Name: Ephraim Schmeidler
Member of GT since: 2012
Describe your involvement with the Greenberg Traurig Israel Practice Group: I received my legal training in Israel and practiced law in Israel for five years before moving to the United States 11 years ago. Throughout my legal career in the United States I have been representing Israeli clients in numerous cross-border transactions and other matters. When Greenberg Traurig, the only international law firm with offices in Israel, had offered me to join three years ago or so, I saw it as a great opportunity to keep doing what I’m most enthusiastic about, helping Israeli clients grow their business abroad, while living in Israel with my family, something which I had wanted to do for a very long time. I focus my practice on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, corporate, and other transactional-related matters.
What should businesses be doing today to plan for successful cross-border work in 2016? Gather as much information as you can about the markets in which you intend to operate – the key players, the entry barriers, and the business culture. Make sure to prioritize and focus your efforts after collecting the relevant information. Once you decide on a market, be ready to dedicate sufficient time, effort, and resources in pursuing your penetration strategy. It always seems to require more efforts and resources that originally envisioned. For businesses looking for funding or built with a view of an exit, keep your legal house in order. Make sure that your corporate proceedings and transactions are properly documented, your intellectual property is adequately protected, and your information is well-organized and readily accessible. Be cooperative with the diligence process, make yourself available to answer questions, and provide follow-up information. You will be surprised how impressed a foreign investor is with management that seems to have a good handle on these items. Last but not least – involve your counsels, local and foreign, as early as possible in the planning and strategy of the transaction. Their knowledge and experience in structuring, planning, and strategizing may be most valuable in these very early stages.
Most memorable moment as a lawyer: In 2007, I represented a publicly traded European client in the acquisition of a U.S. company. The transaction had been negotiated very close to year-end. For a number of reasons, the client wanted the transaction to close in 2008. However, the sellers wanted the transaction to close in 2007. Well, there are seven hours during which it is still 2007 in the U.S but already 2008 in Europe, so closing (and all that was associated with that) had to occur during those seven hours, which made it a pretty memorable New Year’s Eve.
Hobbies: Music, reading, and history. I’m also a die-hard Liverpool fan (did I mention History…)
Favorite quote: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” (Albert Einstein)