In conversation with Tomasz Ostrowski
In an interview with Legal 500 Tomasz Ostrowski, Managing Partner at Deloitte Legal Poland, gives a brief introduction to the practice in Poland.
What do you see as the main points that differentiate your practice from your competitors?
Apart from the highly skilled and experienced lawyers that we are fortunate to have on our team, who are well known on the Polish market, we are able to provide services to clients that require cross-practice assistance – not only in legal, but also in matters including Tax, Financial Advisory, and Risk Advisory, among others. This holistic approach makes our advice more practical and applicable and is not limited to the legal paradigm alone.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
Well, at present, to be honest, it is quite difficult to predict. Maybe I can state that significant changes could lie ahead for us on the market. Despite this, I do believe that Real Estate and M&A will remain strong in the next 12 months, although it’s hard to say if it might continue on that trajectory further. Next, regarding Banking, it would seem to me that there could be a shift from financing to a greater emphasis on restructuring. Then, as in many unstable situations, we might indeed expect a notable growth in litigation and disputes.
What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?
2021 was a year of great changes for Deloitte Legal. We completely restructured the firm in Poland and have quite a large number of new joiners. Additionally, we established a clearer division between our practices, as well as set up clear and strong leadership for these practices, too. We have an entirely new Labour Law team, as well as other new teams in Real Estate, and Financing. Regarding our Litigation practice, earlier it had been somewhere between Tax and Legal, while now it has been more specifically allocated within Legal itself. Thus, I think it is fair to say that these more clearly defined offerings, and specific expert insight, will offer true benefit to our clients.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Through using new technology to help our clients, we can assist them in the selection and identification of the best technologies available, as well as then establishing them in the practical, as well as legal, set up of these technologies. I do think that this is another unique benefit that Deloitte brings – we have both the legal experts, as well as the technological and IT experts, which can work together in integrated teams. Further, quite simply, we have great experience of the wide range of technologies available, so are able to provide the best recommendations on what is on the market and suitable in each specific business case.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
Quite recently, our colleagues were involved in a significant transaction in the manufacturing industry. The client had wanted to remove itself from the regulated market, involving a public bid for the remainder of the shares. Our advisory related to the financial structuring, then legal M&A work, as well as legal financing work. I feel that this had added value to their business since we saved them both time, and money, in having an integrated team of specialists providing these various services, which would have been also quite difficult to co-ordinate if the client had used separate legal, tax, and financial advisory firms. Having all these professional services provided together made co-ordination easier and resulted in an optimal solution for the client.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
I would say that the way Deloitte Legal will try to operate in future is to create specialized multi-disciplinary teams consisting of Risk experts, Tax specialists, Lawyers, Consultants, and other advisory services. We can see that this is what clients are more often expecting - a broader range of services under one mandate. This is incredibly difficult for stand-alone law firms to provide themselves, even if resorting to engaging 3rd parties for the non-legal advisory services. In this regard, we are ahead of the curve when it comes to providing such integrated solutions, and I would expect this trend to continue in the next three years.
*This interview first appeared in Legal 500