Jack Smith

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Partner

Jack Smith was born and raised in New York, where he graduated from Yeshiva University prior to making "Aliyah" to Israel in 1981. After arriving in Israel, Mr. Smith completed Bar Ilan Law School in 1984.

Mr. Smith is a partner at Gornitzky & Co. and he specializes in energy, commercial, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, project finance and international business transactions.

Mr. Smith has represented the firm's clients in the following matters:

 

Oil and Gas Exploration

  • Representation of Edison International SpA in their offshore activities in Israel;
  • Representation of Woodside Petroleum in the acquisition of a 30% interest in the Leviathan field for up to USD 2.25 billion;
  • Representation of client in EPC contract for offshore gas production facility.
  • Representation of client in negotiation of "Leviathan" offshore gas lease.
  • Representation of client in acquiring oil and gas leases in Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico.
  • Representation of international and Israeli companies regarding acquisition of interests in oil fields and offshore gas fields in Israel;
  • Representation of offshore gas field developer in negotiation of JOA with an international operator;
  • Representation of oil shale project in Israel;
  • Representation of offshore contractor in construction of marine gas pipeline.


Natural Gas / Fuel Supply

  • Representation of consortium of companies of the Israel Corporation Group owning chemical plants, refineries and IPPs in a transaction for acquisition of natural gas valued in excess of USD 5 billion, which was Israel's largest private sector gas transaction;

  • Representation of consortium of gas buyers in negotiations for termination of multi-billion dollar GSPA; 

  • Representation of Israel Chemicals and Oil Refineries Ltd. in settling force majeure/shortfall claims under GSPAs;
  • Representation of major gas buyer in short term bridge supply agreement with advance payments for future reservoir development;
  • Representation of Paz Petroleum, Israel's largest oil marketing company, in substantial fuel supply agreement with the Palestinian Authority;
  • Representation of winning bidder in tender for gas distribution/low pressure license in central Israel;
  • Representation of largest customers of distribution/low pressure network in connection with distribution and supply agreements.

 

Power Generation

 

  • Extensive experience regarding IPP’s, including negotiating power purchase agreements with local utility and EPC, LTM, O&M contracts and gas supply contracts in connection therewith;
  • Representation of two 400MW IPPs;
  • Representation of IPP in claim against turbine supplier regarding defect discovered during acceptance tests;
  • Representation of 4 co-generation plants.

 

 

Regulatory

  • Representation of major industrial gas consumers before Knesset Committee regarding enactment of Natural Gas Sector law;

  • Representation of IPP's in developing regulatory framework for private power sales in Israel;
    Representation of IPP's in developing regulatory framework for solar power project development in Israel;

  • Representation of consortium of major gas buyers in antitrust hearings regarding interruptible contracts;
  • Representation of the largest consumers of distribution network in agreeing to terms in standard distribution agreement and modifying regulations;
  • Representation of major IPP in contesting regulatory decision to impose system charges;
  • Advising major gas buyers and major international upstream investor regarding consent order decree relating to the Israel upstream market;
  • Advising clients regarding establishment of new regulatory framework for Israeli upstream market;
  • Representation of IPP in regulatory settlement regarding tariff payments due to utility.


Private Electricity Sales

  • Extensive experience in private electricity transactions, including representation of IPPs in sales to major industrial consumers; 

  • Representation of major desalination plant in electricity supply contract;
    Representation of buyers owning multi-site facilities in acquisition of electricity from IPPs;

  • Representation of IPP in long term power and steam supply from a co-generation plant.

 

Financing

  • Representation of OPC Rotem Ltd. in USD 320 million project finance loan, for a 440MW gas fired IPP;

  • Representation of Arava Power in USD 30 million project finance loan for 5MW photovoltaic field;

  • Representation of owner of IPP in a USD100 million equity refinancing.


M&A

  • Representation of Israeli Corporation in acquisition of a portfolio of power generation in Latin America;
  • Representation of client acquiring a stake in refining monopoly in Turkey;
  • Representation of buyer in acquisition of control of 400MW IPP;
  • Representation of seller in sale of control of 400MW IPP;
  • Representation of seller in private placement of minority stake in IPP to private equity fund;
  • Representation of IC Power in acquisition of 120MW co-generation plant.


Solar Power

  • Representation of major photovoltaic solar power developers in Israel;
  • Representation of bidders in 200MW Solar Thermal Tender published by the State of Israel;
  • Representation of developers of solar thermal fields based upon feed in tariff.
  • Representation of infrastructure fund in acquisition of solar projects in Italy.

 

Wind

  • Representation of developer in M&A of wind projects in Poland.

 

 

Education

LL.B., Bar-Ilan University (1984)
B.A, summa cum laude, Yeshiva University (1981)

- Dean's List 

 

Admission

1986, Israel Bar Association

 

Academic Positions

Guest lecturer, “Law of Energy Sources Crude Oil and Gas” chaired by David Kornbluth, Hebrew University Law School (2015).


Languages

English and Hebrew

 

 

Chambers Global 2017
Chambers Global 2017

Chambers Global 2017 ranked Jack Smith as Band 1 in the field of Projects &Energy: Oil &Gas. Sources praise Jack Smith's considerable projects expertise, adding that his in-depth knowledge and many years' experience distinguish his advice. Interviewees also remark that "he knows how to perform a transaction quickly and efficiently." Smith draws particular praise for his work in the oil and gas sector.

The Legal 500 2016
The Legal 500 2016

The Legal 500 2016 identified Jack Smith as a Leading Projects and Energy lawyer, describing him as "a leading lawyer with strong business acumen and expertise across oil, gas, clean energy and power." 

Chambers Global 2016
Chambers Global 2016

Chambers Global 2016 recommended Jack Smith as a Band 1lawyer in the field of Projects & Energy: Oil & Gas, saying "He's an authority when it comes to the energy sector. He has the most knowledge of the regulatory scene in Israel." and as a Leading lawyer in the field of Projects and Energy.

The Legal 500 2014
The Legal 500 2014

The Legal 500 2014 identified Jack Smith as a recommended Projects and Energy lawyer, describing him as "sharp and proactive" and "a true expert and authority in the area of energy and infrastructure." 

Who's Who Legal 2014
Who's Who Legal 2014

Who's Who Legal 2014 recognized Jack Smith as one of Israel's top 3 Energy lawyers, and one of 644 worldwide Energy Law experts.  He was also recognized as one of Israel's top 10 Project Finance lawyers, and one of 674 worldwide Project Finance experts.

Chambers Global 2014
Chambers Global 2014

Partner Jack Smith was recognized as a Leading Projects and Energy lawyer. He was described as "widely recognised as one of the top oil and gas specialists in the country.

IFLR1000 2014
IFLR1000 2014

IFLR1000 2014 identified Gornitzky & Co. as a Tier 1 Project Finance law firm, attributing the team's ranking among the country's best practices to the strength of its two projects partners, Itay Geffen and Jack Smith, saying, "The pair are a formidable team."

Intercontinental Finance Magazine Leading Lawyer 500
Intercontinental Finance Magazine Leading Lawyer 500

Jack Smith was recognized by InterContinental Finance Magazine as one of the top 500 lawyers in the world today.

Acquisition International Legal Awards 2013
Acquisition International Legal Awards 2013

The 2013 Acquisition International Legal Awards named Jack Smith the winner of the "Rising Stars in Project Finance - Israel" award in recognition of his status as a leading player in the field.

The Legal 500 2013
The Legal 500 2013

The Legal 500 2013 recognized "Key contact" Jack Smith as a recommended lawyer in the field of Projects and Energy.

Who's Who Legal 2013
Who's Who Legal 2013

Who's Who Legal 2013 recognized Jack Smith as one of Israel's 11 leading lawyers in the field of Project Finance, for the third consecutive year.  Mr. Smith was selected as one of the world's top 608 legal experts in this field.

Chambers Global 2013
Chambers Global 2013

Chambers Global 2013 recommended Jack Smith as a Band 1 Projects and Energy: Oil and Gas lawyer. While clients singled him out for his extensive knowledge and experience in the energy sector, his local and international expertise in oil and gas work has been described as "particularly highly prized," with one source naming him "the dean of the field."

The Legal Experts EMEA 2013 Directory
The Legal Experts EMEA 2013 Directory

Legal Experts EMEA 2013 identified Jack Smith as a leading lawyer in the area of Project Finance/Energy.

 

Mr. Smith has been consistently recognized by the guide as an expert in this field since 2004.

Who's Who Legal 2012
Who's Who Legal 2012

Who's Who Legal 2012 recognized Jack Smith as one of Israel's 8 leading lawyers in the field of Project Finance, for the second consecutive year.  Mr. Smith was selected as one of the world's top 480 legal experts in this field.

Chambers Global 2012
Chambers Global 2012

Chambers Global 2012 recommended Jack Smith as a leading Projects and Energy lawyer and praised him for his "deep knowledge of power and energy law, and of commercial negotiations."

IFLR1000 2012
IFLR1000 2012

IFLR1000 2012 recognized Jack Smith as one who is widely considered an originators of energy law in Israel and a client favorite, quoting one client saying, "I think he's the leader in Israel in terms of energy law, he was the first one here to deal with it. He is excellent; very professional, very experienced."

 

The Legal Experts EMEA 2012 Directory
The Legal Experts EMEA 2012 Directory

Legal Experts EMEA 2012 identified Jack Smith as a leading lawyer in the area of Project Finance/Energy.

 

Mr. Smith has been consistently recognized by the guide as a expert in this field since 2004.

Chambers Global 2011
Chambers Global 2011

Chambers Global 2011 identified Jack Smith as a leading and recommended lawyer in the field of Projects and Energy, naming him a “brilliant energy lawyer” with “valuable knowledge of his field, and excellent client service skills."

The Legal 500 2011
The Legal 500 2011

The Legal 500 2011 identified Jack Smith as a recommended lawyer in the field of Projects & Energy while naming him a "very good energy lawyer". 

Who's Who Legal 2011
Who's Who Legal 2011

Who's Who Legal 2011 mentioned Mr. Smith as a leading lawyer in the field of Project Finance.

PLC Which Lawyer? 2009
PLC Which Lawyer? 2009

PLC Which Lawyer? 2009 identifies Jack Smith as recommended in the Energy field of practice: "Talented energy and infrastructure lawyer with experience in advising companies and government utilities on the regulatory framework. Strong in project finance, in particular related to the acquisition of natural gas and oil refineries, the construction of power stations and the negotiation of power supply contracts for desalination plants".

The Legal 500 2009
The Legal 500 2009

The Legal 500 2009 identified Jack Smith as a recommended lawyer in the field of Projects & Energy. 

IFLR1000 2008
IFLR1000 2008

IFLR1000 2008 mentioned Adv. Jack Smith as a leading lawyer in the field of Finance and Corporate. IFLR1000 described Mr. Smith as a "good lawyer who is...professional and knows his business".