On 1 October 2020, Baker McKenzie Krzyżowski i Wspólnicy law firm established a multidisciplinary Restructuring & Insolvency Practice. It is co-led by two experts who recently joined Baker McKenzie's Warsaw office as counsels: Karol Czepukojć and Paweł Długoborski.
The new Practice provides comprehensive legal advice to a wide range of players and stakeholders in restructuring and insolvency processes, in particular, companies, their directors and owners, creditors (financial and non-financial), investors in distressed assets, entities whose counterparties are at risk of insolvency or have become insolvent, and all those who are considering available strategic options for such occurrences, including existing and new financings.
Managing Partner Piotr Rawski said, "The emergence of this new Practice fits perfectly with Baker McKenzie's strategy to offer our clients comprehensive assistance in finding the right answer to the challenges of the global economy. In these times, characterized not only by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also by numerous international trade conflicts, it is essential that our clients can get through the crisis as smoothly as possible. Baker McKenzie, by developing its expertise in legal advice on restructuring and insolvency matters, is ready to help them to do so in Poland."
Karol Czepukojć is a Polish qualified attorney-at-law and a licensed restructuring adviser. He focuses on strategic advisory in the field of court restructuring, insolvency, debt recovery and commercial contract. On 2019 and 2020, he was recommended and recognized as "Next Generation Lawyer" and "Rising Star" in the area of restructuring and bankruptcy in The Legal 500. He joined Baker McKenzie in August 2020, having previously worked for a renowned domestic law firm, Wardyński & Partners, for 13 years. He graduated from the University of Warsaw with a law degree.
Paweł Długoborski is a banking & finance lawyer and Polish qualified advocate who focuses on advising on out-of-court and in-court financial restructurings and new financing transactions for financial institutions, companies and investors. On the Polish market, he has advised on some of the largest and most complex financial debt restructurings in recent years, which have been highlighted by, among others, the IFLR Europe Awards and the "Rzeczpospolita" Law Firm Ranking. He joined Baker McKenzie in October 2020, having previously worked for Clifford Chance for 7 years. He graduated from the University of Warsaw with a law degree.
The leaders of the new Practice will be supported by a team of more than 20 lawyers with unique expertise and experience in various aspects of restructuring and insolvency, derived from Baker McKenzie's leading Practices on the Polish market: Banking & Finance, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Dispute Resolution & Arbitration, Employment, Competition, Tax and State Aid. The local team will also benefit from the extensive experience of Baker McKenzie's Global Restructuring & Insolvency Practice, combining it with in-depth knowledge of the Polish market.
Partner Tomasz Krzyżowski, who is in charge of Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions Practice, said:
Times of economic unrest are often a time of increased activity for companies that, in a difficult situation, decide to implement changes in their corporate, organizational, commercial or ownership structure or seek investor support, as well as the activity of entities interested in investing in distressed assets or those subject to insolvency proceedings. With our new competence in restructuring and insolvency, we can provide even better advice to our clients on such processes and transactions.
Partner Łukasz Hejmej, who is in charge of the Dispute Resolution & Arbitration Practice, added "Our support is to be distinguished by a holistic and commercial approach to proposed strategies and legal issues, and such an approach is, in our opinion, essential in the event of dynamic cases involving the threat or loss of solvency, both outside the court and within the framework of court restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings known to the Polish law, and in any disputes arising from such cases."
Partner Ireneusz Stolarski, who is in charge of the Banking & Finance Practice and who is a member of the Steering Committee for the European Restructuring & Insolvency Practice of Baker McKenzie, said, "As Baker McKenzie, we have been supporting clients in crisis situations in every important sector of the economy for many decades. We know what are the most important challenges currently facing market players: from the perspective of companies, their directors and owners, it is maintaining financial stability and managing relationships with their creditors; from the perspective of creditors, it is properly assessing and understanding the risks associated with a dynamically changing environment (including unprecedented financial aid programs) and implementing adequate safeguards and responses to emerging threats."