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Banking Law

B. Levinbook & Co. is considered to be the home of Israel’s leading experts in banking law. We regularly provide all of Israel’s major banks, as well as their subsidiaries, with comprehensive legal services in all areas of practice.

 

The firm’s clients include Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot, Union Bank of Israel, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank, Mercantile Discount Bank, Poalei Agudat Israel Bank (prior to merger), Ubank (prior to merger), Bank Otsar Hahayal, Arab Israel Bank (prior to merger), and banks overseas, including Bank Leumi USA and Bank Leumi UK.

 

Most of the cases and issues we handle are high-stakes cases with significant financial ramifications that deal with essential precedents or principles of banking law.

 

As Israel’s premier banking law firm, we have developed vast knowledge and expertise in all the legal issues and perspectives relating to the field, including: bank-customer relations, loans and trade, banking contracts, promissory notes and documents, documentary credit, bank guarantees, payment cards, capital market, bank insurance, foreign currency transactions, interest claims, bankruptcy, collateral subordination, banking forms, bank fraud, mortgages, provident funds, management of portfolios and branches overseas, debt recovery proceedings, and more.

 

The firm also provides ongoing consulting services to various banking corporations, including advising senior management on a range of matters.

 

Our extensive familiarity with banks and the banking system, combined with our expertise in conducting complex litigation procedures, makes B. Levinbook & Co. uniquely suited to represent banks in the full spectrum of court proceedings.

 

Due to our many years of experience in banking law, we have also accumulated vast expertise in all topics related to banking regulation and new developments in the field, as well as in-depth knowledge of the documents used by the banking system in various areas of activity.

 

The firm serves as a consultant to various banking corporations on regulatory and contractual matters, including the intersection of these two fields through the framework of documentation exchanged between banks and their customers.

 

B. Levinbook & Co. has been responsible for countless precedents in the field of banking law, which have since become milestones that were instrumental in setting fundamental precedents in the banking world.

 

In its first quality ranking, Dun & Bradstreet defined B. Levinbook & Co. as “Israel’s leading expert in banking law.” Since then, we have held a consistent record of being ranked by multiple authorities as a leading banking law firm in Israel.

 

These are just a few examples of the firm’s many outstanding success stories over the last decades:

 

  • Representing Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot in an appeal regarding a precedent-setting and fundamental issue, concerning the possibility of foreclosing the balance of an approved and unused credit line of a customer associated with a bank account. In January 16, 2014’s Supreme Court decision, the bank’s appeal against the Tel Aviv District Court’s verdict was upheld, and it was determined in a precedential ruling that a customer’s right to receive credit in his bank account is not subject to foreclosure.
  • Representing Bank Leumi in an appeal and counter-appeal filed with the Supreme Court against a Uniform Contracts Tribunal verdict regarding the current account contract between the bank and its customers. In a comprehensive judgment given on February 18, 2010, many fundamental issues were discussed, clarified and resolved in the areas of banking law, bank-customer relations, uniform contract law, and more.
  • Representing First International Bank of Israel in a proceeding filed by the Bank of Israel in the Uniform Contracts Tribunal to cancel or change discriminatory conditions in the bank’s mortgage loan contract, and in the bank’s subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court on the verdict. During the course of proceedings, many fundamental issues concerning banking law, lender-borrower relations, guarantees law, collateral law, and more were discussed, clarified, and resolved. 
  • Representing Bank Leumi in an appeal to the Supreme Court against a ruling dismissing a suit filed against the Bank by the controlling shareholders of Nidar Building and Development Ltd., in which the Court was requested, among other things, to compel the Bank to pay NIS 20 million, and to make a declaratory judgment that the Bank caused the plaintiffs an alleged NIS 190 million in additional damages. On September 6, 2015, the Supreme Court rejected the plaintiffs’ appeal.
  • Representing Bank Leumi in a request to approve a NIS 30 million class action suit against it, with the claim that the bank had been unlawfully charging management fees for security deposits at the end of every quarter. On June 12, 2011, the approval request was dismissed, inter alia, on the fundamental grounds that the Bank’s compliance with the duty of due diligence is also examined according to the reasonable interpretation of the content and logic of the disclosure, such that the contents of the disclosure should be construed as an interpretation to the detriment of the formulating bank. An appeal filed with the Supreme Court on the judgment was rejected in a September 12, 2013 verdict.
  • Representing Bank Leumi in a NIS 10 million lawsuit filed against it for drawing checks contrary to the account’s signing rights. The verdict rejecting the suit and the subsequent Supreme Court rejection of the appeal against that verdict touched on, among other issues, questions regarding the customer-bank relationship, and the implications of the behavior of a customer who does not complain to the bank about withdrawals which he claims are unauthorized.
  • Representing Discount Bank in an appeal to the Supreme Court, which ended in a judgment that comprehensively reviewed the rules and laws applying to documentary credit, and established, for the first time, fundamental laws regarding foreclosure on documentary credit.
  • Representing Union Bank of Israel in appeal approval proceedings, which ended with a precedential Supreme Court verdict setting forth rules for the first time regarding the secrecy and confidentiality of documents exchanged between a bank and the Supervisor of Banks, as well as the inadmissibility of a bank’s internal audit reports.