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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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Gross, Orad, Schlimoff & Co. has 'the unique ability to combine top-level legal knowledge and acute commercial considerations', which enables insurers and insureds to obtain 'optimal results in matters from internal operations to liabilities and claims work'. In particular, clients note that Sigal Schlimoff and Orit Amiran-Sinn seem 'deeply familiar with the sector's dynamics' and 'have an impressive understanding of macro trends in the domestic and international insurance and reinsurance market'. Schlimoff also acts as Lloyds of London's representative in Israel and has been identified by a major global insurance company as its 'go-to person for anything touching Israel'. In addition to its impressive client base of global reinsurers, the team also advises four of the five largest insurance companies in Israel on complex insurance litigation and non-contentious issues including the creation of new products. Also recommended are Maya Salomon, Harry Orad and Omer Shalev, the last of whom has expertise in aviation law.

Rachel Levitan and Peggy Sharon are names to note at insurance boutique Levitan, Sharon & Co, which is active in the domestic and international insurance and reinsurance markets. Specialising in insurance litigation defence, the firm handles a wide range of cases involving D&O claims, product liability and class actions, aviation insurance, property damage and business interruption, and subrogation claims. Moshe Abady heads the D&O sub-group, while Sharon Shefer leads on insurance disputes in the energy sector and also heads the jewellers' insurance sub-group. The team also advises on aspects of cyber insurance, such as cyber-specific policies and cyber liability.

Naschitz, Brandes, Amir & Co. represents domestic insurers and insureds in high-value insurance litigation, including product liability, torts, professional negligence and medical malpractice, aviation and maritime claims, and bodily injury and damages disputes. The team has been increasingly active for European insurance companies such as Zurich Insurance, which Shimon Chertow and Gil Atar are representing in a $55m damages claim arising from a flooding incident at a Tel Aviv construction site. Additionally, Neta Heichal is acting for a member of UK-based Phoenix Group and its reinsurers, QBE Insurance and ACE, in relation to a claim against Phoenix following a major environmental incident. Yoav Razin and others are regularly engaged by professionals such as attorneys, tax advisers and engineers in connection with liability claims; Tamar Kareth acts for insurers of Israel's HMOs, hospitals, drug manufacturers and healthcare providers in connection to hundreds of medical malpractice claims. Moreover, the team handles cross-border insurance litigation for prominent insured public companies, including Caesarstone, which Atar and Shay Cohen are advising in relation to multi-jurisdictional product liability litigation. Other major clients include AIG, Catlin Insurance Company and four of Israel's largest insurers: Migdal Insurance Company, Clal Insurance, Harel Group, and The Phoenix Insurance Company.

Zelichov, Ben-Dan & Co is 'a highly specialised group of insurance lawyers', with a reputation for finding 'extremely creative solutions to claims and settlements'. Acting for Migdal Insurance Company, Clal Insurance Company, Menorah Mivtachim Insurance Company, and Harel Insurance Company - four of the five largest Israeli insurers - the firm is 'very well connected in the Israeli insurance market'. The group stands out, however, due to its presence in the global reinsurance market. Zvika Zelichov is representing Harel Insurance Company and the London Insurance Market in relation to a claim against GE following damages that occurred to turbines at the Dalia Power Station. Zelichov also continues to represent Rotem Amfert and Migdal Insurance Company in a subrogation claim resulting from a major fire, which has the potential to reach $116m; this is the largest property insurance claim ever to have been submitted in an Israeli court. Senior partner Chaim Zelichov regularly handles professional liability and D&O claims, and Yaron Ben-Dan has experience representing insurance companies in motor vehicle claims; Zelichov and Ben-Dan also assist a roster of Israeli medical institutions with hundreds of medical malpractice claims every year. Moreover, every member of the team is 'capable of providing real deep insight and detailed analyses of contracts and regulations'. Adding to its international reach, at the end of 2018, the firm commenced an association with international law firm Kennedys, one of the few international tie-ups in Israel.

Goldfarb Seligman & Co. advises domestic insurers on a range of commercial issues and acts for insured companies in litigation concerning insured incidents. The group is also familiar with insurance sector regulations and assisted Libra Insurance Company with the approval process for its establishment as a new insurance company, making it the first-ever Israeli online insurance company and the first general independent insurance company to be established in Israel since 2008. Rami Sofer and Dubi Zoltak are key figures in the team, which provides comprehensive commercial and litigation advice to domestic and international insurers such as AIG, The Phoenix Insurance Company, and Harel Insurance Company.

Granot Speiser Law Office focuses on representing Israeli insurance companies in D&O claims, especially concerning those actions alleged to have led to the collapse of companies. Shai Granot and Shai Sharvit are acting for Harel Insurance Company in relation to a damages claim brought by First International Bank of Israel concerning the collapse of the Heftziba real estate company. Similarly, the team is advising Harel on all of the claims, reinsurance and underwriting issues arising from the collapse of the Alon Oil Company. Menorah Mivtachim Insurance Company and Clal Insurance Company are also among the firm's clients.

Acting for insurance companies, fund managers and investment banks, Herzog Fox & Neeman is routinely sought out by international corporates to advise on insurance regulations associated with conducting business in Israel. Led by Neta Dorfman Raviv, the insurance and financial institutions practice provides advice on non-contentious matters involving contractual relationships between insurers, agents, insureds and reinsurers; commercial issues surrounding insurance and pension policies; and various regulatory and commercial litigation matters. The department is engaged by major European insurers and several domestic HMOs.

The team at M. Firon & Co Advocates and Notaries advises insurance industry associations on regulatory issues affecting the sector, and also assists domestic insurance companies and pension funds with contentious and non-contentious commercial matters. Yossi Halevy heads the insurance practice group, which has longstanding relationships with clients such as Israel Insurance Association and Association of Life Insurance Companies of Israel. Halevy also advises the management company of the compulsory vehicle insurance database on regulatory changes affecting its contractual relationships within the insurance sector.

S. Horowitz & Co comprises 'top-class litigators for bigger-ticket disputes of all kinds' and represents insurers and insureds in insurance-related commercial litigation as well as claims and subrogation work. Avi Ordo is representing an Austrian lighting manufacturer and its insurer, HDI-Gerling Industries Versicherung, in a subrogation claim filed by Clal Insurance Company concerning a fire allegedly caused by a defective product manufactured by the insured. Further, Eyal Doron is acting for Soreq-Lachish Drainage Authority in a subrogation claim filed by Lloyds concerning flood damages occurring to products owned by its insured. Also recommended is Alex Hertman, who has handled insurance-related litigation for AIG Europe.

Yigal Arnon & Co provides comprehensive contentious and non-contentious commercial advice to all of Israel's major insurance companies. Further, the firm has invested heavily in its claims practice since 2016, when Yoran Gill joined the firm to expand its liability and tort litigation capabilities. Gill represents Migdal Insurance Company in a number of malpractice and professional negligence claims, and has also handled bodily and property damages claims for Harel Insurance Company. Additionally, Barak Tal represents a variety of domestic insurers and insured companies in commercial litigation, including class actions concerning insurance products and policies.

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