• Litigation
  • Agricultural law
  • Environmental law
  • Cooperatives law
  • Corporate and commercial law
  • Civil law
  • Criminal law
  • Collection of receivables
  • Construction law
  • Copyright and internet law
  • Intellectual property law

areas of legal support

 

Representing clients in litigation

Our lawyers appear in proceedings on behalf of the client, based on a power of attorney.
In cases before courts and other institutions, clients may be represented by legal advisers or advocates. In the case of defence counsel in criminal cases and fiscal criminal cases, the defendant may be represented only by an advocate. In certain proceedings—particularly before the Supreme Court of Poland or the Supreme Administrative Court—the client must be represented by an advocate or legal adviser.

Criminal proceedings

Criminal cases involve a number of procedures, some before the court and some outside of court, aimed at determining the facts and reaching a decision in a case where a crime may have been committed.
Our lawyers represent crime victims, suspects and criminal defendants. Our goal when representing the injured party is to identify the perpetrator and see that he or she is duly punished and makes amends for the harm caused to the victim. When we represent a person suspected or accused of committing a crime, our role is to defend his or her rights throughout the process. The purpose of criminal defence is to obtain an acquittal if the accused is not guilty of the offence, or if he or she is found guilty, to assure that the punishment is not excessive in light of the harmfulness of the offence.

Fiscal criminal proceedings

Fiscal criminal proceedings involve serious or minor offences against the financial interests of the state. The proceedings are conducted by fiscal law enforcement authorities, primarily tax offices.
The multiplicity and ambiguity of tax regulations can give rise to various errors by taxpayers. The tax authorities may take advantage of this by pursuing criminal charges unwarranted by the degree of fault on the taxpayer’s part, or to set an example to deter others. This sometimes happens even though the Fiscal Penal Code provides that there is no offence if the harm to society from the act is negligible or the taxpayer did not act with criminal intent. In fiscal criminal cases, the task of the advocate is to verify whether the authorities have acted lawfully and that the taxpayer is not punished for actions taken in good faith and without culpability.

Division of assets

Assets may be divided in two ways: by agreement or by court order.
An agreement on division of assets may be made in any form, except that if real estate is involved the agreement must be in the form of notarial deed. A judicial division of assets may be made in a divorce decree or in a separate proceeding. The parties may divide all or part of their joint assets by agreement, but a judicial division must cover all of the assets. An application for division of assets bears a court fee of PLN 1,000, but if the parties present an agreed proposal the fee is reduced to PLN 300.

Dissolution of joint ownership

Any co-owner of property may seek to dissolve the joint ownership. This may be done by agreement or through a court order.
In a judicial proceeding, property may be divided in any of three ways: physical division of the property, awarding the entire property to one of the co-owners, or sale of the property. An application for dissolution of joint ownership bears a court fee of PLN 1,000, or PLN 300 if an agreed proposal is presented. There is no statute of limitations on claims for dissolution of joint ownership.

Polish and international commercial contracts

In our commercial contract services, we draft contracts securing the interests of the client and assuring compliance with applicable regulations.
We also review and comment on draft contracts presented by the client, identifying potential threats to the client’s interests and advising on the optimal contractual solutions and provisions. The firm also actively advises clients at the stage of contract performance, and assists clients in pursuing contractual claims.

Social insurance and employment law

Employment law includes the Labour Code and other statutes and executive regulations defining the rights and obligations of employers and employees, as well as matters governed by collective labour arrangements and workplace regulations.
Under Art. 67 of the Polish Constitution, a citizen has a right to social security if he or she is unable to work due to illness or disability or has reached retirement age. This right is realized through payment of social insurance benefits. The law firm’s practice in the area of employment and social insurance law covers both individual and collective employment law matters. Our lawyers advise clients in this area on an ongoing basis, representing clients in disputes with employees and labour authorities, and drafting employment-related internal regulations and legal documentation, including employment contracts.

Comprehensive legal analysis

Comprehensive legal analyses are conducted for the purpose of carrying out ventures, projects, or development of enterprises.
Legal issues, rules, regulations and case law are analyzed with particular attention to the purpose for which the analysis is prepared. Legal issues and their direct impact on the venture in question are both analyzed. Processes and undertakings can then be adapted to comply with the applicable law. Potential threats or restrictions on the project can also be identified.

Advice on commercialization and privatization

In Poland, commercialization is a process in which a state enterprise is converted into a commercial company, as a prelude to privatization.
Privatization is a process in which the Polish State Treasury disposes of assets it holds, for example by selling shares it holds in commercialized companies, by selling all of the tangible and intangible assets of an enterprise to a company, or by leasing the enterprise to private users for a fee.

Listing companies on the capital market

Joint-stock companies obtain access to the capital market by issuing and listing debt and equity securities.
This typically involves preparation of a prospectus and dematerialization of the company’s financial instruments. The basic function of the capital market is to enable companies to obtain financing to develop their business. In Poland, based on the legal and formal organization of the market, the capital market may be divided into the public market and the non-public market. On the public market, there are currently two companies operating organized trading in securities: Giełda Papierów Wartościowych w Warszawie S.A. (the Warsaw Stock Exchange) and BondSpot S.A. (alternative market).

Corporate reorganizations

Corporate forms may undergo reorganization when a limited-liability company (sp. z o.o.) is converted into a joint-stock company (S.A.), or vice versa, when a new company is spun off from one or more existing companies, or when two or more companies are joined to form one company.
These issues are governed by the Commercial Companies Code. Reorganization of corporate forms entails a number of actions, such as drafting of the new corporate charter and valuation of the assets involved. Under Polish law, such reorganizations may be divided into several types: conversion, merger and division, which are applicable to capital companies. Polish law also provides for the possibility of cross-border merger of companies, in which a foreign company merges with a Polish company.

Regulation of the legal status of real estate

Proceedings to regulate the legal status of real estate most often are aimed at establishing a land and mortgage register for the property at the district court.
Such proceedings may also involve amending the land and mortgage register to reflect legal events affecting the property (such as sale, partition or inheritance). It may also be necessary to reform the register to reflect the actual legal status of the property when the information in the register is inaccurate.

Concession and permit proceedings

In Poland, before performing certain types of business it may be necessary for the entity to obtain a concession or permit, issued by the competent state authorities.
The types of operations requiring a concession or permit, who is eligible to apply for one, and the procedure for issuance, amendment or loss of a concession or permit are set forth in the Business Freedom Act.

Public procurement proceedings

One of the law firm’s areas of specialization is public tenders under mandatory or optional procedures.
We assist our clients in tenders covered by the Public Procurement Law as well as well as public contracts not subject to the procurement regime. We advise contractors on interpretation of contract notices and terms of reference and on the legal recourse available to them. We also advise contracting authorities on preparation of the tender documentation. We offer legal assistance covering not only the entire period of the procurement procedure, but also in any related litigation. We provide opinions on the compliance of tenders with the legal requirements, and if irregularities are found we advise on the available legal measures.

Prospectuses (legal audit)

Continuing the firm’s long practice in this area, we prepare legal audits for clients in such industries as energy, construction and agro-food, including the legal sections of prospectuses.
We provide legal support for listing of securities on the regulated market and the alternative market. We advise at the stage of listing the company on the stock exchange and at the stage of establishing and reorganizing corporate entities. We have experience in providing legal support on the capital market to both public and private clients. We also prepare due diligence reports in order to evaluate the legal condition of companies, projects and assets, including real estate.

Mergers and acquisitions

Under the Commercial Companies Code , companies may undergo numerous procedures such as conversion, division and merger.
Mergers and acquisitions are designed to adapt corporate structures to the existing market realities. Mergers are a tool for significantly strengthening the market position of companies, stabilizing their financial condition and enabling them to access new customers and new markets. The law firm provides full legal support for these procedures, drafting the transaction documentation, representing the client before the competent authorities, and providing ongoing advice during the process.

Legal audit for privatization

Privatization is a process in which assets held by the State Treasury are turned over to private hands.
Following the transformation to a free-market economy in Poland, there are still many state-controlled companies undergoing privatization. In order to meet the needs of the privatization process, the law firm conducts legal audits and prepares a complete legal report on the enterprise. The report from the legal audit provides detailed information about the legal status of the company and enables privatization to be conducted smoothly and securely.

Real estate transactions and development

The law firm advises clients on the full range of matters related to real estate.
We evaluate the legal status of real estate, and draft and advise on agreements for sale, lease, tenancy and construction. We assist in obtaining permits required for development of real estate. We conduct judicial and administrative proceedings related to real estate and advise on establishment of encumbrances on real estate.

Incorporation of individual businesses

When an individual operating a sole proprietorship decides to incorporate the business, there is a choice between forming a single-shareholder limited-liability company (sp. z o.o.) or a single-shareholder joint-stock company (S.A.)
The incorporation procedure involves transfer of the existing enterprise operated by the individual to a newly created or existing company as an in-kind contribution, or sale of the enterprise to an existing company. The latter procedure is combined with liquidation of the sole proprietorship.

Negotiations

The purpose of negotiations is to reach agreement in situations where there are conflicting interests or a difference of opinion.
From a legal point of view, when conducting negotiations we seek to obtain the most favourable possible outcome for the client under the given factual and legal circumstances. Based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, three different paradigms for negotiations have been identified: “hard,” “soft” and “mixed” (hard on the issue but easy on the people). In the law, there is growing support for alternative dispute resolution within the institutional context of judicial proceedings, in the form of mediation or conciliation—processes designed to help the parties reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.
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