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Two U.S. Law Firms Look to a Big New Year in Israel

An Israeli company that prints 3-D circuit boards with silver nano ink ushered in the Jewish new year by listing on Nasdaq last Friday.


“We see a big opportunity as the law is phased in and businesses are put on the block,” says Greenberg partner Joey Shabot in Tel Aviv.

Shabot first moved to Israel as a toddler in 1980 as part of a late trickle of refugees from the Syrian Jewish community. He spent most of his childhood in the U.S., where he went on to Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Shabot joined Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he happened to do an Israeli acquisition for Corning Inc. in 2010. The activity and sophistication of the Israeli deal scene came as a revelation to Shabot, who fondly associated Israel with children’s candy treats of shoddy consumer quality.

“My eyes opened to something I never knew existed,” says Shabot. “An M&A ecosystem was developing in Israel.”

Shabot rekindled his passion for Israel, and Wachtell nurtured it by seconding him to an Israeli firm. As that stint drew to a close, the Israel Bar Association opened the legal sector to foreign lawyers as a condition of Israel’s entry to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development. At the initiative of partner Gary Epstein, Greenberg became the first major law firm to take advantage. Epstein picked Shabot from a crowd of talented young lawyers eager to help the firm hang out a shingle (and mezuzah) in 2012.

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