Firm / Organisation

Hansberry Tomkiel

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Managing Partners: Dorothy Hansberry-Bieguńska, Małgorzata Krasnodębska-Tomkiel
Number of partners: 2
Number of lawyers: 3
Languages: English, Italian, Polish

Firm Overview:
Hansberry Tomkiel is a unique competition law boutique that combines the experiences of former antitrust enforcers with that of former corporate counsel and law firm practitioners. The Hansberry Tomkiel firm offers advice and representation in all areas of competition law, consumer protection law, unfair competition and competition-law related litigation. The firm provides strategic advice and representation in complex competition cases in Poland, Brussels and the US. The law firm works with both Polish and international companies. To ensure a comprehensive and global approach, it cooperates with well-established and respected national as well as international law firms in Europe, the US and Asia.

Hansberry Tomkiel is differentiated from other competition practices in the market by its lawyers’ collective experience of having worked in the offices of Competition Authorities (the Polish Competition Authority and the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice); as a general counsel (UPC Poland); and in other respected law firms. Specifically, the lawyers in Hansberry Tomkiel well understand a regulator’s practice and approach in competition matters such as cartels, illegal horizontal and vertical agreements, abuses of dominance and concentrations. The firm excels in representing its clients before the Polish Competition Authority and other regulatory authorities, as well as before the Polish Competition Court and courts of all instances. Our experience includes representation of a client before the EU Court of Justice. In working with clients, the firm excels in collecting, assessing and piecing together facts that are important for a case. The firm is known for consistently constructing solid arguments and defenses built on the facts, the law, and economics. If a client chooses to cooperate with a Competition Authority (leniency, commitments or a settlement), Hansberry Tomkiel is adept in assembling the relevant facts and explanations to meet the expectations of the Authority and to achieve a client’s chosen goal.

In each industry in which the firm's clients operate (for instance: energy distribution; publishing; banking and financial institutions; retail (supermarkets); television; away-from-home paper products, railway parts), Hansberry Tomkiel encourages and expects its lawyers to invest many hours of the firm's own time to learn and understand deeply the respective industry. Hansberry Tomkiel provides comprehensive compliance assessments with regard to all areas of competition law and consumer protection law. The firm prepares and conducts tailor-made trainings and workshops for its clients. Lawyers in the firm are experienced in lecturing at universities, scientific institutes as well as at conferences organized for practitioners and businesspeople. In short, Hansberry Tomkiel is a “sure thing” for clients and potential clients who expect and deserve excellent representation. It is here, in the realm of exceptional client service, that Hansberry Tomkiel strives to maintain its success and to distinguish itself in the Polish and international legal markets.

With regard to recent outside interests of firm lawyers, Ms. Hansberry-Bieguńska, who is also Irish and Polish, has been the Chairman of the Irish Polish Chamber of Commerce for the last five years. In April 2019, the US Ambassador appointed Ms. Hansberry-Bieguńska as a member of the Fulbright Scholarship Board in Poland. Since 2006, Mr Materna has been associated with the Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences ("INP PAN"), where he defended his PhD thesis and habilitation on competition law. In 2016, he was appointed as the head of the Institute’s Department of Competition Law. An experienced lecturer and renowned expert, Mr Materna leads the postgraduate competition law and consumer protection law programs organized by INP PAN.

Main Areas of Practice:
■ Competition/Antitrust
■ Unfair Competition
■  Litigation
■ Consumer Protection

A recent achievement is a case that Ms. Hansberry-Bieguńska overlooked for the past six years. In December 2019, the Competition Court issued a judgement in which it annulled the Polish Competition Authority’s decision charging one of the firm’s clients with minimum price fixing. During the hearings before the Competition Court (a court of first instance), a leniency applicant testified against the defendant client. The outcome of the case before the Competition Court is even more significant as it is rare for a defendant to prevail in a case in which a leniency applicant has provided evidence.

Hansberry Tomkiel worked on a private damage action claim filed late last year by one of the largest mining companies in Poland. The claim sought damages resulting from bid-rigging among suppliers of the company. Hansberry Tomkiel worked closely with competition economists and the client in assessing and calculating the extent of damages incurred. The firm lawyers who were primarily responsible for the litigation were Dorota Podsiedzik-Malec and Anna Dąbrowska-Hanas.