From One Desk to Another

Roundup of News from Israel Desks around the Globe

November 2015
With the holidays firmly behind us, the new year continues to look extremely positive for the Israeli market and this has not gone unnoticed by international outlets. The latest Mergermarket figures report a staggering $6 billion worth of M&A deals completed in Israel during the first nine months of 2015, in comparison to $7 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, The American Lawyer Magazine published its bi-annual Israel report in October, discussing the increasing investments of Israeli firms abroad and the growing size and complexity of deals in Israel.

In this edition of our From One Desk to Another newsletter, we bring you more news from the Israeli desks of international law firms and provide you with the most extensive and detailed information about them.

We want to bring you the latest news and articles from the Israeli desks as well as relevant news and events from around the legal community. If there is specific news you would like to share, as well as all additional suggestions, email us at: 
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Featured Firm: DLA Piper

Jeremy Lustman, Partner, DLA Piper

How long have you been present in the Israeli market?
DLA Piper has been active in Israel for a number of years, but we decided to have a designated representative on the ground here approximately six years ago.  Since then, our practice has increased exponentially, with over 150 Israeli companies and over 150 multinational clients on our roster. During the first half of 2015, we have already been involved in more than 20 significant Israel-related transactions, approaching an aggregate value of US$3 billion.

What were the factors that drew you towards Israel?
Many factors drew me to Israel, including that the economy  (and my practice) in the US were suffering dramatically due to the global financial crisis, while Israel had weathered the storm of the crisis really well.  As DLA Piper had grown so dramatically throughout the world, we were in a strong position to offer Israeli companies true global access to wherever they were doing business.

Which are the sectors of the Israeli economy in which you are most interested and involved?
Our global capabilities have enabled us to be integrally involved in so many areas  – from the incredibly innovative hi-tech companies, to the local investment and insurance communities, to many of the local PE and VC firms and the global Israeli conglomerates. We also have close relationships with many of the local investment banks, major accounting and law firms, and the various Embassies and Chambers of Commerce. 

You are involved all over the world in multiple jurisdictions, are there particular challenges you face in the Israeli market?
First, Israel has a tremendous amount of local lawyers per capita. In that context, we are mindful of coming in and being perceived as competition. As a result, we have bent over backwards to cultivate strong relationships with local law firms, refer a significant amount of work to them and assist their clients with their global needs. Second, obviously it is a very close knit market, and everyone shares feedback with one another very quickly, which could be daunting. However, we have provided consistent high quality service to our clients, which has helped bring in increased referrals and opportunities. Finally, we are always conscious of the local political sensitivities of the region given that we have offices in a number of other Middle Eastern countries.

What is your favorite restaurant or bar in Israel to take a client?  
I love restaurants with a view of the beautiful scenes surrounding us, including Blue Sky in the Carlton hotel overlooking the Tel Aviv skyline, West Side at the Royal Beach in Tel Aviv overlooking the sea, Herbert Samuel at the Ritz Carlton in Herzliya overlooking the marina, and the rooftop restaurant of Mamilla Hotel overlooking the Old City.

News at 5

The M&A findings by UK-based Mergermarket emerged in October, revealing Naschitz Brandes Amir & Co led the pack with 16 deals. Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal & Co and Yigal Arnon & Co came 2nd and 3rd respectively, according to the report. HFN were ranked 4th with 13 deals. Read more

The American Lawyer’s bi-annual Israel briefing discussed a range of issues in the Israeli market including the increase in Israeli investments overseas. Click here to read the article

Speaking of the foreign ambitions of Israeli companies, there was an interesting piece in Jewish News Online (October 23) about the Israeli tech companies currently taking London by storm. At the other end of the spectrum, an article in Reuters (October 13) reported that Israel’s Delek Group is eyeing up a London share listing as it looks to become a global oil and gas exploration firm. 

Articles from Israel Desks 


More dominos fall on the data protection table 
As of October 6, the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework is no more. Safe Harbor was the mechanism on which thousands of US companies (and thousands of companies based in the European Union) legitimized their data transfers from the EU to the US. Read more

Data Transfer From Israel to U.S. Can No Longer Rely on Safe Harbor Program 
ILITA has announced that companies and other entities can no longer rely on the EU’s “Safe Harbor” framework as a basis for transferring personal data from Israel to the United States. Read more

Beware of the Use of Derivatives in the Purchase and Sale of Private Shares
The SEC is examining the use of derivatives in the secondary market for shares of private companies. Read more

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Upcoming Events

November 26-27, Haifa: The international conference on the resolution of mass disputes. For details about attending, read more.

December 1-2, Petach Tikva: IBM Israel, Tadmor & Co. Yuval Levy & Co. and Silicon Dragon are hosting Silicon Dragon Tel Aviv 2015, exploring the links between Israel and China. For details, read more.

December 8, London: For details about the Power of Innovation conference in London, register interest here.
December 16, Tel Aviv: The Axis Tel Aviv Corporate Edition 2015 is bringing together Israel’s leading start-ups with global corporate venture arms. Event sponsors include Erdinast Ben Nathan,  DLA Piper and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. To find out how to attend, read more.


Mergermarket published Israel's Q3 2015 tables. Click here.

American Lawyer Magazine Israel Edition was published. Click here.

IFLR1000 published its 2015 rankings for Israel. Click here
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