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Israel

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary advises domestic banks, insurance companies, and investment funds on a litany of financing transaction in relation to project developments, M&A and general business lending. Additionally, Orit Israeli, who heads the banking practice, has acted for a European-incorporated borrower in relation to the refinancing of its European banking facilities. Israeli has also acted for one of Israel's largest insurance companies in relation to high-value lending transactions involving domestic and international borrowers. Also of note, the team has assisted Arbel Fund on multiple lending transactions, and handles dozens of financing transactions for clients such as Bank Hapoalim, Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank, Clal Group and Ayalon Insurance Company.

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 3

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

From pre-IPO to initial listing and subsequent financings, Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary has extensive experience across a full range of equity capital markets transactions. In one matter, department co-head Amichay Finkelstein advised Freshmarket on the preparation of its IPO, which will happen concurrently with an offer for sale. Also of note, Ian Rostowsky, who also co-heads the group, has particular experience in assisting Israeli corporates with listings abroad. Rostowsky is assisting Humavox with the preparation of its IPO on Nasdaq, and is advising Shekel Brainweigh on its planned IPO on Sydney's ASX. The team also has experience acting for REIT managers.

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 3

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

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.

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Competition/antitrust
Competition/antitrust - ranked: tier 3

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

The antitrust group at Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary has particular expertise in advising trade associations on Israeli antitrust laws, and has handled merger control issues and antitrust litigation for a number of clients in the food and media sectors. In the contentious space, practice head Ravit Arbel is representing Intellect MR in a case against the General Director of the IAA concerning a restrictive arrangement in the field of newspaper distribution; the claim is before the Supreme Court and has been cited by the IAA as one of the most prominent Israeli antitrust cases of 2018. Arbel and Eldad Koresh also assisted Reshet Media with the regulatory approval for its merger with Channel Ten - although the merger was cancelled by the client shortly after the IAA approval. Additionally, the team provides comprehensive antitrust advice to The Israeli Food Manufacturers Association, The Manufacturers Association of Israel, and Israel Builders Association Boney Ha'aretz, among others.

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Dispute resolution: class actions
Dispute resolution: class actions - ranked: tier 2

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary has been involved in high-value and high-profile class actions covering issues such as tax, environmental claims, consumer protection, and claims in the banking sector. The practice was strengthened in 2018 by the arrival of Sharon Lubezky-Hess, who has particular expertise in financial services litigation and joined the team from Naschitz, Brandes, Amir & Co.. Lubezky-Hess is acting for Bank Leumi, Union Bank of Israel and Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot in relation to class actions totalling NIS14.8bn brought against nine Israeli banks and credit card companies regarding exchange rate differentials commission that was allegedly collected by the defendants without the knowledge of their customers. Another key figure is Arie Neiger, who is representing Hadera Paper in a class action regarding contaminated waters adjacent to one of the client's manufacturing plants. The litigation department is headed by Doron Levy, who is representing the plaintiffs in a motion to approve an administrative class action against the State of Israel for the unlawful collection of VAT from drivers on the Trans-Israel Highway.

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Dispute resolution: local litigation and arbitration
Dispute resolution: local litigation and arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary has 'a good all-around litigation team', with lawyers who 'take the time to become familiar with the details of every case, and know all of its strengths and weaknesses'. In particular, clients praise Aya Reich-Mina, who represented a joint venture between Oron Investment & Holdings and Seldat in relation to a petition filed by Israel Land Development Company concerning the decision to approve the joint venture for participation in the main tender for the construction and operation of the main supply centre for the IDF. Acting alongside Eldad Koresh, Reich-Mina also acted for a client in relation to an inheritance dispute in which it was decided that Israeli probate proceedings apply to an estate's property abroad. In addition, the team represented the Presidium of Israel Business Organizations in a High Court claim, where it was determined that it is illegal to delegate the collection of municipal taxes to a private collection company. Additional contacts include Arie Neiger, Aharon Pollak and Asaf Biger, who has considerable experience in cross-border disputes including international arbitration and US litigation.

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Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary provides 'a business-oriented service' to major domestic employers in complex labour and employment litigation and collective negotiations. The team is led by Rachel Harari-Lifshits, who defended The Education, Culture and Neighborhood Renewal Company in Tel Aviv established by the Jewish Agency for Israel in a class action dispute claiming compensation for work performed on Shabbat. Harari-Lifshits is also representing H&M and its Israeli distributor, Match Retail, in a dispute considering whether a private conversation between two employees outside of work about a third employee can be properly considered workplace harassment for the purposes of the employer's responsibilities. The group also acts for employers in initial unionisation attempts. In a recent mandate, Harari-Lifshits and Na’ama Babish acted for The Chevra Kadisha Association, the entity in charge of burials in Israel, in relation to its employees' first-ever attempt at unionisation with the Histadrut.

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Energy and infrastructure
Energy and infrastructure - ranked: tier 3

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary is noted for its 'deep experience in the Israeli infrastructure market', where it acts for project companies and bidding consortiums in relation to transport, defence, port, energy and telecoms projects. Led by Nadia Davidzon, the team is acting for a large international bidding consortium in relation to the pre-qualification process for the design, finance, construction, operation and maintenance of the Jerusalem Light Rail Transit Network. Davidzon is also advising Oron Investment & Holdings Group and Seldat Distribution on the bid preparation for the development of the IDF Unified Supply Center, which carries an estimated value of NIS15bn. Additionally, the team is engaged by IBI Group, the design contractor for ten underground stations and tunnel networks for the Tel Aviv Light Rail. In the clean energy space, Davidzon has acted for Yam Pro Energy in relation to the establishment of sea-wave energy production plants in Australia and Ghana.

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Healthcare and life sciences
Healthcare and life sciences - ranked: tier 2

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary has particular strengths in venture capital fund investment and hi-tech, and has been involved in major M&A, financing and commercialisation transactions in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. In a standout matter, department co-head Yoav Etzyon assisted a group of domestic and international investors with a $38m investment into Eloxx Pharmaceuticals, followed by a reverse triangular merger of Eloxx with Sevion Therapeutics. Maya Issacharov and Ian Rostowsky are key contacts for investment work; Issacharov helped establish a large investment fund and Rostowsky acts for aMoon in relation to its fund formation and investment activity. The team also acts for technology incubators, and handled a personal injury claim for a major pharmaceuticals company.

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Hi-tech and start-ups
Hi-tech and start-ups - ranked: tier 1

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Acting for growth companies, venture capital investors and six of the countries most prolific technology incubators, Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary has 'high-level expertise' across the spectrum of the Israeli tech sector. The firm fields a sizeable hi-tech team jointly headed by Yoav Etzyon and Ian Rostowsky, the latter of whom acted for ObserveIt in relation to a $33m Series B financing round led by Bain Capital Ventures, Spring Lake Equity Partners, and Night Dragon Security. Similarly, Etzyon advised Nyotron Information Security on a large Series A financing round primarily involving US investors. Additionally, Etzyon advised an Israeli smart city company on commercial agreements with entities in three different continents, and also acted for a fintech company in relation to a collaboration agreement with one of the world's leading financial services groups. Also recommended is Stephen Barak Rozen, who acts for technology incubators including MindUP and Nielsen Innovate. The hi-tech group was strengthened by the arrivals of Ariel Frank and Chagit Pedael Levin, both of whom had previously run their own boutique firms.

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Intellectual property: commercial/transactions
Intellectual property: commercial/transactions - ranked: tier 2

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary is engaged by technology incubators and domestic and international corporates in relation to a variety of licensing and R&D agreements - domestic and cross-border. Of particular note, the team acts for the Israel Innovation Authority, formerly known as the Office of the Chief Scientist, in a range of issues including R&D projects with EU parties. Led by Ian Rostowsky, the department is engaged by incubators such as MindUP, Wise, and The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, the last of which Rostowsky advised on a development and licensing agreement with the Israel Institute for Biological Research concerning anti-bacterial coating in the food industry. Rostowsky also advised Novotalk on a joint venture and exclusive licensing agreement with Hadassah Medical Center for the use of Novotalk's technology in Israel.

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Investment and venture capital funds
Investment and venture capital funds - ranked: tier 1

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary is 'one of the most prominent firms in the Israel funds market'. The 'deep bench' of 'experienced and technically strong' partners is among the most active teams in venture capital and private equity fund formation. Ian Rostowsky and Yonatan Altman have acted in some of the most valuable new venture capital fund formations in 2018, and Maya Issacharov served as Israeli counsel in relation to the establishment of Vintage X, a secondary fund aiming at funds investing in Israeli, European and US hi-tech companies. The team has been involved in major venture capital fund closings for clients including Grove Ventures and Firstime Venture Capital. Further, Issacharov advised Israel Infrastructure Fund on the formation of its third fund, and Rostowsky assisted with the formation of Forma Real Estate Fund, which reached its final close in 2018. In addition to formation, the department provides ongoing management and investment advice to dozens of venture capital funds and institutional investors.

Leading individuals

Maya Issacharov - Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

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Planning and zoning
Planning and zoning - ranked: tier 2

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

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.

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 2

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary is engaged by financial institutions, real estate investors and development companies in relation to large-scale commercial and residential development projects and complex transactions in the real estate sector. Recently, the team began acting for REIT 1, one of Israel's most prestigious REITs; Anat Sterenlib-Molkho and Efraim Levy advised the client on a sale-and-leaseback transaction involving two industrial properties. In the development space, Levy, Orit Israeli and Ranit Kessous-Katz are acting for a joint venture comprising Tidhar Investment 1, Yair Ben David and companies in Acro Real Estate and Israel Canada Group, in relation to the development of the Microsoft Campus. On the funder side, the team advises Bank Hapoalim, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank and Israel Discount Bank on financing transactions with purchasing groups for large-scale commercial, residential and office property throughout Israel.

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Real estate: urban renewal
Real estate: urban renewal - ranked: tier 2

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Acting for major real estate developers, Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary is involved in a variety of urban renewal projects accounting for thousands of residential units across Israel. The department is jointly led by Shalom Simon and Ofra Cohen, the latter of whom is acting for Grofit Lugat in relation to an evacuate-rebuild project involving the demolition of 176 housing units and the subsequent construction of 679 units as well as 1,300 sqm of public space. Additionally, Simon is acting for new client Zvi Sarfati & Sons Building & Construction in relation to a large-scale evacuate-rebuild project in Bat Yam, which is planned for the construction of five new residential towers, a large commercial and office tower and the regeneration of the commercial front of a street. The team is also involved in several major evacuate-rebuild projects, acting for developers including Aura Israel - Entrepreneurship and Investments, Tidhar Urban Development, Acro Real Estate Entrepreneurship, and Tsabarim Development and Investments.

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 1

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

'Vastly experienced and totally committed to a favourable outcome', Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary handles a significant amount of court-appointed mandates and acts for a litany of secured and unsecured creditors. In a standout matter, department head Erez Haver was appointed special administrator of Rubicon Group and the Kela Fund for Encouraging Entrepreneurship in connection with Rubicon's insolvency; additionally, this mandate involves dozens of simultaneous proceedings against various officeholders in the group of companies, including criminal securities claims. Further, Haver represented creditor the Clal Group in debt settlement proceedings against Mega Retail. Similarly, the team advises secured creditors, including Israel Discount Bank, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Mercantile Discount Bank, and Union Bank of Israel on a significant number of liquidation and receivership mandates. Haver is also assisting Neumann Brothers with the possible distressed purchase of Eurocom Group. Moran Mordechay is another key contact.

Leading individuals

Erez Haver - Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 2

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary has experience in the tax aspects of cross-border investments, M&A transactions and major real estate projects, but the team stands out for its expertise in funds-related taxation. Indeed, Doron Levy is assisting Aura Investments with the establishment of a REIT, and Racheli Guz-Lavi provides ongoing tax advice to Israel Infrastructure Fund regarding the management of its investments and the structure of its various funds and co-investment vehicles. Levy, who heads the practice group, is also a name to note for high-value tax disputes; he is currently representing two trusts, with Israeli beneficiaries and international investment activities, in a dispute with the ITA concerning the taxability of certain activities abroad. Moreover, the team has been advising a number of private clients on the tax aspects of cryptocurrency holdings and investments.

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Legal Developments in Israel

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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