Greenberg Traurig’s Tel Aviv office had a breakthrough year in 2015, realizing the vision of bringing together the vibrant Israeli business community with the resources and platforms of a major international firm with a strong local presence. From professional achievements, through external recognition, to exceptional inbound and outbound client service and wide involvement in the Israeli business world, Greenberg Traurig continues to raise the bar with regard to professional excellence and client service, catering to Israeli and foreign clients alike. *Greenberg Traurig Attorneys do not practice Israeli law
New Additions to the Office
Two addition were made to the Tel Aviv office over the course of 2015:
Ephraim Schmeidler (Of-Counsel), a native Israeli, joined the Tel Aviv office in September after a number of years at GT’s Philadelphia office. Ephraim focuses his practice on corporate and securities law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and securities offerings. He has represented both foreign and domestic entities, including Israeli companies with stock traded in the U.S. As a fluent speaker in Mandarin, one of Ephraim’s focus points for the coming year is developing relations with China and opening a two-way channel for Chinese investors seeking to invest in Israel, and for Israeli companies seeking to expand their business activities into China.
Donna Chagal joined the Tel Aviv office in October and became the office’s first Marketing Coordinator. Donna covers the different marketing related activities of the office, and assists Tel Aviv Business Director Sara Dahan in choosing, planning, developing, coordinating and executing business development ventures, Israel events, and many more. This marked the next step in the office’s strategy for enlarging its presence and involvement in the local business ecosystem.
The Tel Aviv Shareholders help shape the local and global legal landscape:
Gary Epstein, Tel-Aviv Managing Shareholder, Co-Chair of the Israel Practice, and Senior Chair, Global Corporate & Securities Practice, founded and still provides guidance to the entire Tel Aviv operation. As in previous years, Gary was recognized by the leading legal directories. The Best Lawyers in America have been listing Gary since 1996, and have named him Securities Regulation’s Lawyer of the Year for 2015 (Florida). Additionally, Gary is consistently acknowledged by Legal 500, and Chambers and Partners (as a “Star Performer,” its highest category) in both the US and global editions. Given the firm’s and Gary’s longstanding commitment to Israel, The Israeli Bar Association chose to present him with an award representing Gary’s many efforts for and continuous collaboration with the IBA. The award was presented to Gary as part of the 2015 Israeli Bar Association Conference, in the presence of attorneys from around the country as well as international GT shareholders.
Shareholder Joey Shabot continued to establish his presence and expertise within the Israeli market. Joey’s expertise and client development skills have attracted the attention of general counsels, venture and private equity funds and major and foreign corporations. Joey was interviewed both for The American Lawyer and Israel’s Globes magazine, where he emphasized Greenberg Traurig’s focus on and commitment to Israel and Israeli businesses. In an extraordinary development for such a new office, Joey was named one of Israel’s 40 most prominent professionals under 40 by Israel’s The Marker journal. The business journal annually selects executives, academics, public servants, technology entrepreneurs, and attorneys whom it expects will become key figures on the Israeli scene in the near future.
Shareholder Adam Snukal continued his deep involvement with Israeli innovation working with clients from a broad spectrum of industries, at the same time that he continued to develop his large and growing US practice, in such areas as cybersecurity, intellectual property, fintech, and medical software. On the educational side, Adam lectured to select companies of Israel’s Nielsen Innovate incubator as well as Zell program students. Together with Shareholders Bob Grossman (Co-Chair, Israel Practice), and Barry Schindler (Co-Chair, Global Patent Prosecution Group), Adam also served as a mentor to the same communities. On the practical side, pushing new frontiers, Adam played a big role in assisting SpaceIL to Sign Launch agreement for private mission to the moon, and win the Lunar XPRIZE competition.
GT Tel Aviv counsels an array of clients from a wide spectrum of sectors. Greenberg Traurig’s Tel Aviv office is the only major international law firm with a multidisciplinary, registered office in Tel Aviv and serves as a gateway for Israeli businesses and entrepreneurs seeking opportunities around the world, as well as for companies exploring opportunities within Israel. In addition to the Israel office, GT also has a vibrant Israel Practice consisting of a global network of professionals as well as a broad range of legal experts and practice areas including public offerings, intellectual property litigation, finance, and real estate investment. Given our strong ties with the other 38 GT offices, GT Tel Aviv had the privilege of being involved with some very exciting and complex matters this past year:
Greenberg Traurig Represents China’s Sichuan Hebang Corp. in Deal with Israeli-Based Stockton – In a deal that has made news across Israel, Sichuan Hebang Corp. acquired control of Israeli-based Stockton, a private company in the agrochemical industry. The deal is the company’s first investment outside of China. Representing Hebang, a $3.5 billion public company traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, was a team of Greenberg Traurig attorneys led by Corporate & Securities Shareholders Joey T. Shabot and George Qi (Co-Managing Shareholder Shanghai office) as well as Of Counsel Ephraim Schmeidler and Associate Aaron R. Katz (Tel Aviv office)
Greenberg Traurig Team Represents Longtime Client OPKO Health in $1.47 Billion Merger Agreement – Shareholder Bob Grossman led a multi-office team of Greenberg Traurig attorneys who represented longtime client OPKO HEALTH, INC. (NYSE:OPK) in the negotiation of a definitive merger agreement with Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRLI). OPKO is also one of the largest companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
SpaceIL to Launch First Israel Space Shuttle to the Moon – In 2007, the X Prize Foundation, announced the launch of a competition that called for privately-funded spaceflight teams to successfully launch a robotic spacecraft to the moon. Adam Snukal assisted our client SpaceIL in the negotiations for the consummation of its official launch services agreement, thus helping it become the first and only X Prize Foundation team to announce that it had secured a verified launch contract by the originally set deadline.
Delek’s Sale of its U.S. Insurance Business, Republic Group, to AmTrust Insurance for Approximately $220 Million – Delek Group, a $14 billion public company in Israel, operates both in Israel and abroad (Europe and the U.S.). In the last two years, Delek took a strategic decision to divest its insurance-related holdings, in part as a result of a regulatory imperative recently adopted by the Israeli government. Delek was the owner of Republic Group, a casualty and property insurance company based in Dallas, Texas, that provided hurricane and other kinds of insurance in six states throughout the Southwestern U.S. Delek turned to our Tel Aviv office, assisted by our Texas offices, to advise it on both the M&A aspects as well as insurance regulatory matters in Texas and adjoining states.
TEVA agrees to buy Mexico’s Rimsa for US$2.3 billion – In a deal that is being led by Shareholder Bob Grossman and has been reported in press outlets around the globe, Israeli pharmaceuticals company Teva has agreed to purchase Mexican counterpart Rimsa for US$2.3 billion. This acquisition will make TEVA a leading pharmaceutical company in Mexico, the second largest market in Latin America and one of the top five emerging markets globally.
Fred Segal Licensing Matter – in collaboration with Koji Ishikawa (Managing Shareholder, Tokyo office), Shareholder Adam Snukal completed a Japan exclusive license for globally recognized Fred Segal brand, an upscale US based clothing retailer consisting of multiple franchises.
Israeli Tech Company Supercom Completes $25.2 million in secondary NASDAQ IPO – Shareholders Joey Shabot and Barbara Jones (of the Boston office), together with Associate Devora Snyder, represented Cowen and Company, a diversified financial services firm, as underwriters in Supercom Ltd.’s secondary offering on NASDAQ. Supercom Ltd, an Israeli provider of Electronic Intelligence Solutions for e-Government public safety, healthcare, and finance sectors, closed its underwritten public offering of 2.415 million shares of its ordinary shares at a price to the public of $12 per share.
Representation of Amadeus, the Spanish Tourism Giant – Amadeus is a US$19 billion company traded on the Spanish stock exchange. In 2015, the company chose to enter the Israeli market in its first-ever venture-style investment in a young Israeli startup. Shareholder Joey Shabot, together with Associates Aaron Katz and Devora Snyder and a team of GT attorneys from Miami, handled several additional Amadeus matters over the course of 2015.
AMC Health and Verizon Strategic Partnership – Shareholder Adam Snukal negotiated a strategic partnership between AMC Health and Verizon. AMC Health is a leading telehealth service provider in the US, and is the flagship offering of communications giant Verizon’s entrance into the telehealth space.
Intec Pharma Ltd.’s NASDAQ IPO –Shareholders Bob Grossman, Joshua Samek and Joey Shabot represented Intec Pharma, a drug development company, in an IPO with the purpose of raising funds needed for a phase III clinical trial of its flagship product, a pill for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Additional Representations – During 2015, we also were involved in providing expert testimony on U.S. securities laws to Israeli companies listed in the U.S., representing Israeli residents in connection with investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, drafting licensing agreements between Israeli companies and U.S. strategic partners, and in providing government relations work in the U.S. on behalf of Israeli clients.
Israel Related Events
As part of its commitment to Israel, Greenberg Traurig’s Tel Aviv office and Israel Practice are actively involved in Israel related events locally and abroad:
Greenberg Traurig and Deloitte Co-host Conference on Israel/Japan Economic Opportunities (September 2015) – The “Big in Japan – Startup Nation meets the Rising Sun” conference marked yet another chapter in the efforts of Greenberg Traurig’s Tel Aviv office to educate appropriate audiences about emerging economic opportunities, and to facilitate the commercial exploration of those opportunities, utilizing Greenberg Traurig’s resources and services. Greenberg Traurig attorneys from Tel Aviv and Shareholder Koji Ishikawa from our Tokyo office, together with participants from co-sponsor Deloitte and others, spoke of the new opportunities in Japan that have arisen with respect to investment and partnership in innovative Israeli technology and healthcare.
Greenberg Traurig Hosts Philadelphia Mayor in Tel Aviv (July 2015) – During his second trip to Israel, Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia was hosted at Greenberg Traurig’s Tel Aviv office as part of a venture capital roundtable, which gave Israeli VC’s an opportunity to make a personal connection with the Mayor and his senior staff. Opportunities in Philadelphia were discussed, such as strategic partnerships, access to customers, and the exciting ecosystem for emerging companies.
The 2015 Israeli Bar Association Conference (May 2015) – Greenberg Traurig, a main sponsor of the 2015 Israeli Bar Association Conference, was also an active participant – representing our international presence on multiple panels, attending events with Israeli peer firms, and hosting notable guests ranging from American Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro to the effervescent Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Attending the Conference were four Greenberg Traurig Tel Aviv-based attorneys as well as GT Co-President and Shareholder Hilarie Bass, Shareholder; Boston Chair; and Global White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Co-Chair John Pappalardo, Shareholder and Global Energy & Infrastructure Practice Co-Chair Ken Minesinger and Shareholder Greg Kehoe.
Nevada Luncheon on Business Making in Israel – Greenberg Traurig’s Las Vegas office hosted a luncheon for 25 Nevada based companies, discussing recent developments in the US-Israel Business community. Speakers included Tel Aviv Shareholders Gary Epstein and Joey Shabot as well as Michael Bonner (Managing Shareholder, Las Vegas office).
Greenberg Traurig’s John Pappalardo Discusses FCPA (April 2015) – GT hosted a roundtable for leaders of Israeli businesses in which Shareholder John Pappalardo (Boston Chair; Co-Chair, Global White Collar Criminal Defense Practice) discussed FCPA considerations affecting Israeli companies. In addition, John was interviewed on the matter by local economic paper Globes.
Involvement in the Community
Tmura – over the past year, Greenberg Traurig Tel Aviv office has partnered as a sponsor of Tmura, the Israeli Public Service Venture Fund. Tmura was founded in 2002 to increase the involvement of the high-tech community in non-profit activity in Israel, with a focus on education and other youth related initiatives. We look forward to working closely with the program in the future.
United Hatzalah –Joey Shabot and Adam Snukal, together with Aaron Katz dedicate themselves to pro bono work for United Hatzalah, an international first response organization, aimed to increase the involvement of the high-tech community in non-profit activity in Israel, with a focus on education and other youth related initiatives.
WIZO Organization – Joey Shabot and Devora Snyder work with the Women’s International Zionist Organization on various Israel related matters
With 2016 barely underway, Greenberg Traurig Tel Aviv has already set the bar with one major addition and two global events sponsorships.
Rudolph W. Giuliani to Join Greenberg Traurig in New York – Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has announced he will join global law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, as Global Chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity and Crisis Management Practice and Senior Advisor to firm Executive Chairman Richard A. Rosenbaum.
OurCrowd Investors Summit (January 2016) – reeling in 3,000 participants from virtually all over the world, the annual OurCrowd event was home to all sorts of innovations. Hosting both companies and investors, Greenberg Traurig played a major role at the event, from Shareholder Bob Grossman’s opening remarks at the opening plenary, speaking of the firm’s commitment to Israel, to Gary Epstein’s participation at the GT branded panel “Taking it to the Next Level – with Greenberg Traurig” in which he provided valuable input for companies seeking to advance their businesses abroad.
Greenberg Traurig Tel Aviv and Shanghai Offices Sponsor the First Ever China-Israel Technology, Innovation and Investment Summit (January 2016) – the first ever China-Israel Summit, jointly sponsored by the Greenberg Traurig Tel Aviv and Shanghai offices, took place in Beijing. The 3-day event’s aim was to address issues relevant to the burgeoning interest by China in Israeli innovation. During the event, Tel Aviv Shareholder Joey Shabot participated on a panel in which he discussed practical tools for cross-border deal making. In addition, Greenberg Traurig hosted a private luncheon for 140 senior Chinese business people. Opening the luncheon, Shanghai Shareholder George Qi and Tel Aviv Of-Counsel Ephraim Schmeidler gave a short presentation in Mandarin of Greenberg Traurig’s global and cross-border capabilities.
About Greenberg Traurig, P.A. – Tel Aviv
Greenberg Traurig’s Tel Aviv office is the only major international law firm with a multidisciplinary, registered office in Tel Aviv and serves as a gateway for Israeli businesses and entrepreneurs seeking opportunities around the world, as well as for companies exploring opportunities within Israel. The Tel Aviv location offers clients the global reach of Greenberg Traurig’s international network, connecting Israel to major commercial centers throughout the world.
About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, multi-practice law firm with approximately 1900 attorneys serving clients from 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is No 1. on the 2015 Law360 Most Charitable Firms list, third largest in the U.S. on the 2015 Law360 400, Top 20 on the 2015 Am Law Global 100, and among the 2015 BTI Brand Elite. More information at: www.gtlaw.com