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GAR 100 - 5th Edition

Wardyński & Partners

05 March 2012

The only Polish firm to make the GAR 100, Wardyński recently enforced a US$500 milion arbitration award against a major Polish entity.

Who’s Who name:
Tomasz Wardyński

Wardyński & Partners was one of the first commercial practices to establish itself in Poland after the end of the Cold War. Always ahead of the local game, it began investing in its arbitration capabilities a few years ago.

Four partners now regularly serve as arbitrators and three others work as counsel. One of the firm’s two founders, Tomasz Wardyński, is listed as an arbitrator at several Polish institutions and the Vienna International Arbitration Centre (VIAC). In 2010, he contributed to a voluntary code of best practice for Poland’s arbitration courts; he’s on the board of the Polish arbitration association behind the code.

As counsel, the practice has represented a vodka producer in a dispute with US opponents over a distribution agreement and a commodities exporter in a dispute arising out of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It is also an adviser to the Polish and UK governments.

The firm runs an English-language website featuring news and articles on litigation and arbitration in Poland. Tomasz Wardyński also often contributes articles to GAR.

Several ranking organisations regard Wardyński & Partners as a first-tier for for dispute resolution. The firm has offices in Poznan´, Krakow, Wroclaw and Brussels.

An interview with Tomasz Wardyński:

What was good for Wardyński & Partners about 2011?

The last couple of years have been very intensive for our international arbitration practice, particularly in the areas of M&A disputes and disputes over various contracts concerning construction and energy infrastructure development projects. We have been representing Polish and multinational clients that are both claimants and respondents in a number of cross-border disputes that concern multimillion-euro claims under ICC, SCC, Vienna and UNCITRAL arbitration rules.

Can you tell us about some of the work you’ve recently been instructed in?

The most significant cases included two major cross-border M&A disputes, two large arbitrations over joint venture and infrastructure development projects in the energy sector and a dispute concerning payment of a multimillion-euro royalty under a bank agency agreement. We were also involved in the enforcement of a €500 million foreign arbitral award issued against one of Poland’s largest companies. Our efforts, undertaken jointly with colleagues from foreign law firms, resulted in a settlement securing payment of the awarded monies.

I was also personally instructed as an arbitrator and presiding arbitrator in cases conducted under the arbitration rules of the SCC, ICC, the Arbitration Court at the Polish Chamber of Commerce and in ad hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL arbitration rules. These cases concerned construction disputes, disputes over significant forward purchase deals on the real estate market and a major M&A arbitration between two companies from foreign capital groups active in the Polish consumer packaged goods sector, with the amount in dispute in the range of €50 million.

Have you added any new faces to the international arbitration practice?

Our team was reinforced in 2010 by the joining of Pawel Mazur, an adwokat with extensive experience negotiating and resolving disputes over commercial contracts before courts and international arbitral tribunals, particularly under ICC and UNCITRAL arbitration rules. Pawel is also very active in sport arbitration and has practical experience in the aviation sector. He has already successfully handled a major controversy between a multinational enterprise active in the spirits and beverages sector and its Polish supplier, and is a leading counsel in some of our largest arbitrations.

Another new face is Stanislaw Drozd, a young advocate with a particular drive and skills in the resolution of complex commercial disputes.

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