Yigal Arnon - Founder of the Firm

"We are not makers of history. We are made by history".  Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Yigal Arnon was born in Tel Aviv in 1929.

As a child, Yigal dreamed of being a modern Robin Hood, riding a horse, aiding the weak and heroically saving them from their troubles. In his later years these dreams transformed into an ambition and a desire to aid and serve, by becoming a lawyer. "I always imagined the court of law as a court of a king. Two knights - the lawyers of the parties - wrestling in front of the audience, and the king - the judge - who is on the stand. In the end there is a verdict and everyone knows who is the best". Yigal began his military service as a guard before the establishment of the State of Israel and as a soldier was involved in several battles to protect Jerusalem and its surroundings. Notably, in one of the battles near the walls surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem, he was seriously injured by the Jordanian Legion. The other soldiers in the unit managed to retreat, while Yigal was left alone, wounded, in the dark for a few hours, until he was rescued by a rescue force, headed by his commander, Nethanel Lorch. Yigal completed his law studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as party of its first law class, and interned at a leading Jerusalem law firm, "Schwartz, Caspi, Spaer and Tousia-Cohen". After four years of working as an associate in the same firm, where he was involved in significant cases and gained considerable experience and legal understanding, Yigal decided that it was time to establish his own firm. 

In 1958 Yigal opened a law firm with his partner at the time, John Nathan. After a short time they parted ways, and during the first decade Yigal worked practically on his own. Yigal focused on commercial law and became an expert in real estate matters, in addition to his special litigation and legal skills. In addition, he demonstrated a unique ability in both the legal and commercial aspect of doing business. His success can be attributed to his business understanding, keen negotiation skills, charisma and people skills.

In 1970, the firm opened its Tel Aviv offices in Kikar Atarim, in addition to the Jerusalem office.

Throughout Yigal's career he achieved a multitude of high points. Here, we will only mention some:

  • The establishment of the pro bono activity of the Israel Bar Association.

  • Serving as Chairman of the Jerusalem District of the Israel Bar Association for two terms.

  • Serving as Chairman of the First International Bank.

  • Teaching "Professional Ethics" at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

  • Serving as chairman of the Friends of the Hebrew University.

  • Handling a compensation claim against Air-France on behalf of the Entebbe hostages.

  • Representing the head of the Shin-Bet in a petition to the Supreme Court against the pardons granted by the president to those involved in the "Bus 300" affair.

  • Negotiations to write off $ 90 million of Koor Group's debt to foreign banks - which enabled the group to recover financially and guaranteed the livelihood of thousands of employees.

  • Representation of defendants in the well-known "Bankers' trial".

  • Representing Aryeh Deri, former Minister of the Interior.

  • Representing Ehud Olmert, former Mayor of Jerusalem.

 

Barak Tal, a senior partner in the firm,  who was Yigal's right-hand in many of the files he managed, wrote about Yigal for the first anniversary of his death. Yigal's character and personality can be described as having the essential elements of legal expertise, business acumen, integrity and generosity.

We at Yigal Arnon & Co. see ourselves as Yigal's successors and aim to implement these characteristics in our work.

 

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