In November, Greenberg Traurig’s Tel Aviv office was honored to host attorneys from the Greenberg Traurig Germany office for three days packed with events and meetings geared toward GT’s global platform and business opportunities in Israel. Germany’s status in the Israeli business community has strengthened over the past few years, with companies in various sectors seeking to explore investments, partnerships, and operations in Israel.
The visit kicked off with the launch of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Israel, a major event in the Israeli business scene. GT co-sponsored this event along one of the world’s leading multinational real estate companies. There have been significant developments in real estate opportunities in Israel over the past several years, solidified by ULI’s strategic decision to launch in Israel. Attended by local real estate experts, investors, and many media representatives, the launch was one of the largest real estate-related events Israel has seen to date.
Christian Schede, managing shareholder Germany, and Lawrence Sternthal, head of international real estate in the Tel Aviv office, spoke at the launch event. Schede took part in a panel which discussed international trends of urbanization. The panel revealed that many investors have a particular interest in Berlin, as many consider Germany to be somewhat of a safe haven in the wake of the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU. As part of this panel, ULI presented their newest emerging trends in real estate study which named four German cities among the top 5cities for investments and prospects. Berlin was ranked No. 1 which will be backed by the recently elected government, which aims to drive forward affordable housing, infrastructure development, education, as well as research and innovation. Sternthal spoke about trends with major Israeli institutional investors in connection with their outbound real estate investments. Eric Rosedale, chair of GT’s international real estate practice and Claudia Hard, shareholder and head of finance in Germany, also attended and took an active part in the event.
Similar events and meetings focused on technology, privacy, and digitization. GT co-hosted a seminar titled “Demystifying EU Privacy.” In this seminar, Viola Bensinger, shareholder and head of technology in Germany, Adam Snukal, shareholder in Israel, and Carsten Kociok, senior associate in Germany, gave presentations on compliance and data protection in the EU and explained how the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield works. Rounding up the issues of EU privacy and compliance was a private seminar and a round of private meetings in Beer-Sheva, cyber capital of Israel, in which attendees gained information on the lively tech scene of Israel.
The final event focused on financial technology (FinTech) and was jointly organized by GT and one of Israel’s leading local law firms. The event attracted some 60 representatives of banks, financial service providers, and payment service providers, as well as representatives from tech platforms and accelerators. A panel discussion moderated by GT’s Henrik Armah, German M&A/technology shareholder, reinforced that, Israeli startups think globally from the very beginning due to the limited market in their home country.
As GT is the only major international law firm with an office in Israel, as well as with offices in global tech hubs such as Silicon Valley, New York, Berlin, Seoul, and Tokyo, GT is experienced in assisting Israeli tech firms roll-out their businesses to the EU, the U.S., and Asia. Operating shareholder of the Tel Aviv office, Joey Shabot, stated: “Berlin and Tel Aviv are sisters in mind. Both cities are highly attractive to young people from all over the world who are eager to found their own business in the tech or internet sector. We will use this momentum to connect Israel to the world.”