Janusz Fiszer, PhD
1957 – 2019
Dr. Janusz Fiszer is a legal advisor and a certified tax advisor, graduate (with honors) of the Warsaw University Law School (1980), holding a doctoral degree in law (Warsaw University – 1986), an expert in tax law, Partner in the GESSEL Attorneys at law.
Since 1980, Dr. Fiszer has been a researcher/lecturer at the Warsaw University School of Management (1980-1982 as a Junior Assistant, 1982-1987 as a Senior Assistant, 1987-2007 as an Assistant Professor and since October 2007 as an Associate Professor). In 1990-1991, Dr. Fiszer acted as an independent expert for the Polish Parliamentary Commission for Economic Policy, Budget, and Finance, advising on the first draft Law on Personal Income Tax and the first draft VAT Law. In 1991-1993, Dr. Fiszer was an advisor to the Polish Minister of Finance (as a co-negotiator of numerous international double taxation treaties [Cyprus, Singapore, Zimbabwe, Republic of South Africa, former Czechoslovakia, Romania, additional protocols to the tax treaties with Finland and Denmark], and as a delegate of the Polish Ministry of Finance to the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs and to a number of Working Groups of this Committee, etc.).
Since 1991, Dr. Fiszer has been retained as an advisor in the New York-headquartered international law firm White & Case and was, from 1998 until January 31, 2012, Partner in White & Case, head of the White & Case Warsaw Office’s Tax Practice. From February 1, 2012 until December 31, 2013 Dr. Fiszer was Partner in the Tax & Legal Department of the international advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Warsaw, head of the International Tax Practice. In January 2014 Dr. Fiszer joined the GESSEL Law Firm as Partner, head of the firm’s Tax Practice.
While working for White & Case, and at the request of the then Ministry of Privatization (later the Ministry of the State Treasury), Dr. Fiszer was a co-author of the draft Law on National Investment Funds and their Privatization, for the first time introducing the closed-end tax-exempt investment funds to the Polish legal system (including drafting of the entire secondary legislation), a consultant on the new draft Law on Investment Funds, and the Law on Industrial Funds. In 1996-2000, at the request of the then Ministry of Industry and Trade (now the Ministry of Development), Dr. Fiszer co-authored the governmental draft Law on Commodity Exchanges and draft Law on Bonded Warehouses.
Dr. Fiszer was an attorney in several tax disputes, including cases before the Supreme Administrative Court (among which was a precedent-setting case for the State Treasury’s refund of income tax along with interest of a total value over PLN 150 Million to the Foundation for Polish Science – at that time being the largest tax litigation of this type in Poland). Dr. Fiszer has participated as an advisor in numerous well-known Mergers & Acquisitions transactions in Poland, with respect to both publicly-listed, as well as privately-held companies, including: Philip Morris/Krakowskie Zakłady Przemysłu Tytoniowego S.A., Pricoa [part of the Prudential Corporation of America]/Business Center Wola; Rolimpex/Constar; Nordea Bank Sweden AB (publ)/Bank Komunalny w Gdynia S.A. [currently Nordea Bank Polska S.A.]; Citibank S.A./Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A., Nordea Bank Polska S.A./BWP-Unibank S.A.; Nordea Bank Sweden AB (publ)/LG Petro Bank S.A., ING Bank NV/Bank Sląski S.A.; Bank Sląski S.A./ING Bank N.V Branch in Warsaw; Skanska Europe AB/Exbud S.A.; Trilby BV/Grzybowska Centrum [Hilton Hotel in Warsaw]; Lafarge/ZPG Dolina Nidy; Polimex-Cekop S.A./Mostostal Siedlce S.A.; Eurohypo AG/Rheinhyp-BRE Bank Hipoteczny S.A.; Fortis Bank SA/NV/Dominet S.A. and Dominet Bank S.A., etc.
Dr. Fiszer also participated as an advisor in a number of Privatization/IPO projects in Poland, including one of the largest privatization/IPO projects, being the IPO of Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A. (currently a subsidiary of Citigroup).
Dr. Fiszer is the author of over 1,100 various publications on legal, tax, and financial matters published in the Polish professional journals (“Finanse”, “Państwo i Prawo”, “Przegląd Podatkowy”, “Monitor Podatkowy”, etc.), English professional journals (“Tax Notes International”, “Tax News Service”, “East European Business Law”, “European Taxation”, “Intertax”, etc.) and German professional journals (“Wirschaft und Recht in Osteuropa”).
Dr. Fiszer is also a co-author of the Commentary on the Law on National Investment Funds and their Privatization (1993). Dr. Fiszer has been or still is a long-time correspondent for professional tax magazines such as “Tax Notes International” (US),“Tax News Service” (The Netherlands) and “East European Business Law” (UK).
From 1993, Dr. Janusz Fiszer has been a member of the editorial board of the monthly professional tax journal Monitor Podatkowy and from 2004 the author of regular bi-weekly and monthly tax comments and interviews in the daily newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
In 1982-1983, Dr. Janusz Fiszer received a research scholarship to the University of Kansas School of Business in Lawrence, Kansas, USA. In 1988-1989 Dr. Fiszer was awarded a research scholarship by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst-DAAD, and in 1990 by the Thyssen Foundation [Fritz Thyssen Stiftung], to the Center for International and Foreign Tax Law at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich in Germany.
Dr. Janusz Fiszer is a co-founder and untill December 2005 was the President of the Management Board of the Polish branch of the International Fiscal Association (IFA). From December 2005, untill September 2010, Dr. Fiszer has been a member of the Management Board of the Polish branch of the IFA. Since September 2010 Dr. Fiszer is a member of the Supervisory Board of the Polish branch of the International Fiscal Association. Dr. Fiszer has participated in dozens of domestic and foreign conferences and seminars focusing on tax matters: Budapest, Pretoria, Dresden, Warsaw, Szczecin, Dublin, London and Kiev. In 1994-1995, at the request of the OECD, Dr. Fiszer lectured at the specialized courses concerning international tax law and double taxation treaties, which were organized by the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs for senior tax administration officials from Central and Eastern European countries in Vienna, Ankara, Copenhagen and Istanbul.
From 1997 until 1999, Dr. Janusz Fiszer was a member of the 1st State Examination Commission for Tax Advisors and was a member of the 3rd (2002-2007), and the 5th State Examination Commission for Tax Advisors (2011-2014) and currently is a member of the 7th State Examination Commission for Tax Advisors (2018-onwards) . In January 2002, at the First National Congress of Polish Tax Advisors, Dr. Fiszer was elected member of the National Board of Tax Advisors (KRDP) for its first four-year term (2002-2006). From October 2003 until January 2006,Dr. Fiszer was chairman of the KRDP’s Commission for International Relations. In January 2006, at the Second National Congress of Polish Tax Advisors, Dr. Fiszer was re-elected as a member of the KRDP for a second term (2006-2010). During that term he served as a Chairman of the KRDP’s Commission for International Co-operation. In this capacity Dr Fiszer participated in numerous works, conferences and annual congresses of the Confederation Fiscal Europeenne (CFE) in Brussels, Madrid, Dublin and London.
Top international directories of law firms and lawyers, like: Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, PLC Which Lawyer? and World Tax constantly list Dr. Janusz Fiszer among the leading Polish tax lawyers (Tier 1/Recommended). According to the Chambers Europe 2010 report: “The team’s reputation centres to a significant degree on the celebrated Janusz Fiszer. Interviewees are unanimous that he is “one of the best tax lawyers in Poland, and particularly prominent in international taxation.”. The Chambers Europe 2012 reports: “Janusz Fiszer… is “the guru of international tax law in Poland,” according to peers. …”.According to the Chambers Europe 2013 report: “Janusz Fiszer …retains his reputation as one of the “best specialists as far as international tax law is concerned.”.
In the 2010 edition of the Ranking of Tax Advisory Firms and Tax Advisors announced by the daily newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Dr. Fiszer was declared by competitors as the best tax advisor in the category “International Tax Law” and “Tax optimization”. Additionally in the category “Mergers & Acquisitions” Dr. Fiszer took a 3rd place in Poland. Similarly, in the 2011 edition of the Ranking of Tax Advisory Firms and Tax Advisors, Dr. Fiszer was recognized as the best tax advisor in the category “International Tax Law”. Chambers Europe 2019 stated: “Janusz Fiszer of GESSEL has a broad tax practice encompassing corporate income tax as well as VAT disputes. He is well versed with assisting companies and private individuals with tax planning and optimisation strategies. Sources are full of praise, with one interviewee remarking: “He always has a solution that satisfies our needs.”.
The 2013 edition of the prestigious Ranking of Law Firms by the leading Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, published in April 2013, lists Dr. Janusz Fiszer as an “recommended lawyer” in the Tax category for the 9th consecutive year. Also, the prestigious Rankings of Tax Advisory Firms by the newspaper Rzeczpospolita, published in June 2012 and June 2013, respectively, list Dr. Fiszer as “the best expert (leader) in international taxation”.