Last week Adv. Harel Locker, the former director general of the Prime Minister's Office opened a new chapter in his career when he joined Israeli law firm M. Firon & Co. as a senior partner. He left government service in Jerusalem two years ago and had been working since as a consultant to foreign investors and has served as a director.
Adv. Locker, who has been listed in recent years as one of the most influential people in the Israeli economy, served as director general of the Prime Minister's Office for four years during two terms of office of government's led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one of the longest-serving people in this position since the founding of the State.
Adv. Locker, who previously worked in the business sector, was appointed director general of the PMO by Netanyahu in December 2011. His brother General (res.) Johanan Locker was deputy commander of the Israel Air Force and Netanyahu's Military Secretary and is today Israel Chemicals chairman.
As part of his job, Harel Locker managed the government's bureau on socio-economic issues and worked on these matters as the Prime Minister's representative on implementation vis-à-vis ministers and ministries, mayors, Israel Tax Authority, Israel Securities Authority, Bank of Israel, foreign investors and the business sector. Among other things, he promoted reforms on: parallel imports of long shelf life foods (the cornflakes reform); reducing use of cash; human resources reform in the civil service; the plan to reduce government regulation and bureaucracy; the relocation of military bases from high demand real estate areas in the center of Israel to southern Israel; socio-economic development plans for the Negev and Israel's Gaza border towns; introducing transparency and oversight of the defense budget; the fiber optic and digital Israel ventures; promoting the natural gas infrastructure (exports, reception terminals and more); planning and building reform; real estate price target plans and umbrella housing agreements for cities; free kindergartens for 3-4 year-olds; promoting economic relations with Japan; the economic development plan for Israel's minorities; and the outline agreement for privatizing the IMI (Israeli Military Industry).
Locker also headed the Committee for the Reduction of Using Cash in the Israeli Economy. The reform that the committee proposed including reducing the use of cash, reducing the use of convertible checks, and increasing use of electronic payment means. The Knesset bill that was formulated following the committee's recommendations is currently being delayed due to other political disputes.
In November 2014, Locker informed the Prime Minister that he wished to step down from his position and since July 2015, when he left office with the forming of the current government, he is involved in investment banking and consultancy and representing foreign investors mainly from China, Hong and Japan as well as Israeli technology companies operating in those countries. In addition, Locker currently serves on the board of directors of Leumi Partners, BATM Communications, Matomy Media, Op Vital and NRGene, and serves as chairman of the Alin Beit Noam for people with disabilities.
Prior to becoming director general of the Prime Minister's Office, Adv. Locker worked as a lawyer for some 20 years in Israel and in New York specializing in the field of commercial-economic law including taxation, mergers and acquisitions, high tech and venture capital , real estate and infrastructures, investment funds, and international transactions.
Locker served as senior partner and head of the taxation department at S. Friedman & Co. Law Firm and prior to that at Frank Fried, one of the biggest and most respected Wall Street law firms in New York. He was also a partner at the Shekel & Co. Law Firm, which specializes in taxation.
He began his legal career in the chambers of Dr. Yoram Danziger, who subsequently went on to become a Supreme Court Judge , and Adv. Dr. Klagsbald. Adv. Locker has a B.A. in Law and Accounting from Tel Aviv University and an LL.M. from Georgetown University in the US.
M.Firon & Co. is one of Israel's largest law firms and one of the first in the country to become an international law firm. The firm currently has six offices in Israel and around the world and has a legal staff of more than 200 lawyers and interns in Israel.
The firm is managed by Adv. Zvi Firon and Itzhak Narkiss and handles all areas of civil commercial law including commercial and administrative litigation, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and projects, pharmaceuticals, securities, antitrust, taxation and more. In recent years, the firm has significantly expanded its activities in public law and regulations and it currently acts for a long range of business organizations as well as government ministries.
When asked why he had chosen to join M. Firon of all law firms, Locker said, "I found I had a shared language with its partners who believe in the traditional values of the legal profession – hard work, uncompromising professionalism, and integrity."
Adv. Zvi Firon said, "Locker is a quality addition to our firm. His experience and achievements on the private market and as director general of the Prime Minister's Office speak for themselves. I am certain that together we will create a synergy that will strengthen the leadership values of the firm in many areas including international investment deals, taxation, governance and regulation."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 12, 2017
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