“The major challenge of the pandemic,” says Adv. Shira Shine, senior partner at Michael Shine & Partners, “was dealing with the personal concept that we are so used to having with our clients, both locally (especially to new immigrants) and internationally.” The firm provides valued guidance to private clients, mainly in the following areas – international tax and estate planning, the establishment and administration of trusts, cross-border family planning, real estate (acquisitions & disposals, specializing in representing foreigners in Israel), banking and finance, and succession and inheritance – and prides itself on the personal touch and attention that it gives its clients.
Since 1977, the firm, founded by Michael Shine, of blessed memory, who passed away last year and who was an international leader in his field, has represented private clients from around the world, including high-net-worth individuals and multi-national families, offering a full range of services for asset protection needs, family generational tax and estate planning, and private banking requirements.
During the difficult months of the pandemic, the firm had to switch over to a Zoom-based model, which made communication more difficult. “We managed to do the best we could on Zoom,” says Shine, “and I am happy that now we can finally travel again and meet our clients.”
Interestingly, she reports, during the pandemic, many families contacted the firm to receive advice on asset protection and estate planning. “During that time, Shine says, “people said ‘maybe now is the time to really sit and think about our family structure requirements, and our asset protection.’” In these uncertain times, she points out, the well-being of families and cross-border planning for families is more relevant than ever both in banking, taxation and estate planning.
Shira herself was ill with Covid during the pandemic and says that one positive outcome of the pandemic has been the increased sense of concern and empathy shared among both the office staff and its clients. “We all became closer. Everyone understood that before we are professionals, we are parents, children, and we have grandparents that we worry about. I personally had covid, and I saw how my staff was worried about me. Human values grew during that time. There was caring, concern, and people were more empathetic to each other.”
During the pandemic, Michael Shine & Partners created a class of managers within the firm to manage and synchronize the activities of the staff who were working remotely from home. Shira reports that the firm has increased its managerial staff meetings since regular office hours returned and is placing even greater emphasis on the organization between departments.
The legal profession is relatively conservative, says Shira, and is not always quick to adopt new technologies. Nevertheless, she says, the technology that the firm has been using since the onset of the pandemic enables it to collect as much information as possible for its clients so that the data is much more collectible and accessible.
Shira Shine expresses the hope that the coming year will lead to more unity in society. “I hope that everyone remains healthy and that as a society, we have fewer divisions within us, have much more unity, and retain the opportunity to continue life as normally as possible, appreciating what we have. Our law firm will continue the legacy of my late father, Michael Shine,” she says, adding that for her father, the personal relationships and connections that he had with others are the legacy of the firm that bears his name.
“It is a privilege for me to be able to continue providing our services to our clients with professionalism, knowledge and solutions. We want to make sure that we are the best we can be. both to ourselves, our clients, and our organization.”
This article was written in cooperation with Michael Shine & Partners