11 Nov 2021

Ten real estate lawyers quit Greenberg Traurig for CMS in Warsaw

Team includes one firm shareholder and two local partners, bringing CMS Poland's real estate lawyer count to 40

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Top 10 UK law firm CMS has strengthened its presence in Poland with the addition of a 10-lawyer real estate team from Greenberg Traurig in Warsaw. 

The new team joining CMS over the coming months includes firm shareholder — similar to a partner at Greenberg — Agata Jurek-Zbrojska and local partners Małgorzata Madej-Balcerowska and Dominik Rafałko as well as counsel Anna Wiśniewska, senior associate Zuzanna Bafia and associates Michał Gruza, Aleksander Kłys, Magdalena Piotrowska-Gwiazdowska, Marta Trębacka and Joanna Ostapiuk.

Their arrival will increase CMS Poland’s total real estate lawyer headcount to 40 in a move that underscores the firm’s commitment to boosting its real estate and construction capabilities in the Central and Eastern Europe region, the firm said.  

Greenberg will be left with around 80 lawyers in Warsaw following the departures, according to the firm’s website. 

Andrzej Pośniak, managing partner at CMS Poland, said:  “The combination of the team’s client contacts and experience and the opportunities arising from CMS’s market-leading position in Europe, in particular in the UK and CEE, represents a huge potential. Our investment in growing our real estate team is also a great opportunity for the firm as a whole due to the business synergies across our practices.”

New hire Jurek-Zbrojska, who moved to Greenberg as a shareholder in 2017 from Hogan Lovells, will lead CMS Poland’s real estate and construction practice upon joining the international firm. She brings with her more than two decades of experience handling real estate transactions both in Poland and in cross-border projects related to the commercial, logistics and residential real estate sectors, as well as at all stages of the investment process. 

“The real estate market is currently undergoing development and changes that are creating new business opportunities for investors,” Jurek-Zbrojska said. “We are seeing huge interest in transactions in the logistics segment of the market, increased activity in the office and commercial real estate sector, as well as significant and dynamic change in the residential investment sector.”

Madej-Balcerowska joined Greenberg alongside Jurek-Zbrojska from Hogan Lovells in 2017 as a local partner and specialises in advising lessors and lessees of office, commercial and warehouse spaces in real estate leasing issues and due diligence analyses in connection with the purchase and sale of real estate. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, she spent seven years as an associate at Chadbourne & Parke prior to the firm’s 2017 merger with Norton Rose Fulbright. 

Rafalko, meanwhile, had the longest tenure with Greenberg out of the departing group, having joined in 2012 as an associate and later making partner in 2018. He focuses his practice in the purchase and sale of office, logistics and commercial facilities and he regularly assists local and foreign entities in development and investment processes. 

According to the 2021 annual ranking by the newspaper Rzeczpospolita, CMS is Poland’s second largest law firm, with more than 150 lawyers practicing in its Warsaw office. Currently occupying the top spot in the ranking is Dentons, which has reigned as Poland’s largest law firm for the past decade.  

CMS also boosted its Polish finance team in September when it hired a quartet from Baker McKenzie that included partner Rafał Zakrzewski, who became the fourth partner in the firm’s 35-strong banking and finance team in the country. 

And last year, the firm hired a group of private equity lawyers from Clifford Chance to bolster its transactions practice ahead of a hoped-for revival in M&A deals as the Covid-19 pandemic receded. 

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