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Client updates / Litigation
The commercial business world is a global one, and so are the disputes that arise within it. Such disputes are adjudicated in courts in various countries or in arbitration proceedings, with each procedure regulated under relevant domestic legislation. (For example, the Israeli Arbitration Law regulates Israeli arbitration proceedings.)
An Israeli court recently handed down a precedent-setting ruling in a case we litigated and won. This ruling marks a game changer in terms of the costs awarded in proceedings in Israel. In its ruling, the court granted our client an award of actual costs (i.e., the actual sums the client expended to litigate the proceeding).
Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the enforcement of accessibility issues in Israel. More and more companies are facing requests for certification of class action suits for failing to make services accessible to people with disabilities. Such proceedings, exempt from court fees, are initiated by lead plaintiffs against big and small organizations, from both the private and public sectors.
In December 2019, an expanded panel of seven Supreme Court justices published a precedential and important decision considering the issue of whether a party seeking to file a class action suit against a government agency must send a demand letter to the agency in advance of filing.
The Supreme Court recently dismissed an appeal by Nestlé, the Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate, and its subsidiary corporation Nespresso, filed against our client, the Israeli company Expresso Club. The appeal claimed copyright and trademark infringement, unfair competition, and damage to Nespresso's reputation.
This ruling constitutes a precedent in the way the court applied the standards of judicial review and held that the business judgment rule should not be applied if business decisions are made by officers while in a state of conflict of interest.
A recently promulgated memorandum of law to amend judicial procedures proposes to add the possibility of filing claims against foreign entities in Israel for damage they caused in Israel as a result of acts or omissions performed outside of Israel.
Recently, a four month proxy fight over control of an Israeli incorporated NASDAQ traded company was settled, following a series of proceedings held before the Tel Aviv District Court. At a crucial juncture, the Tel Aviv Court was asked to issue a temporary injunction over a transaction initiated by the board, which included a highly dilutive (24.9%) issuance of shares.
The Israeli Supreme Court has set a precedent by ruling that the Business Judgment Rule should also be applied to a company’s board of directors when it is deciding whether or not to file a derivative suit.
At the end of November 2017, the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset approved a revised draft bill to amend the Courts Regulations (Fees), whereby parties filing a motion to certify an action as a class action will be charged a court fee.
The Israeli District Court of Tel Aviv ruled against global food giant, Nestle, and its subsidiary Nespresso in a claim filed by them in Israel against Espresso Club, an Israeli company, on the grounds of alleged copyright infringement, trademark violations, unfair competition and damage to Nespresso's reputation.
The Jerusalem District Court recently issued its ruling in the matter of Dead Sea Works Ltd. vs. the State of Israel. The proceeding included a discussion of Dead Sea Works’ petition to activate the arbitration clause stipulated in its concession agreement with the State of Israel. The petition was filed after the State refused to appoint an arbitrator pursuant to the arbitration clause. Dead Sea Works sought to refer to arbitration the very formation of the Sheshinski Committee, pleading that it constitutes a violation the State’s covenant not to raise the rate of royalties payable by the Dead Sea Works for its mining license. Indeed, the Sheshinski Committee was formed for the purpose of reviewing the State’s policy on royalties due in consideration for the use of Israel’s natural resources. The District Court rejected Dead Sea Works’ petition. It ruled that the mere formation of the Sheshinski Committee does not give rise to a dispute according to the arbitration mechanism prescribed in the concession agreement. The Court issued its ruling based on the specific language of the arbitration clause in the concession agreement; it is conceivable that Dead Sea Works might have been allowed to pursue its position through arbitration proceedings had the arbitration clauses been worded differently.