International law firm CMS has bolstered its real estate and construction practice with the addition of a team of 10 lawyers in Poland. CMS will be joined by three respected partners, each with many years of experience and an established market reputation: Agata Jurek-Zbrojska, Małgorzata Madej-Balcerowska, and Dominik Rafałko. Agata Jurek-Zbrojska will head CMS’s real estate and construction practice in Poland, which she will manage in close co-operation with partners Lidia Dziurzyńska-Leipert – who leads international development for CEE Real Estate, Michał Mieciński, Małgorzata Madej-Balcerowska, and Dominik Rafałko.
Along with the new partners, the following lawyers will join the CMS real estate and construction practice: Anna Wiśniewska as counsel, Zuzanna Bafia, as senior associate, as well as associates Michał Gruza, Aleksander Kłys, Magdalena Piotrowska-Gwiazdowska, Marta Trębacka and Joanna Ostapiuk. The 10-lawyer team will join from Greenberg Traurig in the coming months.
These new additions solidify the team’s position as one of the largest and most experienced in the Polish market, with approximately 40 lawyers. It follows in quick succession to the hire of real estate partner Michał Mieciński in November, and underscores the firm’s commitment to its real estate and construction practice.
“Our goal is to create a team that will be the first-choice advisor in the real estate market in Poland. The combination of the team’s client contacts and experience and the opportunities arising from CMS’s market-leading position in Europe, in particular in the UK and CEE, represents a huge potential. Our investment in further growing our real estate team is also a great opportunity for the firm as a whole due to the business synergies across our practices. I am convinced that the co-operation between the combined team and across the firm will enable us to successfully achieve our ambitious goals”, says Andrzej Pośniak, the CMS managing partner in Poland.
Agata Jurek-Zbrojska is an attorney-at-law with 20 years’ transactional experience in the real estate market both in Poland and in cross-border projects. She advises Polish and foreign investors in transactions in the office, commercial, logistics and residential real estate sectors, as well as at all stages of the investment process. Her experience includes co-operating with asset management funds and private equity, including on the pioneer market of PRS projects (apartments for rent). Agata advises on the creation of JV structures and asset management. She is recommended as an expert in the real estate market in the international legal rankings: Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and IFLR1000. Before joining CMS, she was a partner at Greenberg Traurig, and associated with Hogan Lovells, Garrigues and Salans (Dentons).
Małgorzata Madej-Balcerowska, attorney at-law, has been providing legal advice for over 20 years in the office, commercial and warehouse real estate market. Her professional experience includes real estate leasing issues, in which she successfully represents both lessors and lessees of office, commercial and warehouse space. She also conducts legal due diligence analyses of real estate and companies in connection with the purchase and sale of real estate, as well as analyses carried out for entities that specialise in insuring transactions and for banks financing acquisitions. Małgorzata also advises on obtaining Warranty and Indemnity insurance (W&I) and has taken part in innovative projects involving the construction of data centres in Poland. Before joining CMS, she was a local partner in the law firm Greenberg Traurig and has also gained experience at international law firms Hogan Lovells and Chadbourne & Parke.
Dominik Rafałko is an attorney-at-law and has specialised in transactional advice in the real estate market for over 15 years, in particular in the purchase and sale of office, logistics, and commercial facilities, as well as holding companies operating in the real estate market. He also assists local and foreign entities in development and investment processes. His experience includes legal due diligence of real estate, companies and assets, development and negotiation of leasing agreements for lessors and lessees, as well as providing ongoing legal advice in the area of the commercial, economic and civil law. Before joining CMS, he was a local partner in the law firm Greenberg Traurig, and before that gained experience in the real estate department of the international law firm Salans (Dentons)
“I am pleased to be able to work every day with lawyers from CMS’s team whom to date I met at numerous projects and whom I highly respect. Together we will create a team of outstanding specialists, who will deliver exceptional legal and market-focused advice to clients. The international network of CMS law firms, and experienced real estate partners will ensure that the team remain an important player on the cross-border transaction market. The real estate market is currently undergoing development and changes that are creating new business opportunities for investors. We are seeing huge interest in transactions in the logistics segment of the market, increased activity in the office and commercial real estate sector, as well as significant and dynamic change in the residential investment sector”, says Agata Jurek-Zbrojska, who will head the real estate and construction team at CMS.
CMS has been developing its transactions practice, and over the last 3 months has hired partner Rafał Zakrzewski together with a 3-person team, expanding the banking practice in the scope of financing the largest international transactions under English law. CMS was also strengthened by Michał Mieciński and Żaneta Bałdowska’s arrival, who joined the firm’s real estate and construction practice.