Austrian-headquartered Wolf Theiss is opening in Warsaw through the acquisition of German firm Beiten Burkhardt’s entire local office.
The acquisition, which takes effect on 1 January 2013, sees all 37 lawyers move to Wolf Theiss, including six partners. It brings the total number of offices for the Austrian firm to 14, with a workforce of 340 lawyers.
Wolf Theiss managing partner Erik Steger told The Lawyer: “It covers what’s the most important remaining white spot on our map in Central and South Eastern Europe. We’ve seen more and more mandates coming in that would require us to have a presence in Poland. We believe that it’ll assist us in gaining more work and it’ll be more credible to the clients.”
Steger said the Warsaw office would be fully integrated with the rest of the firm.
He said Wolf Theiss had been hunting for a Polish office for some time, and had been working alongside the Beiten team for a year. Transactions included the privatisation of a Warsaw hospital, where the Beiten lawyers advised on the privatisation while Wolf Theiss acted on the financing issues.
“We looked at the market at length but it was always more important for us to do something of high quality than do something in a rush,” Steger added.
He said the firm’s first priority would be to integrate the Warsaw office properly. It is the first time Wolf Theiss has made an acquisition of this type rather than opening organically.
Beiten Burkhardt said in a statement it would focus on its CIS offices in Moscow, St Petersburg and Kiev, and would cooperate in Poland and the surrounding region with Wolf Theiss in the future.