Overview

Michelle has a diverse corporate and commercial practice, with a particular focus on banking and finance, project finance, corporate finance, distressed financing, debt rescheduling, and mergers and acquisitions. Her clients include banks and financial institutions as well as international and domestic companies operating in a wide range of industry sectors, including: hotels, construction andinfrastructure, transportation, telecommunications, hospitals, defence, media, and technology. She has extensive experience acting on domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other high-value commercial transactions.

Michelle has broad and vast experience acting for lenders (on both syndicated and non-syndicated financings), export credit agencies and corporate borrowers on acquisition financing (both domestic and cross border), debt rescheduling, asset and equipment financing, corporate lending, real estate financing, mezzanine financings and financing for companies in distress.

Michelle has also acted for lenders, O&M operators, contractors, governmental authorities and consultants on a large number of high-profile infrastructure projects, including the Cross Israel Highway, the Jerusalem Light Railway, Ashdod Assuta Hospital (the first hospital PFI project in Israel) and the financing of the laying of underwater telecommunication cables in the Mediterranean Sea.

Michelle’s expertise in the field has been recognised by Chambers Global, The Legal 500 and European Legal Experts, who have consistently ranked her as one of Israel’s leading banking and finance lawyers.

In addition, Michelle represents both domestic and foreign corporations in M&A and joint ventures and provides general corporate advice and support in Israel in a wide range of sectors, including: technology, medical devices, and consumer products.

Publications

Michelle is a regular contributor to publications of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation on an array of topics such as:

  • Doing Business: Doing Business in a More Transparent World
  • Doing Business: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs
  • Doing Business: Comparing Regulations in 183 Economies
  • Doing Business: A Survey of Investor Protection
  • Doing Business: A Survey of Contract Enforcement
  • Doing Business: Going Beyond Efficiency
  • Doing Business: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency
Languages: EnglishHebrew
Admissions: Israel Bar, 1996
Education: Tel Aviv University, LL.B., cum laude and the Dean’s List, (1995)Tel Aviv University, studies in the Faculty of Arts and Music, (1992-1995)

Experience

  • Representing Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Israel Discount Bank, First International Bank of Israel, Harel Insurance and Union Bank of Israel – as lenders, and, separately, Export-Import Bank of the United States, as lender – on the financing for the construction of a Hydrocracker, and subsequent refinancing, to Bazan Oil Refineries Ltd. Total facilities: USD 900 million.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim, HSBC Bank, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, Migdal Insurance and Financial Holdings, Union Bank of Israel and Israel Discount Bank as lenders, on the financing and refinancing of Netafim Ltd., including the receipt of collateral across the globe. Total facilities: USD 500 million.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim on the financing of the acquisition by Paz Oil Company of the Ashdod Oil Refinery Ltd. Total facilities: USD 650 million.
  • Representing the lenders in a senior facility financing transaction on the management buyout of Delek Motors, as well as advising Bank Hapoalim and the Manof Funds on mezzanine financing for the same buyout. Overall, the transaction had a value of USD 400 million.
  • Representing Bank Leumi on the financing of the design, planning, construction and operation of a hospital PFI project (the construction and operation of a hospital/medical center by Assuta in Ashdod), the first of its kind – a public hospital planned and run by a private organization.
  • Representing the lenders on the financing of the Jerusalem Light Railway BOT Project (Israel’s first light railway project and its only operating light railway).
  • Representing the State of Israel on the northern extension of the BOT toll road project: the Cross Israel Highway.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank on the financing of the leveraged buyout by Fortissimo Capital Fund (an Israeli private equity fund) of Solcon Ltd. (a publicly traded company – listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange).
  • Representing Israel Discount Bank, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, First International Bank of Israel and the Union Bank of Israel on the refinancing of the acquisition of Prizma Provident Funds from Bank Leumi in connection with the merger of the fund with Psagot Provident Fund.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim on the financing of the construction and operation by Tamares Telecommunications Ltd. of an international undersea network of cables in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim and Israel Discount Bank on the financings related to the merger of Dash Apaxand Meitav Investment House.

 

  • Representing Bank Hapoalim on the financing of Israel’s largest chain of cinemas.
  • Advising a mezzanine fund on numerous aspects of its financings.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim on a series of aircraft financings, including the financing of: (i) the acquisition of a Boeing 737 by one of Israel’s largest airlines; (ii) the acquisition of an Embraer passenger aircraft for another major airline; (iii) refinancing of loans with respect to a fleet of aircraft; and (iv) advance payments for two Boeing aircraft by one of Israel’s largest airlines.
  • Representing a syndicate of lenders in the financing of the project for the construction of a shopping center.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim in the financing of one of the largest companies in the field of management and operation of chemicals in Israel, including the receipt of cross-border collateral.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim on the financing of the acquisition of StarHome B.V by Fortissimo Capital Fund for USD 80.3 million.
  • Representing a syndicate of lenders led by Mizrahi Tefahot Bank on the financing of the acquisition of Lumenis by XIO Group for USD 150 million.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim in the financing of a building project in Tel Aviv. Total facilities: NIS 240 million.
  • Representing the State Bank of India in a cross-border transaction for the provision of guarantees to a leading Israeli corporation in the defence industry.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim in the financing of the construction and operation of two buildings including a hotel and a commercial center. Total facilities: NIS 300 million.
  • Representing Bank Hapoalim in the refinancing of the company which, through subsidiaries, holds the company that operates the IKEA international chain of stores in Israel.
  • Handling numerous debt reschedulings, including representing local and foreign lenders on a cross-border creditors’ arrangement and rescheduling of debts.
  • Representing Club Hotel in shareholder disputes, providing general corporate advice and representing Club Hotel in real estate matters, and on the sale of controlling interests in the Israeli publicly traded companies Paz-Chen Ltd and Zmicha Investments Company Ltd.
  • Representing Helicon on the sale of the retail chain, Tslil, one of Israel’s largest chains of shops for music and films.
  • Representing the shareholders in the sale of one of Israel’s leading coffee and bakery chains, Ben Ami Ltd.
  • Representing Danaher Corporation, a company listed on the NYSE, on the management buyout of its subsidiary, Servotronix Ltd.
  • Representing France-based global leading cosmetics company, Groupe Rocher, in its acquisition, first of the controlling stake (70%), and later the remaining interests, of the international bath and body products store chain SABON.
  • Representing Becton Dickinson – a medical technology company traded on NYSE – in its acquisition of the assets of Lapidot Group, an Israeli company specializing in marketing and distribution of branded pharmaceuticals and medical products.
  • Representing Ms. Drorit Wertheim in connection with agreements regarding her holdings in the Central Bottling Company Ltd. and Wertheim Holdings Ltd.

Recognition

  • Chambers Global: Michelle is consistently ranked by Chambers Global as one of Israel’s leading lawyers for banking and finance, including distressed finance, as well as projects.
  • As stated in Chambers Global 2020, Michelle is “very often seen on major deals” and is “well positioned to advise on the financing and refinancing of projects, acting for lenders including a number of Israel’s most high-profile banks”.
  • The European Legal 500 2020 recommends Michelle in the fields of banking & finance, infrastructure, energy and natural resources, project finance and infrastructure, restructuring & insolvency.
  • As stated in the European Legal 500, Michelle is “Particularly good, responsive, has strong drafting skills and creative in resolving conflicts” and is “extremely sharp at focusing on the issues that matter to the client”.
  • European Legal Experts ranks Michelle as one of Israel’s leading experts on banking & finance, corporate and M&A, IT and telecoms and project finance/energy.
  • IFLR1000, 2020 recognized Michelle as a highly regarded lawyer in the banking and project finance fields.
  • Who’s Who Legal 2019 recognized Michelle as a leading expert in the fields of M&A and corporate governance.
  • Forbes, in its survey of 100 Israeli law firms, ranked Michelle as one of the top five lawyers in Israel in her age group.
  • A recipient of the Lawyer Monthly Women in the Law Award.

Michelle has been described by Chambers Global as:

  • Chambers Global 2020: “extremely talented”; “very much a master of her practice”; “a very fast thinker” and “knows how to analyse risk, put it into words and mitigate it”.
  • Chambers Global 2019: “really knows what she’s talking about – she provides solutions and is pleasant to work with.”
  • Chambers Global 2018: “Possesses deep experience representing syndicates of banks on complex cross-border financings with a strong reputation in the area of project finance”; a “very talented and brilliant lawyer” and “her knowledge and memory of the most minute details is priceless.”
  • Chambers Global 2015: “has significant experience in transport and infrastructure, handing a range of BOT and PFI projects”; a lawyer who “has very good negotiation and drafting skills, knows the field and has a good command of all the precedents that may come up”.
  • Chambers Global Client’s Guide 2010: “Experience in a wide range of project work”; “a brilliant young lawyer who is immensely dedicated to her work”;.
  • Chambers Global Client’s Guide 2008: a lawyer who “works to a high standard and is way ahead of her years”.

 

Other Activities

  • Michelle was elected to serve as the Chair of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms, offering preferred access to more than 22,000 lawyers worldwide in more than 125 countries. For more information, please visit https://www.lexmundi.com.
  • Michelle currently sits on the board and Executive Committee of Lex Mundi.
  • Michelle currently sits on the board of the nonprofit affiliate of Lex Mundi, the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, through which the member firms provide pro bono legal assistance to social entrepreneurs around the globe. For more information, please visit https://www.lexmundiprobono.org/.
  • Michelle served as the Vice-Regional Chair for the Cross-Border Transactions Group of Lex Mundi and also on the organisation’s Women in the Law Committee.

Recent News

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IFLR1000, 2019 Edition

30/06/2019 | By S. Horowitz & Co.

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Top Ranked By Chambers Global 2019

18/02/2019 | By S. Horowitz & Co.

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Munich Convention

29/11/2018 | By S. Horowitz & Co.

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Top Ranked IFLR: 2019

06/11/2018 | By S. Horowitz & Co.

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New banking directive – leveraged lending in Israel

31/12/2017 | By Michelle Liberman and Clifford Davis

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