" Impressive "
By EMEA Legal 500

Overview

Ophir Kaplan specializes in tax matters, advising and representing multinational and domestic clients before the Israel Tax Authority and courts, in assessment proceedings, and in obtaining pre-rulings.

He advises on a broad range of tax issues encompassing corporate and individual taxation and tax planning, including corporate structures, tax issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, employee share option schemes and compensation packages, international taxation, indirect taxes (VAT and customs duties), social security dues, the taxation of real-estate transactions and transfer pricing.

Ophir also provides legal counsel to high net worth individuals and families on individual taxation, tax planning, wealth protection, family trusts and investments.

Ophir has published numerous articles on private, national and international corporate, commercial and real estate tax issues. He serves on the Israel Bar Association’s various Taxes Committees (including the VAT & Customs Committee).

Languages: EnglishHebrew
Admissions: Israel Bar, 2003
Education: University of Tel Aviv, Israel, LL.M. magna cum laude, including a thesis on commercial law taxes, (2008)College of Management, Israel, LL.B., (2002)

Experience

  • Advising Danaher group on different tax aspects of a purchase as a reverse triangular merger of the shares of Advanced Vision Technology Ltd. (an Israeli public company).
  • Representing Veolia on a tax dispute with respect to the sale of its water, waste and energy activities in Israel to funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP, in Israel’s largest management buyout, valued at USD 341 million.
  • Representing Pathfinder Strategic Credit LP in various tax aspects in connection with its investment in ECI Telecom Ltd., including concerning the planned IPO of ECI Telecom Group Ltd. on the London Stock Exchange, the merger of ECI Telecom Group Ltd. with Ribbon Communications Ltd. for a USD 324 million company value and its exit, via a share sale agreement, of its interests, for approximately USD95 million.
  • Representing Kimberly-Clark Corporation on its tax structuring in the acquisition of a 49.9% interest in Hogla-Kimberly from Hadera Paper Ltd. for NIS 648 million (approximately USD162.5 million).
  • Representing EADS on tax agreements in its joint venture with one of Israel’s leading aeronautic and defense companies.
  • Representing Booking.com on tax aspects in the acquisition of Evature Ltd.
  • Advising U.S. private equity fund Advent International in tax structuring and aspects of its acquisition (together with Crosspoint Capital Partners) of the cyber security company Forescout Technologies.
  • Representing AIG on tax issues in a major financial transaction regarding the sale of 50% of Taavura shares.
  • Advising the Cisco Group in relation to a major settlement agreement with an Israeli telecommunications entity.
  • Representing Publicis Groupe Holdings BV in relation to the sale of shares in Matomy Media Group Ltd. to Israeli medical device company Medigus Ltd.
  • Advising Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), TAP Air Portugal, IATA, Pernod Ricard, Petroplan and many other non-Israeli business entities, concerning the tax ramifications of their activities in Israel.
  • Advising AIG, Ambridge Europe and other insurance entities regarding tax aspects of rendering insurance cover to certain major share purchase transactions in which an Israeli resident group was about to be sold.
  • Advising multiple banks and financial institutions, including, Bank Hapoalim, the State Bank of India, Barclays, Nordea Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, SG Private Banking, and many others, on the tax aspects of various financial transactions.
  • Advising an Israeli bank on various tax issues in the master agreements with the credit companies MASTERCARD and VISA.
  • Advising Allianz Group, Lloyds, Cardif Group and other similar insurance entities, regarding Israeli and international cross-border transactions and business.
  • Advising Rigaku on an investment in an Israeli resident company.
  • Representing the Qualitest Group in tax aspects of the purchase of shares in Algotrace Ltd., an Israeli start-up.
  • Advising the Bullguard Group in a sale of IP transaction.
  • Advising Final Group, Warner Bros. and many other such multinationals on tax aspects of reorganization.
  • Advising Readymix Industries (Israel) Ltd. in relation to a purchase of rights in a partnership which holds a concrete plant and related business activities. Likewise, providing tax planning advice to Readymix in relation to a number of sales of high-value buildings and real estate rights.
  • Advising and representing IVM Minrav Sadyt, a construction partnership between the Minrav and Sadyt groups, in a tax dispute in connection with an NIS 1.4 billion BOT desalination project in Ashdod.
  • Representing the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) on a complicated major tax dispute with an Israeli insurance company and the Israel Tax Authority, regarding the lack of tax withheld in respect of insurance policy payments in the total amount of approximately NIS 80 million. Likewise, advising IEC on various tax issues, such as a settlement agreement with Siemens Industry Inc., the sale of power stations and more.
  • Representing Flying Cargo Group on a major tax dispute with the Israel Tax Authority.
  • Representing Arkin Group in several tax matters under discussion with the Israel Tax Authority, including legal proceedings before the Israeli Supreme Court regarding a major sale of shares in Bezeq (Israel’s leading telecommunications provider).
  • Representing Shikun & Binui Solel Boneh, a leading well-known real estate corporation, in tax disputes regarding municipal tax (“Arnona”) requirements for certain parts of the Red Line of the Tel Aviv Light Rail, which is the first section of a light rail system for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
  • Representing Perrigo, one of the largest generic pharma groups in the world, in several tax matters concerning the tax classification of various agreements executed by the group.
  • Representing and advising TheLotter, one of the biggest lottery groups, in respect of a restructuring of the group and a major tax audit conducted by the Israel Tax Authority.
  • Representing Faina Kirshenbaum, former Knesset member, in a civil tax appeal (district court and discussions with the Tax Authority) concerning tax assessments resulting from criminal proceedings.
  • Representing Dubek Ltd., Israel’s largest cigarette manufacturing company, in a dispute with the Tax Authority concerning purchase tax and VAT payable in connection with the export of cigarettes for subsequent sale abroad.  In addition, representing the Dubek Group on complex tax restructuring, and advising the Group on the tax aspects of its reorganization and the transfer of its real estate assets to an affiliate.
  • Advising Hadassah Medical Center and the Women’s Zionist Organization of America Inc. (WZO) on various tax issues including a BOT transaction for the building of an Energy Center.
  • Advising the XConnect Group in relation to a raft of tax matters stemming from writing off a debt as part of an insolvency and reorganization process.
  • Advising the Ashdod Port Company in respect of a disagreement with the customs authorities concerning the importation of goods.
  • Advising City People on a reorganization of ownership in TAMA 38 (urban renewal) projects with its business partner, and also advising in respect of some of their building projects.
  • Advising KAN, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, on the tax aspects of some complex real estate and rental transactions.
  • Representing the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in tax planning (including several unique aspects) and negotiations concerning a major complicated real estate transaction valued at NIS 1 billion (approximately USD 250 million) relating to the construction of a science park (a 250 acre property development), one of Israel’s largest industry and office building parks, and the planning of a residential area for the institution’s scientists. Likewise, advising WIS and its technology transfer company, Yeda R&D Ltd, on different tax matters in respect of their activities.
  • Providing tax planning advice to Paz Oil Company Ltd. in connection with different agreements and transactions, including a complex sale transaction regarding land and buildings in central Tel Aviv.
  • Advising Radiancy (Israel) Ltd. with respect to a USD 150 million reverse acquisition by PhotoMedex.
  • Providing ongoing tax advice to a number of major companies regarding various employee benefit plans, for example: Ladbrokes, Sony, Morgan Stanley, Johnson & Johnson, UBS, AB InBev, the Vitec Group, the Griffey Group, and Assa Abloy AB, Nokia Inc, Pace Plc, and Final Inc.
  • Representing the Beit Berl College in tax planning and negotiations concerning a complicated real estate transaction valued at approximately USD 25 million relating to a lease agreement with the Berl Katznelson Foundation.

Recognition

  • “impressive” , EMEA Legal 500, 2018
  • “A pleasure to work with” , European Legal 500, 2017

Other Activities

Ophir is a member of the Taxes Committees of the Israel Bar Association and is generally active in the community of tax practitioners in Israel, working to bring about changes in Israel’s tax law.

Prior to joining S. Horowitz & Co., Ophir completed a pre-internship in the area of tax law at the Institute for Tax and Financial Advice (2000-2002).

 

Publications (Partial List):

 

Ophir has authored and co-authored an extensive list of articles on private, national and international corporate, commercial and real estate tax issues in Israel’s main tax journals, which are read throughout Israel by tax practitioners, and often quoted by the courts in their rulings. A brief selection of topics on which he has written for one of the most important Israeli journals, Taxes, includes:

  • Taxation of Exchange Rate Differences in Loan Erosion
  • Dividend-Stripping Transactions – are They Artificial for Tax Purposes?
  • Taxation of Employee Stock Option Plans – Lessons of the Past and Present Weaknesses
  • Determination of the Date of the Tax Event for Betterment Levy in the Case of Bankruptcy

Ophir has also co-authored various publications, including LEX MUNDI’s Tax Desk Book – Israel (2010) and Practical Law Company’s Tax on Finance Transactions (2008/9).

Recent News

Tax Aspects of the Coronavirus Outbreak

30/03/2020 | By Leor Nouman, Ophir Kaplan and Moti Saban

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