We talked to Micky Barnea, the Managing Partner at Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co. Law Offices, a leading Israeli commercial law firm with an esteemed reputation in the international arena and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Micky Barnea: My family and I are not exceptional in our attempts to deal with this situation. We try to stay strong and maintain a normal routine as much as possible.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Barnea Jaffa Lande.
Micky Barnea: I am the managing partner of a leading commercial law firm in Israel. When I established the firm in 2003, we were four lawyers. Today, the firm employs over 100 professionals. Since its establishment, the firm’s continued focus is on cross-border legal work, and this is why we have grown so fast. As Israel has the highest number per capita of lawyers in the world, I consider myself a successful entrepreneur working in an extremely competitive environment.
In addition to managing the firm, I lead the corporate department. I counsel clients, both foreign and domestic, on their day-to-day legal matters, and accompany foreign corporations to establish and structure their Israeli operations. I also represent technology companies and startups from various sectors in various transactions and advise them on a diverse array of legal issues.
How does Barnea Jaffa Lande innovate?
Micky Barnea: We focus mainly on the international market, with 70% of our work having a cross-border element. This is one of our main strengths, and it definitely helps us to offer clients added value. We consistently provide our clients with innovative and practical solutions for their distinct legal situations. Our main innovation is successfully introducing the conservative legal profession’s inventive and creative approaches from the general business world.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Micky Barnea: We continue to put the health and safety of our employees, above all else. Therefore, we have adapted the way we work and are working more from home. At first, we moved to full-time work from home, but over time, we adopted a more integrated approach to working from home along with working from the office. However, there has not been much change in the way we communicate with each other or with clients. We continue to assist our clients in managing their responses to the pandemic. We are frequently in touch with clients by phone or via video conference to see how they are doing, not only regarding their business but also personally.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Micky Barnea: I have always believed in flexibility and the ability to adapt quickly. I think the lesson of the past year is to move fast, be flexible, and adapt to new circumstances. This is an important lesson for all types of businesses and for human beings in general. Companies able to adapt and deal with new conditions quickly are the most likely to succeed. Part of adapting also means listening closely to client feedback. I understood even more in 2020 how much we value and implement listening and how stable our business is because of this.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Micky Barnea: First, I try to remain calm in all circumstances. I keep up physical activity and maintain a healthy work-life balance. I also try to stay connected with my friends and family members.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Micky Barnea: We continue to grow and expand by adding new practice areas and employing more staff in existing areas of engagement. By providing clients with comprehensive legal counsel in all their areas of business, we remain the firm of choice for their legal needs in Israel.
Your final thoughts?
Micky Barnea: I believe the business world will not return to the time before COVID-19. We have already seen and will continue to see more technologies in support of telecommuting and cyber and data protection. In addition, the new workplace will be more mobile and flexible than it was prior to COVID-19, and online commerce will continue to flourish. I am hopeful a positive change will come out of this crisis, and I wish everyone a happy new year.
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