Dr Beata Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz, FCIArb
Senior partner, founder of GESSEL Attorneys at Law. Expert in arbitration, M&A , private equity / venture capital, and commercial law. Member of the International Arbitration Court of ICC (since 2015). Between 2011 and 2017, served as President of the Lewiatan Arbitration Court; upon leaving this position in 2017, she was appointed Honorary President.
As of 1995, arbitration has been an important element in Beata’s professional practice. She has built up comprehensive experience in ADR, participating – whether as arbitrator, counsel, or expert – in approximately 100 arbitration cases, domestic as well as international (under, among other rules, those of the ICC, UNCITRAL, FCC, IAA, SCAI, Lewiatan, Polish National Chamber of Commerce and the National Depository for Securities).
Member of the Board of ArbitralWomen, and of the Polish Arbitration Association (at which she sits on the Audit Committee); also chairs the Audit Committee of the Polish Private Equity Association, an organisation assembling all the private equity funds active in Poland.
Graduate of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw (1989). Received her PhD in legal studies from Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw in 2009; her PhD thesis entitled “Legal Character of Representations and Warranties in a Limited Liability Company Share Purchase Agreement (in Light of the Freedom of Contract Principle)” is a cornerstone of the Polish literature on the subject. Author and editor of many publications dealing with M&A and commercial arbitration, including Polish Arbitration Law (Warsaw 2014) and The Challenges and the Future of Commercial and Investment Arbitration (Warsaw 2015). Beata Gessel is also a visiting academic lecturer in commercial arbitration as well as M&A transactions at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University. In 2015/2016 Beata Gessel ran comparative law research on breach of M&A transactions as a visiting academic at Oxford University Law Department and in 2016/2017 continues her research at the Cambridge University Law Department within the Herbert Smith Freehills Visiting Professor scheme.
For many years, recommended as a leading M&A practitioner in the annual ranking of lawyers compiled by the “Rzeczpospolita” daily. The Practical Law Company included her in the “highly recommended” category in Private Equity/ Venture Capital and in Corporate/ M&A (2007 through 2011). In “Private Equity Global Counsel Handbooks”, she is recommended in the Private Equity and Venture Capital category. Beata Gessel has been recommended in Chambers Global’s “The World’s Leading Lawyers” and in “Chambers Europe Legal Directory” since 2001 (the latter’s 2008 edition points out that “Beata Gessel is something of a private equity celebrity in Polish legal circles, with a highly impressive track record in the sector”). For many years, distinguished in Chambers Global and Chambers Europe in the field of Dispute resolution: for her inquisitive style, effectiveness, and strong business sense as well as for the strength which she brings to bear in promoting Polish arbitration: “Beata Gessel has put Poland on the international arbitration scene”. She is often called the first lady of arbitration in Poland.
Fluent in English and in Russian.
Modern art being one of her hobbies, Beata established (in 1996) the Foundation for Contemporary Art of the National Museum in Warsaw, which has purchased almost 50 works to augment the Museum’s own collections. In her leisure time, she enjoys mountain hiking in the Tatra Mountains and in Podhale.