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The Israeli legal market is particularly sophisticated with highly trained lawyers, many with US or UK qualifications, charging rates that are much lower than New York or London equivalents. The country has the highest number of lawyers per capita in the world, which has driven down fees.

Despite legislative changes in 2012 allowing foreign firms to operate in Israel, only two firms have a significant operational presence on the ground: Greenberg Traurig P.A has a team of close to ten lawyers in Tel Aviv, which handles outbound or inbound M&A, and Yingke Israel – Eyal Khayat, Zolty, Neiger & Co., Law Offices, which is the result of a Chinese acquisition of an Israeli firm. A handful of other international firms have representative offices, such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, which is noted for its international arbitration work, and Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, which is focused on IP. The large local firms which dominate the market have grown in size in recent years through combinations and hires.

Changes in the market included the break-up of Zellermayer, Pelossof, Rosovsky, Tsafrir, Toledano & Co. Advocates, as well as the dissolution of Adini, Berger & Gabbay Advocates.

Israel is often referred to as ‘the start-up nation’ and its hi-tech sector attracts huge amounts of foreign interest, particularly from the US, Europe and China. Real estate is another strong driver of work as the country’s residential infrastructure struggles to keep pace with demographic expansion and projects are another major generator of work.

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