Eversheds has formed an association with former Landwell firm Wierzbowski I Wspólnicy after the Polish firm agreed a separation with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Polish association is the first of three jurisdictions that Eversheds hopes to cover in Central and Eastern Europe.

Eversheds chairman Alan Jenkins said: “Central and Eastern Europe is a region of Europe that is of increasing importance to our clients and the work we’re doing for them. Poland is a very important part of that.”

Wierzbowski i Wspólnicy has been a member of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Landwell network since 1998. The network has been breaking up since the Enron scandal and the subsequent Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The firm is based in Warsaw and Wroclaw. It has four partners and a total headcount of more than 65 lawyers and staff. Clients include international companies such as AstraZeneca, Bankgesellschaft Berlin, ConocoPhillips, GE Capital and Provident and Polish companies such as PKN Orlen, Poczta Polska and Telekomunikacja Polska.

Eversheds’ gateway to the region was provided by associations with Austrian firm Baier Lambert and Hungarian firm Sandor Szegedi Szent-Ivany, which were formed in June 2004. Baier has Czech and Slovak lawyers and close ties with Russia and the former Soviet states.

Eversheds’ international strategy has eschewed the difficulties involved with mergers in favour of associations. In addition to Eastern Europe, Eversheds previously launched an alliance with Spanish firm Lupicinio and an exclusive strategic alliance with Malaysian firm Shahrizat Rashid & Lee.