Solicitors governing body: Israel Bar Association
Competition authority: Israel Antitrust Authority
Financial regulator: Israel Securities Authority
IFLR1000 ranking categories:
Financial and corporate (published October): Banking; Capital markets; M&A; Project finance
Israel’s legal system is predominantly based on common law although it incorporates elements of civil law too. When the State of Israel was declared independent an exact date was set to enact a constitution but a codified document has never been produced. Instead, the foundations of the country’s legal system are its Basic Laws, which govern state bodies, the parliament (The Knesset) and some civil rights.
Although geographically part of the Middle East, Israel is isolated from its compatriots in the region due to a longstanding conflict with Palestine, which is supported by other Arab nations, over who rightfully has claim to the land recognised internationally as Israel.
Israel’s conflict with Palestine has seen Israel excluded from cross-border trade within in the region but further afield it does not have the same problem. Israel has bilateral trade agreements with Canada, the EU, EFTA, Mexico, Turkey and the US. The US, consumes around a quarter of all its annual exports, mainly in the form of pharmaceuticals, a variety of high-technology and cut diamonds. The UK and China are the two other most significant importers of Israeli produce.
Israel’s dense legal market is diverse in terms of the size of firms but the best known and most active are typically the largest. Herzog Fox & Neeman, Gornitzky & Co, Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg & Co, and Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal are among those with consistent strength across a range of financial and corporate practices. Other firms are more specialised. S Horowitz & Co is renowned for banking work, Tadmor & Co Yuval Levy & Co has two of the country’s strongest project finance and competition practices, for example.
A fairly recent amendment to Israeli law saw the country’s legal market liberalised to permit foreign law firms to establish branches in Israel for the first time.
Opening the local office of an international firm in Israel is a relatively straightforward process. The Bar Association must be notified within 30 days of its launch, the branch must employ a lawyer - foreign or domestic - already registered with the Bar and it must have complied with the standard employment, registration and tax requirements for opening any business in Israel.
Foreign lawyers registered with Israeli Bar, and with its approval, can practice the law of their jurisdiction. Only foreigners with Israeli citizenship or resident status are entitled to requalify to practice domestic law.
Since regulations on foreign firms in Israel were relaxed, only a few have entered the market. Among the notable arrivals from overseas was Yingke, one the biggest firms in China. It established a soft merger without financial integration with Israeli boutique firm Eyal Khayat Zolty Neiger & Co, which was rebranded Yingke Israel in 2013. US outfit Greenberg Traurig was an earlier entrant, making its move in 2011.
When assessing why foreign firms have not launched branches in Tel Aviv, Israeli lawyers generally concur. Principally, they could not charge the fees they do from abroad in such a competitive market which has no shortage of US or UK qualified lawyers. There are also those who feel international firms are concerned that entering the Israeli market directly could damage important client relationships in the wider the Middle East.
Consolidation in the domestic legal market has been a trend in the last four years. Goldfarb Levy Eran Meiri Tzafrir & Co and M Seligman & Co was the first major deal. The two firms created Goldfarb Seligman & Co – still Israel’s largest firm by headcount. In 2014 Shibolet & Co merged with high-tech boutique Ben-Zvi. In 2013 Meitar Liquornik Geva & Leshem Brandwin and Kantor Elhanani Tal & Co joined forces to become the Israel’s third largest firm. More recently Tadmor & Co and Yuval Levy & Co merged.
Generally speaking, there is a range of commercial legal work on offer for law firms in Israel. There is a significant amount of cross-border corporate transactional work originating from the US. Mainly inbound M&A but also local company IPOs on Nasdaq, and, more recently, outbound acquisitions by domestic groups. Asian inbound investors represent another active client base.
Recently, domestic capital markets work has been somewhat limited. Infrastructure project related advice is however a good fee generator, especially in the energy sector. Five years ago there was an abundance of solar developments, and now there have been huge gas discoveries offshore in Israel.
For smaller firms the most reliable stream of commercial work is M&A and venture capital related advice. Outside the US, Tel Aviv is one of the world’s leading cities for high-tech start-ups thanks to the significant investment by the state in research and development, the proliferation of funding through venture lending and the country’s strong focus on education. A number of firms have built reputations for helping start-ups optimise their businesses and either eventually merging, selling or going public.
Ben Naylor - EMEA Editor
Agmon & Co - Rosenberg Hacohen & Co is one of Israel’s leading oil and gas law experts. The firm advises the biggest private companies in the sector on all types of financing, and is generally mandated on the Israel’s largest conventional energy projects. In addition to being experienced in project finance, the firm is notable for its expertise in reserve-based lending.
More broadly, the firm has a strong capital markets practice with experience and in debt and equity work, a strong regulatory background, and expertise in derivatives and structured finance products.
In the banking and lending space the firm’s recent deals have been a mix of syndicated loans, acquisition finance, and loan portfolio sales. The highlights included advising Harel on a syndicated loan, and acting for Midgal in the purchase of two large loan portfolios from Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot.
Among the firm’s recent project finance deals was a substantial facility for an energy project where it represented the project company/borrower.
The firm’s capital market’s practice has had a strong 2016/17, with roles on several significant and novel transactions. The deals included acting for Delek Drilling on a large bond issue (the first Israeli public debt issue by a limited partnership) and IPO in a transaction that enabled Delek to spin-off some its stake in the Tamar gas field; representing Bank Leumi on issuing Israel’s first CoCo bond; and advising Navitas on its US IPO.
Notable M&A deals for the firm were predominantly public. A headline matter was the merger of Avner Oil Exploration and Delek Drilling, which was the first merger of two publicly traded limited partnerships in Israel. The firm was also involved in the second transaction of this type.
In the projects space, the firm has lead roles on Israel’s biggest conventional energy developments, acting for the consortiums which hold the rights to the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields. Recent work on both fields has been focussed on negotiating more than $100 billion (combined) in gas sale agreements to countries in the Middle East and the domestic market, having advised on the projects since its inception.
Construction, financial services, oil and gas, and transport are among the sectors in which the firm specialises.
Avner Oil and Gas, Bank Leumi, Nobel and Delek are among the firm’s key clients.
"Excellent negotiation skills and ability to close deals.” – Banking and finance
“The best in Israel.” – Capital markets: Debt
"Highly accessible, excellent negotiations skills, broad knowledge of market practises and regulation."
Amit Pollak Matalon & Co has an active M&A practice and is recognised for banking advice.
In the banking area the firm’s recent activity has mostly been general corporate lending or development finance on the side of the lenders (both banks and financial institutions). The firm was also involved in some asset finance transactions, again acting for the lenders.
In the capital markets area, the firm advised a number of Israeli clients on both primary and secondary equity transactions in Australia and was also issuer’s counsel on several bonds.
The firm’s M&A practice has been busy, working on both public and private deals in sectors including energy, healthcare, and technology. Among the highlights was a role Avner Oil Exploration on the merger of Avner and Delek Drilling.
Notable clients include Avner Oil Exploration, Bank Hapoalim, Boston Scientific, and Clal.
Barnea & Co’s strengths are M&A and project development advice.
In the banking area, the firm’s recent work included a number of lender side roles on corporate loan agreements.
Notable capital markets deals for the firm included advising issuers and underwriters on US IPO’s by Israeli companies, and several domestic issuer side bond transactions.
In M&A the firm was most active in the technology area but also involved in deals in medical devices. The deals were a mix of public and private transactions.
In the project area the firm has been involved in large energy and transport projects, advising developers.
Technology and transport are among the sectors in which the firm has expertise.
Notable clients include Alstom Power, Bank Hapoalim, Belectric, and Shikun & Binui.
“Big firm with vast knowledge of Israeli law.” – M&A
Charcon Ben Ami Asher & Co is recognised for project development work. Recent work highlights for the firm have included large transport and social infrastructure projects where it was advising sponsors.
Transport, social infrastructure, and real estate are sectors in which the firm is experienced.
Epstein Rosenblum Maoz is well-regarded for banking and finance and M&A.
The firm’s recent banking and finance highlights were varied but mostly lender side roles. It represented the lenders on a large financing for an energy project, and worked on a number of corporate loan transactions.
In M&A the firm’s recent mandates were predominantly private deals in the technology sector.
Recent project development highlights for the firm have mainly been focused in the energy industry but it has also advised on several utilities projects. The firm’s clients in these projects have generally been sponsors.
Energy and technology are sectors in which the firm is experienced.
Barclays Bank, Unicredit, and Jefferies are some of the firm’s notable clients.
“ERM does an excellent job and is a very user friendly firm for its clients. Because of its size and relative youth, it is not as well equipped as some of the larger firms to handle major transactions but does an excellent job on medium sized projects.” – M&A
“The team is very professional, efficient, and responsive.” – M&A
“Extremely professional and knowledgeable firm. Their work is always prompt but efficient and to the point. Very good people to work with.” – Restructuring
“Asaf is very professional and provided many insights that were essential to the success of the transactions he assisted us on.”
“Fantastic, great lawyer and very attentive to clients.”
Erdinast Ben Nathan Toledano & Co’s (EBN) strongest practices are M&A and transactional private equity and projects, where it’s commended for energy project development and regulatory advice.
The firm’s recent banking work has mainly been for private equity clients, either refinancing companies in the funds’ portfolios or financing acquisitions. The highlights included acting for XIO Group on financing of the acquisition of Meitav Dash and representing Netafim and its financial sponsor Permira Advisors on refinancing the company.
In the capital markets area, the firm has advised a number of companies on bond issues.
In M&A the firm worked on a number of the market’s more complicated deals. These included acting for Noy Fund when it bought a stake in the Ashalim power plant plot A from Abengoa, advising XIO on its acquisition of Meitav Dash - which was still subject to approval at the time of publishing - and acting for Extra Holdings in its purchase of a controlling stake in Blue Square.
The firm saw a number of changes to its partnership recently. It added two insolvency partners - Alon Binyamini and Hagar Guri Greenboim - when their firm Kalir Binyamini merged with EBN. The head of the firm’s project finance practice, Jonathan Finklestone, moved to Meitar with his team.
Recent project work for the firm included advising bidders for a BOT contract to develop a waste treatment facility.
Energy, high-tech, infrastructure, and private equity are sectors in which the firm specialises.
Bank Hapoalim, Permira, Supergas and XIO Group are some of the firm’s significant clients.
"By far the best energy related law firm in Israel - superb knowledge. Great negotiation skills on the investment deals we had over the past two years. Highly motivated and superb support during the process.” – Banking and finance, M&A, private equity
“EBN offer pleasing and responsive service, with leading experts in all elements providing results oriented, determined and consistently excellent service. The firm has extensive knowledge and experience with regard to capital markets practice in particular. EBN has repeatedly proven to us that it is capable of handling complex, challenging issues. The level of service and expertise provided are superior to other big firms. EBN closely coordinate with the client and provide a sophisticated and customer-focussed advice. The capital markets team is very responsive and hard working. Definitely very good value for money.” – Capital markets
“Excellent across the board. Doni Toledano, Lior Oren and their team provide superb service. Innovative, commercially savvy, with a personal touch.” – M&A, private equity
“EBN has extensive knowledge and experience in the energy market in general, and natural gas in particular. EBN’s depth enables it to always be available, and it has repeatedly proven to us that it is capable of handling complex regulatory and commercial issues. The level of service and expertise provided by EBN are superior to the level of service by other big firms. We have been working with EBN on a continuous basis for many years; during this time we have worked with a few of their competitors, and my conclusion is EBN is the best firm in this field.” – Project development, project finance
“We initially addressed EBN in an SOS situation in which our BOT project was at actual and imminent risk, and after several top tier law firms were unable to provide us with the needed services. The project had to re-enter a financial closing with new partners as soon as possible. EBN's energy and infrastructure department immediately understood the complexity of the situation and the type of transactions that were required in order to restructure. The department, led by Uri Noy, worked 24/7 and across continents for almost a year on this extremely complex and one-of-a-kind process, which involved lengthy and complicated negotiations with potential partners, lenders and governmental authorities, and they were a key factor in the successful result.” – Project development, project finance
“Very high professional skills.”
"Alon Binyamini, a partner in the securities team, is an excellent, professional and innovative lawyer with thorough knowledge of the capital markets, who provides efficient and tailor-made services.”
“Hagar Guri, a partner in the securities team, is a highly experienced, very proactive and innovative lawyer, while being measured in her approach.”
“Uri is a brilliant and an outstanding lawyer, and he is well respected by the key players in the energy market due to his vast professional knowledge, experience and strategic understanding of the market. If you have a complex energy transaction – he should be your guy, since you will not be able to find a better combination of a lawyer and a businessman.”
“Uri is a truly brilliant and one-of-a-kind lawyer. Uri has the unique ability to breakdown a very complex situation and provide a comprehensive road map for solving that situation. In addition, Uri's legal and commercial advice were extremely helpful, and proved he has vast experience with respect to the energy market and cross-border transactions.”
“Superb person. The best energy lawyer in Israel. Superb negotiation skills with great industry related experience. Would recommend his legal advice as well as commercial matters.”
“Yaron is an extremely professional lawyer with a unique understanding of project development and construction, thus he was our go-to guy with regard to the challenges that the EPC encountered during the transaction. In addition, Yaron's experience and connections with the Electricity Authority were essential in receiving the Minister and the Electricity Authority's approvals for the transaction.“
“The firm’s go-to man with respect to regulatory issues. He has vast knowledge and deep understanding of all aspects of the energy regulation, and very good relationship with the different regulators."
“Nadav is an excellent lawyer with thorough knowledge of the energy market's regulation, and he is resourceful in finding effective solutions to both commercial and regulatory issues. His excellent professional connections with the different regulators in the market, and the deep appreciations he receives from them, make him probably the number one lawyer in Israel with respect to energy regulatory issues.”
“A fantastic private equity lawyer. He really knows his stuff, is very responsive and very commercial.”
Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co (FBC) is generally strong in transactional work. The firm’s leading practices are capital markets and M&A, and its experienced in debt restructuring. The firm has long-term relationships with a number of Israel’s biggest institutional investors, and often advises these clients on lending. The firm is active in the project area too, and recognised for energy work.
Recent banking and finance highlights work for the firm has been a mix of new money and refinancing transactions, with examples of acquisition and project finance and syndicated loans. One headline deal saw the firm representing institutional investors participating in the syndicated financing for the first stage of development of the Leviathan gas field.
In the capitals markets space the firm has mostly been active advising issuers selling bonds, both public and private and some hybrids. The highlights included representing Rafael Advanced Defense Systems on the largest ever Israeli private placement bond issue.,
The firm’s recent M&A deals have been across various sectors – engineering, manufacturing, technology – and on both public and private deals. A highlight was acting for Fujian Yango Group on the acquisition of controlling stake in Phoenix Holding.
Banking, energy, financial services, insurance, and real estate are some of the sectors in which the firm has expertise.
Bank Hapoalim, Clal, Harel, and Migdal are among the firm’s key clients.
“FBC's work in this field is extraordinary. Very professional partners lead this section at the firm – they’re very smart, deal-makers.” – Banking and finance, restructuring
“Knowledgeable, smart, understands the business, and a great personality.”
Gissin & Co is recognised for capital markets and M&A advice.
Recent capital markets deals of the firm were all debt restructurings where there was a bond element. The firm’s clients on these deals were trustees on several occasions, an issuer, and a controlling shareholder. Several of the companies (issuers) were real estate businesses.
In M&A the firm advised an investor on the acquisition of a retail chain.
Africa Israel Investments is one of the firm's prominent clients.
Goldfarb Seligman & Co has a strong corporate practice, recognised for its involvement in large M&A, particularly public deals, and domestic and US capital markets equity transactions. The firm has relationships with some of Israel’s largest conglomerates, and is known for its expertise in the high-tech sector.
In the banking and finance area the firm represented borrowers on several large transactions. The highlights included representing the lenders which refinanced Altice over three deals in 2016 and early 2017.
The firm’s capital markets work included Israeli IPOs, and IPOs of Israeli tech start-ups in Australia, and a number of bond issues, with work for both arrangers and issuers.
In M&A, the firm advised on some of biggest public M&A deals with an Israeli party recently. The highlights included acting for Mobileye when it was bought by Intel, the largest in-bound Israeli high-tech acquisition ever; representing Valtech Cardio when it was bought by Edwards Lifesciences; and acting for the parent company of large shareholder in Adama when it was bought out ChemChina.
In the projects space, the firm is involved in several large transport infrastructure projects, representing the developers, including assisting Netivei Ayalon on a number of road projects.
Industrials and manufacturing, high-tech, real estate, and telecommunications are sectors where the firm has expertise.
Cellcom, Discount Investment, IDB Group, and Israel’s Public Utility Authority are among the firm’s key clients.
“Very good, thoughtful lawyers. Provide objective advice and are very responsive.” – Banking and finance, M&A
“Very professional, communicative lawyers with high integrity, who care.” – Banking and finance, M&A
“A great team player, knows how to marshal resources, really cares, and is extremely accessible. Ultimate professional.”
Gornitzky & Co is broadly strong, with good lending and finance, capital markets, M&A, and projects specialists.
In the banking and finance area the firm’s recent deals were a mix of lending work, including several large acquisition financings and corporate loans. One of the larger deals was advising the lenders on the refinancing of Bright Food’s acquisition of Tnuva.
Recent capital markets highlights for the firm were predominantly in the debt markets. The notable deals included advising Melisron on a bond exchange offer and acting for Israel Corporation on several bond issues.
The firm’s most notable M&A deals were public transactions, including Nestle’s takeover of Osem, and Delek Group’s sale of its controlling stake in Phoenix. In both cases the firm acted for the sellers.
In the projects space, the firm is involved in several large energy developments, advising on both financing and other construction related issues. The highlights include acting for sponsors of the Ze'elim 120MW photovoltaic power plant and representing the project company on all aspects of the development of the Beer Tuvia IPP.
Construction, energy, high-tech, infrastructure, transport are sectors where the firm has expertise.
Key clients include Apax Partners, Bank Hapoailm, Shikun & Binui, and Sodastream.
“Gornitzky & Co have proved themselves to be a strong relationship firm. We have found the team there to be very proactive and responsive at all times.” – Banking, project finance
“Highly experienced team with senior members personally involved and available in day-to-day activities.” – Banking, project development, project finance
“Dubi, a problem solver who is a pleasure to work with, and the firm impressed us with their strong network of relationships in the Israeli business world. Dubi is friendly, approachable, reliable and proactive in all aspects of our interactions.”
“In-depth understanding of the industry, thinks outside-the-box, and provides added value.”
The Tel Aviv office of US firm Greenberg Traurig is recognised for M&A advice. The firm’s recent deal highlights included a number of roles for Israeli institutional investors in acquiring US and European real estate.
Real estate is sector in which the firm is experienced.
Notable clients include Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Nice Systems.
Joey Shabot and his team are very knowledgeable and accessible. Always a pleasure to work with.
“Fully available, deep knowledge of M&A, and enjoyable to work with. The total package.”
Gross Kleinhendler Hodak Halevy Greenberg & Co has one of Israel’s leading M&A practices, and a strong securities offering, which includes some of Israel’s leading regulatory experts in the area.
Recent banking and finance work for the firm included advising a lender on merging two subsidiaries and several debt restructurings.
In the capital markets area, the firm’s recent work highlights included domestic equity deals and bond issues. An equity highlight was representing Novolog on its Tel Aviv IPO. It represented Clal, IDB, and the Azieli Group on large bond issues.
The firm’s M&A practice was involved in a number of large cross-border deals in 2016/17. The deals involved strategic and private equity buyers and were a fairly even mix of public and private transactions. The highlights included representing Keter when it was bought by BC Partners; Xura when it was acquired by Siris Capital; Edwards in its acquisition of Israeli Valtech Cardio, and Osem’s board when the company was bought out by Nestle.
In the projects space the firm has advised developers in the process of building energy power plants, and acted for the state in a tender process for contracts to build new hospitals.
High-tech, healthcare, life sciences, oil and gas, real estate, and telecommunications are sectors in which the firm has specialists.
Blue Square Real Estate, Gett, IDB Group and Israel railways are among the firm’s key clients.
Hamburger Evron & Co specialises in real estate work, including advising developers and lenders on financing of real estate construction. In the broader project space the firm also advises on utilities and energy infrastructure financings and development.
The firm’s recent deal highlights all relate to project or real estate developments, where it has been advising a mix of lenders or developers. Among the deals were roles advising lenders providing finance for the Midtown Tel Aviv project, and work for developers building renewable power plants.
Real estate is an industry is which the firm specialises.
Bank Leumi, Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot, and Shikun & Binui are some of the firm’s notable clients.
Herzog Fox & Neeman has market leading transactional practices across the financial and corporate space, with strong, commercial, and experienced lending and finance, securities, and M&A specialists. The firm is also experienced in project development.
In the banking and finance area the firm has been involved in a broad range of transactions from margin loans, to real estate and acquisition financing. One highlight was advising the banks which financed Teva’s acquisition of Allergan.
The capital markets practice was active in the debt area. Notable deals included advising Israel Electric Corporation on various bond issues, acting for the underwriters on a series of bonds issued by Teva, and representing Bank of Jerusalem when it sold a CoCo bond.
In the project space, the firm has been active in the energy and infrastructure sector, advising developers on building and financing new power plants and transport infrastructure, and representing lenders on project financing developments. Among the headline projects was the Alon Tavor and Ramat Gavriel IPPs, where it represented the project companies.
The firm has worked on large on domestic and cross-border deals across a range of sectors. A few examples were representing Meitav-Dash Investments when it was acquired by XIO and Mellanox when it bought EZ-Chip.
Banking, energy, financial services, high-tech, infrastructure, real estate and transport are among the sectors in which the firm has expertise.
Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, Israel Electric Corporation, Mellanox Technologies and Microsoft are among the firm’s key clients.
"HFN's team is extremely professional and knowledgeable; very responsive; has great capacity to handle large and complex transactions; and also possess legal creativity, which is shown by their advice. The firm’s service is excellent. They provide solid responses, in a timely manner, which is derived from a deep business understanding and solid legal foundations. HFN has proved once again their commitment to their clients by taking the initiative, showing leadership and navigating any transaction to its successful completion.” – Banking and finance, capital markets, M&A, private equity
“Fully committed partners and associates. Highly professional services and advice.” – Banking, capital markets: debt
“Great work on all areas. Thoughtful and creative approaches. Very attentive to customer needs.” – Banking, capital markets M&A, private equity
“The leading law firm in Israel. Diversification in services provided. High level of partners vis-a-vis professionality and responsiveness. Very good network with clients out of Israel and international law firms. Very good value for money.” – Banking, capital markets, M&A, private equity
"The availability and attention to detail of the team has been extremely helpful in highly sensitive tasks. Partners’ market understanding has been instrumental in negotiation and closing gaps between parties." – Banking, investment funds, M&A
“Premier firm in Israel. Full service firm that can handle anything. They have a good global network and can support all issues which are addressed to them. The team is very strong with a lot of experience and very sensible and practical advice. Fees are also very competitive.” – Banking, M&A
“The firm has represented us for many years and is very well versed in all aspects of activity vis-a-vis the Israeli government, accordingly providing excellent and focussed service.” – Banking, project development, project finance
“We worked with Janet Levy-Pahima and her team for an M&A transaction. It was the best team of lawyers I've ever worked with, period. They were not just legal experts, but true business partners.” – M&A
“Very happy with the work. Professional, commercial, practical, collaborative, thoughtful, timely. Strong client-oriented approach." – M&A, private equity
“Highly experienced and professional, service oriented, good business approach.” – M&A, project development, project finance
"Herzog Fox & Neeman is highly professional. They have tremendous experience in M&A. As they are deal makers, they focus on the client's interests. A year after they finished our M&A deal, I found out how their experience and excellent work had protected and helped us." – M&A, Restructuring
“I found the firm to be at the very top in terms of professionalism, support, experience and attention to detail. Clients such as us require immediate access to a variety of legal expertise and in many cases almost instantly. I found HFN to be highly responsive and very well equipped to meet and exceed these needs. Theirs is a first-class legal team with an impressive depth and experience.” – M&A, restructuring
“I have been working closely on two M&A deals with Ran Hai and his team, and have been deeply impressed by the professionalism and commitment they have shown throughout the processes. It wasn't only drafting of documentation of the highest standard but also deep business, corporate and commercial understanding, leading to valuable advice reflected eventually in favorable closing documentation and terms.” – M&A, restructuring
“Strong professional teams, all very service oriented. All team members I've met, from the most senior to the most junior, were all well immersed in the details and intricacies of the case.” – Restructuring
“Great lawyer with good balance between legal and business approaches; creative ideas; and a strong team for execution.”
“The highest standard of legal and business advice one could hope for.”
“Very happy with the work. Professional, commercial, practical, collaborative, thoughtful, timely. Strong, client-oriented approach.”
Ilanit Landesman Yogev
“Mrs Landesman Yogev’s style is very clean and professional. She goes down to detail and sees the big picture. She treats every person respectfully.”
“Ilanit Landesman Yogev has excellent connections with the regulators, which makes her an asset for any transaction. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of corporate and securities laws, and has a remarkable ability to provide creative solutions in complex real-time situations.”
Janet Levy Pahima
We worked with Janet Levy Pahima and her team for an M&A transaction. It was the best team of lawyers I've ever worked with, period. They were not just legal experts, but true business partners.
“Superb legal expertise, very accessible, proactive approach, and remarkable attention to detail. In short, the kind of lawyer you want next to you when only the best will do.”
“Very strong lawyer. very responsive and always available. Yuval has experience as in-house counsel as well so understands how to present matters to non-legal clients (i.e., CEO etc.).”
“Yuval have been available for the deal team 24/7 with accurate assessments for risk and advice on how to mitigate and move forward.”
“Roy Nachimzon is one of the best lawyers I have worked with. He has a good market understanding. I enjoyed listening to him negotiating.”
“Professional, full control of the field, full control of customer details, high availability, caring.”
“Ehud Sol is considered among the leading and most prominent lawyers in Israel, among others, due to his vast experience, exceptional business understanding, legal creativity and pragmatic approach, which are all extremely important characteristics when dealing with complex M&A transactions.”
“Udi has seen it all and done it all. He is able to assess a situation in a short time and come up with a creative solution. He is always available and responsive no matter the time of day. He is a true consiglieri.”
“Very charismatic and smart. Always found the way to lead the discussion towards a resolution.”
H-F & Co is recognised for M&A advice. The firm’s recent deal highlights all related to deal in the technology sector. The deals were mostly private transcat8ons but the firms roles varied - in some cases it was acting for Israeli start-ups as sellers, in others it was advising North American buyers on inbound deals. The highlights included advising MaxLinear in its acquisition of Provigent.
High-tech is in an industry in which the firm has expertise.
The firm’s clients include Google, Yahoo, Qualcomm, EMC, and Goldman Sachs.
“H-F & Co is by far the strongest legal team in Israel I had a chance to work with. Always super responsive and giving absolute attention to every matter. Their depth of knowledge in our field is a valuable resources in all issues. Having a multinational corporation, it is sometimes difficult to manage legal aspects in more than one territory, but the H-F & Co team makes this a non-issue with experts covering all areas of the business. Had a chance to work either directly or indirectly with teams GKH, Meitar, HFN. H-F & Co is by far more responsive and treats us with the same level of professionalism as they would a larger client, which other firms fail to do.” – M&A
“Super smart people, dedicated, and fun to work with; they love what they do.” – M&A
“The best all-around legal counsel for any high-tech firm. Is an inexhaustible source of knowledge on all areas relating to the business and is always accessible. A true deal-maker with great communication skills.”
Horn & Co is recognised for capital markets advice.
In the capital markets area the firm’s recent portfolio of work included secondary offerings for an Israeli client listed on Nasdaq and private placement debt issues by domestic companies. The firm’s roles were a mix issuer’s or shareholders counsel, and all the issuers were pharmaceutical companies.
Vascular Biogenics, and Pontifax Venture Capital are among the firm’s clients.
“Very professional and dedicated.” – Capital markets
Israeli commercial firm Lipa Meir & Co is recognised for project development and finance work, and often advises the government on infrastructure construction.
In banking the firm has had recent lender side roles on new money financings and refinancings.
The projects practice has represented various government ministries on infrastructure projects recently, including military, social infrastructure, and utility developments. Additionally the firm has advised private developers building energy power plants.
The firm has expertise in defence, energy, utilities, and social infrastructure.
Key clients include the Bank Hapoalim, Ministry of Defense, and The Israeli Water Desalination Administration.
“A very good lawyer. A real expert and a very nice person to work with.”
“Very knowledgeable, comfortable to work with, and a deal maker.”
M Firon & Co is recognised for capital markets, M&A, and project work.
Recent capital markets transactions for the firm have predominantly been issuer side debt issues.
The M&A practice has advised on deals in the energy, pharmaceutical, and technology sectors. The deals were a mix of public and private deals.
In the project area the firm advised real estate, education, energy, utilities, and transport developments being built on a public-private partnership (PPP) and purely private basis. The highlights included representing the developers, Ashtrom Group and Shapir Engineering and Industry, of a new port in Haifa.
Real estate, social infrastructure, and technology are sectors in which the firm has expertise.
Ashtrom, The Israeli Ministry of Finance, and Harel Insurance are some of the firm’s key clients.
“Delivery-focussed and commercial.” – M&A
“Extremely professional, uncommonly available, incredible industry knowledge.” – Project development, Project finance
“Best I have seen. Building a reputation as the best attorney in the country.”
“Perfect. A prominent expert in her field, superb in every way.”
“Responsive and commercial.”
Until recently, Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal’s strongest transactional practices were banking (lending and regulatory and supervisory law advice), capital markets, and M&A. The firm can now add project finance - and in a wider context project development - to this list.
Historically Meitar was known for corporate advice but in a similar way to how it secured a market-leading banking practice through a merger several years ago, the firm recently recruited one of the market’s leading projects teams. Given the expertise and experience of the group that was recruited, the firm may in the future have one of the leading practices in this field too.
In the banking and finance area, the firm’s recent notable work included regulatory mandates and transactional work, predominantly on the side of banks or lenders, which were in some cases intuitional investors. The highlights included several large syndications and acquisition financings.
Recent capital markets highlights for the firm were mostly debt issues. It also was involved in a handful of equity transactions – mostly issuer-side secondary offerings – and some derivative transactions for banks. The highlight debt deals included advising Mizrachi Tefahotn on raising $826 million through series of bond issues and advising Union Bank Of Israel on selling a CoCo bond.
The firm’s M&A practice has been busy, working on large cross-border strategic and private equity deals. The publishable highlights included acting for BC partners when it bought Keter and representing Equity One when it merged with Regency Centers Corporation.
In the projects space the firm has been advising on regulatory issues relating to energy projects.
There were a number of changes to the firm’s partnership in this research period. The firm has added two new teams – one focussed on projects from Erdinast Ben Nathan Toledano & Co, the other focussed on high-tech recruited from Gross Kleinhendler Hodak Halevy Greenberg & Co. Among the new partners in these two groups were Jonathan Finklestone, Tani Zahavi and Guy Kles, (all projects), and Itay Frishman, Shachar Hadar, and Miri Shalit. (all high-tech). All are highly regarded in their fields.
Banking, energy, infrastructure, financial services and high-tech are sectors where the firm has expertise.
“Most professional, very thorough, attention to every detail, and a pleasure to work with.” – Banking and finance
"Jonathan has many years of experience advising banks and project companies. His good humour and commercial sense mean that deals can get done quickly, with minimum stress.”
“Amazing work. Deep understanding of the business, great to communicate with.”
Moreh Tovim is recognised for M&A and has recently advised on small deals in the technology sector. The firm’s roles have varied between buy and sell side, and the transactions have mostly related to private companies.
Naschitz Brandes Amir has one Israel’s leading private equity practices, for both transactional work and fund formation, and has good experience representing issuers on both domestic and international equity capital markets offerings. The firm often takes start-up clients from early stage investment through to IPO, merger, or sale.
In the capital markets area, the firm’s recent deal highlights were mostly equity transactions. These included advising Plus500 on a secondary share offering on AIM; Overseas Commerce on its Tel Aviv IPO; and Magal Security Systems on a Nasdaq rights issue.
In M&A the firm was involved in private equity and strategic deals. A few of the highlights were advising Midea Group on its acquisition of Servotronix and acting for Shikun & Binui on the sale of the Hadera water desalination facility to IDE Technologies
Pearl Cohen is recognised for capital markets, M&A, and project advice.
In the capital markets area the firm has advised on a number of issuer side roles for domestic clients on secondary equity transactions, with deals relating to Nasdaq and Tel Aviv listed companies.
The firm’s recent M&A advice has mostly related to venture capital investments where it has advised Israeli start-ups and investors. A number of the deals were in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors.
In the project space, the firm is involved in several renewable energy power plant developments, advising sponsors.
“Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz provided our company with excellent legal advice and assistance with several complex corporate transactions. Our team was very satisfied with the service we received.” – Banking
“The lawyers at Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz provide excellent advice and client service. They work tirelessly and without complaint at the long hours to meet our needs in a different time zone.” – Banking, Investment funds, Restructuring and insolvency
“The firm has been reorganised, when two new partners have joined the project department. The first partner Ittai Gross has long and extensive experience representing high profile international companies in complex matters. The second partner is Gali Friedhof has unique experience in representation of the leading construction companies.” – Project finance
“Yael has a very good grasp of corporate governance and corporate law and finance. She is always available and if she is not, she communicates clearly.”
“Yael's experience and expertise in my company's field has been extremely helpful. This year she negotiated and closed a large and complex transaction that has enhanced our business in Israel. Yael is extremely professional and proficient and responds quickly to all requests.”
“A clever, sharp and quick thinking lawyer. Extremely accessible and very pleasant to work with.”
“Extremely dedicated, creative and a true problem solver.”
Raz Dlugin & Co is recognised for M&A advice and focussed on the high-tech sector. Recent deal highlights for the firm include a number of transactions representing Israeli gaming start-ups when they were acquired by international companies.
Ron Gazit Rotenberg & Co is recognised for M&A work. The firm’s recent advice has included local counsel roles for large multi-nationals acquiring Israeli companies or merging existing businesses they own. The firm has also been instructed by private equity firms to provide due diligence on Israeli targets.
The firm is experienced in working on deals in the high-tech and pharmaceutical sectors.
Sony and Microsoft are among the firm’s significant clients.
“I would like to note Ms. Herzog's high professional level, expertise in the subject matter, attention to detail, creative thinking and flexible approach, tailor-made to the client's needs, patience and empathy. Ms. Herzog is a lawyer that sees the forest as well as the trees. I would recommend her to any party to an M&A deal, especially it it's a complicated one involving corporate governance aspects.”
“Outstanding network. Extremely capable at resolving complex negotiations. Promptly addresses matters and completes projects efficiently.”
“Shirin is real pro, accessible, expert in our areas of activities, multi-sector knowledge with long term, strategically focused negotiating skills with much hands on experience. On a personal level Shirin is friendly, committed and loyal, and over the years a good friend and advisor.”
S Friedman & Co is recognised for capital markets and M&A.
Recent capital markets deal highlights for the firm have included a number of issuer side domestic bond sales and an IPO dual-listing, were the firm advised on local law.
The firm’s M&A highlights were mostly public deals. The roles varied between buy and sell side and the deals were in sectors including technology, life sciences, and food and beverages.
The firm’s longstanding clients include ZIM, Rada, Emilia Development, and Matomy Media Group.
“Their strengths are combination of high level professional work, timely responses when transactions are in process , creative ideas to resolve business issues in a transaction and above all - personal loyal friendly engagement.” – Banking, Capital markets, Investment funds
“Professional and responsive.” – Capital markets
“Professional, hardworking, innovative, and responsive, and has a good team working under him.”
S Horowitz & Co’s strongest transactional practice is banking and finance, but in general it is experienced in all areas of work covered by the rankings.
Recent banking and finance highlights for the firm have included a number of large and notable deals, where it was always on side the lenders. Among the highlights was what the firm says is the largest export credit financing by Israel to Ethiopian Sugar Corporation and large finance package for Netafim.
The M&A practice has been involved in both public and private deals in sectors including energy, manufacturing, technology, and retail.
In the project finance area, the firm is representing lenders financing large developments. The headline deals include Jerusalem Light Railway BOT.
Recent capital markets work for the firm was a mix of debt and equity work. It advised Minrav Projects and Plover Bay Technologies on IPOs and had various issuer side roles on bond sales.
Notable project development work for the firm includes a role for the concessionaire on the Northern extension to the Cross-Israel Highway.
Banking and financial services are sectors in which the firm has expertise.
Significant clients include Bank Hapoalim, HSBC, Israel Discount Bank, and Minrav Holdings.
“Very strong, professional and responsive team lead by Amir Assali. Advised us on various bond offerings where we have acted as distributor/underwriter.” – Capital markets
“Fully professional and highly available. Great knowledge of the marketplace and all the various specific details required to close deals.” – M&A
“S Horowitz acted as counsel for our acquisition of an Israel-based start-up company. They did excellent work - very quickly understanding our objectives and constraints, and were highly responsive and flexible which was particularly challenging given a 10-hour time zone difference. The firm not only provided strong legal support in structuring the transaction, process and documents - but also pertinent business counsel of key deal points and negotiation strategies.” – M&A
“Amir is a true professional. He always gets the deal done ahead of time and is available to us around the clock. We enjoy working with him on a personal level.”
“Responsive and professional work attitude.”
“Very professional and responsive.“
“From the time I got to know him, I never even searched for any other lawyer. Amit combines the skills of a top firm's lawyer to the availability and kindness of a low tier firm.”
Sharir Shiv & Co is recognised for capital markets and M&A. In the capital markets area the firm advised a number issuers in equity private placements. Recent M&A work was mostly sell side roles for venture funds or Israeli companies divesting of assets.
Shenav & Co is recognised for M&A and project advice.
The firm’s recent M&A highlights were all the technology sector where it was representing Israeli companies being acquired.
The firm’s recent project highlights related to roads and gas transport infrastructure where it was advising the state through various public authorities on various contracts and negotiations with sponsors.
The firm is experienced in advising on deals in the technology and transport sectors.
Annapurna Labs, Israel’s Ministry of Finance, and Israel’s Ministry of International infrastructure Energy and Water Resource are some of the firm’s notable clients.
Full-service, domestic firm Shibolet & Co is recognised for all areas of work covered by the rankings.
The firm’s recent banking highlights included a number of lender side mandates for insurer Phoenix.
Recent capital markets highlights for the firm were mostly issuer side roles on bond issues and several Tel Aviv IPOs.
In M&A the firm has been active in the energy, retail and technology sectors, with the work split between buy and sell side roles.
Among the firm’s notable project work was advice relating to the construction of power plants.
Energy, real estate and technology are sectors in which the firm has expertise.
Barclays Bank, BNP Paribas Israel, Ceragon Networks, and Delek Group.
“Lior is very much of a problem-solver and will find the path to get your company to where it wants to be.”
Steinmetz Haring Gurman & Co is recognised for banking, capital markets, and M&A advice.
Recent banking highlights for the firm included lender side roles on corporate loans where it acted for banks and financial institutions.
The firm’s capital markets work has all been in the debt area with a mix of new issues and bond restructurings where it was acting for issuers.
In M&A the firm advised on several cross-border public deals as local counsel.
Tadmor & Co Yuval Levy & Co has a strong projects practice and is recognised for M&A advice.
In project area the firm’s recent mandates have included infrastructure development or financing relating to power production, transport, water treatment, and fuel transportation. The firm’s clients have varied on these projects – on some deals being the state or state bodies, on others sponsors or lenders.
In M&A the firm’s deal highlights in the current research period have been in sectors including media, defence, and technology. It has represented domestic sellers and foreign byers, and the deals were a mix of public and private transactions.
The firm recently hired one of the country’s leading projects lawyers Noa Meidan and her team, including two other partners.
Energy, utilities, transport, and social infrastructure are sectors in which the firm has expertise.
Corning, Harman, SNCF, Revlon, and Endemol-Shine are some of the firm’s significant clients.
“Professional work. Very knowledgeable in all relevant law related issues as well as industry and market common practices.” – Investment funds
“Excellent impression. High availability, professional care, personal care, one point of contact, familiarity with the details, positive contribution to the business results, success in closing an investment transaction and cooperation with a Hong Kong listed company.” – M&A
“The work is very professional, provided in a timely manner and fulfils all my expectations.” – M&A
“An exceptional firm with deep industry knowledge specifically in project finance. They have also assisted us in complex loan sales deals. Their team are extremely dedicated to service and work around the clock 24/7, they are always available and have great negotiation ability, providing creative solutions to issues arising during and after financial closing. They have vast knowledge of the industry as they have represented the state and banks in numerous deals, small and large. I would like to give Idan Hirshberg specifically credit for his impeccable service as well as professional knowledge.” – Project finance
“Excellent knowledge of market practice and client needs, good negotiation skills, knows how to balance so the needs of both sides will be met.” – Project finance
“Highly motivated, deal-oriented team.” – Project finance
“Very professional, talented, loyal to the client, honest. Fulfils its promises and the timetables.” – Project finance
“Excellent knowledge of market practice and client needs, good negotiation skills, and knows how to balance so the needs of both sides will be met.”
“First and foremost has impeccable service. He is super dedicated to his clients, he gives lots of thought to detail, has an amazing ability to get deals done, provides creative solutions to issues, has a strong presence, and is extremely professional.”
“Very professional, intelligent, loyal, very honest, available and patient.”
“Very professional, highly motivated, client oriented, deal driven lawyer with exceptional deal structuring and risk mitigating capabilities.”
“Very committed to the customer while not ignoring the other side to the deal. Helping to make it happen.”
“Ophir works around the clock and is always available and his advice is first class.”
Corporate boutique Tulchinsky Stern Marciano Cohen Levitski & Co is an M&A and venture capital specialist.
Recent deals highlights for the firm included representing Israeli clients selling US shares and advice to international clients acquiring targets in Israel.
Teva is a key client of the firm.
“He provides me excellent service. He is thoughtful, creative, has excellent attention to detail, and is commercial and highly responsive.”
Funds specialist Vinograd & Co is recognised for capital markets advice. The firm’s recent deal highlights included a number of bond issues were it was advising the buyers.
Key clients include Excellence, Meitav-Dash, and Israel Electric Company’s pension fund.
Investment management is a sector in which the firm has expertise,
Weksler Bregman & Co is primarily recognised for capital markets and active in M&A.
In the capital markets area the firm’s recent mandates included a number for various debt and equity issues for businesses within the Africa Israel group.
In M&A the firm advised Africa Israel on various investments including in infrastructure projects.
Real estate is a sector in which the firm has expertise.
Africa Israel Group and Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange are some of the firm’s notable clients.
“Good service, vast understanding of the securities law. Good commercial understanding and fast deliveries.” – Capital markets, M&A
“Main strength is in-depth knowledge of capital markets and its regulation, mainly in Israel. Good experience in M&A contracts, IPOs and secondaries. Good contract negotiators, in general.” – Capital markets, M&A
“Very professional. Wise and has business understanding.”
“Excellent – attentive with a broad commercial understanding, and diligent.”
Yigal Arnon & Co is broadly experienced in transactional work. The firm’s strongest financial and corporate practices are project finance, where it generally advises lenders, and M&A, where its often involved in large cross-border deals involving the US.
In banking and finance the firm had roles advising lenders on financings, including acting for HSBC and JPMorgan in a loan to Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration to develop the Leviathan gas field.
The firm’s recent capital markets highlights included domestic bond issues and representing Israeli clients on equity transactions on international exchanges.
In M&A the firm had a strong 2017 securing roles on some of the largest inbound M&A deals. Among the highlights were two headline high-tech transactions, representing Intel in its acquisition of Mobileye and Shanghai Giant Network Technology in its acquisition of Playtika.
In project development, the firm is involved in several transport projects, representing the state. These include acting for project company NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System in developing the Jerusalem Light Rail Transit.
High-tech, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, real estate and transport are among the sectors where the firm has expertise.
Azrieli Group, Harel, HSBC, JPMorgan and Medtronic are among the firm’s prominent clients.
“Extremely satisfied. Prompt and professional work all the time.” – Banking and finance
“The partner is accessible and generally knowledgeable but there are too many people involved in the process and the accuracy is not perfect.” – Banking and finance
“Good, commercial-minded advice. Excellent response time and customer focussed attitude.” – M&A
“Customer oriented, good international background, flexible and responsive, hands-on attitude.”
“Excellent in all areas. Attention to detail, responsiveness and professionalism unmatched.”
Yossi Avraham & Co is recognised for M&A advice. Recent deal highlights included several domestic acquisitions by technology companies where the firm was on buy side.
“Very professional, up-to-date, thorough, hard-working and highly responsive, with great people.” – M&A
Yossi Levy & Co (formerly Levy Meidan & Co) has a strong projects’ practice experienced in development, including public-private partnerships (PPP), and finance advice relating to most infrastructure.
The firm’s recent projects advice included social housing, energy, utilities, and transport projects. The firm advised lenders on PFI transport and energy projects and had roles for the state on airport and energy projects.
A significant recent staffing change at the firm – the departure of three partners including name partner Noa Meidan – caused the firm to change its name, and has had an impact on the firm’s projects team, of which Meidan was the best known expert.
Energy, transport, social infrastructure, utilities, and real estate are sectors in which the firm has expertise.
Key clients of the firm include various state bodies (Ministry of Finance, Israeli Airport Authority, Ministry of Environmental Protection), and Bank Hapoalim.
“High availability, professional service, quick responses, efficient.”
“Professional, responsive, and experienced.”
Zysman Aharoni Gayer & Co is an Israeli corporate boutique, focussing on work for domestic and US clients and recognised for capital markets and M&A advice.
Recent capital markets highlights for the firm were mostly issuer-side secondary equity transactions, both public deals and private placements.
In M&A the firm’s recent deals were mainly in the life sciences and technology sectors which were an even split of public and private transactions.