Dentons Europe turns to legacy Salans for CEO as Oleszczuk steps down

Dentons has elected another legacy Salans partner as its new European CEO after a partner vote, seven months after its tripartite merger went live.

tomasz dabrowski dentons
Tomasz Dabrowski

Dentons’ co-chair of European corporate, head of Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and Warsaw managing partner Tomasz Dabrowski will take over from Dariusz Oleszczuk as CEO when the latter’s term ends at the end of the year.

Oleszczuk will stay at the firm and a spokesperson said he would remain in the core leadership team but would be taking on a more strategic advisory role.

Oleszczuk served three terms as global managing partner of legacy Salans, and took up the role of CEO of Dentons Europe following the firm’s merger with SNR Denton and Canada’s Fraser Milner Casgrain earlier this year (22 February 2013).

Dentons Europe is a separate LLP within the firm’s Swiss Verein structure, and Dabrowski will take charge of 18 offices across 15 countries.

Dabrowski joined legacy Salans in 1992 as an associate and has spent the past three years as co-head of the corporate group and head of CEE. He has also managed the Warsaw office since 2006, with office revenues tripling over that time.

His predecessor also headed up Salans’ Polish operations before becoming global managing partner. Oleszczuk founded and managed the Warsaw office for 10 years from 1991.

Since its merger Dentons has seen the exit of several high-powered European Dentons partners, including the departure of a team in Kazakhstan led by banking partner Joel Benjamin to CEE firm Kinstellar (3 September 2013).

Dentons’ former co-CEO Howard Morris left the firm in September after two years as global integration partner. Morris had been focusing on integrating legacy SNR Denton since relinquishing his chief executive role.

In Europe, a pair of restructuring partners also left Salans’ Frankfurt office for DLA Piper before the merger (13 December 2012), followed by regulatory specialist Ivana Mikesić who left for Watson Farley & Williams (14 December 2012). But Dentons has also taken on several European lateral hires this year, with tax partner Michael Graf and private equity partner Robert Bastian joining from Haarmann in Germany (7 May 2013).

Next on the horizon for the firm is a tie up with US firm McKenna Long & Aldridge. A vote is expected before 14 November (30 October 2013).