CMS was ranked in first place in the Polityka Insight 2016 ranking of regulatory law firms in the “Energy” category. CMS is the only law firm in the Polish market that – based on feedback from clients and competitors, as well as the scope of services provided – managed to meet the requirements for the best advisors in the energy sector (listed as Group 1). CMS has also been recognised as one of the best in Poland in the field of competition law and banking law (Group 3).
The Polityka Insight 2016 ranking of regulatory law firms covers the regulatory advice market, i.e. the market related to public economic law enforced by authorities such as the Energy Regulatory Office, the Office for the Protection of Competition and Consumers (UOKiK) or the Financial Supervision Authority (KNF). The ranking takes into account four main criteria: (1) complexity of services provided by the firm, (2) reputation in the industry, (3) client feedback and (4) the average of Anglophone rankings such as Chambers Europe and Legal 500.
“Regulated industries in Poland continue to face numerous challenges – on the one hand there are a number of regulations at the EU level, which local regulators and companies operating in the Polish market must take into account. On the other hand, one should expect regulatory changes originating from the domestic market. These changes sometimes have a major impact on the development prospects of companies in the regulated sectors, such as the energy, telecommunications, banking or insurance sectors. Regulatory changes bring about legal and business risks that need to be skilfully managed,” says Piotr Ciołkowski, Of Counsel in CMS’ Energy Department.
The CMS energy team in Poland comprises more than 20 lawyers, including four partners. The department is headed by Karolina Siedlik, while Piotr Ciołkowski leads the regulatory team. Last year, CMS provided advice on, among others, the acquisition of PKP Energetyka by CVC Capital Partners, and advised Tauron Wytwarzanie in its dispute with the Energy Regulatory Authority concerning reimbursement of stranded costs. CMS’ clients are the leading companies in the energy industry, including PGNiG, PGE GiEK, ENEA and Lotos.
In turn, CMS’ competition law team in Poland, headed by Małgorzata Urbańska, consists of 7 lawyers. As well as antitrust law and merger control, the team also advises on matters relating to state aid, public procurement, consumer law and unfair competition. The team represents clients in proceedings both before the President of the Office for the Protection of Competition and Consumers, as well as before the European Commission. Recently, CMS lawyers successfully represented P4, the Play phone operator, before the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection in relation to an appeal against a decision of the President of the Office for Protection of Competition and Consumers, which imposed a fine on P4 for alleged participation in a cartel together with three other mobile operators (Orange, T-Mobile and Plus).
Clients from the banking sector are supported by a team of 14 lawyers in Poland under the leadership of Małgorzata Chruściak. The team provides services to Polish and foreign banks, branches of financial institutions, companies and investment funds as well as their clients in all sectors in Poland and on the Central-Eastern European markets. It provides clients with regulatory advice on transactions carried out in the financial services market, on numerous real estate project financing transactions, and also represents banks in relation to all kinds of credit transactions, issues of debt instruments and entering into derivative instruments, as well as transactions related to the restructuring of debts of borrowers.
Recently, the team took part in processes of the working group of the Union of Polish Banks in the course of works on the Restructuring Law. On behalf of the Association of Restructuring Practitioners, it advised the Team of the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Economy, preparing amendments to the Bankruptcy and Reorganisation Law and a draft of the Restructuring Law. Working with the Dispute Resolution team, our lawyers represent financial institutions (insurance companies, banks) in proceedings before the President of the UOKiK in cases concerning practices infringing collective consumer interests, court proceedings resulting from an appeal against a decision of the President of the UOKiK and in proceedings before the UOKiK for the recognition of standard contractual provisions as illegal.
The team also has extensive experience in regulatory matters related to both commencing and conducting business on the Polish financial services market as well as the processes associated with the winding up of operations and in relation to assisting financial institutions adapt to the changing legal regulations.