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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 > Planning and zoning > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Planning and zoning
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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Agmon & Co. Rosenberg Hacohen & Co. runs a 'knowledgeable and responsive' zoning team, which advises corporates, investors, developers, and local authorities and government entities on contentious and non-contentious planning mandates. Jointly led by Eyal Mamo in Tel Aviv and Avi Porten in Jerusalem, the department is involved in projects across a wide range of industries, but is particularly active in luxury residential and hotel projects and urban renewals. Porten and Kira Lerner are representing JTLV Investment in planning procedures concerning the NIS2bn Atarim Square project in Tel Aviv. In Jerusalem, Porten is advising a family investor on the NIS1bn development of a mixed residential and commercial space at the entrance of the city. Moreover, the group is representing Energix Group in a Supreme Court appeal concerning the zoning plan for a wind project in Northern Israel. The team also provides comprehensive planning advice to several municipalities and local authorities, including Holon Municipality, Modi'in Planning and Construction Committee, and Mateh Yehuda Regional Council.

Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co is a firm fixture in the Israeli real estate market and its planning team is an 'indispensable' part of its service to the sector. The firm is regularly involved in the country's most complex and sensitive planning schemes, ranging from the creation of brand new communities to the expansion of rights in historically protected buildings. Of note, Amir Chen and Efrat Sharon are advising ZF Building on all planning procedures relating to the Eden Hills project in Jerusalem; this project consists of housing, commercial spaces and parks in an area spanning hundreds of thousands of square metres. The duo is also acting for Lodzia Rotex Investments in relation to several commercial projects in the BSR complex in Bnei Brak, and has also assisted real estate developers such as Union Properties and Ybox Real Estate Group with the creation of new city plans for multiple areas in Tel Aviv. Further, the team handles planning objections and disputes, and advises Netivei Israel - The National Transportation Infrastructure Company on expropriation claims and other objections to the client's zoning initiatives.

With strengths in contentious and non-contentious planning matters and municipal taxation, Goldfarb Seligman & Co. is involved in planning and development mandates across a range of sectors, including energy, telecoms, urban renewals and transportation, among others. In a standout matter, joint practice heads Orna Verhovsky and Sagiv Hanin are advising Bayside Land Corporation on the the planning and licensing procedures associated with the Tozeret Ha'aretz commercial development at the Azrieli Junction in Tel Aviv. Additionally, Verhovsky and Hanin are advising Ayalon Highways, Cross Israel Highway, and NTA - Metropolitan Mass Transit System on the planning aspects of billions of shekels of transportation projects, and also represent the clients in planning disputes and expropriation matters. The team also acts for a number of Israel's largest retailers, including Shufershal, which the group represents in municipal taxation proceedings in over 95 different municipalities. In the urban renewal space, the department handles the planning aspects of numerous projects for Neve Gad, Electra Real Estate and Zemach Hammerman. Other key clients include Cellcom Israel and Dor Chemicals.

Hamburger Evron & Co. Law Offices & Notaries acts for real estate developers across the full spectrum of planning and zoning mandates in significant real estate developments, transport infrastructure and energy projects. Jointly led by Haim Waintrob and Ronen Yardeni, the department advises Shikun & Binui Real Estate Development on the planning aspects of a number of major projects; this has recently included the establishment of a new neighbourhood in Kiryat Ata, which will include approximately 6,000 residential units. Further, Yardeni advises EDF-EN Israel and Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy on planning and licensing procedures throughout Israel in relation to the client's renewable energy projects. Also of note, the team is advising a joint venture comprising Shikun & Binui and The Meshulam Levinstein Group on the planning of a new commercial and residential centre in the area of Tel Aviv Central Station. Moreover, the firm has experience in betterment levy challenges, and acts for a number of construction companies in relation to planning procedures arising from the clients' participation in the government's affordable housing programme, Mechir Lamishtaken. Amnon Sorek is another key contact.

Herzog Fox & Neeman handles planning mandates for major developers, investors and corproate occupiers, and has particular expertise in municipal taxation. The zoning department is led by Sharon Petel, who acts for Reality Real Estate Investment Fund III in relation to all of its planning and zoning activity and represents the clients in appeals regarding its municipal taxation and betterment levies. Petel also provides comprehensive planning advice to Assuta Medical Centers in relation to all of its real estate assets and new project developments. Also of note, the team is advising Nahalat Asher Partnership on its planning application for the development of 3,000 residential units, 13,000 sqm of commercial space, and 20,000 sqm of office space. The team also represents plaintiffs and defendants in planning objections and tax appeals. Other key clients include Israel Electric Corporation, Rambam Hospital, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and Mega Or.

Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices is involved in several nationally significant projects in the transportation, defense and energy sectors. In one such mandate, Tamar Migdal is advising the administration for Master Plan 47, which covers all support infrastructure for the housing complexes planned in the country's vacated IDF bases; this matter involves contentious and non-contentious planning advice across a litany of transportation and utility projects. Migdal also acts for Cross Israel Highway in relation to the regulatory aspects and expropriation procedures associated with projects including Highway No 6 and Haifa Nazareth Light Rail. In the contentious space, the team is representing the Ramat HaSharon Municipality and the Ramat HaSharon Local Committee in an administrative appeal against the approval of the Taas HaSharon master plan, which proposes the establishment of 23,000 residential units and 1.65 million sqm of commercial space. Other key clients include Azorim Construction Company, Acro Real Estate, and Delek Real Estate.

Weksler, Bregman & Co., Advocates handles contentious and non-contentious matters for many of Israel's largest construction and real estate groups, but has particular strength in planning disputes. Acting alongside the firm's real estate and litigation teams, department head Taly Salton-Yeshua represents private rights owners and developers in a litany of planning objection proceedings and claims concerning betterment levies and depreciation compensation. Among the team's recent significant highlights, Salton-Yeshua represented the plaintiffs in an objection to the general outline plan of Herzliya, which is a comprehensive plan promoting city-wide growth across an area of almost 23,000 acres. In the non-contentious space, the team is acting for Israel Canada Group in relation to certain planning aspects for the construction of a new neighbourhood in Ramat HaSharon, which will include 240,000 sqm of commercial space and 1,500 residential units. The department also advises entrepreneurs and residents on the planning aspects of pinui binui (evacuation and reconstruction) and Tama 38 projects, including objection procedures. Additional clients include Africa Israel Group, Tidhar Real Estate Development and Investments, and Cargal Group.

Rated for its ability to 'stay atop the country's ever-changing zoning regulations', Yigal Arnon & Co has been involved in some of Israel's most iconic recent real estate developments. Aner Hefetz and Hagit Bavly are advising Idit Properties on the redevelopment of Atarim Square in Tel Aviv, and continue to act for Azrieli Group in relation to the expansion of the Azrieli commercial centre. Bavly is also assisting The Jewish Agency with issues such as building permits and the city plan for the development of over 2,500 housing units for the elderly. Also recommended are Asaf Eylon, Amalia Meshi, Adam Spruch and Hagai Shmueli, all of whom have considerable experience with large-scale residential and commercial projects, including urban renewals. In the urban renewal space, the team is engaged by developers including Ramot In The City and Rova 1.

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary advises developers and rights holders in non-contentious planning mandates arising out of significant commercial developments and urban renewal projects. In a standout highlight, Galit Shitzer is acting for Blue Coast Association in relation to a development plan covering the coast between Tel Aviv and Herzliya, on which the client owns 49.5 acres of land. Shitzer is also advising a developer on a significant development abutting a protected area in Tel Aviv. Additionally, the firm is active in the area of urban renewals, particularly large-scale vacate and rebuild projects. Shitzer and Ofra Cohen are advising a client on certain planning aspects of an urban renewal project at Or Akiva, which has planning for almost 1,800 residential units. The team has handled major residential and urban renewal projects for Zvi Sarfati and Associates Building and Construction and DNS Management and Investments.

AYR – Amar Reiter Jeanne Shochatovitch & Co handles the contentious and non-contentious planning aspects of commercial and residential developments, including urban renewals, and also has expertise in disputes concerning municipal taxation. Yacov Cohen, who heads the firm’s planning and construction department, is advising Gindi Tower Tel Aviv on the planning aspects of a high-profile residential development, which is part of a larger mixed-use place-making project at the old wholesale market in Tel Aviv. Further, Cohen is representing Nesher Israeli Cement Factories in an appeal regarding the betterment tax for one of its quarries, and is also acting for PHI Networks, a partnership between Partner Communications and HOT Mobile, in relation to dozens of municipal taxation matters across the country. The municipal tax practice was strengthened in 2018 by the arrivals of Einav Cohen and Alon Eldman, who had previously founded Eldman Cohen & Co Law Office, a boutique municipal tax firm.

Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent - Law Offices acts for landowners and entrepreneurs in relation to residential and regeneration projects, particularly Tama 38 projects and developments under the government's affordable housing scheme, Mechir Lamishtaken. Led by Eli Eshel, the team has acted for clients such as Danshar Group and Arko Holdings for over a decade. Meytal Katz-Rozenberg is another contact in the department.

M. Firon & Co Advocates and Notaries is best known for assisting individuals and corporate landowners with the planning aspects of major commercial and residential development projects. In a standout matter, Barak Keinan is acting for the majority of landowners in the Shlavim Triangle area, which is part of an outline plan to develop residential and commercial space in Tel Aviv. The team also has experience with planning oppositions, where Keinan is representing a client in an objection to a construction plan in relation to the Ayalon Lanes Metropolitan Employment Area Plan. The team has also represented a group of private landowners in objection proceedings concerning a planned residential development on the border of Tel Aviv and Ramat HaSharon. On the respondent side, Keinan is acting for Ashdar in objection proceedings associated with its urban renewal project in Kiryat Ono.

Maya Ashkenazi Law Office has 'really intimate knowledge of Israeli zoning procedures' and provides 'tailor-made solutions to the most difficult types of cases in the market'. Name partner Maya Ashkenazi is primarily active in planning disputes, where she is engaged by a range of publicly and privately owned corporates, and has an enviable roster of clients in the energy, utilities and telecoms industries. Ashkenazi handles a litany of proceedings for Pelephone Communications, which recently included a precedent-setting case before the Supreme Court. Further, Ashkenazi advised Bezeq International on the planning issues arising from its deployment of telecoms infrastructure adjacent to one of Israel's border crossings, and is also involved numerous planning procedures for Mekorot Water Company. The team has also handled significant planning disputes for Zomet Energy and The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem on Mount of Olives.

S. Horowitz & Co is considered one of the country’s very best litigation firms, and as such is regularly involved in complex planning dispute, oppositions and expropriation proceedings. The department is led by Amir Caspari, who is representing Israel Electric Corporation in claims for increased compensation submitted by hundreds of landowners in relation to damages caused by a National Outline Plan. Caspari also acts for Ashdod Port in relation to planning objections, licensing matters and expropriation claims. The team is also involved in a litany of planning disputes for Lime & Stone Production Company and Readymix Industries (Israel). The group also has experience with non-contentious planning work and recently advised a group of rights holders on a luxury development project at Kikar HaMedina in Tel Aviv; it is also assisting SC Western Segment with various planning and licensing issues associated with the development of a western section of the Red Line in Tel Aviv. Asaf Rentsler is another contact in the planning and zoning litigation practice.

Shavit Bar-On Gal-On Tzin Witkon is particularly active in planning objection procedures, acting for plaintiffs and respondents. The planning department is led jointly by Yuval Gal-On and Ron Tzin, the latter of whom has been acting for The Weizmann Institute in relation to a parcellation plan that involves some of the client's land; he recently represented the Institute in an objection filed with the Local Authority of Rehovot. Also in the contentious space, Tzin is assisting a trade association with its objection to a large development at one of Israel's main ports, while Gal-On is representing tens of landowners in claims concerning the expropriation of their land. Further, the team is advising a major municipality on the establishment of a new master plan for the transformation of an industrial area.

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