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Summary of Eilat 2015 International Conference: Israel as part of the Global Marketplace

The annual Israel Bar conference in Eilat, brought with it a unique sub-conference: The International Conference: Israel as part of the Global Marketplace- Leading Israeli and Foreign Law Firms heading south to Eilat. For the full schedule of the conference- please click here

Following this rewarding and interesting conference, you’ll find below a full summary of this unique conference, which included three panels and for the 1st time in Israel – a full mock trial between Israeli and foreign law firms.

The conference Academic Organizers

Adv. Zohar Fisher, Founder of Robus – Legal Marketing and business development for Israeli and Foreign law firms

Adv. Eyal Beserglick, Vice chairman, Criminal committee, Tel-Aviv District of the Israel Bar Association


Panel 1: How to speak ‘Globalization’? Business in a Global world

The business world and the legal sector have merged into a unique global village during recent years. On the one hand, we have been observing hostile takeovers and mergers in local companies, on the other, a growing power of foreign investors. What will be Israel’s role in this new world? Leading Israeli and foreign lawyers will provide their professional view

Chairman: Adv. Zohar Fisher, founder, Robus Legal Marketing


A) Adv. Hadar Solomon, Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz – Israel

B) Adv. Gary Copelovitz, Lipa Meir & Co. – Israel

C) Adv. Sharon Zrifin, NEST, Negotiation Strategies – Israel

D) Adv. Laurence Jacobs, Milbank – Global

E) Adv. Paul Miller, Berwin Leighton Paisner- BLP – Global

F) Adv. Daniel Rubel, Zeichner Ellman & Krause – ZEK – USA

G) Adv. Jeremy Lustman, DLA Piper – Global

H) Adv. Shy Jackson, Pinsent Masons – Global


The first panel included an extremely interesting and international group of lawyers. Due to the vast and different experience they acquired over the years, they were able to provide us a fascinating perspective about the Israeli legal market in particular, and the international market in general. The leading topics of the panel were: the future of Israeli legal market, foreign law firms in Israel, how does the future lawyer will and should look like, and Israel’s image abroad

As a result of the 2012 Amendment of the Bar Association Law, the legal world is in waiting (expectation) for big international law firms to open Israeli branches and change the face of the market

Adv. Gary Copelovitz from Lipa Meir & Co. declared his law firm would be interested in merging with a foreign law firm but he thinks it’s unlikely to happen mainly because foreign law firms are not interested to establish in Israel. Adv. Sky Jackson from Pinsent Masons completed Adv. Copelovitz view by explaining the deep differences in culture between Israelis and Europeans when doing business. In addition, Adv. Jeremy Lustman from DLA Piper reaffirmed that the law firm is not planning to open an official branch and is not planning to merge with a local law firm

Adv. Paul Miller from BLP and Adv. Daniel Rubel from ZEK have a more optimist view of things – they believe that even if there are deep differences in culture and mentality, Israel is still a very important player in today’s business world and many international law firms have recognized that

Adv. Laurence Jacobs from Milbank and Adv. Hadar Solomon from Pearl Cohen Zedek both discussed how the role of the lawyer will change to adjust the modern world. They both agreed that the only way lawyers will survive this competitive and crowded market is by concentrating in providing a good and personal service to the client, leaving other issues, such as Marketing, to professional companies, such as Robus Legal Marketing

Adv. Sharon Zrifin from Nest Consulting, believes that one of the biggest challenges of lawyers today is that in almost all commercial transactions include an international involvement. For lawyers that have no experience in dealing with different countries and culture, negotiation can become almost impossible. This is why lawyers have to recur to professional negotiators to help them bridge between the cultures


Panel 2: Money Laundering: Local & International aspects

The panelists will discuss global controversies related to Money Laundering and its effect on the economy. Furthermore, they will provide practical tools and share their professional opinion on how to deal with the problem and its effect on Israel. The panel will include experts in this fascinating field from both Israel and abroad

Moderator: Adv. Eyal Beserglick, Vice chairman, Criminal committee, Tel-Aviv District


A) Adv. Alex Hertman, S. Horowitz & Co. – Israel

B) Adv. Uri Keynan, Uri Keynan Law Firm – Israel

C) Adv. Yael Grossman, Yael Grossman Law Firm – Israel

D) Adv. Gil Dachoach, Dachoach Law Firm – Israel

E) Adv. Avram Kelman, Fladgate – UK

F) Adv. Nir Zeltzer, Orechdin Law Firm – Belgium

G) Adv. Jeremy Grant, Linklaters – Global

H) Mr. Aviram Zino, Legal correspondent, Maariv – Israel


The moderator, Adv. Eyal Besserglick, opened the panel with the worrying new trend to expand criminal responsibility of service providers, such as banks, accountants and lawyers. In his opinion, this trend can jeopardize attorney-client confidentiality and can make the attorneys liable for the simplest and most trivial activities

The participants of the panel agreed with him. Adv. Gil Dachoach (Dachoach & Co.) said that this can bring serious damage to the profession. Adv. Uri Keinan (Uri Keynan Law Firm) warned that in the near future lawyer will be under constant investigation for not checking the source of funds of its clients

However, Adv. Jeremy Grant from Linklaters, had a more optimistic approach – he believes that the new law will position Israel as leading country in Money Laundering regulation

Adv. Alex Hartman (S. Horowitz) and Adv. Yael Grossman, head of the Money Laundering Commission of the Bar Association, discussed the new decree that will come into force in September about the obligation to identify clients and the enforcement trends of the Israeli authorities

Last, Adv. Nir Zelzer from Belgium (Orechdin law offices) provided the public with a comparative discussion between Israel and Belgium Money Laundering regulation


Panel 3: Around the World in One Panel – new sectors in the legal profession

In the modern world, lawyers are no longer bound to their own domestic market, but are able to be involved and operate on international levels, too. Throughout this panel, we shall examine new global destinations for Israeli lawyers – from Europe to the Far East, as well as discuss the varied collaborations and possibilities that exist for foreign lawyers and law firms in Israel

Moderator: Adv. Oded Har-Even, Zysman Aharoni Gayer & Co. – Israel


A) Adv. Gadi Ouzan, Shibolet & Co. – Israel

B) Adv. Micki Shapira, Weinstock Zecler & Co. – Israel

C) Adv. Eytan Epstein, Epstein Knoller Chomsky Osnat Gilat Tenenboim & Co. – Israel

D) Adv. Richard Mann, Gross Kleinhendler Hodak Halevy Greenberg & Co. – Israel

E) Adv. Shai Kuttner, BWK Partners – Holland

F) Adv. Yaniv Habari , Y. Habari & Co. – Cyprus

G) Adv. Jonathan Heuberger, FPS – Germany

H) Adv. Ariel Nachman, Simmons & Simmons – Global


The objective of the panel was to discuss changes in the Israeli legal market since the amendment of the Bar Association Law. Most of the participants of the panel are skeptical towards the prophecies that the amendment will change the face of the Israeli market. They believe that the main obstacles for international law firms conquering the Israeli market are the difference in mentality and, most importantly, the fees

Adv. Richard Mann (GKH) believes that foreign law firms will not be able to integrate in Israel. Adv. Micki Shapira (Weinstock Zecler & Co) said that most of the international law firms that open an office or send a representative to Israel, are doing so because their lawyers “make Aliya” and not because they believe there is a real business opportunity

Adv. Gadi Ouzan (Shibolet) added that the problem of foreign law firms that affiliate to one law firm or open a branch in Israel is that they become a competition for Israeli law firms, entering a very crowded and unknown market. At this point, the moderator, Adv. Oded Har-Even (ZAG) stopped the discussion to disagree with Adv. Ouzan – he used Greenberg Tauring as an example of a foreign law firm that opened a branch and it’s not competing locally, on the contrary, they are still cooperating and working very closely to Israeli law firms

Adv. Shai Kuttner (Kuttner & Co.) was more positive, he believes that the legal fees in Israel are indeed lower than in the rest of the western world, but he still thinks the difference is not so big if you calculate how the law firms operate. Adv. Ariel Nahman (Simmons & Simmons) said that there is no real need to be based in Israel to successfully work here, and that he is a living example of this

In addition, Adv. Yaniv Habari (Y. Habari & Co.) and Adv. Jonathan Heuberger (FPS) provided the public with an interesting perspective about future cooperation and fields of interest in the Israel-Cyprus and Israel-Germany relations


Mock Trial- From Bernie Madoff to Eti Alon’s Embezzlement

For the first time in the history of Israel’s annual legal conference, Israeli and foreign lawyers will take part in a fascinating, live, head-to-head mock trial. The trial will regard a specific financial law matter, which will be debated, examined and ruled by a team of professionals, consisting of Israeli and foreign attorneys, as well as an Israeli District-Court judge


Hon. Judge Khaled Kaboub, District Court, Tel Aviv – Israel

Adv. Zvi Firon, M. Firon & Co. – Israel

Adv. Amir Amar, Amar Reiter Jeanne Shochatovitch & Co. – Israel

Prosecution Team

Adv. Anat Savidor-Goldenzweig, Deputy State Attorney, Central District – Israel

Adv. Trevor Asserson, Asserson Law Offices – UK

Defence Team

Adv. Navot Tel-Zur, Caspi & Co. – Israel

Adv. Ewa Dor, Dor Law Firm – Poland


There is no question that this was the high-light of the day. The facts of the case, in a nutshell: Motti (played by Adv. Zohar Fisher), chairman of an international bank and the defendant, approved loans of several individuals, including Oren (played by Adv. Eyal Besserglick), the witness, for the benefit of Danny, a prominent businessman. Danny took the money from the loans, gave some to Oren and the others, pays Motti, and keeps the rest. The argument of the persecution was that Motti conspired with Danny to do illicit activity

Not only that the story is based on a true case, each of the participants was brilliant in its role and knew how to make the case spicier and more entraining. The Mock trial included a “Huzpah” and extremely arrogant witness, a strict real-life judge (Judge Khaled Kaboub) and a long conversation about “chicken” and “shish kebab”- ingredients for success

Adv. Anat Savidor (prosecutor) and Adv. Navot Tel-Zur (defense) played instinctively their natural roles, and convinced us all that the defendant is guilty or not guilty. Adv. Trevor Asserson managed to give us a taste of how a court looks like in his country of origin – England

He stood up every time it was his turn to talk, arguing against the defendant with a very fine British accent and using allegories to “Alice in Wonderland”, making it impossible not to be convinced. Nevertheless, the defense’s secret weapon was Adv. Ewa Dor – a harmless looking lawyer, that from the moment she opens her mouth she becomes fearless and there is no person that will dare to contradict her

The court held that defendant is guilty and the sentence was… to work as a lawyer in one of the top law firms in Israel for 2 years (how terrible, isn’t?). The defendant, who left the legal profession for business development and marketing (Adv. Zohar Fisher), asked to for the judges’ mercy: to change the sentence to 2 years in jail.  His request was denied


On behalf of the organizers of this event – the Tel-Aviv and Central District of the Israel Bar Association, Adv. Eyal Beserglick and Robus Legal Marketing – we wish to thank all the participants for this rewarding and interesting event. See you next year

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