Services

clients first, always

Our Q&A Guide to
Private Client in Poland

Private Client
 
Affluent individuals and family businesses, both from Poland and abroad, form a substantial part of our client base. We make sure that our clients hold their enterprises closely in order to retain sufficient control to meet their long-term individual and professional goals. We are renowned for our discreet service and common sense, as well as our technical excellence.
 
We have significant expertise in wealth planning, asset management, inheritance, reputation management, family law and immigration. We also act for charities and not for profit organisations. We are ranked Tier 1 for Private Client by Chambers HNW 2017 and by the Legal 500. Grzegorz Woźniak and Grzegorz Dudek are recommended as some of the best private client lawyers in Poland.
 
Our additional area of expertise is restitution of property nationalized after 1945 and restitution of artworks.
 
Woźniak Legal advises and assists with:
 
Wealth Structuring
 
Wealth structuring is about far more than meeting your family's short and medium term needs – rather, it is designed to give real effect to your family's aspirations and values.
 
It involves the creation of a domestic and/or international framework for wealth asset management that can deploy trusts, foundations, corporate entities and other vehicles to protect your long-term financial interests and, more importantly, those of your family.
 
Our expertise lies in structuring your wealth so that your estate is protected now and in the future whilst allowing sufficient flexibility to address changing circumstances or unexpected turns of events. This will ensure, so far as is possible, that your and your family's wealth is properly protected and managed during and beyond your lifetime.
 
Our wealth planning solutions are bespoke and tailored to each specific situation. These solutions also offer the opportunity for asset diversification, flexible succession, tax and beneficiary planning.
 
Luxury Assets
 
Our private client team spans all areas of legal services. We understand that our clients are passionate about their luxury assets, whether it is ownership of a yacht or a classic motorbike. These assets can be part of a lifestyle and an identity. 
 
We are experienced in intelligently guiding our clients - whether it is on an acquisition, a sale or loan, restructuring ownership of an investment, wealth planning, lending against assets, administrating an estate or seeking advice on a dispute.
 
Inheritance and Wealth Transfer
 
We help our clients with estate planning. We guide them through the process of drawing up a will, advise on inheritance tax and offer contentious probate services. In particular, we advise clients who have inherited immovable property in the territory of Poland.
 
Private Banking
 
We work closely with a range of financial institutions, including private banks, investment banks, fund managers, and trustees. We have significant expertise in advising on lending and hedge fund transactions. We also assist with the acquisition, sale and restructuring of private banks.
 
Data Protection
 
The task of managing data is becoming increasingly complex for individuals and companies alike. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is on the horizon and EU entities will be expected to understand the implications and comply with the new rules.
 
GDPR significantly increases the rights of citizens to access their data electronically, to have it corrected or deleted and to scrutinise data processing. The penalties for non-compliance have also risen sharply, requiring proper judgement and design to be applied to data collection and rapid notification if data is lost.
 
We advise our clients on how best to achieve their strategic objectives whilst complying with this evolving regulatory regime. We can highlight gaps in compliance and explain how to implement the policies and procedures needed, as well as dealing with any incidents that may occur. 
 
Our team comprises data protection experts as well as non-lawyer cyber security specialists, allowing us to give the full spectrum of advice. The GDPR regime is likely to introduce both process and technology changes that we can guide our clients through, from the initial data audit and ongoing compliance to industry standard benchmarking techniques.
 
Divorce and Family
 
A family problem or relationship breakdown is seldom straightforward. Those with significant wealth or who lead lives in the public eye have an extra burden. Not only can problems be extremely draining both emotionally and financially, they also have the potential to damage careers and reputations.
 
Beyond offering a premier service for the full range of issues clients face during separation or divorce, we are also able to meet the needs they encounter in their wider personal and business lives. This includes reputation management, corporate and commercial advice and a wide variety of litigation issues.
 
We understand the complexity that wealth brings. As experts in wealth preservation and protection, we assist our clients and their families through all life stages, not just divorce.
 
Citizenship and Immigration
 
We advise individuals and companies on their immigration matters. We guide our clients through the immigration process, from compiling their applications to obtaining the relevant permits for themselves and their families. We also handle citizenship applications.
 
Reputation Protection
 
Arguably, your reputation is your most valuable asset. Whether you are a business or an individual, outside scrutiny can bring significant risks. In this quickly changing world, digital technology allows publication of sensitive or damaging information to the world at large, often with little or no notice. As working practices become more flexible, more remote working means more vulnerable data, and the threat of reputational damage due to loss or theft of data is high.
 
Once sensitive information has been picked up by the media or spread online, an immediate response is vital to minimise its potential damage. But swift and robust management of the crisis is not enough. Ongoing management helps to proactively protect both personal and corporate reputations.
 
We advise on a number of sensitive issues related to private individuals and businesses including:
 
  • being contacted or harassed by the press
     
  • being attacked in online forums or on social media
     
  • being blackmailed with the threat of releasing private information or images
     
  • being defamed in the press
 
As litigators, we are both robust and resolute, but we do not take court action as a first resort. In a crisis, we are calm and measured.
 
Charities, not for profit and philanthropy
 
Charities are besieged by demands: pressures of regulation, fast changing legislation, the day-to-day challenge of providing public services, and the need to act commercially. Spending donations on legal fees can easily be misinterpreted as wasteful and lead to bad publicity.
 
We understand these pressures and expectations. We use our cross-departmental expertise to advise on all aspects of the law enabling charities and not for profit organisations to operate more effectively and commercially in pursuit of their objectives.

Restitution of Property
 
Restitution of property nationalized in Poland after 1945 is one of our special areas of expertise. We have significant expertise in acting on behalf of pre-war owners and their successors in all types of proceedings concerning the restitution and compensation for the nationalized real estate and businesses. In 1945 the government issued what is called Bierut’s Decree, a piece of legislation ordering the confiscation of plots of private land in the capital. It also provided for compensation in such cases, although in practice these were never granted. This decree is still valid law in Poland and currently forms the basis of a multitude of restitution claims in Warsaw.
 
We also handle many other restitution and compensation claims falling under other pieces of legislation, such as the Land Reform Decree and the Law on the Nationalization of the Basic Branches of the Industry of 1946.
  
Restitution of Artworks
 
In 2016, responding to client demand, we started dealing with artworks. We are active in many aspects of the art market in Poland. Clients include: international collectors, artists, dealers, art institutions, art foundations, museums, galleries, governments and auction houses.
 
Specialist services range from the restitution of artwork, advice on sale, consignment and financing of art to exploitation and protection of copyright and cultural heritage issues. We have established an international network of close associations with other specialist lawyers worldwide including lawyers in London and Tel Aviv.


Please see also our brochure.