Why we LOVE Being Antitrust Lawyers (and Why You Should Be Worried)

  The end of Professor David Gilo's appointment as the Israeli Antitrust Commissioner gives us a chance to pause and think - what is it about antitrust law that we love so much? Professor Gilo's appointment period has proven quite dramatic for the Israeli antitrust and competition law. Israeli competition law was pushed from its sleepy corner, where it was "just another interesting niche," to the legal and economic forefront. From the "cottage cheese" protest of 2011 to... read more >>

Israel opts for a risk-based system to address land contamination:

Following our publication in June 2014, the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection (MOEP) recently published its official policy regarding contaminated land. The policy is likely to have considerable implications for the industrial and financial sectors. The publication of the policy is consistent with the continuous efforts by the MOEP in recent years to pass the “Contaminated Land Bill” in the Israeli Parliament – efforts that are expected to continue with the... read more >>

Despite reforms, Israel’s trade sanctions regimes remain perplexing: A review of common compliance pitfalls.

In an earlier post on Unfolding.co.il, we discussed recent reforms to Israel’s trade sanctions regimes. These reforms show an invigorated Israeli government that appears to be preparing to enforce its sanctions laws. At the same time, the post echoed the frustrations of companies who are facing complex legal questions but have yet to receive any regulatory guidance from these authorities. This post will elaborate on some of these frustrations, first and foremost, for the purpose of... read more >>

Trimming the Hedges

Hedging would commonly be regarded as prudent business practice. However, the Israel Tax Authority (ITA) has expressed a view that could jeopardize, or at least complicate some basic hedging tactics. In a nutshell, the ITA's stance is the following: No withholding tax for hedging assets – Yes withholding tax for hedging liabilities. But let's unpack this a bit. As is all too common in Israel, the ITA uses its very broad withholding powers to take positions that are... read more >>

Beware: Israeli authorities on the prowl for unsuspecting sanctions evaders:

Reforms to trade regulations invite compliance challenges. BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, was fined $9 billion in 2014 for violating U.S. sanctions laws. As the competent Israeli authorities are on the prowl for their own “BNP Paribas” case, it is worth reviewing Israeli sanctions laws and being apprised of important sanctions-related legal developments. Iran Springboards Sanctions Reform Israel’s stern foreign policies on Iran have been attracting increasing... read more >>

Big Yang Theory: Will China’s Outbound Investment Eclipse Inbound Investment in the Year of the Goat? And How Will It Affect the Growing Trend of Chinese Investments in Israeli Targets?

The Chinese New Year is here, and this is the Year of the "Yang" (which means "Goat" in Chinese). 2014 was the year of the "Horse", in which we saw a clear trend of growing outbound investments from China, and according to IVC Research Center, Chinese investors were involved in 32 investment transactions, whether directly into companies or indirectly via venture capital and private equity funds, valued at a total of $319M. We at HFN believe that this trend is about to grow in... read more >>

Administrative Site Visits: When the Immigration Authorities Drop in at your U.S. office.

Knock knock. Who's there? United States Immigration and Citizenship Services. Say what?! No, this is not the beginning of a bad joke, it's really happening. In an effort to curb abuse of the immigration system, USCIS created the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) whose job it is to verify information submitted by U.S. employers within the context of certain employment-based work visa petitions. How do they do it? By conducting random and unannounced "site... read more >>

ESOP Transfer Pricing Audits on the Rise

In the recent meeting of the Legal and Accounting committee of the Israeli Advanced Technologies Industries, Israel's largest umbrella organization representing the high tech and life science industries, the concern of vigorous and growing number of transfer pricing audits was raised, specifically in the field of ESOP matters. The matter of employee benefits granted to the employees of related parties, such as of the granting entity's subsidiary, has been in the focus of the Israeli... read more >>

Third Annual Israeli Environmental Performance Index Published

The Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection (MOEP) has recently published, for the third  consecutive year, the results of the Annual Environmental Impact Index. As in previous years, publication of the Index received the attention of the media and  of investors both in Israel and abroad. This year, the Index applies to 44 publicly-traded and government-owned companies, that together  represent over 100 industrial facilities and 1,000 gas stations. The top ranked poor... read more >>

Social Media Policy in the Workplace – the Sequel

Last summer I wrote my first blog ever regarding "Use of social media by employees – is this good or bad for the employer?" I concluded my short article by stating that "this is mainly a philosophical debate with no clear answer" and observed that "as in each minute millions of posts, tweets and photos are published (including by your employees), a better use of our time is not to debate this, but rather educate ourselves and our employees about this use".  Well, I hope you all... read more >>
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