Krzysztof Mazurek has joined the Precision Medicine Group as its Deputy General Counsel and Head of Legal Europe. In his new role, he's also acting as Managing Director for CEE Precision Medicine Group Affiliates.
Regional periodical league tables ranking M&A activity through the lens of the law firms advising on the deals are often dominated by Baltic law firms, with the CEELM Index special issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine reflecting the same trend. To better understand why that is so, we spoke with several Partners – from both Baltic firms and other CEE jurisdictions.
Over the years, all countries in the CEE region have drawn best-practice models from the West, particularly in legal, economic, and business terms. In a number of CEE countries, offices of international law firms opened in response to the needs of their global clients and market opportunities. These firms played a significant role and introduced their know-how to the legal market. Parallel to this, strong local players emerged in each of these countries, changing the competitive environment and challenging the international ones. Over the last few years, you can see a revision of the need to maintain a presence in the region by some international law firms, most notably Magic Circle and White Shoe firms.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on Poland, as it has on other European countries. In April, Poland recorded by far the biggest number of COVID-19 fatalities since the onset of the pandemic in March of last year. Consequently, most of the government’s plans to reform healthcare/pharmaceutical legislation have been either frozen or postponed. Most recent legislation has been aimed at legalizing the lockdown or enacting other pandemic measures, such as social distancing and mask-wearing in public spaces, as well as speeding up the vaccination rollout across the country. However, these new laws were essentially technical adjustments to the current framework, rather than revolutionary changes.
The Polish economy has recovered quickly following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the number of transactions is fairly consistent across various industries, reports Radoslaw Biedecki, Partner at Noerr in Poland. The country is pushing for further digitalization of its public services, but draft legislation on media ownership has him concerned.
The global pandemic has impacted all markets, with subsequent ramifications for M&A. Investors are now seeking greater protection against general lock-downs and supply-chain disruptions, while governments aim to protect critical supplies and services by imposing new regulations on foreign investment in crucial or strategic industries.
The Polish private rental sector is about to enter a period of intensive development. Unlike the western EU Member States, where the share of rented apartments often significantly exceeds 50%, in Poland, only approximately 15% of apartments are rented out (about 2.3 million out of a total of 14.8 million apartments existing in Poland).
Recently, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Polish name: Urząd Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów “UOKiK”) announced the initiation of antimonopoly proceedings in connection with the suspected coordination of actions by the Polish Basketball League and its member clubs against their players. The aim of the collusion was, among other things, to agree the terms of termination of players' contracts and to withhold payment of their salaries.