‘s real estate practice has been hit by a raid from Israel-based firm Asserson Law Office, which has hired partner David Prais for its office in Jerusalem.
Prais was Addleshaws’ main real estate contact partner for Standard Life, advising on commercial property matters.
The hire increases the number of lawyers at Asserson to seven. Former Bird & Bird litigation head Trevor Asserson, who has also worked at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, set up the firm in 2005 to take advantage of cheaper operating costs in Israel.
The firm practises UK law from its Israel base and focuses on dispute resolution and litigation for financial services clients.
Asserson said: “The idea was to outsource the entire office. We’re able to be much cheaper than a City firm, although we provide the same standard of practice. I charge myself out at less than half my rate at Morgan Lewis.
“The concept of a firm providing a high-quality service offshore has arrived. It’s a bit like being in Manchester, but further, and much warmer.”
Asserson joined Morgan Lewis in 2002. At the time he charged $900 (£443) an hour, now he charges $400 (£197). Asserson said that two hours’ work is enough to cover a month of office rent in Jerusalem.
Clients of the firm include CSOB, the largest bank in the Czech Republic, French model maker Heller and boxing promoter Don King. While at Bird & Bird, Asserson advised King on his litigation with rival promoter Frank Warren.