warsaw – including partner Christian Schnell, co-head of the Europe energy group – will continue to serve the needs of our energy clients. As a global law firm in Poland, Dentons continues to offer full-scope business law advice to address the complex needs of our clients.”

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