Wolf Theiss adds 27-lawyer corporate team in Poland from Wardyński & Partners

Hires see European heavyweight more than double Poland lawyer headcount and open second office in the country in Poznań

Image courtesy of Wolf Theiss

Wolf Theiss has made one of the largest team hires in the history of the Polish legal sector, adding 27 corporate and M&A lawyers from Warsaw-based firm Wardyński & Partners.

Most of the team – which includes seven partners – will join Wolf Theiss in Warsaw, though a spokesperson for the firm said around a third will work out of a new office in the western city of Poznań. 

Incoming partners Izabela Zielinska-Barlozek, Anna Dabrowska and Krzysztof Libiszewski will lead Wolf Theiss’ Polish corporate/M&A team. The firm is one of the largest in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CEE/SEE), with around 400 lawyers across 13 countries in the region. 

Wolf Theiss managing partner, Andrea Gritsch, described the team’s hire as “a big step for the firm’s target market in Poland as well as the entire CEE/SEE region.”

“We are excited to have experienced and talented teams join us in Poland. This is a testament to Wolf Theiss’ strategy to invest in top-tier talent and expand our capabilities across our network,” he added. 

The new arrivals more than double Wolf Theiss’ lawyer headcount in Poland and bring extensive experience advising domestic and international clients on matters including public and private M&A and private equity transactions, joint ventures, corporate governance and corporate restructurings, privatisations and capital markets work.

Zielinska-Barlozek has joined Wolf Theiss after more than 26 years at Wardyński & Partners. She specialises in M&A for clients across sectors including construction, technology, FMCG and private equity. 

Meantime Dabrowska spent almost 19 years at her former firm, where she specialised in local as well as international acquisitions and divestments, while Libiszewski, who spent more than two decades at Wardyński & Partners, focuses on cross-border M&A, takeovers, joint ventures, distressed situations and corporate restructurings, particularly in the private equity industry. 

The trio said they were “thrilled” to join Wolf Theiss, which they described as “a leading regional firm with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality legal services to clients in Poland and beyond.”

The remaining partners joining the firm are Bartosz Kuras, Maciej Szewczyk, Marcin Pietkiewicz and Katarzyna Wojcik-Bakowska. 

In Poland the new arrivals will work as part of a team that is noted by Chambers for its strong corporate offering, particularly in the mid-market. Key practitioners include partner Jacek Michalski, who was previously at Allen & Overy, and at Wolf Theiss has worked on major deals including Vienna Insurance Group’s 2020 acquisition of Aegon’s insurance business in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Turkey and the Netherlands for €830m. 

Wolf Theiss’ team hire in Poland follows UK firm Osborne Clarke adding 30 lawyers in Warsaw last year to open its first office in CEE, with most of the arrivals joining from Polish accountancy firm MDDP. 

And in late 2021 Anglo-German firm Taylor Wessing boosted its Polish banking and finance practice with the hire of a 10-lawyer team in Warsaw from Deloitte Legal. 

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