Some Thoughts on The 2nd Foreign Law Firms in Israel Conference
On Tuesday I went to the Robus organized foreign law firms in Israel conference which took place at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv. Travelling to and from Tel Aviv is both tedious and tiring and entering a room full of people, and in this case many of whom were foreign lawyers (and predominantly male) is, for me at least, a bit stressful; notwithstanding the foregoing, the trek to Tel Aviv and the day devoted to the conference was worthwhile and dare I say, almost enjoyable. Why?
Not because of the presentations – the presentations where were on the whole okay, but in my opinion lacked content and far too much time was spent by many of the speakers on selling themselves and their law firms. There was one notable exception; by far the most interesting presentation was given by Amit Ben Yehoshua of Dacheng Law Offices, who gave some valuable tips on doing business in China, e.g. he highly recommended international arbitration for contracts with China and emphasized the importance of written agreements, which are always important – but in China in particular. If I had business in China I would definitely consider him, as well as Squire Patton Boggs’ Sungbo Shim, who has been coming to Israel regularly for years, who is heavily invested in the Israeli market and has promised to learn 50 Hebrew words by the end of this year.
Not due to the food and beverages that was not up to the standard usually experienced at the Dan! There was no soya milk offered with the very poor coffee; today soya milk is almost standard with so many people avoiding cow’s milk; there was no green tea, which is also quite a basic today and no hot drinks were offered with or after lunch. I don’t know if this was the organizers or the hotel – but this conference was not cheap, and it was also sponsored, so I think it’s reasonable to expect a certain level of refreshments.
Not because of the location, as I mentioned earlier, travelling to Tel Aviv is no great delight. In fact it wasn’t too bad, except for trip back to the train station with a very bitter taxi driver who told me that he works from 7 in the morning till 11 at night in order to make ends meet. He told me that he is encouraging his children to leave Israel after they get an education, as he has no hope for their future. This really upsets me!
So why indeed??
The people! Yes the people...
Amongst others, I met a lovely Polish lawyer called Eva Wozniak Dor, who lives in Kiryat Ono and practices in Poland. I also met Dr Ilana Nirenberg, Adv., author of the well-known text on medical negligence (with the late Adi Azar). I had a good conversation with Yotam Werzansky Orland, Esq. of DWO- who specializes in IP litigation and I also met Gideon E., who manages an incubator that specializes in medical devices. I also met French lawyers one that lives in Netanya and another from Jerusalem, I met numerous US and British lawyers, an Israeli lawyer, Nir Assido who lives in Israel but works for Dentons' Frankfurt Office, and several IP lawyers – Israeli and from the US.
I also reconnected with some old friends, Bill Orr, Adv. from Herzog, Miriam Lampert, Adv. from Squire Patton Boggs of London, Amnon Epstein, Adv. the E in ERM, to name just a few…. I actually saw, to my surprise, that I knew quite a few people.
Last but not least, I also had the pleasure of meeting the well-know Israeli legal graphologist Keren Raveh, whose legal forum is the leading forum for lawyers on Facebook. So a good time was had and on the whole I'm pleased I went... till next time.