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Foreign lawyers are permitted to operate in Israel‎

An important update from Robus (Legal marketing) – After a long period of thoughts, debates and uncertainty, it’s now a done deal- the Israeli Minister of Finance signs an order allowing foreign law firms to operate and collaborate in Israel

Foreign lawyers and law firms are permitted to provide legal services regarding foreign law, yet – will not be allowed to represent before Israeli courts

Israeli Minister of Finance, Yuval Steinitz has signed (21.5.12) an order regulating the activity of foreign lawyers in Israel, pursuant to the Foreign Lawyers Law which entered into effect in September 2011 and amended the Israel Bar Association Law

Our team, here at Robus, wrote a lot during last months about the upcoming change in legislation, among others, in our post Foreign lawyers infiltrate Israel’s legal market which was published a year ago (link). As always, will be more than happy to assist and provide relevant tools and additional information to foreign law firms regarding entering the Israeli market and/or operating under the new amendment

The order removes barriers that prevented foreign lawyers from working in Israel and permits collaboration between local and foreign law firms

The implementation of the order will increase the Israeli economy’s exposure to international law firms and their business clients, and will provide Israeli clients of foreign lawyers with a safety net. A foreign lawyer will be bound to entry conditions, among others, insurance in the sum of NIS 2 million

Activated by the order, the amendment to the Israel Bar Association legislation allows foreign lawyers to grant legal services within Israel, regarding the local law of their respective country, as well as international law- all conditioned by membership in a foreign Bar Association and at least two years experience as a lawyer or in a judicial position

In addition, foreign lawyers will be permitted to represent clients in negotiations and handle contractual matters involving local laws of their country of certification. However, foreign lawyers will still be unable to represent before Israeli courts. The amendment also stipulates registration and supervising authorities of the Israeli Bar Association regarding foreign lawyers operating in Israel

Received with great interest among the Israeli legal milieu and local media, the order is of great significance for both foreign law firms and independent foreign lawyers who consider branching out to new international markets and gaining access to an extremely vibrant business arena

In plain business terms, the order paves the way for partnerships between foreign law firms and Israeli ones, as the latter would be permitted to share their revenues with lawyers who do not possess Israeli Bar licenses. In addition, foreign law firms will be eligible to employ Israeli lawyers

The inevitable forecast within many Israeli law firms is a continuous rise in competition within the Israeli legal sector, in an already saturated market of some 50,000 lawyers

However, given the steady increase in revenues in the legal sector in recent years, along with Israel’s impressive macro economical features of the last decade and ongoing economical growth, expectancies are for creative international initiatives in the legal sector which will bring about more sophisticated and tailored legal services, consistent with the ever-growing business needs of Israeli companies

As always, our team at Robus will be more than happy to consult, assist and provide relevant tools to foreign law firms, as well as individual lawyers, regarding entering the Israeli market and/or operating under the new amendment

Robus is Israel’s leading Legal Marketing Company, a strategic counseling office which specializes in legal marketing and counseling for law firms

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