Foreign lawyers in Israel

This piece in Globes is a bit of a puff for the firm of Greenberg Traurig, but there are one or two snippets of interesting information. For example:

Twelve international law firms have representative offices in Israel, according to data collected by Nishlis Legal Marketing. Between them, they offer legal services in the law of four countries: six offices advise on US law, four on English law, one on French law and one, Yingke, on Chinese law.

That’s a reasonable spread of countries where Israeli companies might want to do business.

Adv. Shabot [of Greenberg Traurig] thinks that one of the surprising things in the Israeli legal profession is the prevailing salary level for attorneys in the big firms.

“Salaries are very low in comparison to the standard I know,” he says. “I’m used to a way of thinking that for legal work of the best kind, one should pay salaries that provide a real incentive to attorneys. From what I hear and read, Israeli attorneys’ income levels are pretty average. This may explain the relatively large number of good boutique firms there are here, because people are not content with the salaries paid to them.”

From what I have been told, legal salaries are low in comparison to the standards even in Israel. So, average is misleading, unless he means close to the average wage. They may even be lower. As for the explanation for the number of boutique firms, salary may be part of it. Another may be the resistance to taking orders. Going out on your own may be more attractive in such circumstances.

As the article confirms, the market here is too small to have foreign firms falling over themselves to establish offices. It’s unlikely to change. So, if lawyers are not your favorite type of people, be happy with that.