Letter From The President Of The Israel Chapter Of The Association of Corporate Counsel - Middle East

2004-12-01 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

This fall, the Israel Chapter hosted two programs of timely interest to corporate counsel. Our October 13 seminar in Tel Aviv focused on the controversial implementation of the Israeli stamp duty legislation. The speakers were Yitzhak Forer, CPA, Chairman of Ernst & Young Israel; Avi Bibi, CPA, Head of the Indirect Taxation Department of Ernst & Young Israel; Noga Kainan, President of the Israeli CFO Forum and Dr. Shmuel Burnstein, Adv., of Gross Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg & Co.

The Israeli stamp duty scheme was legislated in the 1960s and was a levy derived from the price of certain transactions. Following an amendment to the Stamps Duty Act in June 2003, in June 2004 the Israeli tax authorities began to collect the duty in a controversial manner, which raises a number of legal as well as financial issues, which many in-house counsel need to be equipped to address.

To help in-house counsel meet this challenge, the speakers reviewed the nature of the duty, the criteria of dutiable transactions and the time by which duty becomes payable, the legal flaws in the stamp duty legislation, the authorities' recent attempts to levy the duty, the legal means by which the authorities are entitled to do so, the commercial, financial and legal implication of the recent apparent attempts to levy the duty.

On November 2, our Corporate Lawyering Power Dinner was sponsored by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.William DiSalvatore, Senior Partner of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr discussed Practical Advice on Intellectual Property Disputes (Patent/ Trade Secret/ Licensing) in the U.S.The dinner included a panel discussion entitled: "Class Actions: Tips for Survival" with the participation of Aviram Gavish, President of ACC Israel and Legal Counsel of Davidoff Howden Insurance Brokers Ltd.; Yael Peretz, Legal Advisor of BluePhoenix Solutions Ltd. and Daphna Kedmi, Corporate Vice President and General Counsel of NICE Systems Ltd.

As we plan our winter and spring programs, ACC Israel plans to expand its activities, to review its plans and to designate new targets to reach. I'd be happy to hear from you. I can be reached at aviramg@davidoff-howden.co.il.

Sincerely,

Aviram Gavish