The international law firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP announced today the expansion of its international practice to include Warsaw, Poland and Kyiv, Ukraine. In Poland, the Firm operates as a Polish partnership with 35 attorneys, and in Ukraine has opened an office with nine attorneys. All of the attorneys were formerly with Altheimer & Gray.
“Opening offices in Warsaw and Kyiv is a significant expansion of our international operations,” said Charles K. O’Neill, the Firm’s Managing Partner. “We are adding to our overseas offices two of the most highly regarded practices and some of the most prominent lawyers in Central and Eastern Europe. These mergers perfectly complement our existing practices in Moscow and London and give Chadbourne a substantial presence in the three largest countries in the region.”
The new Warsaw office will be headed by Managing Partner Gabriel Wujek. Joining as partners of Chadbourne & Parke LLP are Gabriel Wujek, Wlodzimierz Radzikowski and Dorota Szubielska, and joining as international partners in the Polish partnership are Kazimierz Jelenski, Dariusz Michalski, Anna Milosz, Sylwester Pieckowski, Zbigniew Skorczynski, Mariusz Stawiarczyk, Krzysztof Ulewski and Adam Wesolowski. David Dixon will join as a partner in Chadbourne & Parke, the Firm’s multinational partnership in London.
Mr. Wujek established the Warsaw office with Mr. Radzikowski 13 years ago for Altheimer & Gray. Previously, Mr. Wujek served as director of the legal department of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations in Poland, where he represented Poland in numerous negotiations relating to international commercial agreements and agreements in avoidance of double taxation and on promotion and protection of investments, including serving as senior negotiator for the United States-Poland trade treaty. Mr. Radzikowski previously served as deputy director of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations legal department, where he also negotiated legislation and international agreements connected with international trade issues, including double taxation treaties. Ms. Szubielska is well known as one of Poland’s leading tax law experts, representing clients before Poland’s Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Constitutional Tribunal, as well as acting as an expert in legislative work on tax, foreign exchange and finance law for the Ministry of Finance and the Polish Parliament.
“Warsaw provides Chadbourne with an ideal base from which to serve our clients doing business in Central Europe,” said William A. Greason, Managing Partner of Chadbourne & Parke in London. “Many of our clients in the United States, Europe and the former Soviet Union are investing in the region in connection with the admission of ten countries into the EU in 2004. As Poland will account for roughly half the population and half the GDP of all ten incoming countries, establishing a strong presence in Central Europe with this topnotch team in Warsaw offers substantial assets on the ground for the benefit of our clients and the Firm.”
The Warsaw attorneys advise clients on a wide range of matters, including mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, securities, capital markets, venture capital, energy, telecommunications, privatizations, joint ventures, foreign investment, tax, corporate restructuring, litigation, intellectual property and technology, labor and employment, insurance, real estate development, environmental, trade (import/export), customs and duties, and governmental matters. Their clients include multinational corporations and other western investors, Polish state-owned and private companies, and Polish government departments such as the Ministries of Economy (previously of Industry and Trade), Privatization, Foreign Economic Relations and Finance.
Chadbourne’s new legal team has played important roles in many groundbreaking transactions since Poland opened to western business in 1989, including participation in the first privatization of a Polish bank connected with the public offering of its shares. They also represented a major equipment manufacturer in its acquisition of a controlling stake in Poland’s leading producer of paper production equipment. They have also advised the Polish government on the first privatization of a large steel mill in Warsaw with the participation of a leading Italian steel group, which was combined with debt restructuring and its swap to equity. Additionally, they represented the Polish Government in a privatization of the Polish automotive industry with the participation of major U.S., European and Asian automotive manufacturers.
The Warsaw office was also the first in Poland to carry out a multiparty merger of two privately held cable companies into a third publicly listed company, and a spin off from a publicly listed company of a new company which also became publicly listed. In addition, the Warsaw team represented a Polish telecom operator in connection with its US$120 million Rule 144A/Regulation S global note and warrant offering in Europe and North America and recently has represented the second largest Polish commercial television station in a Euro 235 million high-yield bond offering. In the area of real estate, Warsaw attorneys have been advising, inter alia, developers of two prestigious office buildings in Warsaw, Warsaw Financial Centre and Warsaw Corporate Centre, and a major construction holding company in its acquisition of a chain of six hotels in Warsaw. They also have successfully represented clients in numerous proceedings before Poland’s Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Constitutional Tribunal. The Firm’s attorneys’ experience extends to work outside of Poland as well. For example, they represented a major consumer products company on all aspects of real estate advice throughout Eastern Europe, have advised businesses establishing joint ventures in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and have negotiated international agreements connected with international trade issues, including double taxation treaties.
The Kyiv office, headed by Managing Partner Jaroslawa Johnson, who established the practice ten years ago, and including Adam Mycyk, Volodymyr Baibarza and six associates, adds further depth to Chadbourne’s existing CIS practice, operating from our London, Moscow and Tashkent offices.
Ms. Johnson, Mr. Mycyk and Mr. Baibarza are ranked among the top lawyers in Ukraine. Long recognized as an expert on western investment in Ukraine, Ms. Johnson was appointed in 1994 by President Clinton to the board of directors of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, established by Congress to promote private sector development in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. She is also a founding member and has served as chair of the American Ukraine Business Council.
“For more than a decade Chadbourne has been a leader in providing legal services to clients doing business in the emerging markets of the former Soviet Union,” said Laura M. Brank, the Firm’s Moscow Managing Partner. “The establishment of a Kyiv office and bringing on board Ms. Johnson, Mr. Mycyk, Mr. Baibarza and this very talented team of attorneys is a natural expansion of our CIS practice.”
The Firm’s CIS practice represents clients in large transactions as well as advising on day-to-day legal issues in a range of areas, including banking, capital markets and securities, investment funds, mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, general corporate and tax, joint ventures, secured/project and trade finance, energy, oil and gas, telecommunications, real estate and litigation.
The nine-attorney Kyiv team has counseled multinational, foreign and local clients on a variety of legal matters, including mergers and acquisitions, structuring of inbound foreign investments, privatizations, real estate transactions and construction, secured lending and project finance, and private equity investments. They have advised clients in a variety of industries, including oil exploration and refining, investment banking and capital markets, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and consumer products.
Both substantial and diverse, the Kyiv team’s experience in Ukraine and the CIS has involved a number of precedent-setting transactions. For example, they represented a major investment bank in its role as lead manager for a bond issuance by Ukraine to restructure approximately US$2.6 billion of various foreign debt. In addition, they represented one of the world’s largest food processing companies in its acquisition of a factory as part of the first major privatization of a state-owned company in Ukraine. They also have advised a world leader in cellular communications in connection with its equity investment and licensing in Ukraine, including preparation of several agreements relating to joint investment activity, as well as providing assistance relating to the legal and regulatory regime governing telecommunications in Ukraine. In addition to Ukraine, the attorneys have significant experience with transactions in other countries, including Georgia, Russia, Serbia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.