HFN is recognised in Israel as a leader in environmental law and the law relating to climate change, serving numerous clients in both the public and private sectors, as well as taking an active role in major policy and legislative initiatives. Environmental considerations play an ever-increasing role today in commercial and industrial activities. HFN's Environment and Climate Change department works with the firm's clients to resolve complex environmental issues, manage environmental risks and optimise financial opportunities in the field.
HFN was the first major commercial law firm in Israel to establish a specialised environmental practice, and is the only law firm in Israel to offer international expertise in both environmental law and climate change law.
HFN's Environment and Climate Change department is consistently ranked as a Top Tier practice by both domestic and international legal guides, including PLC Which Lawyer? and Dun & Bradstreet.
The Environment and Climate Change department serves a broad range of clients including: industrial plants, utilities and energy companies; real estate and infrastructure developers; financial institutions; investment and insurance companies; government agencies and ministries; clean-tech companies; NGOs; and publicly-traded companies.
The department provides a full range of advice covering all aspects of environmental and climate change law:
Regulatory advice and representation of clients with activities having a potential effect on the environment, including licensing and compliance obligations relating to such issues as hazardous substance control, air and water quality, prevention of marine pollution, ground contamination, electromagnetic radiation, and GMO regulation
Legal advice on environmental aspects of real estate and M&A transactions, including environmental due diligence and drafting applicable contractual provisions
Legal advice on environmental aspects of tender offers, infrastructure development projects and financings
Representation of companies and corporate officers in administrative, civil and criminal proceedings on environmental matters
Advice to clean-tech companies, developers and investors on legal aspects of renewable energy projects, energy conservation projects, and water purification and conservation projects
Advice on matters involving international environmental law and regulation
On-going advice to corporate clients, from both the industry sector and the financial sector, on environmental risk management and strategic planning
The department also offers unique international expertise on the legal aspects of a wide variety of environmental finance tools, covering issues such as brownfield remediation initiatives, carbon trade and Clean Development Mechanism projects, renewable energy investments and climate risk management tools
HFN regularly represents some of Israel's largest chemical and energy companies in major environmental-related legal proceedings, which include multiple-plaintiff toxic tort claims, complex class actions, High Court of Justice administrative petitions and criminal proceedings.
HFN's Environment and Climate Change department plays a leading role in the major environmental initiatives and projects taking place in Israel today, whether legislative, regulatory or policy-related. The department is continuously and actively involved in the drafting of central pieces of environmental legislation, including Israel's newly enacted Clean Air Law and related regulations, a bill on remediation of contaminated land, regulations on renewable energy incentives, guidelines on environmental disclosure obligations of publicly-traded companies issued by the Israeli Securities Exchange Commission, and official rules issued by the Ministry of Justice on the assessment of environmental risks in liquidation proceedings and land appraisals.
Due to the rapid increase in regulatory and transactional work involving environmental aspects, HFN's Environment and Climate Change department has expanded in size in recent years and consists of five full-time members, in addition to three litigation attorneys with expertise in environment-related law. The practice is led by Dr. Ruth Dagan, a recognised expert in the many facets of domestic and international environment and climate change law.