Global law firm Greenberg Traurig has announced the opening of a new office in Tel Aviv in early 2012. The new base is the first international full-time legal office of its kind in Israel.

“To the best of our knowledge, we expect this office to be the first ever international law firm practicing exclusively non-Israeli law through a full-time, full-service office in Israel that is not focused primarily on business development,” said Gary M. Epstein, Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s global Corporate & Securities Practice and Co-Chair of its Israel Practice. “Our arrival builds on 10 years of goodwill and client development conducted through the firm’s existing Israel Practice. Our many Israeli clients have benefited from Greenberg Traurig’s international platform, and will now have an even fuller presence on our part.”

The new office will begin with five lawyers. None of them will practice Israeli law. Instead, the office will offer US and UK counsel services.

“We hope to grow as American and UK attorneys with Israeli clients learn about the opportunity we offer,” said Epstein.

“Our focus on delivering quality service and value across a broad market and practice platform and deep penetration in regions and industries is increasingly providing our clients with a unique edge,” said Richard A. Rosenbaum, Greenberg Traurig’s Chief Executive Officer. “The opening of an Israeli presence continues that focus and is a logical progression born from the dedication and commitment of our Israel Practice Group over the past decade.”

Greenberg Traurig’s office will be based in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Tower complex. The five attorneys on staff will be supported by 1,800 lawyers throughout the global firm’s locations in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Of the firm’s 33 current offices, 29 are located in the United States, making Israel the fifth international market in which it will operate.

“Greenberg Traurig has an enduring commitment to Israel’s business community,” said Bob Grossman, Co-Chair of the Greenberg Traurig Israel Practice.

The firm’s experience with Israeli clients includes representing companies in numerous industries, including technology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, clean energy and manufacturing, in matters ranging from financing and intellectual property to mergers, acquisitions and employment issues.

“Additionally we work with companies from around the world seeking opportunities within Israel,” said Meital Stavinsky, the firm’s Israel Practice coordinator. “We have a proven track record of matching Israeli companies with strategic partners, potential joint ventures and other business-to-business connections.”