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Yigal Arnon & Co., David Osborne and Barak S. Platt
Antitrust and Competition 11
Tadmor & Co. Yuval Levy & Co., Shai Bakal
Shibolet & Co., Lior Aviram and Vered Horesh
Intellectual Property 23
Reinhold Cohn Group, Dr. Ilan Cohn and Orit Gonen
International Arbitration 29
Gideon Fisher & Co., Gideon Fisher and Daphna Fisher
Labor and Employment 35
Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co, Shay Teken and
Agmon & Co. Rosenberg Hacohen & Co., Uri Sorek and Tal Mayshar
Mergers and Acquisitions 47
Erdinast, Ben Nathan, Toledano & Co., Roy Caner and Lior Oren
Real Estate 53
Yigal Arnon & Co., Lee Maor
Gornitzky & Co., Daniel Paserman and Danielle Skald
Trusts and Estates 65
Alon Kaplan Advocate & Notary, Dr. Alon Kaplan and Meytal Liberman
TEL: + 972-72-338-7595 FOLLOW US:
YIGAL ARNON & Co.
Barak S. Platt
The publication of Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle by Saul
Singer and Dan Senor in 2009 called the world's attention to what many multinational
technology companies and overseas venture capital (VC) funds already knew – that
many of the world's most cutting-edge technological innovations were being developed
in Israel. These innovations have led VC funds from Silicon Valley, London and Hong Kong
to make regular visits to Israel and have resulted in a number of global VC funds opening
offices in Israel. They have brought Israel to the attention of leading global technology
companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, Amazon and eBay, each of which has
enriched its existing products by acquiring Israeli technology companies.
Well before Israel came to be identified as the "start-up nation," its harsh desert
climate and scientific prowess combined to make it a recognized international leader
in agricultural technology. Israeli companies created drip and micro-irrigation, biological
pest control, as well as solutions for water conservation, over-fishing and produce
storage. More recently, large reserves of natural gas were discovered off of the coast
of Israel, making it likely that the country will become an exporter of natural gas to
neighbors such as Jordan, Egypt and Turkey. The Israeli government is committed to
encouraging business activities by giving tax breaks and grants for investments to
entrepreneurs who wish to expand their businesses, especially in development areas.
Each of these sectors continued to grow in 2017. The technology sector saw the
largest transaction in Israeli history with Intel's US$15.3 billion acquisition of Mobileye,
a Jerusalem-based leader in autonomous vehicle technology. Yigal Arnon & Co.
represented Intel in this acquisition.
In 2016, US$4.8 billion was invested in Israeli start-up companies. A significant
percentage of this came from Chinese investors. Delegations of executives from China
interested in investment opportunities in Israel have become commonplace. Chinese
companies have also been acquiring controlling stakes in Israeli companies. In one
example, ChemChina acquired 100% control in Adama, the global agricultural chemical
company. Subsequently, Adama entered into a reverse merger with a local Chinese
company, which resulted in it being traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
The Israeli government is committed to encouraging business activities by
giving tax breaks and grants for investments to entrepreneurs who wish to
expand their businesses, especially in development areas.
In agricultural technology, Mexichem acquired 80% of Israel’s drip irrigation company
Netafim for US$1.5 billion. Yigal Arnon & Co. represented Mexichem in this transaction.
In May 2016, after a number of legal setbacks, the Israeli government approved a Natural
Gas Framework that has led to renewed development of Israel's natural gas resources
and has revitalized the industry. Following the Petroleum Commission's approval, the
partners in the Leviathan natural gas field approved a development plan that aims to
reach first gas by the end of 2019. The first phase of this plan represented the largest
energy project in Israel’s history with a US$3.75 billion investment.
Concurrently, each of the Leviathan partners raised external financing, including the
reported US$400 million financing to Ratio Oil Exploration and the US$1.75 billion
financing to the Delek Group, constituting the largest project financing ever held in
Israel for a project in the development stage. Yigal Arnon & Co. represented the major
international banking institutions in their capacities as Mandated Lead Arrangers in the
aforementioned natural gas financing arrangements.
In November 2016, a tender for oil and gas exploration in Israel’s offshore exclusive
economic zone was published. This, together with the sale of existing gas fields, may
spur new development and potential exploration and lead to a new dawn for the
expanding Israeli natural gas sector.
Shari Arison, who holds a controlling interest in Bank Hapoalim Ltd., Israel's secondlargest
bank, has signed a memorandum of understanding with certain North American
investment firms and institutional investors to sell 49% of her shares in Arison
Holdings, the controlling shareholder of Bank Hapoalim. Should this transaction be
consummated, not only would it represent one of the largest in the history of Israel's
financial sector, but it is hoped it will contribute to an increase in competition in the
local banking environment.
OurCrowd, led by Jon Medved, has introduced an equity crowdfunding platform that
allows accredited investors to invest in the Israeli start-up market. This has opened the
potential for foreign investment in early-stage Israeli companies.
On the regulatory front, there have been a number of recent reforms designed to
make Israel more attractive to foreign businesses. The Israeli Tax Authority (the ITA)
has lowered corporate income tax rates on income based on intellectual property and
on capital gains from the future sale of IP for qualifying corporations. In addition, the
ITA published circulars designed to eliminate uncertainty regarding several standard
provisions commonly applicable to start-up companies. In one circular, the ITA clarified
provisions related to consideration paid in "holdback" arrangements in merger and
acquisition (M&A) transactions - i.e., in which a founder or key employee holding shares
in the target company will only receive a portion of the compensation for selling such
shares if he or she remains employed by the target company or the acquirer following
the closing of the transaction. In another circular, the ITA clarified provisions related
to shares subject to "reverse vesting" mechanisms – i.e., in which a shareholder is
required to forfeit a portion of his or her shares if he or she ceases to be employed
by the company. These circulars helped to provide a level of certainty to buyers and
shareholders of Israeli companies as well as to potential investors in the market.
In general, the Israeli economy operates autonomously and has not suffered from the
world economic dips, such as those of 2008-2009. There remains a strong culture
among Israelis of discovery and invention, with Israel being a major hub for start-ups and
technological developments. This culture of innovation, along with M&A exits occurring
on an ongoing basis, has generated considerable revenue for the local economy. After
picking up to 4% in 2016, growth is projected to stabilize around 3.25% in 2017-2018.
Finally, as a consequence of the foreign investments in Israel, the shekel has remained a
strong currency when measured against all the leading world currencies.
Even with the regional geopolitical challenges, the Israeli economy has been identified
as one of the healthiest and most stable in the world. We predict it will continue so in
2018, as strong trends seen in recent years continue to develop.
In the promising field of autonomous vehicles, companies will continue to grow and we
foresee more acquisitions in the field. In addition, Israeli companies will begin listing on
foreign stock exchanges (Canada, Australia and Hong Kong) with more frequency –
such as the recent first IPO of an Israeli company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
(in which Yigal Arnon & Co. represented the underwriters and was intensely involved).
Furthermore, the strong M&A activity in Israel, especially in the high-tech field, will
remain robust and will continue to draw in major global companies, as well as foreign
investors –especially from China – that will continue to explore what this great start-up
nation has to offer.
Even with the regional geopolitical challenges, the Israeli economy has been
identified as one of the healthiest and most stable in the world. We predict
it will continue so in 2018, as strong trends seen in recent years continue to
Yigal Arnon & Co. is one of the most respected and dynamic law firms in Israel, with a proven track record of quality and
creativity in meeting its clients’ needs. With focused practice groups and over 175 lawyers, Yigal Arnon combines the
expertise of a specialty boutique practice with the advantages of a well-resourced multidisciplinary law firm.
Yigal Arnon provides a full range of legal services to a wide client base, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to
high-tech entrepreneurs working on cutting-edge technology. The firm represents clients in a variety of industries,
including technology, energy, banking, software, electronics, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, internet
and e-commerce, medical devices, real estate, telecommunications, insurance, automotive, sports, entertainment and
A substantial part of Yigal Arnon’s practice is international in scope. We act as lead counsel in international transactions,
including many of Israel's most significant M&A transactions, strategic alliances, VC and private equity transactions,
joint ventures, public and private financings, corporate and debt restructuring, tax, distributorships, franchises, real
estate investments and more. We have extensive activity in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe (both
western and eastern), as well as in China, India, Japan and Australia.
Throughout our history, a full spectrum of clients has turned to Yigal Arnon & Co. when seeking professionalism,
service and integrity in helping them to resolve complex and challenging legal problems.
David Osborne specializes in M&A transactions and advises Israeli and international clients, from multinational
companies to private individuals, on a broad range of matters involving commercial and property transactions. His
experience of over 30 years, in Israel, the UK and the U.S., includes cross-border M&A transactions, joint ventures,
partnerships, mergers/competition law, investment and loan agreements and assisting Israeli companies in setting
up suitable corporate structures for their international activities. A particular area of focus has been working with
emerging growth technology companies, for whom David has served as lead counsel in many different corporate and
M&A transactions. David's practice also covers international real estate transactions and family wealth management.
Barak Platt specializes in M&A, high-tech and VC and private equity. His clients range from large multinational
corporations to early-stage start-ups, as well as venture capital funds and private equity funds. In over 25 years
practicing law both in Israel and the United States, Barak has advised clients in many of Israel's largest and most
complex M&A transactions, addressing all aspects of those transactions, including intellectual property issues, tax
aspects and regulatory matters. In addition, over the years, many of the leading players both in the Israeli and the global
venture capital scene have turned to Barak to assist them in hundreds of investments in portfolio companies.
David Osborne, Partner
Barak S. Platt, Partner
Tel Aviv office: +972 3 608 7777; Jerusalem office: +972 2 623 9200
UK ISRAEL BUSINESS
Recognising that the needs of all our members vary,
UK Israel Business offers a range of tailored membership packages
Advantages of membership include:
Priority booking for networking events
• Our networking events provide a marketing platform for our
sponsors, offer access to industry leaders and the chance to
make high-level business connections
• We offer exclusive round-table briefings for our patron
Introductions & market access
• We provide regular in-bound and out-bound introductions for
• We assist UK members planning marketing trips to Israel with
introductions to relevant Israeli companies
• We help Israeli companies operating in the UK acclimatise to
the British business community and in the process facilitate
partnerships with our UK members
• Through our in-depth market knowledge, we act as a sounding
board for members looking to expand their business reach and
can advise on market positioning for Israel
• For more in-depth assignments, members can commission
bespoke market research and intelligence reports
For more information on membership packages, please contact
email@example.com or call +44 20 3510 0002
TADMOR & CO.
YUVAL LEVY & CO.
in Israel: The Law, Recent
Trends and Insights
The main competition legislation in Israel is the Restrictive Trade Practices Law (1988)
(the Antitrust Law). The Antitrust Law provides the legal grounds upon which the
Antitrust Commissioner (the Commissioner) and the Israel Antitrust Authority (IAA)
regulate restrictive arrangements, merger transactions, monopolies and concentration
The Antitrust Law was enacted in the late 1980s with European Union competition
law (the Treaty of Rome) as its primary model and source of inspiration. In the late
1990s, U.S. competition law doctrines and principles began to play a more prominent
role in the IAA’s implementation of the Antitrust Law. This resulted in a more liberal
approach towards mergers and unilateral conduct.
In 2011, major social unrest broke out in Israel. This unrest focused on the high cost
of living, which was attributed to limited competition and weak antitrust regulation.
In parallel, a new Commissioner, with a more hawkish view of competition law, took
office. As a result, the IAA deviated significantly from principles of U.S. competition
law, adopting tougher positions, which often set worldwide precedents. The most
notable example was the amendment of the Antitrust Law, which authorized the IAA
to regulate oligopolistic markets (concentration groups) as well as to micro-regulate
Since 2012, the Commissioner has been empowered to impose financial sanctions for
a wide range of violations of the Antitrust Law. The IAA’s current policy is to generally
prefer financial sanctions over criminal enforcement for non-cartelistic offences such
as illegal vertical arrangements, abuse of dominant position and failure to comply with
data requests. The power to impose monetary payments is a clear "game changer" in
the enforcement of the Antitrust Law.
A restrictive arrangement is defined as any arrangement between business parties
in which at least one of them restricts itself in a way that may decrease competition
in the market, restricts competition between the contracting parties or restricts
competition between any one of them and a third party (the substantive test).
The Antitrust Law further determines the existence of restrictions relating to prices,
profits, market allocation or quantity, quality or type of products or services, rendering
an arrangement a per se restrictive arrangement, regardless of its potential effect
on competition or lack thereof (the per se presumptions). According to case law,
the per se presumptions are normally not applicable to vertical arrangements (i.e.,
agreements between parties at different levels of the supply chain such as supplierdistributor
relationships), which are assessed under the substantive test. Engaging in
a restrictive arrangement is illegal unless it has been exempted by the Commissioner,
approved by the Antitrust Tribunal or if it falls within the scope of a statutory or block
exemption. Contracting parties’ ability to rely on these exemptions should be carefully
reviewed, as most are subject to requirements (including market share thresholds).
The IAA is currently drafting a revision to the block exemptions that will broaden
the self-assessment of non-cartelistic agreements. Parties to an illegal restrictive
arrangement are exposed to potential criminal, administrative and civil sanctions.
Merger control law applies, among others, to the acquisition of the principal assets of
the target (including the acquisition of a line of business) or acquisition of more than
25% of either the outstanding shares, voting rights, rights to appoint directors or
dividend rights of the target company. The IAA must be notified of a merger if at least
one of three thresholds is met: a turnover threshold, monopoly threshold or mergerto-
monopoly threshold. The IAA recently suggested increasing the turnover threshold
substantially in order to decrease the number of reportable transactions. Failure to
notify a merger exposes parties to potential criminal, administrative and civil sanctions.
The IAA is granted an initial 30-day timeframe to review mergers, subject to
extensions. If a decision is not issued within this timeframe, the merger is deemed
as having been approved by the Commissioner. In 2016, the IAA introduced a new
formal procedure for a much expedited review of mergers that clearly do not raise
any reasonable concern for significant harm to competition.
A firm is deemed a monopoly if it controls more than 50% of a relevant market. The
Commissioner is empowered to issue declaratory proclamations, which serve as
evidence sufficient to establish fact until proven otherwise (prima facie evidence)
in any legal proceeding that the firm in question is indeed a monopoly. A suggested
amendment to the Antitrust Law, which is still in its infancy, is aimed to subject firms
with substantial market power to the Antitrust Law's monopoly provisions, even if
their market share falls short of 50%.
The main monopoly prohibitions are refusal to deal and abuse of dominant position.
The latter consists of (a) a general prohibition on abusing dominant position in a
manner that may decrease competition or harm the public and (b) certain actions that
are considered per se abuses of monopoly position (e.g., predatory pricing, tying and
price discrimination). The IAA can issue directives to monopolies in order to prevent
potential harm to competition or the public.
In order to cope with possible competition failures in oligopolistic markets, the
Israeli legislature introduced a major revision to the Antitrust Law several years ago.
The revision authorizes the Commissioner to declare that a group of competitors
dominating more than 50% of a market are a "concentration group," provided that (a)
there is limited competition or there are conditions for limited competition between
group members and (b) there are remedies capable of preventing harm to competition
or increasing competition in the market. With this authority, the Commissioner can
act as a super-regulator of the market and apply measures needed to increase
competition or prevent further harm (e.g., decreasing barriers to entry or expansion
by forbidding the use of long-term contracts, terminating facilitating practices such
as information exchanges). The Antitrust Tribunal is authorized to issue more drastic
instructions, such as mandating the divestment of holdings (even minority holdings)
in a competing firm.
Additional Competition Legislation
While the majority of competition regulation in Israel resides within the Antitrust Law,
there are legislative arrangements that deal with certain market characteristics and
regulate specific sectors (e.g., the food sector, the fuel industry, credit card companies,
The Promotion of Competition and Reduction of Concentration Law (2013) deals
with three main areas: mandating that considerations relating to competition and
concentration be taken into account in the allocation of public assets (e.g., concessions
and licenses granted by the government), a prohibition on multi-layered corporate
holding structures and the separation between financial and non-financial assets. The
law is of increasing importance in public tenders.
Other developments and trends
Administrative enforcement regarding corporate officers
The past few years have witnessed the introduction of financial sanctions on individuals
for various violations of the Antitrust Law. Recent decisions indicate a gradual, yet
consistent increase in the level financial sanctions. The exact standards for applying
personal liability, as well as the scope of potential defense arguments, have yet to be
drawn up by the judiciary. However, the IAA’s desire to increase deterrence by way of
imposing personal sanctions is likely to give birth to standard-setting decisions in the
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in private enforcement of
competition law, most notably by way of class actions. The most common grounds for
such actions are either the alleged involvement in a foreign cartel (based on the claim
that such foreign cartel harmed competition in Israel) or an alleged excessive pricing
of goods and services by a monopoly. The class actions against alleged foreign cartels
are primarily based on decisions by foreign regulators against international cartels (in
particular, EU and US enforcement actions).
Plaintiffs seeking to bring private actions against alleged foreign cartel members in
Israel may face a substantial setback, due to the Supreme Court's recent decision
to uphold the longstanding rule denying plaintiffs the ability to serve a claim outside
of Israel’s borders on the foreign party when the alleged cartel was not carried out
in Israel. Advocacy for the amendment of the Civil Procedure Regulations (1984) to
explicitly allow extraterritorial service based on the damage inflicted in Israel following
the international cartel, might prove to be a game changer in this regard.
Recent decisions by the Central District Court acknowledged the excessive pricing by
a monopoly to be a legitimate and valid cause of action under the Antitrust Law. The
Supreme Court, however, clarified that this is still an "open question" and a "serious" one.
Due to the increasing interest of local plaintiffs seeking private enforcement through
antitrust-related class actions against international and domestic corporations, the
relevant case law is likely to continue to develop in the coming years.
Tadmor & Co. Yuval
Levy & Co.
Shai Bakal, Partner, Head of
Antitrust & Competition
Tadmor & Co. Yuval Levy & Co. is a leading Israeli law firm with a global perspective, dedicated to providing
sophisticated, first-rate legal advice to clients operating in all sectors of the economy.
The firm’s practice groups and lawyers are consistently recommended by international legal publications and
directories, including Chambers Global, Legal 500, Global Competition Review (GCR), Who’s Who Legal, IFLR1000
and by domestic legal directories. The firm's Antitrust and Competition practice group is recognized as competition
law experts in Israel and is ranked as a Tier 1 practice by all professional directories.
The Antitrust and Competition practice group was involved in virtually all major antitrust cases in recent years and has
an unmatched depth of experience in all areas of antitrust law. We represented approximately 20% of all multinational
filings to the Israel Antitrust Authority (IAA) in the last year (mergers and exemption requests). We are also known for
our unique expertise in class actions and litigation in connection with multinationals and offer unparalleled expertise in
several sectors, including shipping, pharmaceuticals and food.
The group was established by Dr. David E. Tadmor, the former Commissioner of the IAA and one of Israel’s top
commercial lawyers. Dr. Tadmor has over 20 years of experience and leads the practice group's team together with
Shai Bakal, the former head of the mergers team at the IAA, and another of the firm’s highly esteemed experts in this
Shai Bakal is the head of the firm’s Antitrust and Competition group. Shai regularly advises and represents leading
corporations in Israel and abroad with respect to all aspects of complicated antitrust matters. He is well versed in
the issues facing all of the different sectors of the Israeli economy, particularly the pharmaceutical, food, shipping,
energy, retail, mass media and banking sectors. Shai has created and implemented antitrust compliance programs for
large Israeli companies and multinational corporations. He represents clients in complex antitrust litigation before the
Antitrust Tribunal and civil courts, including class actions, appeals and administrative petitions before the Supreme
Court. Shai also represents clients before various Israeli regulators.
Shai practiced law in the legal department of the IAA (2002-2007) where he was in charge of, among other areas,
the food sector, retailing and intellectual property. He was later appointed head of the IAA’s mergers team. During
his term at the IAA, Shai drafted several key policy documents, including the Antitrust General Director’s Premerger
Filing Guidelines and the Antitrust General Director’s Position on Commercial Arrangements among Suppliers and
office: +972 3 684 6000
SHIBOLET & Co.
Recent Trends in
the Israeli High-Tech
In terms of exits, 2017 is expected to become one of the most successful years in
Israeli high-tech history. Prominent examples are Mobileye (US$15.3 billion) Kite
Pharma (US$11.9 billion) Playtika (US$4.4 billion) and BeuroDerm (US$1.1 billion).
According to the IVC Research Center and the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA) report,
total capital raised by start-ups during the past year was US$4.8 billion. The average
venture capital investment round was approximately US$7.2 million, 20% more than
the average of the previous five years. In addition, private equity funds investments
amounted to US$3.8 billion. Israeli VC fundraising activity in 2016 reached US$1.4
billion. Finally, growth trends of total high-tech exports in 2016 totaled US$43 billion.
In addition, in the past few years, we have witnessed a new phenomenon in the Israeli
high-tech ecosystem – domestic mergers and acquisitions. In 2016, about a quarter
of all M&A by Israeli technology companies were domestic.
Prominent examples are the US$2.5 billion acquisition by Wix of the Israeli start-up
Flok, which develops CRM solutions; the acquisition by the US$1 billion Taboola of
Commerce Science, which provides personalization and optimization on-site tools,
and Radware with a US$840 million market cap, which acquired the Israeli cloudbased
software company Securlet.
During the past year extensive legal changes were implemented to Israel’s regulatory
infrastructure to further enhance, solidify and bolster Israel’s high-tech ecosystem.
A significant development completed during the past year is the formation of the
"Israeli Innovation Authority," which replaced the "Chief Scientist Office in the Ministry
of Economy and Industry." The mission assigned to the IIA by The Encouragement
of Industrial Research and Development Law (1984) is to preserve and strengthen
Israel's global innovation leadership while increasing the resultant economic-social
yield. To that end, the IIA supports technology companies at all stages of their life
cycle and in various fields via a range of programs totaling approximately NIS1.6 billion
(~US$451 million) annually. The objective of the recent regulatory changes was to
allow the IIA to optimally fulfill such mission and provide efficient and high-quality
service to the Israeli innovation ecosystem. As part of its activity in 2017, the IIA
During the past year extensive legal changes were implemented to Israel’s
regulatory infrastructure to further enhance, solidify and bolster Israel’s hightech
The new regulations will enable start-ups to raise capital in exchange for equity
without being considered a public offering and thus requiring the publication
of a full-blown prospectus and subjecting the company to broad disclosure
and reporting obligations.
published new directives allowing the licensing to foreign entities of domestically
developed Intellectual Property by companies who received governmental grants.
Until the adoption of such directives, licensing of such IP outside of Israel was
prohibited, forcing many companies to exit at early stages.
At the end of 2016 an amendment to the Law of Encouragement of Capital
Investments (1959) was passed, which reduced taxes for high-tech companies from
24% to 6-12%, depending on the company's nature. This amendment also instituted
additional tax benefits on dividends and capital gains. Furthermore, an amendment to
the Income Tax Ordinance (Amendment No. 239) was adopted, removing bureaucratic
obstacles and easing completion of high-tech companies' structural changes in Israel.
M&As are a key factor in the rapid growth of high-tech companies, enabling
acquisition of technologies and manpower to compete in the international arena.
The recent amendment expands the application of tax benefits to various structural
changes, and is expected to increase the attractiveness of M&A transactions for
both investors and companies. Moreover, earlier this year, the Israeli Tax Authority
(ITA) finally clarified the qualifications for implementation of the amendment of the
"Angels Law," which was first promulgated at the end of 2015. This law promised
to broaden tax benefit grants to individual investors at early stage technology
companies by allowing the deduction investments such as deductible expenses
against income from any source. However, no clear path for qualification for such
benefits was provided until the ITA circular was published in April 2017, which now
provides investors and early-stage companies with greater certainty.
Another progressive legal measure designed to adapt the law to the dynamic era
is Securities Regulations (Offer of Securities through Offering Coordinator (2016),
published by the Israeli Securities Authority (ISA). In recent years, fundraising through
crowdfunding platforms has gained increasing popularity. The new regulations will
enable start-ups to raise capital in exchange for equity without being considered
a public offering and thus requiring the publication of a full-blown prospectus and
subjecting the company to broad disclosure and reporting obligations. The regulations
include guidelines on both the amount a company may raise through crowdfunding
platforms and the amount an individual participating in such an investment may invest.
They also impose reduced disclosure and reporting obligations on a company electing
to raise funds from the crowd compared to public companies.
During the past year, new Privacy Protection Regulations (Data Protection 2017)
applicable to organizations – both in the public and private sectors – holding
database subject to registration obligations were approved. The regulations stipulate
a comprehensive and detailed arrangement regarding the physical and logical
protection of databases and the rules of management, access and modification of
databases, especially when an organization possesses sensitive personal information.
The regulations impose new duties for database management, including, for the first
time in Israel, reporting obligations in case of security breach. The regulations will
enter into effect in May 2018, forcing organizations to take immediate measures to
ensure timely compliance.
Additional legislative change expected to affect the many Israeli technology
companies conducting business with the European Union is the entry into force of
the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018. Some of the GDPR
requirements – calling for adjustments by relevant Israeli technology companies – are:
legal ground for data processing and consent; specific restrictions with respect to
sensitive data; extensive rights for data subjects and measures to ensure access to
information is performed only by an authorized person etc.
Distributed registration technologies, primarily blockchain, are technological
infrastructures enabling users to share an online decentralized database of
transactions supported by encrypted data. Such technologies, services and products
are gaining stellar momentum worldwide.
In the first half of 2017, approximately US$1.5 billion was raised through the issuance
of digital coins, mostly coupled with the promise of the issuers to enable participants
to buy underlying services and products. The volume of capital raised in this manner
is expected to significantly increase in the years to come. Israel is considered a
global leader of the industry, with a number of companies offering cutting-edge
technologies in this field. These include Bancor, which carried out one of the largest
token offerings worldwide to date with US$153 million raised. At the same time, fraud
and manipulation leading to losses to investors are of concern to Israeli regulators, as
they are to their peers. Recently the ISA announced the commission of a committee
to examine the applicability of securities laws on digital coin offerings, issuing and
trading in Israel based on decentralized registration, primarily blockchain.
Today, most of the capital invested in Israeli technology companies derives from
foreign capital. To induce Israeli institutional investors to increase their investments
into local technology companies, the Accountant General and the ISA issued a joint
initiative offering high-tech investment funds government protection against losses
and leveraging investment funds by government debt financing. The first tender for
investment funds under the initiative was published in mid-2017 and is expected
to result in the formation of four new Israeli investment funds, with additional funds
under the initiative becoming a new source of capital, strengthening the ecosystem.
There is no doubt 2018 will see some important legislative changes and probably,
new records will be set for Israeli high-tech industry investments and exit volumes.
Imminent challenges and creative solutions await the domestic ecosystem with rapid
evolvements in the blockchain scene. Stay tuned.
Shibolet, established in 1973, is one of Israel’s largest, full-service multidisciplinary law firms with a strong emphasis on
corporate transactional work and commercial litigation. Based in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial and financial
center, the firm offers its clients legal services in all fields of commercial/corporate law on a worldwide basis, combining
high professional, personal service and a deep understanding of client affairs. With the expertise of more than 130
professionals, the firm’s areas of specialization are M&A, high-tech, life sciences, securities and capital markets,
IP, project finance, real estate and infrastructure, tax, employment, antitrust, banking and financial institutions and
media and entertainment. With over half of its practice being high-tech related, Shibolet's High-Tech and Venture
Capital practice is among the largest and most recognized in Israel. For over three decades, the firm has represented
entrepreneurs, start-ups, mature technology companies, venture capital funds, multinationals, angel investors and
corporate investors for all their M&A and other transactional and financing needs.
Shibolet has acted as legal adviser to the Technological Incubator Program of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) since
its inception, and has served for many years as special counsel to the OCS. The firm represents a number of privatized
technological incubators. Shibolet also boasts extensive expertise in structuring alliances, joint development and joint
venture agreements among high-tech companies and in the negotiation and drafting of complex technology and IPrelated
transactions, including licensing and OEM agreements.
The firm also has special expertise in representing universities and academic research institutions in regard to technology
transfer matters. Shibolet's High-Tech practice has dedicated expertise in most high-tech sectors in Israel including
semiconductors, communications, enterprise software, mobile applications, gaming, internet and new media, cleantech,
medical devices and the life sciences. Probably more than any other firm in Israel, Shibolet's high-tech partners have vast
experience in cross-border transactional work, representing clients from the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, Korea, India and
many other countries in Asia and Africa.
Lior Aviram is the head of Shibolet & Co.’s High-Tech and Venture Capital practice. Lior is recognized as a leading expert
in venture capital and strategic investments and in the structuring and establishment of venture capital funds. He also
specializes in complex, cross-border M&A and capital markets transactions, having been a lead counsel in some of the
most innovative transactions in the Israeli market.
Vered Horesh specializes in high-tech and venture capital, with particular expertise in internet, mobile, new media and
gaming domains. Vered has extensive experience in the formation of venture capital funds and in representing venture
capital funds in their investment activities in portfolio companies. She also has vast international experience representing
mainly U.S. corporations and venture capital funds in their investments and M&A transactions in Israel.
Lior Aviram, Head of High-Tech and
Vered Horesh, Partner
office: +972 3 567 8910
Dr. Ilan Cohn
REINHOLD COHN GROUP
Reinhold Cohn & Partners,
Gilat, Bareket & Co.,
Attorneys at Law
IP Law in Israel -
Intellectual property (IP) is a key economic driver of the innovative Israeli economy.
IP-related business activity, including the development and sale of IP-based
technologies and products, out-licensing of IP, investment in IP-based ventures and
the acquisition of such companies, have played a major role in creating a robust local
economy with a high GDP and large foreign currency reserves. It is Israel’s IP-friendly
legal environment and thriving entrepreneurial community that have facilitated this
huge national transformation.
Although there are no specialized IP courts in Israel, the courts are IP-friendly.
Regarding counterfeits, for example, rights holders can enforce their IP rights with the
availability of expeditious judicial interim injunctions and the possible assistance of
governmental agencies such as the police and the customs authority.
Patents and Designs
The Patents Law (1967) is an original Israeli statute incorporating such principles
as the requirement for absolute novelty and has been amended to reflect Israel’s
international obligations, such as the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Amended in 2011-
12, the Patents Law saw a wave of substantial changes, including the introduction
of early publication of patent applications. A patent application and its file wrapper
will now be open for public inspection after 18 months from the filing (or priority)
date. The amendment also introduced the right to collect reasonable damages for
infringements that occurred between early publication and publication of the patent
application’s acceptance. In January 2014, the Patents Law was amended again,
introducing a significant reform in the patent term extension (PTE) system.
Industrial Designs in Israel are currently protected under the Patents and Designs
Ordinance (1924), which supports concepts such as local novelty; however, on
August 7, 2018 a new Design Law will come into force replacing the old Ordinance
(which will still govern designs filed before the inaction of the new law). The new
Design Law is inspired by European Union and British legislation and incorporates,
mutatis mutandis, some of the definitions of said laws. Among other changes, the
new Design Law replaces the requirement for "novelty or originality" with a cumulative
requirement for "novelty and individual character." A design will be considered as
having "individual character" when the general impression it creates on the informed
user differs from the general impression created by a prior design. The duration of
protection of registered designs filed on or after the new law comes into force will
be 25 years, counted from the Israeli filing date and subject to periodic renewals.
Registered designs filed before the coming into force of the law will be eligible for an
additional third renewal term of three years (totaling 18 years, instead of 15 years),
subject to payment of the prescribed official fees.
The new Design Law replaces the requirement for absolute novelty. Thus, a design shall
be considered new if an identical design or a design that differs only in unsubstantial
details was not published in or outside Israel, before the determining date (subject to
certain internet publications).
Under the new Design Law, a design that is novel and has an individual character may
be protected as an unregistered design (for a term of three years), subject to some
requirements. The unregistered design right affords its proprietor the right to prevent
the manufacturing for commercial use of a product that copies the design or that
creates an overall impression on the informed user that is not different from the overall
impression created by the product subject of the design.
Trademarks, Appellations of Origin and Trade Secrets
The British Trademarks Ordinance, introduced in 1938, governs the protection of
trademarks in Israel. The ordinance has undergone several amendments primarily aimed
at implementing Israel's international obligations under treaties and conventions, such
as the TRIPS Agreement (the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights), while recent amendments ensured conformity with the Madrid
Protocol. The British Merchandise Marks Ordinance provides for criminal liability for
designating goods by a false commercial description or counterfeit trademark, providing
additional protection to registered trademarks.
Appellations of origin and geographical indications are governed by the Protection of
Appellations of Origin (Geographical Indications) Law (1965).
The Commercial Torts Law (1999) regulates the protection of trade secrets and also
provides protection against passing off, false commercial descriptions and other
business-related torts having a bearing on IP litigation.
Israeli copyright law (including protection of software) is governed by the Copyright Law
(2007). The British Copyright Ordinance (1924) regulates private copying of copyrighted
works on blank tapes (recordable media other than for computer use). The protection of
mask work rights derive from the Protection of Integrated Circuits Law (1999).
The neighboring rights of performers and broadcasters are addressed in the Performers
and Broadcasters Rights Law (1984).
Israel’s IP protection is further shaped by other statutes and regulations relevant to various
specific aspects of IP protection and by a constantly evolving body of case law.
The liability of online service providers, including the obligation to remove infringing
materials, is an evolving issue. There are cases in which the courts have ordered local
internet service providers to block access to websites located outside of Israel and
to disclose the identification of infringing users. We also encounter cases in which
the court refused to provide such an order in the absence of specific legislation. The
matter has yet to be decided by the Supreme Court.
The Israeli Ministry of Justice recently published a new draft bill that will allow the
courts to issue orders for the removal of illegal content from the web even when the
author is unknown. The bill includes the authority to penalize social media networks
that do not immediately delete posts supporting terror attacks.
Since 2009, the Israeli Patents and Trademarks Office (IPO) has improved its
computerized systems in line with the Madrid system.
Under a newly signed agreement between the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) and the Israeli Patent Authority (IPA), the IPA was declared as an International
Searching & Examining Authority (ISEA) for PCT applications filed at the USPTO.
This reflects recognition by the USPTO of the quality of the search and examination
conducted by the IPA, which will be available for international applicants soon.
The Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) is a program to accelerate procedures
in one country based on favorable examination in another. The IPA is one of the 17
participating offices and, consequently, new, accelerated procedures are now available
to applicants of Israeli patent applications. Similarly, success in the examination of an
Israeli application may accelerate prosecution in other participating states.
Loss of a Trademark due to Failure to Register an Authorized User
In Israel, trademark rights are acquired primarily through use; however, registration is
key to acquiring the right to sue for trademark infringement (other than in the case
of well-known trademarks), although an action for passing off may be available to
the owner of an unregistered mark. Furthermore, registration of an authorized user
is necessary for the continuing validity of the registered owner's trademark lest the
mark become susceptible to cancellation due to a three-year period of non-use.
Patent Protection of Business Methods and Software
The practice of the Israeli Patent Office has been relatively conservative recently in
that methods of doing business cannot be protected by patents. Regarding softwarerelated
inventions, the applicable patentability standards are in a state of uncertainty.
Generally, the prospects of getting a patent for a software-related invention (other
than a business method) are similar to those of the European Patent Office.
Israel allows parallel importation, namely the importation of genuine goods from a
country in which they are legitimately marketed. This provides a route by which an
importer, other than the one appointed by the rights owner (parallel importers), may
import genuine goods into the country. The Israeli Supreme Court has defined the
scope of permissible use of registered trademarks by parallel importers, adopting a
relatively liberal approach to parallel importation and to the freedom to use another's
trademark in this context. The Court imposed restrictions on the activities of the
parallel importer inter-alia forbidding the creation of confusion as to endorsement by
the trademark owner.
The various aspects of IP protection in Israel are based on a variety of laws and case
law that have been and continue to be revised and updated in line with technological
and international developments. Through its national legislation, and as a party
to international treaties and conventions, Israel provides a safe and supporting
environment for the protection of IP rights.
Reinhold Cohn Group is the leading Intellectual Property consulting firm in Israel. RCG offers expertise in a full breadth
of IP-related services including: protection, asset management, due diligence, litigation and legal services in all areas
of IP such as patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights, open source, plant breeders' rights, etc.
The Group includes the patent attorneys firm Reinhold Cohn & Partners and the law firm Gilat, Bareket & Co. RCG
and its team of professionals are internationally renowned for excellence and are continually ranked in the top tiers
in leading international and local guides such as: Managing Intellectual Property, Chambers & Partners, Legal 500,
WTR1000, Who's Who Legal, IAM 300, IAM 1000, Expert Guides, D&B Israel and BDI.
RCG takes pride in the diversity of its clients including multinational corporations, Fortune 500, large Israeli companies,
NASDAQ and other stock exchange companies, academic institutions, start-ups, investors, VC's, funds, scientists and
Dr. Ilan Cohn, Patent Attorney, is a world-renowned expert in IP strategy and the use of IP as a business asset. Ilan
serves clients in a wide range of technological and industrial fields and also assists clients in IP-based deals. He advises
on the preparing of a customized roadmap for using IP as strategic assets, representing companies who are operating
in or looking to expand to the Far East.
Ilan helps to establish IP-based companies, developing a company’s IP into assets that yield profits to investors and
shareholders. He serves on the board of directors of several such companies and as a member of the investment
committees of venture capital funds and technological incubators.
Orit Gonen, Attorney at Law, has extensive professional experience in managing major cases, providing counsel,
opinions and litigation advice. Her practice comprises vast knowledge of civil, commercial and labor law and she also
regularly handles litigation before the Israeli Patent Office.
Orit advises international and Israeli companies, as well as start-ups, foreign companies with Israeli representatives and
office: +972 3 710 9333
Dr. Ilan Cohn, Senior Partner, Reinhold
Cohn & Partners
Orit Gonen, Partner, Gilat, Bareket & Co.
GIDEON FISHER & CO.
The Israeli judicial system has for many years been overburdened by the volume of
cases that it has to hear. Statistics produced by the courts' management in 2016
stated that by the end of 2015, the average volume of cases per judge, per year in
the Magistrate Court was 1,650 (a bench of 411 judges). In the District Court, it was
350 (a bench of 179 judges). This problem is accentuated by the fact that many cases
can be extremely lengthy, often stretching over many years. This reality has negatively
affected the rights of all parties involved in court proceedings, as well as damaging the
reputation of the court. Thus, there is a pressing need to reform the system to ensure
the courts have sufficient resources and time to deal satisfactory with all cases.
Commentators agree that the most efficient and productive solution to this problem
would be to promote the use of "alternative dispute resolution" (ADR). ADR involves
disputes being resolved outside of court by one or more experts – known as
arbitrators (usually a former judge or lawyer) – and is finalized by an "arbitral award,"
which is legally binding on both sides and enforceable by the courts. To be binding
and effective, arbitration must either be agreed upon voluntarily by contract or
mandatorily enforced by statute. Since, in many cases, parties are not willing to enter
into arbitration, statutory intervention is often necessary to enforce its use.
Concerns that the workload of the courts was increasing disproportionately to
what they could realistically handle started to emerge around a decade ago. This led
to a bill being proposed in 2011 that aimed to amend the Courts Law (1984) and
impose mandatory arbitration on parties involved in new civil cases submitted to the
Magistrate Court, as well as cases waiting for their hearing.
According to the outline proposed in the bill, the president of the court and the
president’s deputy would have the right, without the prior consent of the parties
involved, to forward civil cases to arbitration proceedings. Several categories of civil
claims, including tort cases, would be excluded from the bill, and the Minister of Justice
would have the right to further limit the categories of claims to which mandatory
Turning Theory into
Practice: The Struggle
Arbitration in Israel
This reality has negatively affected the rights of all parties involved in court
proceedings, as well as damaging the reputation of the court. Thus, there
is a pressing need to reform the system to ensure the courts have sufficient
resources and time to deal satisfactory with all cases.
A special committee would select the arbitrators and recommend them to the
Minister of Justice. The committee would have the power to disqualify arbitrators
where appropriate. The potential arbitrator would be a retired judge or lawyer who
met the required conditions to be appointed as a district judge, having no criminal
past or disciplinary record, and most importantly, having no conflict of interest in any
case in which he or she would be involved. Decisions by arbitrators would be open to
public review, unless otherwise decided by the court. The bill also determined that the
court's fees would pay the arbitrator's remuneration, with the balance being paid by
the State Treasury.
The bill was met by stiff opposition, including from former Supreme Court President
Dorit Benisch who argued that the requested change amounted to a privatization of
the judicial system, which would blur the gap between the public sector and private
sector. Furthermore, opponents to the bill argued that the right of every individual to
have access to the court must not be infringed upon, as this ensures that cases are
conducted in a pre-defined, fair and egalitarian way that prevents arbitrariness, which
would not be guaranteed in arbitration proceedings. In view of these objections and
the then-forthcoming elections, the bill was put on hold.
Between 2011 and 2016, MK Yariv Levin initiated an additional bill to amend the
Arbitration Law (1968) and the Courts Law (1984) to include mandatory arbitration
that focused on claims relating to construction defects and property damage caused
by road accidents. Similar to the previous bill, the main motive behind this bill was to
streamline court hearings and reduce the heavy burden placed on them.
Due to the 2008 amendment to the Arbitration Law, which enabled parties to
appeal an arbitral award, MK Yariv Levin highlighted that the arbitration procedure
would become more comfortable and risk-free for the parties involved. In addition,
procedures would be shortened, costs reduced and the overall experience would
become more pleasant for those involved. Another advantage of the proposed bill
would be to reduce the common situation of one party (usually the defendant),
avoiding settling the dispute, knowing that legal proceedings in court take an
average of up to four years to be resolved. This tactic often unfairly disadvantages
the plaintiff. By implementing a mandatory arbitration system, the opportunity to
engage in this practice would be reduced. However, this bill was also put on hold.
Another failed attempt to establish a mandatory arbitration system was a 2016
initiative of MK Moshe Kahlon (Minister of Finance) and the Commissioner of the
Capital Markets Insurance and Savings Division in Israel. They attempted to introduce
a bill establishing a mandatory arbitration institution to make it easier for insurance
policyholders to deal with unnecessary postponements of their claims by insurance
companies. The background of this initiative was the fivefold increase in the number
of claims the insurance companies had rejected over the years. The aim was to bring
forward a statutory arbitration system, financed by the insurance companies, that
would include independent professionals to decide whether a rejection was justified.
Due to pressure from powerful insurance companies that stood to lose from this law,
the Minister of Justice declined to introduce the bill into the statute book.
Furthermore, opponents to the bill argued that the right of every individual
to have access to the court must not be infringed upon, as this ensures that
cases are conducted in a pre-defined, fair and egalitarian way that prevents
arbitrariness, which would not be guaranteed in arbitration proceedings.
In addition to efforts to impose mandatory arbitration as an alternative to court
proceedings, attempts have been made to introduce mandatory arbitration for other
kinds of disputes, especially between employees and employers in the public sector.
At the end of 2011, MK Aryeh Eldad proposed a bill to amend the Settlement of
Labor Disputes Law (1957) and enforce mandatory arbitration in cases of labor
disagreements in the public sector. The initiative for the bill emerged from an ongoing
dispute between employees and employers in the health system in Israel and aimed
to balance the essential right of employees to strike and to safeguard against abuses
by employers on issues such as wage reductions and safety conditions.
Subsequently, numerous MKs have submitted similar bills attempting to reduce strikes
by public sector workers for essential services by imposing mandatory arbitration, but
with limited success.
More recently, mandatory arbitration in this field has gained support from Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who sees imposing mandatory arbitration into Israeli
law as a top priority. However, even his attempts in the current coalition to promote
the enactment of such a bill to amend the Settlement of Labor Disputes Law (1957)
have so far failed due to firm opposition by MK Moshe Kahlon and others.
In conclusion, having witnessed so many failed attempts to introduce legislation
imposing mandatory arbitration, one is inclined to remain skeptical about the possibility
of it being successfully introduced in the near future. In light of this, one may suggest it
would be best to concentrate efforts on other ways of reducing the courts’ workload,
such as improving the efficiency of the judicial system and decreasing the number of
lawyers (data stated that at the end of 2015, for every 100,000 citizens there were
900 lawyers and eight judges). However, although these objectives are commendable,
it still holds true that in the long term, the best way to create a sustainable and efficient
judicial system is to find a system of mandatory arbitration procedures attractive to
the public, politicians and industry leaders alike that will position arbitration as an
integral parallel procedure alongside the Israeli courts.
More recently, mandatory arbitration in this field has gained support from Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who sees imposing mandatory arbitration into
Israeli law as a top priority.
Gideon Fisher & Co. is a premium, full-service law firm based in Tel Aviv. Founded over 20 years ago by Gideon Fisher,
the firm has steadily developed into one of the leading law firms in Israel. It offers a full spectrum of services in all areas
of commercial law and litigation while always remaining sensitive to the client’s objectives and legal environment, both
local and international. The firm also prides itself in offering strategic guidance and representation in administrative
matters, representing municipalities, agencies, individuals and corporations in audits and other proceedings.
The firm attracts talented, professional and credentialed attorneys who are focused and dedicated to achieving
optimal results for their clients, as well as providing the highest level of service and responsiveness. The firm is
composed of several departments, including Litigation, Commercial, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, Local
Authorities, High-Tech, Real Estate and Family Law. Its creativity and out-of-box approach has allowed it to thrive,
even in extraordinary challenging cases, making it an industry leader in crisis resolution. The firm's client-oriented
approach not only focuses on the legal aspects, but also the potential financial ramifications and the public relations
implications of each case.
In the domestic directories BDI and Dun's 100, the firm is ranked in the field of litigation and arbitration, administrative
law, labor law, local authorities law and sports law. The firm's clients include leading players in Israel’s economy and
society such as the JNF, the Airports Authority, Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Co. Ltd., Zaka (rescue and recovery organization),
Journalist Association, Israel Postal Company, leading kibbutzim, local authorities, municipalities, governmental
entities, senior ministers, media personalities and well-known business figures.
Gideon Fisher is the founder and senior partner of Gideon Fisher & Co., with legal expertise of over 25 years. He is
a former member of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris (ICC),
a former member of the International Committee of the Israel Bar Association and a CIArb Fellow. Gideon lectures
in and is head of the Arbitrators Training Center at Bar Ilan University, which on completion of the course, provides
an academic diploma to graduates. He is currently completing his doctorate studies at Bar Ilan University. Gideon’s
dissertation will be drawn from his studies and research into the lack of arbitration in Israel's business world.
Daphna Fisher is a senior partner in Gideon Fisher & Co., with legal experience spanning over 20 years. Daphna
is recognized in the field of arbitration, having spent 10 years as an assistant and arbitrator alongside Dr. Eliyahu
Winograd, former president of Tel Aviv Magistrate Court and retired Supreme Court Judge, in major arbitrations, such
as the case of an Infrastructure Company v. The State of Israel. Daphna was also involved in cases handled in ICC
and LCIA, ranging from tens of millions up to 100 million euros in compensation. Daphna excels in high-profile tort
cases covered by the Israeli media. Pro bono, she serves as the chairperson of Friends of Hadassah (leading hospital)
International in Israel.
office: +972 3 691 3999
Gideon Fisher, Partner
Daphna Fisher, Partner
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Your client is in Tel Aviv.
Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co
FISCHER BEHAR CHEN
WELL ORION & CO
Israeli labor law is a breathing entity, constantly evolving through new legislation and
labor court rulings. Below we set out a general overview of certain basic rights granted
to employees under Israeli labor laws, as well as certain recent developments in the
Israeli labor and employment arena. For businesses looking to operate in or expand to
Israel, the following laws are among the most important with which to be familiar.
Workweek and Overtime: The Work and Rest Hours Law (1951) establishes the right
of an employee to receive compensation for overtime (defined as working beyond nine
hours a day and weekly beyond 43 hours) and restricts the employment of an employee
on weekly rest days. For the first two hours of overtime, an employee is entitled to
125% of the hourly salary. For each additional hour thereafter, the employee is entitled
to 150% of the hourly salary.
Payment of Salary: The Salary Protection Law (1958) provides that an employer shall
pay employee salaries by no later than the ninth day of the calendar month following the
month in which wages were earned.
Annual Vacation: The Annual Vacation Law (1951) provides a minimum annual leave for
employees ranging from 15 to 28 days, based on seniority. The law provides that up to
a maximum of two years of unused vacation days are redeemable upon termination of
Sick Leave: The Sick Leave Payment Law (1976) provides that employees are entitled
to sick leave payment such that one and a half days of sick leave are earned for each
month of employment, up to a maximum of 90 days. The employee is not entitled to
compensation for the first day of sick leave, compensation is set at half pay for the
second and third days, and thereafter the employee is entitled to full pay. Unused
accumulated sick days may not be redeemed.
Convalescence Pay: According to the General Extension Order Regarding Payment of
Convalescence, employees are entitled to convalescence payments (from five to 10
days per year) based on their seniority.
Israeli Labor and
What Every Employer
Needs to Know
Israeli labor law is a breathing entity, constantly evolving through new legislation
and labor court rulings.
Pension Insurance: Every employee in Israel is entitled to pension insurance consistent
with an Extension Order issued by the Minister of Economy. According to the Extension
Order, employers must contribute 6.5% of an employee’s gross salary to a pension
plan (the rates may be slightly different if the employee chose a "manager insurance
policy") and 6% of an employee's gross salary as severance pay, with the employee also
contributing 6% toward the pension plan. Generally, an employer must make provisions
for pension insurance after the employee has been employed for six months. However,
if the employee had a pension plan with a previous employer, the employee is entitled to
the pension arrangement as of the first day of work.
Severance Pay: Under the Severance Pay Law (1963), an employee who has completed
a full year of employment and is terminated by the employer is entitled to one month
of salary per each year of employment based on the monthly salary at the time of
termination. However, Section 14 of the Severance Pay Law provides an alternative
whereby an employer is exempt from the severance pay obligation in cases of dismissal.
This would apply if the employer implements an arrangement according to Section 14,
in which the employer makes monthly payments out of the employee's monthly salary
towards a pension plan in the name of the employee, which includes a component of
severance pay and a component of pension payment. The amounts accrued in the
severance pay component may be substituted for the statutory amount if the employer
and employee agree to the Section 14 arrangement in writing; provided, however, that
the funds be released to the employee even if the employee resigns.
Termination - Prior Notice: The Prior Notice for Resignation and Dismissal Law (2001)
stipulates specific minimum periods of prior notice that employers must provide
employees before a dismissal. During the first year of employment, the period varies
from one day to 21 days based on the length of employment. Following the first year of
employment, the period is set at one month. According to Israeli National Labor Court
rulings, an employer who wishes to transfer ownership of its business to another entity
should provide prior notice to employees.
New Legislation: Enhanced Parental Rights
During the past year, the Israeli parliament (the Knesset) enacted three important law
amendments that strengthen parental rights.
The first amendment – Amendment 56 to the Employment of Women Law (1954) –
sets clear criteria, compared to those that existed previously, with regard to the eligibility
of women and their spouses to a shortened work day in the period following the return
from parental leave. Previously, the law provided that an employee was entitled to be
absent for one hour per day from her employment – the parental hour – during the first
four months following the end of the parental leave period, on condition that she is
employed in a full-time position.
Under the law, if certain conditions are satisfied, a male employee who is employed in
a full-time position is entitled to exercise the parental hour alone or, alternately, with
his spouse. The law conditions such rights on having a full-time position; however, the
law does not define "full-time position" (general full-time employment amounts to 186
work hours per month). The recent Amendment defines "full-time position" for purpose
During the past year, the Israeli parliament (the Knesset) enacted three
important law amendments that strengthen parental rights.
of exercising a parental hour right as the lesser of what is custom in the employee's
workplace, or at least 174 hours per month for the woman or her spouse.
The second amendment – Amendment 57 to the Employment of Women Law –
relates to childbirth allowance provisions in the National Insurance Law (1995). The
period to receive childbirth allowance was extended by one week – from 14 to 15
weeks. For the avoidance of doubt, no change was made to the total maternity and
parental leave period for an employee with at least one-year seniority, which stands
at 26 weeks. In addition, the entitlement of male employees to divide the maternity
and parental leave period with their wives was expanded in the following ways: (a) an
employee whose wife gave birth may divide the maternity and parental leave period
with his wife for the period remaining after the first six weeks following the birth;
according to the Amendment, the minimum absence period that a spouse must be
absent for in order to be entitled to the childbirth allowance was shortened from
three weeks to seven days, (b) an employee whose wife gave birth may use seven
days of parental leave at the same time as his wife's maternity leave and receive the
childbirth allowance – provided that his wife waives such payment for the final week
for which she is entitled to receive such allowance and (c) an employee whose wife
is an independent contractor and who is entitled to the childbirth allowance, will be
entitled to split the maternity and parental leave period, similar to the entitlement of
a spouse whose wife is a salaried worker (until now the entitlement to the childbirth
allowance was only available to an employee whose wife was a salaried worker). The
amendments are part of a larger trend to grant equal childcare rights to men – a move
from "maternity" rights for women alone to "parental" rights given to both men and
The third amendment – Amendment 58 to the Employment of Women Law – permits
an employee, on certain conditions, to be absent from work for one hour each day
when her spouse is on army reserve duty service, commencing from the first day
of such reserve duty service. Such permitted absence is not deducted from the
employee's salary and it is in addition to work breaks under the Hours of Work and
Rest Law. The absence entitlement for reserve duty shall also apply, mutatis mutandis,
to a male employee whose spouse has reserve duty.
As evidenced by the amendments to the Employment of Women Law, the Israeli
legislator, as well as the labor courts, is strengthening parental rights of employees in
The amendments to the Employment of Women Law are part of a larger trend
to grant equal childcare rights to men – a move from "maternity" rights for
women alone to "parental" rights given to both men and women.
Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co (FBC), founded in 1958, is one of Israel’s premier and largest full-service law firms.
FBC acts for prominent multinational and Israeli clients (in the practice areas noted below and in a wide spectrum of
industry sectors) and offers professional excellence and personal attention across the spectrum of multidisciplinary
legal services. With over 200 lawyers and other professionals, FBC is repeatedly ranked by international and domestic
directories among Israel’s leading practitioners in many areas, including by Chambers and Partners, Legal 500, IFLR1000,
Global Competition Review, World Tax, BDI and Dun & Bradstreet.
FBC has one of the most active, involved and visible Labor & Employment practices in Israel. It represents employers
and employees, labor organizations and unions, and workers committees in various industries. It handles the full scope of
labor and employment matters, including collective bargaining, labor disputes, strikes and organized actions, collective
agreements, collective litigation, employer-employee litigation, labor contracts, employment agreements, separation
agreements, labor relations, due diligence, mediation and arbitration. The practice is active in legislative initiatives and
works closely with members of parliament in drafting bills and regulations.
FBC’s Immigration law team, part of the Labor & Employment practice, has extensive experience in providing
comprehensive strategic consulting, as well as guiding clients through application and filing (and, if needed, appeal)
Practice Areas: Arbitration & Mediation | Aviation, Maritime & Tourism | Banking & Finance |Capital Markets | Class Actions &
Derivative Suits | Competition & Antitrust | Cyber & IT | Environmental | Hi-Tech, Technology & Venture Capital | Immigration
| Insolvency & Restructuring | Intellectual Property | Labor & Employment | Life Sciences & Healthcare | Liquidation &
Receivership | Litigation | Mergers & Acquisitions | Natural Resources, Oil & Gas | Planning & Zoning | Private Asset Management
| Private Equity | Project Finance & Energy | Real Estate | Regulatory | Sports Law | Tax | Telecom & Media | White Collar
Shay Teken is a partner and the head of FBC’s Labor & Employment practice, specializing in all aspects of labor and
employment law. He has been involved in Israel's most significant changes in labor relations and labor law precedents in
recent years. Shay serves as chairman of the Labor and Employment Forum of the Israeli Bar Association and is frequently
consulted by Israeli regulators and legislators to develop and comment on proposed legislation and regulations. He
appears frequently before committees of the Israeli parliament regarding labor matters. Prior to joining FBC, Shay acted
as chief legal adviser and head of the legal department at the Histadrut, Israel's largest trade union federation, and as
chairman of its organizing wing. He continues to act as a special consultant to its legal department.
Moran Friedman is an associate in FBC’s Labor & Employment practice where she specializes in all aspects of labor
and employment law. Prior to joining FBC, Moran served in the legal department of the Histadrut.
Fischer Behar Chen
Well Orion & Co
office: +972 3 694 4111
Shay Teken, Partner
Moran Friedman, Associate
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AGMON & Co. ROSENBERG
HACOHEN & Co.
Trends in the
The judiciary in Israel is based on three levels of courts: The Magistrates Courts, the
District Courts (including the Economic Division) and the Supreme Court. Alongside
the general court system, there are also special courts such as the Family Courts,
Administrative Affairs Courts, the Labor Courts, the Maritime Court and more.
The normative system in Israel comprises the basic laws, which stand at the top of the
pyramid; ordinary laws, which are enacted by the Knesset, and secondary legislation
(regulations and decrees) the vast majority of which are prescribed by government
ministers. The Israeli judicial system is based extensively on case law of the various
courts. Rulings by the Supreme Court constitute binding precedents for all the lower
courts; however, the Supreme Court has the authority to change its precedents.
Rulings of the District Courts have guiding power vis-à-vis lower courts.
Conducting Legal Proceedings in Israel
The obvious challenge of legal proceedings in Israel is time. Like many others, the judiciary
is overloaded and legal proceedings can take a few years. One notable trait of the Israeli
courts is a striking preference for substance over procedure. This stance is reflected, for
example, in the preference for clarifying claims on their merits and not dismissing them
on procedural arguments. Critics argue that it creates uncertainty, while supporters
say it leads to a more fair outcome. Another advantage of conducting proceedings in
Israel is the professionalism of the judges across various legal disciplines – including the
establishment of the Economic Division, which will be discussed below.
The Schematic Structure of Court Proceedings
Legal proceedings begin in the Magistrates or District Courts, depending on the level
of monetary claim, with the latter hearing claims of more than NIS 2.5 million (~US
$713,000). Usually, after the filing of pleadings, the parties may conduct preliminary
proceedings – including discovery of documents – after which the court orders
the filing of the evidence-in-chief in writing. Then, proceedings are set for crossexamination
before a judge, who, in the absence of a jury system in Israel, decides
on questions of law and fact. Following the summation stage, the court gives its
judgment. A final judgment handed down by a Magistrates Court or District Court is
appealable to a higher court (the District Court and the Supreme Court, respectively).
Restrictions of the Right to Approach the Courts
Israeli law considers the right of access to the courts to be a basic or constitutional
right, with restrictions considered rare. Notwithstanding proposals to amend the
existing law, the plaintiff is not required to approach the defendant before filing the
claim, and there is no obligation to hold preliminary discussions or for mediation
between the parties.
The Economic Affairs Division
In 2011, an Economic Division was established in the Tel Aviv District Court, the
country's largest District Court. The purpose was to consolidate hearings regarding
economic affairs before judges with expertise in this field. The legislator sought
to reduce the time needed for conducting such claims, reflecting the need for
quick decisions in the business world. The Economic Affairs Division has eased the
judiciary's workload and sped up the litigation process in "Economic Affairs," which
includes claims based on the Securities Law, derivative claims and claims pertaining to
the rights and obligations of shareholders of a company.
Derivative Claims and Corporate Class Actions
The Class Actions Law (2006) and the Companies Law (1999) enable the filing of a
class action or a derivative claim on behalf of a class that has suffered damage or on
behalf of a company.
In both cases, the party initiating the proceedings may not file the suit directly, but is
required to get court approval to file it. In such cases, there is a preliminary process
of a motion for certification of a class action or a derivative claim. In spite of some
suggestions to amend the law, no court fee is required for these proceedings, and
their popularity is growing. These proceedings are mostly conducted in the District
Courts (particularly in the Tel Aviv District – in the Economic Affairs Division).
A derivative claim is filed to protect the interests of the company. The request to file
can be made by a shareholder of the company and sometimes also by a creditor of
Class actions in the corporate field are filed by holders of securities (shares or bonds)
on behalf of a class of securities holders.
Unlike the normal rule, which allows leave to appeal only through a higher court, in the
event of a derivative claim or a class action being approved/certified, the respondent
can request a further hearing before an expanded bench of the District Court.
Trends in Corporate Litigation
The openness shown by the courts towards class and derivative claims has resulted in
an increasing number of such motions being filed. The "natural candidates" for motions
of this kind have always been transactions with controlling shareholders. Gradually,
motions have expanded to include cases of dividend distributions, delisting from
the stock exchange, challenging companies’ compensation policies and challenging
detrimental business decisions. Recent developments suggest that an increasing
number of cases are being brought in which the petitioner argues that the corporate
governance of a company was injured and asks for compensation for the company,
even if it suffered no actual damage. The district courts still struggle with such cases
and decisions in different directions can be found.
One notable trait of the Israeli courts is a striking preference for substance over
procedure. This stance is reflected, for example, in the preference for clarifying
claims on their merits and not dismissing them on procedural arguments.
Alongside the increasing scopes of claims in the economic sphere, changes have also
taken place regarding the causes of defense. After being unanimously adopted in the
district courts, the Supreme Court finally acknowledged and accepted the Business
Judgement Rule as a binding legal standard in Israel. Adopted from the State of
Delaware, and subject to some local modifications, this rule provides that a decision
taken by the officers of a company will be exempt from judicial review unless the
plaintiff can show that the decision was "uniformed" (i.e., the officers did not gather
enough information before taking it), that the officers acted in bad faith or they had
personal interest in the decision. This means that even if – in retrospect – it appears
the decision was incorrect; the court will not impose personal liability on the relevant
officers. A newer decision by the Economic Division in the Tel Aviv District Court
acknowledges that officers of a company will be deemed to have met the "informed"
criteria of the Business Judgement Rule even if it was later found that the information
they had relied on was erroneous.
A notable decision by the Supreme Court in the past year dealt with what was publicly
known as the "Gas Layout" – the government approval of the sale of the recently
discovered natural gas in Israel's economic waters by private entrepreneurs. Although
approving the Gas Layout, the Supreme Court decided that the government cannot
tie its own hands by promising entrepreneurs it will not change the regulatory
surroundings of gas production.
Class Actions in the Area of Consumer Protection and Antitrust
The Class Action Law (2006) allows the filing of a class action not only in the corporate
field, but also in other fields. The consumer protection and antitrust fields have seen a
particular rise in class actions. The vast majority of the approximately 1,500 motions
for approval of class actions filed in 2016 dealt with relations between a service
provider and consumer. While not all claims concerned large amounts, there have been
motions filed for hundreds of millions of shekels.
Increasing number of actions against foreign entities can be found – especially in
the antitrust and competition area, where a trend has developed of "importing"
proceedings to Israel following previous proceedings conducted against international
conglomerates in Europe or the U.S. According to a new Supreme Court ruling, for
a plaintiff in an antitrust case to be granted leave to serve a defendant with court
filings outside of Israel, the plaintiff must show that the defendant committed a
wrongdoing in Israel. That the defendant's actions overseas gave rise to damage
caused in Israel is not enough. This ruling is likely to make antitrust cases against
pure foreign defendants a little more difficult for plaintiffs.
The Israeli courts struggle to find a balanced path between adequately protecting
consumers and stockholders and, at the same time, allowing existing as well as new
businesses to flourish. Given the promised rewards to the initiators of a successful
proceeding, there is no wonder that the tendency to bring class actions and derivative
suits is on the rise. In our view, the amount of such proceedings has become a burden
in doing business in Israel – regardless of the outcome in any specific case.
The Israeli courts struggle to find a balanced path between adequately
protecting consumers and stockholders and, at the same time, allowing existing
as well as new businesses to flourish.
Ever since it was founded, our firm's top priority has been providing the most professional and best quality service
for our clients. Our extraordinary success shows there is no substitute for professionalism, creativity, dedication and
The firm comprises several departments excelling in a wide range of areas including commercial litigation; class actions;
capital markets and securities; energy issues; antitrust; planning and construction; banking and finance; administrative
law; environmental protection and more.
Litigation is embedded in the DNA of the firm. A number of our Litigation partners have become judges at all levels of
the Israeli court system. Clients benefit from our extensive knowledge of and experience before the courts, regulatory
agencies and tribunals in complex commercial disputes, civil and regulatory actions and antitrust criminal cases. We
also handle the majority of derivative lawsuits in Israel, another specialty of the firm.
This depth of experience in different types of commercial litigation is complemented by our firm-wide commitment and
expertise in the energy, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and retail sectors. It is this combined
experience and commitment that attracts many of Israel’s leading enterprises and notable foreign corporations to our
firm when they are involved in high-stakes litigation.
The department thrives under the leadership and reputation of the firm’s founder, Ziv Agmon. With over 30 years'
experience in a diverse range of the most complex and high profile commercial, class action and antitrust litigation, he
is a lynchpin of the team and a major force in Israel.
Uri Sorek is vastly experienced in a broad range of civil and commercial litigation cases, with a strong focus on derivative
actions, class actions, general commercial litigation and antitrust issues. He has a particularly successful track record
in derivative actions, an emerging area of law in Israel. Uri represents a range of public companies and their subsidiaries
across many sectors including the banking, insurance, communications and energy sectors.
Tal Mayshar has an impressive track record in commercial litigation, class actions and derivative actions, antitrust
litigation and administrative law litigation. Her wealth of regulatory experience and extensive network of contacts
ensure she is a go-to person for clients in legislative proceedings and when dealing with authorities, such as government
agencies, the State Comptroller, the Bank of Israel and many more. Her extensive client roster spans the credit card,
banking, energy, industrial and transport sectors.
Agmon & Co.
Uri Sorek, Partner
Tal Mayshar, Partner
office: + 972 3 607 8607
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ERDINAST, BEN NATHAN,
TOLEDANO & CO.
Mergers & Acquisitions –
Israeli Market Trends and
The year 2017 was especially fruitful for the Israeli mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
market. Numerous major transactions took place during the first three quarters,
including several large-scale acquisitions of local companies by top tier global players.
During the first quarter alone, approximately 20 M&A transactions, totaling US$15.3
billion, were conducted. While U.S.-based companies still constitute the majority of
investors, Chinese interest is constantly increasing. It seems a solid foundation has
been laid for continued growth of Chinese investments in the local market.
At the same time, Israeli investors have increased their acquisition activity in the
global markets. During the first quarter of 2017 alone, Israeli investors conducted
approximately 15 transactions in the U.S. market at a total value of US$1.9 billion
– similar to the acquisition scope by Israeli companies during the whole of 2016.
Examples include the Delek Group’s US$1.1 billion acquisition of Ithaca Energy,
Cyber Arc's acquisition of Conjur and numerous acquisitions by Frutarom.
In addition, after several years of decline in the IPO market, IPO activity experienced
a notable increase in 2017. There were 14 IPOs during Q1-Q3, raising NIS2.7 billion
(US$ 763.4 million) (compared with a total of 14 IPOs launched from 2012 to 2016)
with five additional IPOs expected to launch during the next few months.
Over the course of the past 12 months, we have seen several of the largest
acquisition transactions ever made in the Israeli market, both in the tech and
industrial arenas. In March 2017, Intel announced the purchase of automotive
leader Mobileye for US$14.7 billion, constituting the largest tech exit in the
Israeli market. Shortly thereafter, biomed company NeuroDerm was acquired by
Japanese pharmaceuticals company Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation for
US$1.1 billion. In August 2017, Netafim, a leading player in the global market of
drip irrigation products (represented by our firm) was acquired by Mexichem at a
company valuation of US$1.9 billion.
Increased Chinese Interest
During the past year, the interest of Chinese investors, especially in the everdeveloping
Israeli technology market, has increased substantially. Large-scale
Chinese investors in search of cutting edge tech-driven entrepreneurships,
specifically in artificial intelligence and life science, continue to explore the local
market. Indeed, several tech ventures were recently acquired or became the subject
of massive equity investments by Chinese players. Chinese investors have also
demonstrated interest in more traditional markets, actively participating in the
acquisition tender procedures undertaken in connection with the contemplated sale
of Netafim and Clal Insurance, one of the largest insurance providers in Israel.
We anticipate that interest from China will intensify in coming years due to the
following recent developments:
The formation of the China Israel Technology Fund, which has investment capital
of US$440 million to invest in Israeli technologies operating in the fields of internal
security, robotics, automotive and cyber. Two similar funds are scheduled to be
established during 2018.
The recent announcement of several China-Israel innovation centers. These include
the launch of an R&D center by the Chinese Hangzhou Wahaha Group in Haifa in
cooperation with Haifa University and the opening of unique innovation hubs by
Haier, IcarbonX and Alibaba, which are expected to eventually translate into future
increased deal flow.
After years of strict restrictions on investments outside of China, new regulations
were recently adopted by the Chinese government enabling Chinese investments
abroad in selected technology sectors, thereby facilitating equity investments
and reducing the level of uncertainty that was viewed to be associated with such
Disposal of Kibbutz-Based Industries
Another trend that has gained momentum over the past year is the increase in sales
of kibbutz-based industries, in amounts representing impressive returns. As a result
of such transactions and the introduction of global financial and strategic players to
the market, kibbutz industries continue to grow to global dimensions and effect a
major business leap that may not have been achieved without the involvement of a
globally reputable acquirer.
To avoid extensive regulation and public disclosure obligations, the kibbutz
companies often prefer to sell ownership to private investors rather than by way
of IPOs. Recent examples include the acquisition of Galam by FIMI from Kibbutz
Ma'anit and Bereshit Fund for NIS290 million (~US$82 million), Mexichem’s
acquisition of Netafim from Kibbutz Hatzerim and Permira, the sale of the remaining
49% stake in the infant-formula maker Materna (owned by Kibbutz Maabarot) to
its partner Osem-Nestle for NIS575 million (~US$163 million) and the acquisition
of Hanita Coatings from Kibbutz Hanita and Tene Investment Funds by Avery
Dennison Corporation for US$75 million.
As part of such transactions, the kibbutz often remains as a minority shareholder.
In addition, many of these deals are characterized by the kibbutz's insistence that
the acquirer undertakes to maintain future production in the local kibbutz-based
manufacturing facility for a lengthy period. During this time, the kibbutz continues
to render various services to the company, as well as assume certain restrictions on
layoffs of kibbutz members.
Regulation Driven Transactions
A continued trend reinforced in 2017 is M&A transactions triggered and motivated
directly by recent laws enacted by the Israeli parliament. This includes the Law for the
Promotion of Competition and Reduction of Concentration (2013). This law mandates
separation of ownership between industrial/retail corporations and financial services
institutions, requiring certain shareholders having cross ownerships to dispose
of their holdings in one of the two entities by no later than December 2019. As
a result, the efforts to dispose of certain insurance companies and fund managers
have intensified during the past year. Examples include the sale by Delek Group of the
controlling stake in Phoenix to the Sirius Group (represented by our firm), as well as
the ongoing sale process by IDB in respect of the controlling stake in Clal Insurance.
A more recent development that has already instigated PE awareness and interest
is the Law for Increasing the Competition and Reducing the Concentration in the
Banking Market (2016), which contemplates separation between banks and credit
card operators, therefore requiring Israeli banks to sell substantial holdings in credit
card companies by January 2020. We anticipate the sales processes associated
with the relevant targets affected by such legislations will intensify as we approach
the statutory compliance deadlines.
Continued Growth in the Tech Market
The Israeli high-tech market has also experienced a prosperous year with US$1.44
billion raised in the third quarter of 2017 – a 54% increase over the same period in
2016 – and a total of US$3.8 billion raised since the beginning of 2017. As Israel has
become a destination for major players in the global automotive industry seeking
unique software, sensors and technologies, two high-tech sectors that gained
specific global attention are the automotive and artificial intelligence fields.
Examples include the establishment of GM’s R&D center for autonomous vehicles in
Israel, Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye and the acquisition of Argus Cyber Security, the
global leader in automotive cyber security, by the German Continental, in which our
firm was involved, for US$430 million. At the same time, there has been substantial
growth in the field of artificial intelligence with over 200 Israeli start-ups operating
in this sector. These AI companies are enjoying heightened Chinese interest due to
the country’s state council encouraging Chinese companies to develop and invest
in AI technologies.
As demonstrated above, most of the local M&A activity is cross-border, which
requires ongoing professional collaboration among local and international law
firms, as well as global investment advisors and accounting professionals. Such
transactions require cutting-edge expertise in domestic legal aspects (especially
in a highly regulated environment such as Israel) and close cooperation with foreign
firms whose contribution to the success of the transaction is crucial, particularly
once the transaction is coupled with acquisition financing which often requires the
creation and perfection of liens in numerous jurisdictions.
We expect the trends mentioned above to continue into 2018, and hope to
experience continued increase in inbound investments in the industrial, financial
and tech sectors. It is also anticipated that global tech companies will become
increasingly involved in Israeli ventures due to the expected establishment of
additional technology innovation and development centers by global companies such
as Alibaba, Booking.com, NVIDA, Haier and others, coupled with increasing Chinese
investments, particularly in the automotive, artificial intelligence and life science
sectors. Finally, with the regulatory compliance deadlines rapidly approaching, certain
targets directly affected by the above mentioned legislation are likely to experience
increased interest, particularly in the credit card and financial services markets.
Erdinast, Ben Nathan, Toledano & Co. is one of Israel's leading and fastest growing commercial law firms, with over
100 lawyers. The firm is widely recognized for its broad experience and expertise in leading complex cross-border
M&A transactions and representing private equity and venture capital investment funds. EBN was recently recognized
as the 2017 Israel M&A Legal Advisor of the Year by Mergermarket and as Israel Law Firm of the Year by the IFLR
European Awards, announced in April 2017. The firm is also consistently ranked as a leading commercial law firm by
Chambers Global, Legal 500, IFLR1000 and Israeli ranking guides.
EBN’s M&A department is one of the largest and most sophisticated and experienced M&A practice groups in Israel.
It has played a central role in many significant transactions and is handling some of the leading transactions of 2017.
The group has continuously acted for a huge volume of some of the leading clients in Israel, and has built a unique track
record of being involved in prominent exit transactions. The group has been engaged in some of the most complex
matters in Israel over the past 12 months.
EBN is recognized for its international expertise, stemming from a diverse international clientele, as well as the training
and experience of its lawyers at leading U.S. law firms. The strength of the M&A department continues to grow. This
past year was among the most successful in terms of corporate and M&A transactions, as evidenced by Mergermarket
naming EBN as Israel’s M&A Legal Advisor of the Year.
Roy Caner is a senior partner in the M&A department and head of the High-Tech group. Roy specializes in international
and domestic M&A, private equity and venture capital investments, representation of high-tech companies at all
stages, commercial and corporate law, securities and capital markets, with a focus on cross-border M&A and techrelated
investment transactions. Roy is a member of the NYSBA and practiced for four years at Davis Polk & Wardwell
in New York.
Lior Oren focuses his practice on private and public M&A transactions, both local and international, private equity
and venture capital investments, tech-driven ventures, debt and equity financing, securities, regulation, antitrust and
commercial matters, with an expertise in advising acquirers of heavily-regulated targets. Lior is a member of the NYSBA
and practiced at the M&A practice group of Anderson Kill, P.C. in New York for over four years.
Erdinast, Ben Nathan,
Toledano & Co.
Roy Caner, Senior M&A Partner and Head
Lior Oren, Senior M&A and High-Tech Partner
office: +972 3 777 0111
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YIGAL ARNON & Co.
Conducting Real Estate
Transactions in Israel is
Now Easier Than Ever
The World Bank’s annual Doing Business report examines the ease of conducting
business in 190 economies around the world. The report provides comparative
ranking of the processes of doing business in several different areas.
One area examined and ranked in the report is "Registering property." In the 2010
report, Israel ranked relatively low. In recent years, the Israeli authorities have
introduced various new processes and methods to simplify, speed up and streamline
the process of registering real estate. Thanks to these efforts, Israel has moved up
21 places in the 2017 ranking.
In Israel, real estate rights are registered with the Land Registrar. To transfer property
rights from the seller's name to that of the buyer, the parties must sign a deed of
transfer, submit tax certificates issued by the Israel Tax Authority (ITA) and provide
clearance from the municipal authorities confirming there are no outstanding debts
on the property.
If any of the parties is a registered company, it must also submit a copy of its
Certificate of Association, certified by the Companies Registrar, and corporate
resolutions authorizing the transaction.
This list of requirements, which involve various authorities and processes, have in
previous years made the registration of rights in real estate in Israel a long and arduous
process. To facilitate a simpler and easier process, several regulatory changes have
been introduced, as described below.
Tax Certificates – The Land Tax Authority
According to Israeli law, the responsibility for reporting real estate transactions
and their tax results is incumbent upon the parties with the tax authorities having
eight months to audit the report. Often, the Land Tax Authority did not approve the
parties’ self-assessments and instead assessed a higher tax duty.
To fight such a decision, the parties had to conduct long appeal processes with the
tax authorities. Only once this process was completed and the full tax levied paid,
Israel may be the "Start-up Nation" and a world-renowned center of
technological innovation, but until recently, government bureaucracy was
could the parties get the tax certificates they needed to register the transaction in
the Land Registry.
Following the conclusions of a committee chaired by the Director General of the
Treasury, some important amendments to the Land Tax Law were introduced in 2010,
including a new mechanism for obtaining the tax certificates required for registration
To date, subject to certain circumstances that are generally satisfied in most cases,
tax certificates are obtained even before the full consideration has been paid and
before the transaction has been completed. This has removed a major delay for
registration of many transactions.
Israel may be the "Start-up Nation" and a world-renowned center of technological
innovation, but until recently, government bureaucracy was lagging. Having
understood the need to ease the performance of real estate transactions and
to make the interface with the Land Tax Authority as smooth as possible, the
government recently introduced an online land-tax reporting system that expedites
the processing of self-assessments.
Certificate of Association from the Companies Registrar
As mentioned above, where one or more of the parties is a company, the party must
submit a certificate of association certified by the Companies Registrar as a true copy.
Until recently, to get a true copy, the company had to apply and retrieve the files
from the central archive of the Companies Registrar. Only once the physical copy
was at the office of the Companies Registrar could the company copy the certificate
of association and, against further payment, obtain a "true copy" stamp from the
Now, company files can be downloaded online and printed with a Companies Registrar
electronic "true copy" stamp, which saves time and money for all involved.
Clearance Certificate from the Local Authority
To receive confirmation from the local authority that there are no outstanding debts
on the property, the parties must first send the local authority an application form,
a copy of the sale agreement, a copy of the buyer’s ID and documents certifying the
date in which possession is delivered to the buyer.
In the past year, large local authorities, such as Tel Aviv, have introduced a new
system enabling parties to submit all these documents by email. Hopefully, other
local authorities will follow in their footsteps and allow for faster processing of real
estate rights transfers.
The Land Registrar
Once the parties have obtained all the documents required to register the transfer
rights, they must submit them to the Land Registrar. Until recently, many applications
were rejected because of formalities that the parties had to correct and resubmit.
In the past few years, the Land Registrar has undergone a sweeping reform whose
purpose is to make registration fast and more efficient.
For example, many new procedures relaxing the strict requirements previously in place
have been published over the last two years. Registration procedures are published
regularly on the website of the Land Registry and Settlement of Rights Department.
The Department staff reviews all transfer documents submitted and does its best to
return all comments in a single reply. Concurrently, the number of people working at
the Land Registration Bureaus has been increased, which has shortened processing
Recently, an online registration system was launched that allows for online transfer
of rights in certain properties. While this is still in pilot stage, it indicates the future
aim of being an online system connecting between the Land Registration Bureau, the
local authority and the Land Tax Authority – sparing the parties the need to apply for
The results speak for themselves. According to the Land Registrar’s data, the
Nationwide average registration time has been reduced from 45 to 13 days. In most
cases, registration takes only a few days.
In 2010 Israel defined a clear aim: To simplify, expedite and streamline the process of
registering real estate rights. Various actions that the government has implemented
have since changed the situation in this field for the better.
The Justice Ministry is working on more improvements to the service, including
direct interfaces between the Land Registrar’s computers and those of the other
government agencies that generate documents or certificates that are required by
the Land Registrar.
A direct connection between the Land Registrar, the Tax Authority and the local
authorities would obviate the need for submission of physical certificates. The
interface is planned so that the Land Registrar’s online system, which will be
connected to those of the Tax Authority and local authorities, will automatically
identify whether the necessary tax and municipal duties have been paid, allowing for
a transfer of rights.
A direct interface between the Land Registrar and the banks, which is currently under
the initial stages of implementation, will enable removal of paid-up mortgages without
the parties having to proactively apply to the bank or the Land Registrar to do so.
Until recently, original documents were considered a critical condition for registration
of rights in real estate, which naturally resulted in massive amounts of printed
materials. The technological improvements described above reflect nothing short of
a revolution in this field. Pretty soon, almost all transactions that require registration
will be accomplished through a handful of simple online commands. This revolution
will possibly not only shorten the process of registering rights in real estate, but it
will also simplify and shorten negotiations in real estate transactions, thus facilitating
and expediting the doing of business in Israel and saving a lot of money for all sides
and the economy as a whole.
Israel is not resting on its laurels and we expect further changes that will make
registration of real estate rights – and doing business – much easier.
Pretty soon, almost all transactions that require registration will be
accomplished through a handful of simple online commands.
Lee Maor, Partner
Tel Aviv office: +972 3 608 7777; Jerusalem office: +972 2 623 9200
Yigal Arnon & Co. boasts one of the largest, most professional, experienced and reputable real estate practices
in Israel, with over 40 lawyers operating in our firm’s offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The firm has unique and
unparalleled expertise gained from 60 years of involvement in Israel's most significant real estate projects, including
commercial, residential, industrial, infrastructure, office, shopping center, hotel, resort, residential and mixed-use real
estate projects. We represent all classes of parties in real estate projects, including companies, contractors, sellers
and buyers, financial institutions, tenants and owners. Our clients include major Israeli and international real estate
companies, investment companies, construction companies, holding companies, domestic and international banks,
real estate developers and individual entrepreneurs.
The firm engages in a wide range of real estate matters, from huge multi-use projects to transactions involving single
apartments, and is able to provide all of the required services to meet its clients' needs. These include: sale purchase
agreements, partnership agreements, management agreements, financing arrangements, planning procedures, due
diligence/property searches, tax planning, tax procedures, urban renewal projects, real estate litigation, bond issuances
and public offerings relating to real estate projects and companies. We provide a wide range of services in planning
and construction. We assist our clients, including some of Israel’s leading real estate development companies, at
each stage of the planning and construction process, from property re-zoning and conversion, planning committees,
through building plan approvals, building permits and completion certificates. The firm's Real Estate practice is ranked
by international and Israeli guides as a Tier 1 firm, and as an elite practice.
Lee Maor, Partner at Yigal Arnon & Co. law firm, represents clients in a broad range of issues involving real estate
transactions, land registration, construction and management agreements and ongoing legal advice to real estate
Lee joined Yigal Arnon & Co. in 2010 and became a partner in 2016. Since then, she has assisted contractors with various
development projects for the construction of roughly 765 residential units that were sold for more than NIS 1.2 billion (~
US$340 million). In addition, she has closed on residential and commercial deals worth millions –among them, the fourth
most expensive deal in Israel in 2011, according to The Marker – facilitated property financing, negotiated complex loan
agreements in front of numerous banks, taken active roles in significant urban renewal deals and also provided legal advice
regarding the sale and purchase of building rights promulgated under the Tel Aviv`s preservation plan.
Lee is a leading individual in her field. She is involved in many challenging and precedential transactions, and is respected for
her innovative and multidisciplinary approach to all aspects of legal representation, including her familiarity with tax issues
that often coincide with real estate transactions. Lee received her LLB, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2006 and
was admitted to the Israel Bar in 2007.
GORNITZKY & Co.
In recent years, international competition for investments has substantially increased,
inter alia, in light of the global crisis and worldwide slowdown. As a result, Israeli policy
makers realized the implementation of new tax incentive policies was required to
promote and develop competitive advantages and attract investments into Israel.
Israel – the "Start-up Nation" – chose to encourage investments and operations in
the field of technology. Accordingly, two significant changes were made:
The Israeli Tax Ordinance (ITO) sets terms and conditions for tax-free reorganizations,
provided the economic identity of the shareholders is mostly preserved and no
realization has occurred during a period of two years (Restriction Period). The
limitations that were in force for almost two decades made it difficult for companies,
especially in the high-tech sector, to expand their business and raise capital. Effective
August 6, 2017, a major amendment of the ITO was made to increase the availability
of tax-free restructurings by minimizing the aforesaid conditions and limitations.
The main changes include: (i) the original shareholders may sell or dilute their shares
providing they remain the holders of at least 25% of the merged company during the
Restriction Period (rather than 51%); (ii) up to 40% of the consideration received in
a tax-free reorganization may be in cash (rather than only in the form of shares); (iii)
in a share-for-share merger, the receiving company will be required to hold only 51%
(rather than 100%) in the transferred company during the Restriction Period; (iv)
relief in the requirement to apply for a pre-ruling application in certain cases.
Encouragement of Capital Investments Law
The Encouragement of Capital Investments Law is intended to encourage capital
investments and economic initiatives of enterprises that meet certain requirements,
mainly by providing reduced corporate tax rates.
To encourage foreign investments, make Israel more attractive to international
high-tech companies and increase the development and registration of intellectual
To encourage foreign investments, make Israel more attractive to international
high-tech companies and increase the development and registration of
intellectual property in the country, effective as of January 1, 2017, a new
incentive regime was implemented.
property in the country, effective as of January 1, 2017, a new incentive regime was
The new incentive regime (New Regime) provides tax benefits for two types of
enterprises: (a) "Preferred Technology Enterprises" (PTE) and (b) "Special Preferred
Technological Enterprises" (SPTE). The New Regime includes, inter alia, the following:
(i) a reduced corporate tax rate of 12% on income that qualifies as "Preferred
Technology Income" for PTE or 7.5% if the PTE is located in Development Region "A,"
and a 6% corporate tax rate for SPTE, regardless its geographic location; (ii) PTE and
SPTE, subject to certain conditions, will benefit from a reduced corporate tax rate of
12% and 6% respectively on capital gains derived from the sale of certain "Benefitted
Intangible Assets" to a related foreign company, and (iii) dividends distributed by a
PTE or SPTE, paid out of Preferred Technology Income, will be subject to withholding
tax of 20% or 4% if distributed to a foreign parent company that holds 90% or more
of the shares of the PTE or SPTE.
As noted, the Israeli tax legislator is trying to promote legislation that will encourage
foreign investment and the development of economic activity in Israel, especially in
the field of technology. At the same time, the policy makers and the enforcement
authorities are aggressively closing various loopholes in the law and applying a strict
enforcement policy. These include the following:
Enhanced Scrutiny on Cross-Border Related Parties’ Transactions
(1) Change of Business Model
Israeli start-ups and technology companies have attracted many foreign investors
over the years. Following an acquisition of an Israeli start-up, multinationals usually
restructure the business model of the acquired company by selling or licensing its
intangible assets to a related party abroad, and the Israeli company becomes an R&D
In recent years, these transactions have been scrutinized by the ITA, with our firm
representing some of the companies involved. When the transaction is a license
agreement – the ITA examines whether it is actually a sale of assets. When the
transaction is a sale of the company’s IP – the ITA examines whether the sale was
done at fair market value.
In 2017, two major cases – the "Gteko" and "Mercury" – cases reached the Israeli
headlines. In both cases, the ITA’s claim that the IP was sold for a price significantly
under the fair market value prevailed.
The aforesaid might significantly affect the structure and pricing of mergers and
acquisition transactions of technology companies.
(2) Preventing Deferral of Taxation by Shareholders in Closely Held Companies
To prevent the creation of a tax advantage for individual shareholders holding 10%
The Israeli tax legislator is trying to promote legislation that will encourage
foreign investment and the development of economic activity in Israel,
especially in the field of technology. At the same time, the policy makers and
the enforcement authorities are aggressively closing various loopholes in the
law and applying a strict enforcement policy.
or more of the shares (Substantial Shareholder) in closely held companies, several
amendments of the ITO came into force as of January 1, 2017, including (i) the
withdrawal of funds from a company by a Substantial Shareholder by way of a loan,
provision of a guarantee for a loan or provision of an asset for the use and benefit
of the Substantial Shareholder that shall be deemed, upon the existence of certain
conditions, as a distribution of dividend or business income if there are no sufficient
profits for distribution; (ii) the ITA is authorized under certain conditions to view a
closely held company as if 50% of its profits for the year have been distributed as a
dividend; (iii) in a company in which income is derived from services provided by its
Substantial Shareholder, the profits of the company might be directly attributed to
that individual and thus subject to marginal tax rates (of up to 50%).
Broad interpretation and application of the legislation might have broad tax
implications on the operation of foreign corporations in Israel, including implications
on M&A transactions and their financing.
Exchange of Information & Increased Reporting
(1) Exchange of Information
To act upon OECD recommendations, Israeli policymakers have lately made a great
effort to align with other countries with respect to exchange of information, including:
(i) provision of authority to ITA to exchange information with foreign tax authorities, on
its own initiative or pursuant to the request of a foreign country; (ii) changes enabling
the ITA to comply with FATCA and CRS according to which the ITA shall be authorized
to collect information held by Israeli banks and other Israeli financial institutions; (iii)
adopting the recommendation of the BEPS – Action 13 with respect to "Transfer Pricing
Documentation and Country-by-Country Reporting" into Israeli domestic tax law.
(2) Increased Reporting
The law imposes various reporting obligations in connection with tax planning and
reliance on legal opinions by taxpayers. The ITA has published a series of tax positions
that the taxpayer must report in his or her annual tax report.
In light of the above, it appears the legislation amendments may, in fact, make Israel
more appealing. At the same time, increased transparency and full disclosure will result.
In 2017, two major cases – the "Gteko" and "Mercury" – cases reached the
Israeli headlines. In both cases, the ITA’s claim that the IP was sold for a price
significantly under the fair market value prevailed.
Daniel Paserman, Partner, Head of Tax
Danielle Skald, Associate
Gornitzky & Co.
Gornitzky & Co. is one of Israel's most established commercial law firms, with a rich history spanning nearly 80 years.
It is consistently recognized by international legal guides as a top-tier law firm across many practice areas. Over the
years, Gornitzky & Co. has been involved in many of the largest, most complex and high-profile transactions to take
place in Israel and has played a key role in the development of Israel's economic and commercial legal practice.
Gornitzky provides a full range of legal services including M&A, private equity and venture investments, technology,
high-tech, taxation, banking and finance, infrastructure and project finance, energy, international and domestic capital
markets, dispute resolution, restructuring and insolvency, real estate, regulatory matters and representation before
government bodies. The firm has a global and local client base that includes Israel's largest businesses and corporate
groups alongside foreign and multinational corporations and financial institutions.
For years, Gornitzky's Tax practice has been at the forefront of the Israeli tax arena and has been involved in many of
the most complex tax cases in the country. The tax team advises on the most demanding, high-profile and high-value
tax matters in the country, including domestic and global corporate tax, reorganizations and cross-border structuring,
capital markets and financial products, taxation of high net worth individuals and trusts, transfer pricing, indirect tax,
real estate tax and tax controversy and tax litigation, including white collar offenses. Many of these matters have set
important precedents and have influenced Israeli tax laws in the making. In addition, the team is particularly wellknown
for its creative thinking and innovative domestic and international tax planning, including, in particular in multijurisdictional
Daniel Paserman (CPA) heads Gornitzky's Tax practice. Daniel is involved in intricate corporate tax planning – both
domestic and cross-border. His broad experience includes negotiations with the Israel Tax Authority (ITA) regarding
tax regulatory issues, seeking and obtaining tax rulings for both Israeli and global companies operating in Israel, as well
as handling wide-scope tax assessment cases and tax litigation for both global and Israeli corporations and private
entities operating in Israel.
Daniel also advises private clients in matters concerning taxation of trusts and estates and provides tax planning
guidance for high net worth individuals. He serves as the secretary of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Israel
(STEP). He is also a lecturer on Corporate & International Taxation at Tel Aviv University.
Danielle Skald is an associate at Gornitzky. She advises clients on a range of taxation matters, extending from corporate
tax and international taxation to domestic and cross-border restructurings, executive compensation and VAT.
office: +972 3 710 9191
ALON KAPLAN ADVOCATE
Dr. Alon Kaplan
Trusts and Estate
Planning In Israel
Israel has long been a "home" for many international families who have found a "sense
of belonging," as well as business opportunities, in the country. It is well known as
the "Start-up Nation", as it attracts large companies such as Intel, Google, Apple and
Facebook. These sentiments and business opportunities make Israel a preferable
investment jurisdiction, mainly in the areas of private equity, high-tech, technology
and real estate.
International families in the modern era of globalization and movement of people
and assets require adequate planning for the holding of assets, investments, crossgenerational
transfer of assets, cross-border succession issues and similar areas.
Trusts under Israeli Law
Trusts remain a legitimate planning option for various international families and crossborder
issues in Israel. Israel’s Trust Law (1979) governs the creation of a trust similar
to common law trusts, which are increasingly popular among non-residents.
The first trust law was legislated in 1923 by the British Mandate (1922-1948) relating
to public charities and was based on the common law trust. Private trusts were
utilized by zionist organizations and Jewish families who immigrated to Israel from
Europe, the United States, Canada and South Africa, as these were jurisdictions in
which individuals and professionals were familiar with the trust regime. Following the
establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, court precedents were established in the
areas of inheritance, gifts and trusts.
The Trust Law featured several innovations that created interesting practical
possibilities: it permitted the creation of trusts without the settlor transferring official
legal title of the assets to the trustee; and it set no limit for the duration of trusts and
it permitted non-charitable purpose trusts.
Israeli practitioners sometimes chose to create trusts for their clients under foreign
trust regimes, with such trusts being recognized in Israel.
Private trusts were utilized by zionist organizations and Jewish families who
immigrated to Israel from Europe, the United States, Canada and South Africa,
as these were jurisdictions in which individuals and professionals were familiar
with the trust regime.
Trusts governed by the Trust Law may be settled by contract or by deed. Those
settled by contract are governed by an agreement that does not require a formal
written document (although proving the terms of the trust may be difficult where
there is no written agreement). Contractual trusts do not permit generational transfer
of assets upon the settlor’s demise, as they do not satisfy the certain provisions of
the Succession Law.
Trusts created by deed, defined as "hekdesh" under the Trust Law, require a deed signed
before an Israeli notary. The trust is established upon the trustee obtaining control
of the trust assets. The trust, upon settlement and management in accordance with
the legal requirements, removes the assets from the settlor’s estate, and therefore,
probate or inheritance proceedings are not required upon the settlor’s demise.
Testamentary trusts may be settled within an individual’s last will and testament. Such
trusts must be in writing, executed in accordance with the legal formalities required
by the Succession Law, and are valid upon the issuance of a probate court order by
an Israeli court.
A valid last will and testament can be made in one of the following forms: a handwritten
will; a will signed in the presence of witnesses; a will in the presence of an authority,
while the definition of "authority" includes a court judge and a notary. In certain
circumstances, a deathbed will is also recognized as a manner to create a valid last will
Under Section 8(b) of the Succession Law, "a gift granted by a donor during the
donor’s lifetime, when such gift is to be effectively provided to the donee subsequent
to the donor’s demise, is null and void, unless such gift was included within a valid will."
Therefore, it is recommended to create an inter-vivos trust and transfer control over
the assets to the trustee during the lifetime of the settlor.
The Use of Real Estate Trust for Investments and Holding of
Property in Israel
Real Estate Trusts (RET) have been used in Israel for many years and for various
purposes, including legitimate tax planning, asset protection and commercial
transactions. RET is a legal structure under which real estate is purchased by a trustee,
or is transferred to a trustee, and the trustee acts as a nominee or "Bare Trustee" for
an identifiable beneficiary. Israeli law, namely the Real Property Taxation Law and the
Trust Law, provide the legal structure for such an RET. These laws allow the registration
of the trustee as the legal owner of the real estate while the beneficiary of the real
estate is considered as the real owner, similar to a beneficiary of a bare trust in the
Under the Real Property Taxation Law, two main taxes are imposed upon a sale of
real estate: a Capital Gains Tax on the seller, and a Purchase Tax on the purchaser.
The Capital Gains Tax is calculated in accordance with the increase in the value of
A valid last will and testament can be made in one of the following forms: a
handwritten will; a will signed in the presence of witnesses; a will in the presence
of an authority, while the definition of "authority" includes a court judge and a
notary. In certain circumstances, a deathbed will is also recognized as a manner
to create a valid last will and testament.
the property since its purchase; the time period during which the seller owned the
property and the existence of other real properties owned by the seller. The Purchase
Tax represents a certain percentage of the purchase price. This percentage is set in
accordance with other real properties owned by the purchaser.
The real estate market in Israel is in great demand by both Israeli and foreign investors.
Some investors choose to hold properties they purchase in the name of a trustee. This
structure may be found particularly useful and efficient for non-Israeli families that
decide to invest in real estate in Israel or have a second home in Israel.
Immigration to Israel over the years has brought with it a diverse population from
various countries in the world that requires the special services of trusts, estates and
succession planning. These services require expert advice relating to international
Recent developments in the field of Anti-Money Laundering, including exchange of
information, FATCA and CRS, require professionals to pay special attention to details
when providing such services.
The matters discussed in this article present a bird’s eye view of the issues that should
be considered when engaging in trusts, estates and succession planning in Israel.
It is recommended to broaden one’s knowledge more about the subject through
professional literature, such as Trusts in Prime Jurisdictions and Trusts and Estate
Planning in Israel. It is also highly recommended to consult with experts in the field.
In the past 10 years, there has been a positive development in the use of trusts under
Israeli law, by both Israeli residents and foreign residents.
Advocate & Notary
Dr. Alon Kaplan, Founder & Managing Partner
Meytal Liberman, Associate Advocate
Established in 1975, Alon Kaplan Advocate & Notary offers services in the fields of commercial law, international trusts
and estates, real estate, tax and international transactions. The firm has extensive activity in Europe in the areas of trusts
and estates, private banking and international transactions.
Alon Kaplan Advocate & Notary advises overseas and Israeli clients on foreign and Israeli trust and cross-border
succession. Trusts are structured to meet the client’s particular needs, including succession planning, asset protection
and forced heirship issues.
The firm advises on all matters of estate planning, trusts, probate and inheritance proceedings. This includes services
relating to probate and inheritance procedures, administration of estates and cross-border inheritance matters.
Alon Kaplan Advocate & Notary also provides legal advice to family offices in matters of structuring and organizing family
businesses, the creation of trusts and estate planning for family-owned businesses.
Another facet of the firm is providing legal and tax advice to overseas companies and individuals wanting to establish a
foreign-owned business in Israel. This includes tax-planning advice involving personal tax law and international tax issues.
To provide these comprehensive services, the firm works closely with lawyers, tax experts and accountants in several
jurisdictions and maintains close relationships with reputable banks in Israel and overseas, as well as with numerous law
firms and trust companies.
Dr. Alon Kaplan is a member of the Israel, New York State and German Bars and also the chairman of the Israel Bar
Association's private international law committee. Alon is a member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners
(STEP) and President of STEP Israel. He is an Academician at the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law and
a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Alon publishes regularly in distinguished professional
publications and speaks at seminars and conferences internationally. He is the general editor of Trusts in Prime
Jurisdictions (4th Edition) and author of Trust and Estate Practice in Israel.
Meytal Liberman is a graduate of Bar-Ilan University (LLB) and of Tel Aviv University (LLM). She was admitted to the
Israel Bar in 2013 and practices law as an Associate Advocate at the firm, where she also completed her legal internship.
Meytal earned her Diploma in International Trust Management in 2015, and has been a member of the STEP since then.
Her main practice areas include trusts and estates, inheritance, and real estate.
office: +972 3 508 4966
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