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Tel: 073-7422221

Tel Aviv: Kardan House, Derech Menachem Begin 154, 64921

Modi'in: Ligad 1, Hashdera Hamerkazit 15, 71703002

E-mail: office@zmlaw.co.il

Fax: 077-4704615

The Zilberberg-Malin Law Offices is a boutique legal firm possessing in-depth expertise and specializing in a myriad of regulations impacting Israel’s banking sector, communications, money laundering and non-bank credit providers. 

 

The firm's practical experience developed by the firm's lawyers who have previously held senior positions in Israel’s banking industry, leading communications companies and also represented some of the largest corporations in Israel as part of their work in prominent law firms. 

 

Our legal staff possesses extensive experience in civil/commercial and administrative proceedings, including the courts from the Magistrates' Courts to the Supreme Court, administrative appeals, appeals to the Supreme Court, Labor Courts, zoning and building commission and others. 

Our Expertise

The Zilberberg-Malin Law Offices is a boutique legal firm possessing in-depth expertise and specializing in a myriad of regulations impacting Israel’s banking sector, communications, money laundering and non-bank credit providers. 

 

The firm's practical experience developed by the firm's lawyers who have previously held senior positions in Israel’s banking industry, leading communications companies and also represented some of the largest corporations in Israel as part of their work in prominent law firms. 

 

Our legal staff possesses extensive experience in civil/commercial and administrative proceedings, including the courts from the Magistrates' Courts to the Supreme Court, administrative appeals, appeals to the Supreme Court, Labor Courts, zoning and building commission and others. 

 

Our in-depth practical knowledge lies in both the legal and business sectors, particularly in changes that have taken place in the banking, commercial, insurance, and investment sectors offering a distinct advantage to our clients.

 

The firm’s experience in dealing with a wide range of legal matters, includes representing clients before the relevant regulatory authorities, such as the Bank of Israel, the banking supervisor, the insurance supervisor, the Israel Securities Authority, the Anti-Trust Authority, the Database Registrar, the Science and Technology Authority, the Ministry of Communication, and others. The firm works in conjunction with the Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority in the Ministry of Treasury and the Securities Authority at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

 

Our office has particular expertise in class action suits in non-compliance with regulatory demands. In recent years we have been among the leading law firms filing class action suits to protect the public interest against powerful corporations.

 

Zilberberg-Malin Law Offices offers its clients assistance in all financial, legal and regulatory matters, including corporate governance, regulatory guidelines on financial activities as well as internal audits demanded by government offices and supervisory authorities.

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Regulation

Regulation is a general term used to describe different regulatory activities undertaken by the administrative authorities, among them the government and local authorities, Bank of Israel, Securities Authority, Supervisor of Insurance and Capital Market, Ministry of Communications, Israel Electric Authority, etc. who have been granted legislative authority, supervisory mechanisms and enforcement of regulations, rules and constraints.

 

Political conflicts and different political agendas have led to seminal changes in public operations, which is reflected in the distribution of budgets and the advancement of specific legislation. 

 

In light of this, numerous changes in regulatory laws, constraints and procedures are taking place on a daily basis, and the state is becoming more involved in commercial and customer arenas with the the aim to implement a more trustworthy public policy. 

 

Clients require assistance in understanding the new laws and their implementation, and how to most effectively interact with the various authorities.

 

The firm’s Regulation Department provides strategic advice and practical guidelines in all relevant fields, among them:

 

* Preparation of opinion papers describing regulatory procedures prior to commercial communication.  

 

* Represent clients at government offices and supervisory authorities regarding permits and licensing, including:

           

            * communication license

            * insurance corporation license

            * investment and marketing advisory license

            * investment house license

            * license to provide currency and financial services

            * license to provide credit

            * laboratory license

* updating clients on new legislation and rulings

* internal audits on regulatory frameworks

* SOX compliance vis a vis regulatory constraints

* drafting regulatory procedures and recurrences

* administering current corporate regulations

* representing clients in hearings regarding regulations

* representing clients in management and/or civil procedures impacted by regulatory guidelines

* representing clients in class action suits impacted by non-compliance with regulatory frameworks

* assisting clients with tenders and competitive analyses

 

Our firm also advises international corporations and other legal firms in areas impacted by existing regulatory constraints and in defending class action suits.

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Non-Bank Credit

Until the beginning of the 21st century, Israeli banks had exclusive control over credit — both in granting credit to individuals and households and to small and large businesses alike. Shortly after,  the credit market underwent a structural change led by bank reform which moved the non-bank credit market from the shadows (grey market) to the realm of a legitimate operation under the supervision of relative authorities. 

 

The share of bank credit hovers around 90% of the total credit that is granted in the marketplace, and its influence continues to grow.  Beginning in 2006 there was a significant growth in credit lines  among credit companies, institutional investors for households and residences, making the market eminently more competitive vis a vis the banks. The pace of growth for businesses has continued slow, while the rate for households remains decidedly low. 

 

In addition to the difference in the range of credit lines granted to households vs. businesses, there are differences in the conflating of companies granting loans within each sector. For households in particular the banking system remains the dominant credit granting authority over the years, without any serious competition from non-banks. However, one can note a steady but constant rise among credit card companies which grant credits for assets exclusive of housing.

 

In light of this trend among households to increase the credit line and the fear of credit concentration exclusively in the hands of the banks, the Bank of Israel and the Treasury Ministry are working to increase the competition in the non-bank credit realm.  A number of commissions have been established to explore the subject (the "Zaken Commission to increase competition in the banking industry", the "Licht Commission to evaluation regulations on foreign currency service providers", the Commission to improve the granting of credit within the Office of the Prime Minister) and a pre-commission because there are compelling needs to empower the loan market with other institutional providers outside of the banking system.

 

A seminal reason that the banking system has a difficult time providing for the credit needs of the Israeli public are the government’s rigid regulations. The defense mechanisms the government demands be in place for customer deposits and savings at the banks create restrictions impacting banks credit policies, credit lines, terms and loan characteristics.  Thus,resulting in in the need to open non bank credit in Israel.

 

While the 1993 legislation for non bank credit gives definitive structure to non bank credit and creates a framework for communication between the lender and the borrower, nevertheless, there must exist full disclosure of loan and interest guidelines. 

While the legislation was initiated to protect the borrower who may need a credit line at a critical time and is compelled to agree to draconian terms, the law does not provide comprehensive answers to all non bank credit, such as discounts on checks and credit cards and providing equal standing to non-bank credit firms.

 

To fill this ‘vacuum’, in 2016 legislation was passed to provide for the supervision of financial services (institutional financial services) and establish a framework to bodies who provide currency services and loans outside of banking institutions by appointing a financial regulator to supervise this entire sphere.

 

New terminology — “granting of credit services” — was assigned to take into account those who would provide credit services, check discounts, loans, promissory notes, and alternative currency.  The need for non bank credit organisations to obtain a license began in 2017 and those who do not possess a license are subject to severe punishment as affixed by law. 

 

This is how the government has helped to make the credit market healthier and more competitive and has opened the marketplace to non bank credit organisations.

 

In addition to these important and varied reforms, the last few years have seen the development of a P2P and BTB credit market and many institutional organisations have entered the credit market with the assistance of credit entrepreneurs such as eLone and Blender. 

 

In light of these developments, in 2016 yet another legislative layer was added to further promote competition.  A data base now provides credit ratings similar to the data bases that exist at credit authorities around the world.

 

Zilberberg-Malin Law Firm has extensive legal and business expertise in bank credit and non-bank credit, inter alia legal consequences of credit risks, legal perspectives in developing models for granting credit, risk analysis of borrowers, preparation of relevant paperwork and supervision and control.

 

We provide the following services:

 

      ** representing bank and non bank credit companies in legal suits

      ** legal representation to non-bank credit companies

      ** opinion papers and regulatory advice prior to the establishment of a non-bank credit firm

      ** legal perspectives on credit ratings

      ** mentoring companies interested in acquiring credit licensing according to the 2016 legislation of organised financial services

      ** advice on special financing opportunities

      ** preparation of legal paperwork for non-bank credit firms

      ** internal audits and compliance with credit regulators

      ** advice to consumer credit inititives and business credit

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Class Action Suits

Class action suits are an important legal tool. The potential exposure created when an aggregate group of claims are brought as a class action – albeit when the individual value of the claims is small – can be substantial.

 

To wit, if the Israel National Railways charges each rider one penny more than the legislated price and a rider travels hundreds of times during the course of the year, said rider does not suffer enough financial harm to warrant litigation.  On the other hand, the National Railways benefits from the small additional charge for all the riders, which can amount to millions of shekels. So, too, with banks who may charge above the permitted client fees for deposits, conversion of currencies, etc.

 

As a result, the legislative authority under the 2006 law has granted the individual the legal means to bring a class action suit against a larger body via legal representation of a law firm. The courts decide if the individual action complies with class action guidelines and if said individual can serve as a representative of the aggregate group.

 

The aim of managing the process is to ensure that the tortfeasor will compensate the public for damages incurred.  However, there is a stage that the legislator must consider prior to this and that is the possibility for future potential tortfeasors to use this ‘winning’ system to dismiss the class action suit and cause damage to the individuals.  As such, there is an early warning system of “civil enforcement,” a step not always enforced by the regulator, due to lack of staff, different priorities or any other reason.

 

There exists legislation that requires that the plaintiff and the legal firm be suitably compensated, to ensure that both the individual and the legal firm have a joint interest to submit a class action suit.  The compensation is to be determined by the court. 

 

Neither every tortfeasor nor injustice justifies the submission of a class action suit, albeit there seems to be such a basis.  As such, legislation exists establishing specific guidelines for class action suits.  These guidelines are detailed in the second addendum to the class action law and include inter alia: suits defending customers, suits against insurance companies and banks, suits curtailing businesses, securities firms, environmental damage, discrimination (different types), suits against payment collecting authorities deemed to be against the law, suits according to the spam law, and others.

 

A derivative claim is a suit similar to a class action suit. A derivative claim is one brought by a shareholder or shareholders on behalf of the company in relation to a breach of duty by a director. The claim is brought by the shareholder when the company is not interested in bringing the claim. This procedure is necessary as a director owes duties to the company and not to the shareholders.

 

When a class action suit (or derivative claim) is filed, the suit must be based on a robust set of legal and factual principles, as the court   undertakes a thorough examination of the claim, on the part of the defendants and the plaintiff. In most cases, while accepting the claim as a class action suit, the court will seek a settlement or resolution.

 

The vast majority of class actions resolve through settlement. Oftentimes, compensation is granted for work undertaken on the basis of future benefit for the injured party, or for coming to a reasonable settlement.  In all instances, class action suits are painstakingly monitored and approved by the court (sometimes by the government’s legal advisor or other authorities appointed to defend customer rights). Our law firm has a specialized skill in this area, cultivated through extensive experience.  We have a thorough understanding of the technical subject matter, and are able to delineate from the outset the myriad of options and potential challenges for the plaintiff. Especially significant to take into consideration is both the harm that can be incurred to the individual, as well as to the aggregate group. We recommend consulting with us to help conduct a careful discovery and explain in detail the realistic possibilities of the suit. 

Zilberberg-Malin has extensive experience in:

 

** Evaluating the merits of a class action suit and/or derivative claim

** Managing the process of the class action suit

** Conducting negotiations within the framework of the suit

** Defending companies from class action suits submitted against them

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Labor Laws

Labor laws and their manifold facets require specialization and focus, with careful consideration given to the developments and amendments in the litigious process and judicial system.

 

Labor relations, naturally, comprise sensitive situations in which the employer requires legal advice, from hiring, to the employment agreement, to mutual execution of employment contract and must take into account every aspect concerning work conditions, salary, promotion, job functions, internal audits, and special circumstances  such as transferring jobs within the company, changing the field of specialization or responsibility, discrimination, a threatening working environment and severance — from the simple to the complex such as severance compensation during pregnancy or illness.

 

Labor relations are largely characterized by the gap between the employer and the employee, particularly highlighted during crises which have led the legislature to enact laws to create new norms and rules to further a process of healing while concomitantly adhering to the contractual relationship.

 

Our law firm provides comprehensive legal advice and creative solutions relating to all facets of labor law, individuals and groups alike, and represents individuals and employers.  Services that our law firm provide include, inter alia:

 

      ** drafting personal employment contracts.

      ** drafting and dealing with contractual collective agreements. 

      ** representing plaintiffs in civil and national labor courts during suits and appeals.

      ** representing clients during hearings.

      ** representing female employment before the proper authorities.

      ** advising and mentoring businessmen/women, accountants and lawyers on every aspect related to labor laws and relations, and the attendant changes that impact commercial transactions, securitization divestment and purchase, mergers and privatization. 

      ** drafting business contracts, confidentiality agreements and options agreements, intellectual property, guidelines outlining sexual harassment, and other legal contacts involved in labor laws. 

      ** counselling regarding the law of equality and prevention of work discrimination, and representation during legal proceedings when necessary.

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Yishai Zilberberg, Adv.

Adv. Yishai Zilberberg, Founding Partner, Head of Litigation, Class Actions and Communications Regulation Department.

Graduated in 2003, with an LLB degree with an International Relations Division from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition, Yishai is a certified mediator from the Israel Mediation Institute of the Israel Bar Association.

Prior to establishing the firm, Yishai worked in one of the largest law firms in Israel, where he litigated in a variety of disciplines, including in the civil, administrative, planning and construction fields, real estate and labor law.

In his last position, Yishai served as head of regulation and litigation at the biggest cellular company in Israel. In this role, Yishai was the legal representative regarding legal and regulatory issues in the areas of business development and the company's current activities, including providing opinions, analysis and implementation of legislative changes, administrative provisions and license amendments that affect the company's conduct.

Adv. Zilberberg has many years of experience in the field of class actions and is a member of the Tel Aviv District Class Actions Committee at the Bar Association. In recent years, our firm has been at the forefront of law firms filing class action lawsuits to protect the public interest.

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Ido Malin, Adv.

Adv. Ido Malin, Founding Partner, Head of Banking Regulation, Non-Banking and Financial Credit Department.

Ido, together with his legal experience,  holds rich practical experience in the field of banking and financial activities and in the field of financing.

Prior to joining the firm, Ido held positions in credit, regulation and money laundering at a number of banks. In all these positions, he combined legal work with extensive experience in banking and financial operations, including credit risk management, models for granting credit and customer ratings, aspects of operations and regulation, customer forms, discussions with the Bank of Israel and other entities.

Ido's legal and practical experience in the financial and business field assists the firm's clients in advising in the fields of credit, insurance ,capital market, large-scale financing transactions, advising on new financial instruments, money laundering, licensing and unique solutions on complex issues.