Expert in competition and consumer protection law, with a unique track record featuring private practice as well as the public sector. Worked at the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) for a total of 13 years, most recently (2014-2017) as Vice President charged with three departments – Concentration Control, Competition Protection, and Legal. Active in amateur theatre, avid reader and pianist, gardener.
After a brief period as a junior judge, Bernadeta developed an interest in competition law, then a new discipline in early 1990s Poland. After her first stint at UOKiK, she spent one year leading the legal department of UPC and then joined GESSEL in 2001.
In 2014, after moving to the head office of UOKiK, she oversaw the authority’s activities in the realms of corporate concentrations, market collusions, and abuse of dominant market positions. Propagated compliance culture; initiated and oversaw preparation of two publications recognised by the World Bank and the International Competition Network (in, respectively, 2016 and 2017) in contests for the best educational / information project in the field of competition law: guidelines concerning funerary services and municipal water and sewage utilities.
In 2017, returned to GESSEL, becoming a partner and building up the firm’s competition and consumer law practice. Advises clients on cases concerning mergers, market agreements, abuse of dominant market position, abuse of contracting advantage, and payment backlogs.
- Verifies the necessity of filing intended concentrations to the regulatory authorities in Poland and in other jurisdictions
- Drafts merger filings (descriptions of the relevant markets, estimation of market shares)
- Represents business enterprises before the antitrust authorities in merger control proceedings
- Assists with filling out official market study questionnaires
- Represents clients in all proceedings before UOKiK and any ensuing appeals before the courts
- Advises on preparation of notifications to UOKiK concerning violations of competition law and of applications for leniency
- Advises on due diligence and internal revisions
- Advises on implementation of compliance programmes
- Leads training sessions / webinars on competition law (e.g. distribution agreements and franchise agreements) and consumer law (regulations, standard contract terms)
- Advises on consumer protection in e-commerce (also as regards compliance with the OMNIBUS Directive)
GESSEL advises VirtusLab Group on a landmark merger in the IT sector
GESSEL provided multidisciplinary legal support to VirtusLab in its takeover of SoftwareMill, a computer programme consultant. We are proud to have assisted our Client i...
GESSEL advises on the sale of Hymon Fotowoltaika
Our lawyers assisted BNS Capital in its sale of a 70% stake in Hymon Fotowoltaika to Griffin Capital Partners and Kajima Partnerships Europe, drawing up the transaction ...
GESSEL advises Enterprise Investors on its investment in BISAR S.A.
Polish Enterprise Fund VIII, one of the funds managed by Enterprise Investors, will take a 40% stake in BISAR S.A. – a dynamically growing process outsourcing company es...
Competition law workshops
On 12 December, Bernadeta Kasztelan-Świetlik led one of the modules in the online training event entitled "Counteraction of unfair market practices – Competition protect...
Education and achievements
- Faculty of Law and Administration, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan
- Judge’s training articles with the Regional Court in Poznan; called to the bar as a judge, admitted practicing as an attorney
- Internships and study visits (including the Bundeskartellamt in Berlin, the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.