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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Israel > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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Noted for its 'international reach and high-level market connections', Erdinast, Ben Nathan, Toledano & Co. has been consistently involved in the largest M&A and investment transactions in the Israeli market. Headed by Doni Toledano, who is highly regarded by clients and peers, the team acts across a range of industry sectors and is equally strong in public company M&A and private capital transactions. Toledano and Nitzan Aberbach advised Netafim and its majority shareholder, Permira, on the sale of an 80% stake in Netafim to Mexichem. Additionally, Toledano and Lior Oren acted for Sirius International Insurance Group in relation to its NIS2.5bn acquisition of a controlling stake in The Phoenix Holdings, the parent company of one of Israel's largest insurance corporations. Also in the financial services sector, the team is advising Mizrahi Tefahot Bank on its contemplated M&A with Union Bank of Israel. Roy Caner is a key figure in the hi-tech space, where he acts for Israeli companies and venture capital investors.

Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co is active in a wide range of industry sectors, and is engaged by major domestic and international corporates, global capital groups and domestic investment funds, banks and alternative lenders, and company shareholders. The corporate team is led by Avraham Well, 'one of the best dealmakers in the Israeli market'; Well acted for Bank Leumi and Azrieli Group in relation to its NIS2.5bn sale of Leumi Card to New York-based private equity fund Warburg Pincus. Additionally, Nitzan Sandor advised Noble Energy Mediterranean on the complex sale to Tamar Petroleum of 7.5% of its rights in the Tamar gas field; the cash-plus-equity deal carried an aggregate value of approximately $800m. Also of note, Raz Tepper advised Perrigo API on the $110m sale of its active pharmaceutical ingredients business, which was carried out through an auction process. Ronald Lehmann and Michael Zellermayer are also recommended, and Eran Yaniv is a key contact for tech sector deals.

Goldfarb Seligman & Co. has an impressive track record in major tech M&A, and is also involved in market-leading deals in the real estate, energy, and financial services sectors, among others. A key figure in the team is Ido Zemach, who acted for I Squared Capital in relation to its $1.5bn acquisition of IC Power, which owns energy assets in Latin America, Israel and the Caribbean. Additionally, Zemach acted as Israeli counsel to Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation in relation to its $1.1bn acquisition of NeuroDerm. Also of note, Dubi Zoltak advised Arison Group on the NIS1.1bn sale of its controlling stake in Shikun & Binui Group to the Saidoff Group. The team has also acted for prominent private equity funds based in Asia and the US. Also recommended are Rami Sofer, Nechama Brin and Ashok Chandrasekhar.

Gornitzky & Co. has 'a solid corporate practice, with particular strengths in acting for domestic Israeli companies', though the firm is also regularly instructed by major multinational acquirers. Key contacts in the team include Elite Elkon, who is 'excellent in dealing with financially regulated companies', and department head Chaim Friedland, who has a strong reputation among international clients. In particular, Friedland was involved in the largest Israeli M&A of 2018, where he advised International Flavors & Fragrances on its $7.1bn reverse triangular merger with TASE-listed Frutarom. Additionally, Elkon advised private equity fund Warburg Pincus on its acquisition of Leumi Card, and acted for Delek Group in relation to its attempted sale of a controlling stake in The Phoenix Holdings to Sirius International Insurance Group. Acting together, Friedland and Elkon advised a prominent investment manager on the bid process for the acquisition of an Israeli technology company. Other significant clients include Apax Partners (Israel) and Altria Group.

Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg, Shenhav & Co. is active in the tech sector and also has considerable experience in financial services, where it is regularly instructed by banks and company shareholders in complex M&A. In particular, Esther Koren provides a range of support to Israel Discount Bank, including acting for the client in a share transaction in which IDB Development Corporation sold its shares in Discount Investment Corporation to the controlling shareholder of Israel Discount Bank. Also in the financial services sector, a team including David Hodak and Eyal Diskin acted for a shareholder of Bank Hapoalim in relation to a NIS3.3bn sale of 49% of her holdings in the bank to an investment company and various institutional entities from North America. Richard Mann has expertise in international securities and cross-border M&A, and has been especially active in transactions in the tech sector.

Herzog Fox & Neeman has 'a tremendous amount of experience in difficult high-profile mandates', often working across from parties in the US and Asia. The corporate team has been involved in some of the tech-sector's largest M&A, though it is also consistently involved in the most significant deals in the old economy industries. In one particularly high-value mandate, Yair Geva and Aviram Hazak acted as Israeli counsel to Pepsi Co in relation to its $3.2bn acquisition of SodaStream. Additionally, a team including Ilanit Landesman-Yogev and Ehud Sol advised IRSA Inversionesy Representaciones on a complex transaction for the acquisition of all of Israel Discount Bank's holdings in Discount Investment Corporation, with the aim to comply with the Israeli Centralization Law. Also of note, Sol and Nir Dash advised Thai-incorporated Indorama Ventures on its $313m acquisition of a controlling stake in Israeli public company Avgol Industries. Other significant clients include Oaktree Capital Management, Adler Real Estate and Salesforce. Janet Levy Pahima, Alan Sacks and Ran Hai have all been singled out by clients.

Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices is one of the most active M&A firms in the market, and has complementary expertise in international securities, finance, tax and employment. Given its pedigree and market reputation, the firm is regularly involved in deals with multinational participants. Adv Itay Frishman advised Nasdaq-listed KLA - Tencor on its $4.5bn acquisition of Orbotech, and Adv Dan Geva acted for Neuroderm in relation to a $1.1bn reverse triangular merger transaction with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. Further, Adv Clifford M J Felig and Adv Tomer Sela advised German multinational SAP on its $350m acquisition of Gigya. Other key figures in the department include Adv Dan Shamgar  and Jonathan Irom, the latter of whom joined the team from Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg, Shenhav & Co. to lead the firm's blockchain practice.

Naschitz, Brandes, Amir & Co. fields a team of 'exceptional practitioners', with 'unparalleled depth of market knowledge and expertise'. The practice is led by Sharon Amir, who is among the most widely respected lawyers in the Israeli M&A market. Of particular note in 2018, Amir acted for Frutarom in relation to its $7.1bn acquisition by International Flavors & Fragrances. Amir is also go-to counsel for FIMI Opportunity Funds, the leading private equity firm in Israel, and recently he acted for FIMI and the selling shareholders of Ormat Technologies in relation to the $630m sale of a 22% stake in Ormat Technologies to Japan-based Orix Corporation. Einat Rosu advised Hola Networks on the up-to $200m acquisition of control in the company by UK private equity investor EMK Capital. In addition, Yoav Razin recently advised a client on a major defence-sector transaction.

The lawyers at S. Horowitz & Co have a wealth of experience in Israeli, US and UK law, as well as business practice, and, according to clients, one of its most enviable features is its 'top-class international connections'. Clients particularly rate Clifford Davis, who in late 2017 acted for Chengdu Kanghong Pharmaceutical Group in its acquisition of I-Optima, which was the client's first acquisition in Israel. Davis is also advising a US medical company on a significant transaction in Israel, and one of the largest transactions of its kind in the domestic market. Also recommended is Amit Steinman, who assisted Israel Infrastructure Fund with a series of share transactions with Dalia Energies Power. Keith Shaw and Shlomi Delgo are additional contacts in the department.

Yigal Arnon & Co is best known for hi-tech deals, where its corporate team is 'well suited to larger technology companies and growth companies'. In a standout matter, Barry Levenfeld acted for Mexican public company Mexichem in relation to its $1.5bn acquisition of Netafim. Also of note, David Schapiro and Eliran Furman are advising SteadyMed on its reverse triangular merger transaction with United Therapeutics Corporation in aggregate value of approximately $216m. Additionally, Orly Tsioni assisted the shareholders of Brack Capital Properties with its $302m sale of control in the company to Redzone Empire Holding. Also recommended is Barak Platt, who in 2017 was involved in the largest-ever M&A in the Israeli hi-tech space. The practice group was further strengthened in 2019 following its merger with Weinstock-Zecler & Co, which brought to the team Gidon Weinstock and Micki Shapira.

The lawyers in Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co.'s corporate department have unique international experience, which makes it an attractive firm for international corporates involved in Israel-facing M&A and investment transactions. In a standout matter, managing partner Michael Barnea acted for HFH International, as controlling shareholder of Avgol Nonwoven Industries, in relation to the $465m sale of the company to Thai public company Indorama Ventures, which was one of the largest non-tech sector M&A transactions in Israel in 2018. Another key figure in the team is Simon Jaffa, who advised HP on its $1.1bn acquisition of Samsung Electronics' printer business. Jaffa also advised a major private capital investor on a high-value acquisition in the healthcare sector. Other key clients include Azrieli Group and Cellebrite, as well as a number of well-known international investors. Daniel Lorber and Itay Gura were made partners in 2019.

M. Firon & Co Advocates and Notaries is hailed as 'an exceptional firm' for a wide range of corporate and commercial matters. The M&A department is led by Jacob Enoch, who is 'a sophisticated operator in the boardroom and courtroom alike'. Of particular note, Enoch acted for Elbit Systems in relation to a tender published by the State of Israel for the $500m acquisition of IMI - Israel Military Industries, which marks a significant privatisation in the Israeli defence industry. Also of note, Enoch and Udi Efron advised a Hong Kong financial group on a complex acquisition transaction in the Israeli insurance industry. Other key figures include Zvi Firon and David Abadi.

Tadmor Levy & Co. is, according to a client, 'a go-to firm for high-value M&A'. The firm's 'unique level of client service' and 'comprehensive grasp of commercial and legal issues' prompt one client to say that it 'would trust the firm to handle complex M&A blindfolded'. The corporate team is jointly headed by Yaniv Aronowich and Ophir Nave, the latter of whom advised dual-listed Israel Chemicals on the $1bn sale of its fire safety and oil additives business to SK Capital. 'A great contact for large cross-border transactions', Nave has also been involved in significant deals in the defence and agricultural sectors. Acting together, Nave and Aronowich are advising a prominent investment fund on its contemplated high-value acquisition of an Israeli group comprising dozens of companies.

Tulchinsky Stern Marciano Cohen Levitski & Co.¬†is perhaps most active in the hi-tech and healthcare industries, where it acts for domestic and multinational corporates and company shareholders in cross-border M&A and investment deals.¬†David Cohen¬†led the group's flagship transaction in 2018, advising Nasdaq-listed Orbotech on its $3.4bn by KLA - Tencor, which was completed by way of reverse triangular merger. Further, the team¬†acted for US venture capital firm Benchmark in the $350m sale of Gigya to German software giant SAP. Other key figures in the department include¬†Doron Stern¬†and¬†Alon Tabak-Aviram, both of whom are active in tech transactions.¬†Daniel Chinn¬†left the firm for¬†AYR ‚Äď Amar Reiter Jeanne Shochatovitch & Co.

Agmon & Co. Rosenberg Hacohen & Co. has recognised expertise in antitrust, securities and public company transactions, and is one of the leading firms in Israel's oil and gas market. In a standout deal, Ran Shalom advised Naphtha Israel Petroleum Corporation on the merger of its three public subsidiaries, which marked the second-ever merger of public partnerships in Israel (the team was also involved in the first-ever public partnership merger in 2017 between Avner and Delek Group). Shirel Guttman-Amira and Dan Hacohen assisted Delek Drilling with a spin-off of part of part of its Tamar gas field business; this deal saw the transfer of 9.3% of Delek's interest in the Tamar gas field to a newly formed company, Tamar Petroleum, and included a subsequent debt and equity financing. Outside of oil and gas, Uri Rosenberg advised Delek Automotive Systems on the NIS992m acquisition of a 70% stake in OCM Luxembourg. The team has also been involved in highly regulated deals in the banking sector.

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary is best known for handling M&A and investment transactions in the hi-tech sector, which often have cross-border components. Ian Rostowsky acted for Fluence Group in relation to its approximately $267m merger with RWL Water, and also assisted a number of growth companies with financing rounds involving international investors. In the domestic market, Eldad Koresh and Orit Israeli are advising Reshet Media on its proposed merger with New Channel 10. Moreover, the team handled a high-value financing transaction for Clal Insurance Company, and assisted a joint venture with a MBO transaction involving IDE Technologies. Yoav Etzyon is another key contact for tech sector deals.

H-F & Co. is a standout player in the Israeli hi-tech space, where it is consistently involved in high-value investment and M&A transactions acting either for or across from international companies. Of particular note, Maor Levran acted for Argus Cyber Security in relation to its $430m acquisition by Germany-based Continental. Also, Levran and Ora Templeman advised Kaiima Bio-Agritech on the sale of its vegetable seeds business to Mitsui Group, and Nitzan Hirsch-Falk assisted LogMeIn with its $50m acquisition of NanoRep, which was the client's first-ever acquisition in Israel. Hirsch-Falk also acted for SkyBox Security in relation to a tender offer to purchase 80% of the outstanding shares in the company.

Ron Gazit, Rotenberg & Co is 'a long-established firm with a broad range of legal expertise'. Headed by Shirin Herzog, the corporate team is particularly sought after for complex, often cross-border transactions. Herzog advised Sony Corporation on the high-value acquisition of Altair Semiconductors, and is also acting for a European stock exchange in relation to a unique proposed acquisition in Israel. Further, Herzog has handled multiple private mergers for Microsoft Corporation, and is regularly engaged by many of the world's most prominent private equity funds. Managing partner Benjamin Rotenberg and Nili Peleg Shpolansky are additional contacts in the department.

With 'impressive knowledge of US and Israeli law',¬†Shibolet & Co. with Raved, Magriso, Benkel & Co.¬†is 'practical, versatile, professional and, most importantly, never stagnant'. The team is especially standout in the hi-tech sector, where it has a reputation for cross-border M&A and investment transactions. Indeed,¬†Alon Ziv¬†advised French public company Guerbet on its ‚ā¨60m acquisition of Accurate Medical, and¬†Revital Ben-Artzi¬†assisted a company with the sale to an Asian buyer of its controlling stake in a company based abroad. The team was also involved in a significant transaction in the fashion retail sector. The department is jointly headed by¬†Lior Aviram¬†and¬†Gadi Ouzan, who have particular expertise in the hi-tech industry.

Epstein Rosenblum Maoz (ERM) is 'an expert firm in hi-tech M&A' and, with a variety of European language skills in-house, is a particularly attractive team for foreign investors. Simon Marks advised London-listed MTI Wireless Edge on a share-for-share merger between it and its controlling shareholder MTI Computers & Software Services. In the domestic market, Nimrod Rosenblum acted for private equity firm Kedma Capital in relation to its large acquisition of Iskoor Metals. Hi-tech highlights included Natalie Noy assisting the founders of a software company with its $250m acquisition by Nasdaq-listed Symantec Corporation. Also recommended is Roni Abelski, who has handled investment transactions for European corporates including Daimler.

Acting for investment managers and Israeli corporates, FWMK (Furth, Wilensky, Mizrachi, Knaani) has 'deep legal knowledge of a range of issues', and has consistently demonstrated its 'ability to get a deal closed'. In particular, some clients consider Udi Knaani to be 'one of the country's most trusted dealmakers'. Knaani and Ayelet Oscar acted as Israeli counsel for a private equity investor in relation to a high-value acquisition in the Israeli IT sector. The team also advised NARA Medical Center on the sale of 40% of its share capital to Kupat Holim Meuhedet. Blumberg Capital, Altshuler Shaham Group and Barinboim Group - Investments & Private Equity are among the team's major investor-side clients.

Lipa Meir & Co is 'well acquainted with the international business community, and has extensive experience in international transactions'. The team's international capabilities were strengthened by the merger with Preis, Baharav & Co, and further validated by the firm's establishment of an international desk headed by Gary Copelovitz. Copelovitz is acting for a clinical stage comapny in relation to multiple high-value cross-border mandates, and assisted Israel-headquartered Bagir Group with the sale of its controlling stake to China's Shangdong Ruyi Technology Group. Further, the team advised Mor - The Institute for Medical Data on the sale of its shares in Nefromor to German public company Fresenius. Also of note, Uzi Mor has advised The Kibbutz Economies Group on a litany of commercial and investment deals, and Danit Rimon acted for a company shareholder in a high-value transaction in the energy sector.

Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz has 'a comprehensive approach to doing business across multiple industries, and the team understands each one down to the very finest details'. Led jointly by Doron Latzer and Yael Baratz, the corporate group has complementary strengths in cross-border investment and M&A and high-value commercial and joint venture agreements. In a cross-border mandate, Yossi Weinstock advised Telit Communications on the $105m sale of its auto division to TUS International. Another key figure in the team is Ilan Gerzi, who advised Together Start Up Network on a high-value merger transaction in the medical cannabis sector. In the commercial space, Hili Rashkovan acted for Phinergy in relation to a strategic joint venture with a Chinese state-owned metal conglomerate.

The team at S. Friedman & Co. Advocates & Notaries has expertise in cross-border investments, commercial agreements and public company M&A. Key figures include Sarit Molcho and Arnon Mainfeld, who head the corporate and capital markets teams respectively; the duo acted for KMA Holdings in relation to its $32m acquisition of Liberty Properties, which was contingent on the completion of a full tender offer for the shares held by the public. Molcho is also instructed by a Chinese private equity investor. The team also includes hi-tech specialist Tal Tirosh, who has experience in tech licensing transactions and other commercial agreements.

Weksler, Bregman & Co., Advocates has an active M&A group with experience in the retail, real estate, technology and banking industries. Moreover, given the firm's strength in restructuring and insolvency, the team has expertise in M&A involving distressed companies. Two key figures in the team are Dror Toren and Igal Kolof, who together acted for Africa Israel Hotels in relation to its NIS950m sale of nine large-scale hotel assets to the Dayan family. Additionally, having assisted Negev Group with numerous widely publicised debt and creditors arrangements, the team advised the company on an agreement with Viola Group, whereby the Israeli private equity investor will acquire Negev Group in exchange for debt relief. Toren and Sagee Feldman have also handled high-value mandates for a prominent international fashion retailer. Eran Shuster is another key contact.

The team at¬†AYR ‚Äď Amar Reiter Jeanne Shochatovitch & Co¬†has experience in significant transactions across a huge range of industry sectors, including real estate, telecoms, agriculture, retail, transportation and technology. The corporate department is headed by¬†Yoav Caspi, who acted for the largest shareholder of Caesarstone in relation to the $54m acquisition of a 20% stake in Bananot Ha'hof Agricultural Cooperative Association. Caspi also acted for Internet Rimon in a number of purchase transactions, including the $28m acquisition from 013 Netvision of a 51% stake in Internet Rimon Israel 2009. Further,¬†Nir Oren¬†assisted Rosetta Genomics with a reverse triangular merger transaction with Genoptix. In 2019,¬†Daniel Chinn¬†joined the team from¬†Tulchinsky Stern Marciano Cohen Levitski & Co..

Eitan Mehulal Sadot, Advocates & Patent Attorneys handles a range of investment and acquisition deals and commercial agreements for investment funds and public and private companies, including a number of Israeli subsidiaries of international corporates. The department is jointly led by Yaron Mehulal and Guy Hadar, the latter of whom advised one of the firm's key clients, Tene Investment Fund, on a number of transactions in 2017-2018, including an acquisition of shares in Noga Engineering and Technology, and an asset sale transaction with Leumi Partners. The team is also engaged by clients such as Live Nation Israel and Ticketmaster Israel, both of which Hadar has advised on various joint venture and commercial agreements.

Greenberg Traurig P.A¬†is the only non-Israeli firm with a significant on-the-ground corporate presence in Tel Aviv, and thus occupies a unique place in the Israeli market. The team, led by¬†Joey Shabot, advises on the US-law aspects of Israel-facing transactions, and in that context has been involved in major international transactions, regularly appearing alongside or across from Israel's most prominent corporate law firms. Acting on the buy side, Shabot advised Canon on its acquisition of BriefCam, which was the company's first-ever acquisition in Israel. Conversely, on the sell side, Shabot acted as US counsel to an Israeli pharmaceuticals company in relation to its acquisition by a US corporate. Moreover, the firm's global network makes it an attractive choice for Israeli companies in outbound asset acquisitions. In one matter,¬†Lawrence Sternthal¬†advised a group of Israeli institutional investors on the ‚ā¨236m acquisition of a landmark building in Germany.

Raz, Dlugin & Co. Law Offices is most visible in Israel’s tech sector, where it has experience of M&A and venture capital financing involving international players. The team’s activity is largely fuelled by an ongoing relationship with Playtika, though it is also instructed by Israeli start-ups, mature tech companies, and angel investors. Of recent note, founding partners Rafi Raz and Ran Dlugin advised Playtika on its $50m acquisition of Jelly Button Games, and also advised the client on its acquisition of a promising ad-tech start-up. Additionally, the team advised an Israeli online gaming platform on its acquisition by an international acquirer, and assisted a biotech company with the preparation of its IPO on an international exchange. The firm has also been increasingly active in the crypto-currency space. Also recommended is Michal Donner, who has experience in commercial licensing, labour law, and financing transactions.

Steinmetz, Haring, Gurman & Co. has experience in complex cross-border M&A and investment work, and is engaged by private and public companies and domestic and multinational investors. The team is jointly led by Jacob Steinmetz and Manny Gurman, the latter of whom advised ANG Group on its $56m sale to Fortissimo Fund of a 50% stake in Fritz Companies. Additionally, Gurman assisted the London Branch of UBS with its $50m acquisition of ordinary shares in Infinidat, and also advised Israel's BSR Group on the acquisition of a UK real estate company. The team also handles cross-border share transactions for clients such as Nuriel & Sons Group and Meet In Place.

Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer & Co (ZAG-S&W) leverages its legal contacts worldwide to advise international acquirers and Israeli hi-tech companies on cross-border investment transactions, M&A and commercial agreements. The corporate and securities team is especially active in US- and China-facing mandates, and key figures include Shy Baranov, who heads the international department, and Tehila Levi-Lati, who leads the firm's East Asia desk. Of note, Baranov assisted Alcobra with its $117m reverse IPO with Arcturus Therapeutics, and Levi-Lati has assisted Israeli companies with multiple technology joint venture agreements with Chinese parties. Also recommended are Oded Har-Even, who specialises in capital markets and public company mandates, and Eran Ben-Dor, who heads the firm's corporate and capital markets group.

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