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Articles contributed by Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg &
Corporate and Securities Law
Committee on Concentration Submits Final Proposals
Jacobs, Natalie, PARTNER
Wildes, Perry , PARTNER
The Israeli gas industry has undergone tremendous developments in the past decade, due to the discovery of significant natural gas fields in Israeli territorial waters, the largest of which are the Tamar field, estimated at 247 billion cubic meters (“BCM”), and the Leviathan field containing 453 BCM. Currently, the “Mary B” field (20-16 BCM) is the only operative field and it provides, as of 2004, natural gas to the Israeli Electric Company (“IEC”). The recent discoveries produced a fast-growing energy market, such that in 2010, 45% of IEC electricity production was based on natural gas, compared to o% in 2003, and the overall consumption of natural gas increased by 275% between 2004-2009.
High tech companies who employ foreign workers in the U.S. face dramatically increased U.S. federal regulatory scrutiny since December 2010 regarding technology they disclose to foreign workers located both within the U.S. and abroad. This is likely to catch many companies by surprise, and warrants immediate attention given the sanctions described below.
Pilot Program for the Encouragement of the Establishment of R&D Centers in Israel for the Service of the International Financial Community
Commencing December 15, 2010, a Financial Court has been operating in Israel as the financial department of the District Court in Tel-Aviv. The Financial Court was established according to the Courts Law (Amendment no. 59), 2010 and was founded at the inspiration of the ״Court of Chancery״ operating for many years in the State of Delaware in the U.S., which deals largely with corporate issues and is responsible for developing the case law on corporate matters.
New Office of Chief Scientist Instructions for Special Applications and Approvals in the Frame of the R&D Law
On May 27, 2008, the Knesset passed an amendment to the Communications Law (Telecommunications and Broadcasting), 1982 (the "Amendment"), which deals with prevention of spamming and unsolicited content ("SPAM"). The Amendment will become effective as of December 1st, 2008. The main goal of the Amendment is to provide tools for minimizing the public's exposure to SPAM. However, in practice, as we shall further explore, the Amendment is broadly drafted and can de facto extend to many other possible communications and correspondences between a commercial entity and the public (whether specific or non specific).
In October 2008, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a precedent setting decision in the case re Pi-Glilot Oil Terminals and Pipes Ltd. (the Pi-Glilot case). The Court decided that, under the certain circumstances of this case, financial expenses due to a loan for the purpose of dividend distribution will be eligible for deduction.
On 31st December, 2007, groundbreaking new regulations reforming the mutual funds market came into force. A series of amendments have been made to the Joint Investment Trust Regulations. The purpose of the amendments is to relax the various restrictions applying to mutual funds, and in doing so, to broaden the investment possibilities of mutual funds. One major example is permitting a "special fund" to invest in hedge funds. A further notable change is legislating new regulations regarding the classification of mutual funds for the purpose of publication. These regulation regulate the publication of information relating to units in mutual funds, including redemption price and yield thereof, which aim to improve the quality of information provided to the investing public. The publications will also include classification of the mutual funds into classes and subclasses, ranked in accordance with the type and maximum risk relating thereto. An additional goal of this amendment is to create a better basis for comparing the various available mutual funds.
The Joint Investment Trust Law, which is also known as the "Mutual Funds Law", regulates the activity of mutual funds in Israel and their offerings to the public. Currently, foreign mutual funds may not be offered directly to Israeli investors. This is due to the difficulty that foreign mutual funds offering their units to Israeli investors would face in complying with all the Israeli regulatory requirements.
On November 19th, 2007, the Israeli Knesset passed a new Copyright Law, 5768 - 2007 (the "New Law"), repealing the Copyright Law, 1911 (as amended) and the Copyright Ordinance, 1924 (together the "Old Laws"), although they remain in effect until the New Law comes into force in May 2008. The New Law reinforces existing rights and provides new rights and protections to reflect new major technological and legal developments over the past 100 years.