SMP has been appointed by the courts to manage some of Israel’s largest liquidation cases, such as those of the Heftsiba Group of companies and the Karta (Mamilla) company. This field often involves foreign clients, such as foreign creditors of local companies in difficulty, and liquidation of multinationals with an Israeli aspect (e.g., the firm represented TWA’s liquidator concerning assets of the company in Israel).
Managing Partner Isaac Molho points out that today, the insolvency practice is of more importance than ever, with COVID-19 causing a surge of proceedings in Israel and globally. This may have a domino effect on the economy, as the insolvency of individuals and businesses in turn “brings down” suppliers and customers of such insolvents. “Governmental support for businesses and persons who defaulted on debts due to COVID-19 is crucial,” he says, “to enable such businesses to rehabilitate and continue operations. Without such support, the increased number and scope of liquidations will have a major negative impact on the economy for years to come.”
SMP has many years of experience in insolvency law and has both the unique ability to deal with large scale and complicated cases and the creativity and courage to forge ahead in complicated liquidation cases by formulating arrangements to achieve the best possible results. The firm’s commercial expertise can help businesses navigate the oft-treacherous waters of doing business in these uncertain times. Molho says, “I believe COVID-19 has brought about changes in the business environment, many of which are here to stay. Businesses surviving the pandemic will be leaner and more robust, ready to take advantage of the opportunities that the post-COVID world will provide.”
Managing Partner Molho, as a former special envoy to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who together with British Prime Minister Tony Blair worked for many years to lay the foundations for the recent normalization with the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries, sees great potential in the development of commercial relations between the countries. “Israel has developed advanced technologies that are of interest to the UAE. Clearly, the Emirates has the ability to invest in such technologies and to cooperate with the Israeli high-tech industry in order to develop them further. The Emiratis have an excellent understanding of new technological developments and how to take advantage of them for the benefit of the world. This is why I believe that we will see breakthroughs in collaboration between Israel and the UAE in fields such as agriculture, water desalination, and recycling, which are critical for a country surrounded by desert that is expecting its population, and that of the region, to grow significantly in the coming years.”
SMP was also one of the first law firms in Israel to specialize in the telecom and media field and has more than 30 years of experience in the area. Dov Abramowitz, a partner in the firm, says, “Our practice includes ongoing counsel to leading Israeli mobile operators, international carriers, internet providers, television channels and production companies on regulatory and commercial issues; representation of foreign investors in local telecom and media ventures; representation of foreign content owners in litigation against illegal content streaming sites, and representation of local companies and entrepreneurs in telecom and media projects both in Israel and abroad.”
Abramowitz adds that the rapid advances in telecom and media, which occur almost daily, make it a particularly challenging area of law. Significant recent developments in the field include the gradual supplanting of traditional broadcasting with on-line content streaming, the advent of both on-line schooling and working from home on a large scale, and the need that these developments have created for high-speed internet via fiber-to-home networks.
Abramowitz says that the firm brings in-depth knowledge of both the legal aspects and the legal-technological interface of telecom law; excellent connections with important players in the field in Israel, as well as leading players internationally, in both the private and public sectors; English-speaking lawyers, several of whom are licensed abroad or have knowledge of the relevant legal situation in other jurisdictions; top lawyers with the ability to find smart, creative solutions to difficult problems; and a sizeable firm with proficiency in a range of commercial law, enabling “one-stop-shop” capabilities for the client.