Interview with: Asaf Shalev, Head Partner
Shalev, Jencmen & Co | View firm profile
Head partner Asaf Shalev discusses the firm and its future
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Shalev, Jencmen & Co. from your competitors?
One thing that sets Shalev, Jencmen & Co. apart is the fact that although the firm was established only three years ago, it is anything BUT novice. Our attorneys bring with them decades of experience working in the IP world, both in Israel and abroad, and every one of them is an expert in his or her field.
The fact that our attorneys have previously worked in the largest IP firms in Israel and abroad is strengthened by the unique fact that Avi and I have previously worked in the high tech world and thus have gained an intimate insider knowledge, which we now use to guide our clients through the complex maze of IP. This inside perspective is quite unique in the field, and gives our firm a tremendous advantage as counsel to companies at their starting stages, as well as to multinational corporations, for which we act as their long arm in their local R&D centers.
In addition, as client relations is part of our credo, we not only put a strong emphasis on responsiveness and availability, but we are also proactively staying in touch with our clients, and constantly seeking ways to help them benefit the most from their assets, even when they themselves don’t recognize it.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
In the past few years, we have set our goals at acquiring a broad base of satisfied and loyal local clients, creating a wide network of professional relationships, and establishing our reputation as a leader in Israel’s intellectual property practice field. We have achieved these goals, and we are now setting our aims at international expansion.
In the next 12 months we intend to expand our global clientele by increasing our reach to global companies looking to do business in Israel. In order to achieve this, we are working on expanding our global professional networks, and increasing the firm’s global exposure. In addition, in expectation of an increased workload, we also intend to expand our team of professionals.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
The main change the firm has made recently is the initiation of a Service Level Agreement (SLA). SLA is a commitment between the firm , as a service provider, and the client, which establishes the particular aspects of the services to be provided. SLA contains commitments on the firm’s part for maximum response time and other client-firm communication matters, scope of work and handling of the case, fees and other concerns clients may have.
Although these commitments may seem constricting, nevertheless, we are confident in our ability to provide our excellent legal services under these commitments for the benefit of our clients. Our clients benefit from the transparency, stability and peace of mind the SLA provides, by putting to paper and addressing all of their concerns. This process promises a smooth and straight forward relationship between the firm and its clients, which is demonstrated in our long roster of loyal clients.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
With roots in the high-tech world, we always try to be at the front when it comes to technology. Our firm uses a case docketing system, which enables us to closely monitor all the cases our firm handles. For each client, the system is set according to the terms of the SLA, and enables us to keep a close watch on every case, and perform required actions in a timely manner.
In addition, the COVID-19 epidemic has created an unprecedented global situation, which allowed us to expand our use of technology for the benefit of our clients. In order to keep providing legal services to our clients, the firm is completely set to work remotely, and cater to our clients’ needs, whether it be video conferences, online applications, communication with the relevant authorities, etc.
As our firm is constantly involved in the world of technology and innovations, we never neglect to learn and improve our own technological capabilities.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
Shalev, Jencmen & Co. acts as the strategic intellectual property arm of a major global pharmaceutical corporation in Israel, and handles the corporation’s intellectual property matters in Israel through its subsidiary Antelliq. This relationship with such a major corporation benefits our other clients, as they enjoy a direct connection to one of the world’s biggest corporations. We have made plenty of such connections, and continue to do so, since this benefits all the parties.
In addition, we offer our clients a service called “Intellectual Property Mining”. This is a process in which our team meets with the development team, reviews their work, and sorts out all patentable inventions that the development team might have missed, since their knowledge of patents is limited. Thanks to the IP Mining process we are able to instantly increase a company’s patents portfolio, and to further develop the company’s patent strategy and IP commercialization plan. In the past year, we have performed the IP Mining process within more than twenty companies, which achieved great results.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
With the planned continual growth of the firm’s client base, and our intended global expansion, in three years I see Shalev, Jencmen & Co. strengthening its position at the top of the IP practice field in Israel, becoming recognized as the best patent and trademark attorneys in the country. Concurrently, with the growth of our client base, and in order to improve the services rendered to them, I expect a significant growth in our professional team, by recruiting more experts in the IP practice field.
In addition, I foresee that in three years time, our global network of professional relationships would have expanded significantly, contributing to the expansion of our global clients base, promoting the global exposure of the firm, and launching it to the highest tiers of the global IP world.