Richard Bardenstein is HLG’s resident attorney in Israel and leads its Israel-related practice. A Detroit native, University of Michigan and Yale Law School grad, Richard has lived and worked in Israel and internationally for the last 30 years. He advises his clients on a broad variety of commercial, regulatory and strategic issues.
One main focus of his work is to assist foreign investors and companies seeking to do business in Israel, and to help Israeli companies seeking partners, markets and capital abroad. This work extends over the full range of their legal and planning matters, including: corporate formation and governance, regulatory compliance, licensing, enforcement and troubleshooting, government assistance programs for R&D and industry, private investment transactions, public financing including listing on Israeli and foreign exchanges, mergers and acquisitions, the gamut of commercial agreements, real estate and land use, labor relations, general counsel services to small and mid-size companies, dispute resolution, and more.
In the cannabis space, Richard advises startups, investors and financial institutions from Israel and abroad. His role includes both legal counsel and strategic advisory, always rooted in a thorough yet creative understanding of his client’s business and objectives. He also advises foreign governments, industry associations and regulatory bodies on cannabis-related issues. In 2015 he acted as an expert witness on behalf of Canada’s Attorney General in the landmark Allard case dealing with the legality of Canada’s cannabis regulatory regime. He maintains ongoing direct contact with Israel’s cannabis regulatory authorities, with researchers and with the other stakeholders in Israel’s vibrant cannabis landscape.
Richard served as an Advisor to Prime Minister Ehud Barak during his tenure as PM (1999-2001), and as an Advisor to three different Israeli Ministers of Justice on international law matters. He clerked for two Justices at Israel’s Supreme Court, including its President, Aharon Barak. Before becoming a lawyer, he worked as a professional writer and PR account executive in New York. In his spare time, Richard loves hiking, playing music, and being in the outdoors. He is married with two children.