Latest updates

Importance of providing insurance policies to insureds
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • June 19 2018

An insured recently filed a claim against its insurer with the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, which dismissed the claim based on policy exclusions. The insured then appealed to the district court, which found that the insured was entitled to insurance benefits as there was no proof that it had received a copy of the policy and been aware of the exclusions. The insurer requested leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, which dismissed the appeal and ordered the insurer to bear the insured's expenses.

IAA publishes draft amendment to vertical arrangements block exemption
Tadmor & Co Yuval Levy & Co
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Israel
  • April 26 2018

The Israel Antitrust Authority recently published a draft amendment to the Vertical Block Exemption for public comment. The amendment aims to expand the substantive self-assessment of vertical arrangements and was published as a response to Supreme Court rulings which called for a more lenient approach to vertical arrangements and practitioner criticism of the current exemption. The amendment reflects a more general trend in Israeli antitrust law towards a substantive self-assessment regime.

Withdrawal of class action due to lack of individual cause of action
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • April 24 2018

The plaintiff in a recent case filed a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a class action against the insurer. The insurer paid the plaintiff only 85% of the actual damage and notified her that following the examination of the parties' versions and the damaged parts of the cars involved, it had deducted the plaintiff's contributory negligence at a rate of 15%. The insurer argued, among other things, that the plaintiff had no individual cause of action.

Is insured obliged to pay deductible despite objection to settlement?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • April 03 2018

A recent Haifa Magistrate's Court decision concerned Hachshara Insurance Company's claim that its insured must pay the deductible despite objecting to the settlement agreement signed between the insurer and a third party. The insured had claimed that she was not required to pay the deductible as the insurer had reached the settlement without informing her and she had objected to it. The court rejected both claims and ordered the insured to pay the deductible plus legal fees.

Duty to file complaint for baggage delay within period set by Montreal Convention
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • February 28 2018

The Jerusalem Small Claims Court and the Netanya Small Claims Court both recently dismissed compensation claims for baggage delays, as the passengers did not comply with the Montreal Convention, according to which a complaint must be submitted within 21 days from the date of receipt of the baggage. However, the latter court ordered the airline to cover the plaintiffs' expenses, holding that the plaintiffs had clearly approached the court in good faith and that the airline's conduct had been inappropriate.

Ministry of Finance eases requirements to obtain insurer's licence in Israel
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • February 20 2018

With the aim of increasing competition in the insurance market, the parliamentary finance committee recently approved a proposed Ministry of Finance regulation that will reduce the minimum capital required for a new insurance company, thus enabling new players to enter this confined market. The change in equity requirements is notable and increases the opportunity for new investors to consider establishing insurance activities in Israel.

Recording employee attendance by biometric fingerprinting
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Israel
  • January 31 2018

The issue of whether an employer can require its employees to record their attendance by biometric fingerprinting was recently extensively discussed and ruled on by the National Labour Court. The court prohibited a municipality from recording attendance by biometric fingerprinting and ruled that fingerprints are a person's private and personal information and enjoy the constitutional and statutory protection afforded to the right of privacy.

Is groundwater flooding a foreseen event in a construction policy?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • January 23 2018

In a recent Supreme Court case, the insurer argued that it had been known that groundwater existed at a construction site before work commenced. Any damage caused as a result of groundwater was therefore foreseeable and not covered. The insured denied this and claimed that the insurance policy included no exclusion for groundwater damage. The court examined the contract's language to search for the contract's purpose based on the parties' intention before the insurance event.

Insured's disclosure duty versus insurer's obligation to conduct independent investigations
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • December 19 2017

A recent Tel Aviv Economic District Court case examined the issue of an insured's disclosure duty versus an insurer's obligation to conduct independent investigations. The court determined that an insured has a broad disclosure obligation during the underwriting of a policy, and that an insurance contract is subject to duties of good faith and fairness. Therefore, an insurer is entitled to rely on the information provided to it by an insured and is not obliged to conduct additional independent investigations.

What is considered an 'accident' under Montreal Convention?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • December 13 2017

The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court recently declined a passenger's claim for bodily injury damages after it concluded that the event which was the subject matter of the claim was not considered to be an 'accident' as defined by the Montreal Convention. The plaintiff had filed a claim against El Al, arguing that he had been injured after eating a cake served to passengers.

Major overhaul of Restrictive Trade Practices Law proposed
Tadmor & Co Yuval Levy & Co
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Israel
  • November 23 2017

The Antitrust Authority recently published a draft amendment to the Restrictive Trade Practices Law for public comment. The amendment proposes a broad reform of the law as regards restrictive arrangements, monopolies and mergers. According to the authority, the amendment aims to decrease the existing regulatory burden that applies to legitimate and efficient practices and strengthen anti-competitive enforcement.

Lawful marriage does not guarantee that widow will receive deceased employee's social benefits
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Israel
  • November 01 2017

The National Labour Court recently ruled that the widow of an employee, who had remarried her former husband on his deathbed, was not entitled to the various social benefits which had accrued to the benefit of the deceased's dependants. The employer refused to compensate the widow for severance pay differentials and the redemption of unused sick leave pay, claiming that such benefits were not part of the estate and that the widow was not a 'spouse' for the purposes of the social benefits claimed.

Court declines jewellers' block claim, accepting argument of fraud
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • October 24 2017

The Central District Court recently declined a jewellers' block policy claim after the insurers proved that the claim had been filed with fraudulent intent. The case concerned an Israeli diamonteer who claimed that $10 million worth of diamonds had been stolen from him under the threat of violence. However, following an investigation by the insurers, it was revealed that a number of the stolen diamonds were still in the claimant's possession after the alleged robbery.

Interpretation of cancelled flight under Aviation Services Law
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • October 11 2017

The Rehovot Magistrate Court recently ruled that a flight that had departed on time, but been forced to return to the point of departure following a five-hour flight due to technical malfunctions, was a cancelled flight in accordance with the Aviation Services Law. Although there is no binding precedent, the courts have – in lower-instance decisions concerning the law – applied it in cases where the circumstances did not meet the literal interpretation of the law regarding cancelled flights.

Supreme Court intervenes in state decision to limit employment term of judges' legal assistants
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Israel
  • September 20 2017

The issue of fixed-term employment – both in general and in the civil service in particular – raises many legal issues. The Supreme Court of Justice recently had an opportunity to provide a ruling in a case involving judges' legal assistants who were employed under special contracts. The ruling is an example of how the Supreme Court can create or force the legislature or the parties to an employment relationship to create special solutions for employment situations that do not fit conventional models.

Setback for private enforcement against alleged international cartels
Tadmor & Co Yuval Levy & Co
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Israel
  • September 14 2017

The Supreme Court recently confirmed that Regulation 500(7) of the Civil Procedure Regulations, which concerns court approval for service outside Israel, is not met where the alleged act or omission occurred outside Israel and only the anti-competitive effects are alleged to have taken place in Israel. The court further ruled that the effects doctrine – the governing doctrine for applying local antitrust law to foreign conduct – pertains only to the substantive applicability of such law to foreign conduct.

Court dismisses summary procedure claim due to lack of jurisdiction
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Israel
  • August 10 2017

The Tel Aviv District Court recently dismissed a summary procedure claim on the basis of forum non conveniens (ie, discretionary court power to dismiss a case where a more appropriate forum is available). The court ruled that the jurisdictional clauses found in the chain of agreements between the parties clearly pointed to alternative fora. Therefore, in the absence of any indication that the parties intended to grant jurisdiction to the Israeli courts, the court ruled that they were not the proper legal fora.

Montreal Convention prevails over local law on limitation period
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • August 09 2017

The Jerusalem Magistrates Court recently dismissed a claim for bodily injury caused to a passenger during a flight, as the claim had been filed more than two years after the plaintiff had reached his destination. The court referred to the Montreal Convention and the Carriage by Air Law, which provide that the right to a claim will be extinguished after a two-year period, despite the local Limitation Law providing a seven-year limitation period from the date of an admission of liability.

Third-party liability or professional indemnity – which policy should apply?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • July 18 2017

There is a fine line between whether the act or omission of a tortfeasor is covered by a professional indemnity or public liability policy. To complicate the situation in Israel, professional indemnity policies are issued on a claims-made basis and public liability policies on an occurrence basis. The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court recently addressed these matters.

Employer may re-examine union representativeness
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Israel
  • June 28 2017

Israeli collective labour relations confer a unique status on unions that are considered to be representative unions. According to a recent National Labour Court decision, the recognition of a union's representativeness must be followed by a period of stability in order to give the union and the employer an opportunity to establish a relationship of trust and cooperation. However, if clear indications suggest that the union is no longer representative, the employer may challenge the representativeness.