They help at-risk youth, contribute to the KARTA Centre, and support Polish modern art – the GESSEL law firm has been honoured in this year’s Pro Bono Lawyer competition. They ran neck-and-neck with the Olsztyn law firm of Lech Obara, noted – among their other initiatives – for helping employees of supermarket chains and for counteracting falsification of Polish history. 

These two law firms were selected from among several dozen entrants by the competition panel composed of a representative of the Pro Bono Centre at the University Law Clinics Foundation and two “Rzeczpospolita” editors. So what, exactly, caused them to stand out ?

The homeless, the arts

“We don’t have an express pro bono policy, and we don’t award our employees y formal points or prizes for this kind of effort”, admits Marcin Macieszczak, managing partner at GESSEL. “We adopt the presumption that if somebody really wants to help out, they will go ahead and do so of their own initiative; our role as a firm is to try and appreciate such initiatives and to support our lawyers in such endeavours”.

True to form, it is GESSEL’s lawyers who came up with the idea to help the Po Drugie Foundation; Maria Dudzińska, Joanna Kisielińska-Garncarek and Barbara Tomczyk have been advising the Foundation’s clients since 2017 (...)


Full text (in Polish) is available in Rzeczpospolita (28.07.2020). If you are interested in an English-language version or in discussing the issues raised herein with one of our lawyers, please contact: