- How do the awards work?
- The Legal 500 United Kingdom Awards 2013
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - In-house winners
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - Law firm winners
- The Legal 500 Latin America Awards (coming soon)
- The Legal 500 Germany Awards (coming soon)
- Frequently asked questions
- Legal market overview
- Banking and finance
- Capital markets
- Corporate and M&A
- Dispute resolution
- Hi-tech, start-ups and venture capital
- Intellectual property
- Projects and energy
- Real estate and construction
- Shipping and transport
- Telecoms and media
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- Latin America: International firms
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- Saudi Arabia
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- United Kingdom
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- United States
Legal market overview
The Israeli legal market is highly competitive and dynamic: it is a jurisdiction with a very high number of lawyers per capita, and below its upper echelon of robust full-service firms, there is a bustling market of smaller firms and boutiques to which clients tend to be loyal. However, in recent years there have been signs that the market might be ready for change and in 2012 it was opened up to competition from foreign law firms. Although the number of foreign firms is small thus far, some are operating already: Greenberg Traurig P.A handles large corporate work on behalf of Israeli clients such as Teva and Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP also has a representative office in the jurisdiction. Chinese firm Yingke Law Firm’s recent merger with boutique offering Eyal Khayat Zolty, Neiger & Co. to create Yingke Israel – Eyal Khayat, Zolty, Neiger & Co., Law Offices might provide a possible template for foreign firms going forward.
2013 was also notable for two significant mergers among domestic law firms: in April, Shibolet & Co subsumed J. Zaltzman, Gilat, Knoller, Graus, Salomon Law Firm; and, in May, Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer merged with Baratz & Co to form Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz. Another notable development was highly regarded tax specialist Eldar Ben-Ruby and hi-tech specialist Alon Sahar both moving from Herzog Fox & Neeman to Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law offices.
In terms of industry sectors, the country’s powerhouse hi-tech industry remains a key driver; the demand for real estate has kept lawyers busy in that sector; and the energy market is booming as participants prepare to exploit oil and gas reserves such as the Tamar gas field. While capital markets activity has been relatively subdued in recent times, there are signs of revival. On the corporate front, 2013 witnessed some large transactions, perhaps most notably Google’s $1.15bn acquisition of Waze.
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On December 23, 2013, the Israeli Knesset approved Amendment No. 23 to the Israeli Companies Law, 1999 (the " Amendment ", and the " Companies Law ", respectively). The Amendment is primarily concerning the establishment and governance of "Charitable Company Fund" (the " Fund "), which are companies established in order to finance and fund non-profit entities. Below is an overview of the main provisions of the Amendment:
A New Governmental Proposal to Significantly Narrow the Tax Benefits for New Immigrants and Returning Residents in Israel
On November 5, 2012 the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) adopted a proposal of the Israeli Ministry of Finance and passed legislation providing for a temporary tax relief with respect to the recapture tax applicable to certain Israeli companies holding undistributed earnings that were previously exempt from Israeli corporate income tax under tax incentive programs.
Environmental policy and regulation in Israel have developed significantly over the course of the past several years. After decades of what may be considered as regulatory standstill, Israeli environmental regulation has taken a tremendous leap forward. Numerous environmental matters, some of which were not previously regulated and others which were subject to outdated standards, have been revised and updated through new comprehensive statutes, innovative regulations and professional guidelines.
Welcome to the 4 th edition of Unfolding, which looks at some important developments in Israel in recent months. Much has happened in Israel since the last edition of Unfolding. The Israeli economy may be small in scale, but never in the level of its business activity.
Following on from the Government's decision to adopt the recommendations of the Committee for Increasing Competition in the Marketplace, the Government published last week a Memorandum on the Law for Promotion of Competition and Reduction in Concentration, 5772-2012. The Memorandum aims at providing a statutory framework for implementing the recommendations of the Committee.
Corporate and Securities Law
On February 27, 2012, the Agency Contract Law (Commercial Agent and Supplier), 5772-2012 (hereinafter: the “Law”) was published. The Law shall enter into force 60 days from the date of publication.
Is your business involved in international trade? If the answer to this question is a resounding “YES”, then it might well be time for your business to prepare and adopt a code of conduct that includes procedures to detect and prevent bribery of foreign government officials. The day is coming when not having such a code will be a bar to entering many different lucrative markets and will place you and your business in danger of breaking the law.
The Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014 (the New ELP Law ) has replaced the Exempted Limited Partnership Law (2013 Revision) (the Previous Law ). The New Law includes significant changes to the Cayman Islands' statutory framework regulating exempted limited partnerships ( ELPs ) that will increase the attractiveness of ELPs and will be appreciated by managers, investors and creditors alike. Private equity sponsors in particular will notice substantial improvements that are indicative of Cayman's continuing commitment to balanced and commercially sensible legislation. Read more...
RESTRUCTURING - COURT PROCEDURES
On 23 May 2014, the States of Jersey passed the Companies (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 201- (the Amendment Law ). This will now be sent to the UK Privy Council for consideration, then laid before the States of Jersey for a final time before coming into force. The latest information we have is that the Privy Council will be approving the law on 19 July 2014 and it may come into effect as soon as 4 August 2014.
The Hague, 4 July 2014 - BarentsKrans has appointed Joost Fanoy as a partner in the Antitrust & Public Procurement department, effective as of July 1, 2014. Joost specializes in European law in general with a particular focus on European and Dutch competition, public procurement and state aid law and is the head of the Antitrust and Public Procurement Practice Group. Joost is also a member of the Cartel damages team of BarentsKrans.
PineBridge Investments Middle East, a global multi-asset class investment manager with regional headquarters in Bahrain, and nearly 60 years of experience in emerging and developed markets, has acquired a 50% equity stake in Romatem, the leading physical therapy and rehabilitation services chain in Turkey.
Isbank issued 750 million USD notes under its GMTN programme established in 2013. The notes are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 5 % with a maturity date 2021. Mr. Omer Collak (partner) and Mr. Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have acted for the joint lead managers Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
Halkbank issued five-year term fixed interest rate US currency notes, with a total amount of USD 500 million with an interest rate of 4.765 % and an annual coupon rate of 4.750 %. The notes offered the lowest borrowing rate in the first five-month period of 2014, and total demand rose nearly nine-fold due to high investor interest. The note issuance drew great interest from international investors settled in the Middle East and Asia, as well as those investors based in the US and Europe. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised the joint lead managers.
Turkiye Finans issued the first ringgit sukuk originating from Turkey. The bank initially raised MYR 1 billion with a five-year commodity sukuk on June 30, with an annual return of 6 %. The sukuk under the programme will have tenure of one to 20 years. Funds raised will go towards general corporate purposes. The sukuk will be issued through TF Varlik Kiralama A.S., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turkiye Finans. Malaysia's RAM Ratings has accorded the programme an indicative long-term rating of AA3. HSBC Amanah Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq were the joint advisers. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised Turkiye Finans and the issuer TF Varlik Kiralama A.S.
Ziraat Bank, the largest state owned bank of Turkey, established GMTN programme on 21 May 2014, for the notes to be issued up to USD 2 billion listed on Irish Stock Exchange. The notes are unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations, and rank pari-passu with Ziraat Bank's other senior unsecured obligations.
Vakifbank issued EUR 500 million 5-year unsecured and unsubordinated notes under the first GMTN programme of Turkey established in 2013. The notes are listed on Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 3.5 % p.a. with a maturity date 17 June 2019. This is the very first EUR denominated RegS offering of a Turkish entity.