Antitrust Lawyer Who Handled Paz Case, Wants to Work for - Paz

Anat Klein's handling had been completely above-board, say associates

A lawyer working at the Antitrust Authority wants to move to the private sector without undergoing the customary cooling-off period. In fact, Anat Klein wants to work for energy and banking baron Zadik Bino, who owns the Paz fuel company and the First International Bank.

At first, Klein means to take the job of deputy legal counsel at Paz, a privately-owned company.

The Civil Service Commission will have to rule on her request with the utmost care, as Klein had been none other than the person who handled the Antitrust Authority's rejection of a merger between Sonol and Dor-Alon (TASE: DRAL, which suited Paz's purposes.

Sonol and Dor Alon had meant to merge and jointly contend to buy the Ashdod oil refinery, am ambition that as said Klein helped foil - leaving Paz to buy the refinery instead.

Sources near the Antitrust Authority say that Klein's desire to work for Paz is all the more problematic, as she had handled Paz's affairs directly in the Pi Glilot affair. There, Klein led to a decision that Paz had not liked at all: it was forced to sell its holdings in the fuel depot.

The sources said that under the civil service rules requiring cooling-off periods, an Antitrust Authority worker who had directly handled the case of a certain company, could not work directly for that company.

Ythe Antitrust Authority commented that recently, the lawyer had advised it that after seven years at the legal department, she wanted a new line of work. Also, Klein told the Antitrust Authority management about her negotiations with the Ashdod oil refinery.

The Antitrust Authority added that her termination of employment had been handled with the full cooperation of the civil service legal counsel, to make sure it was kosher.

Klein refused to comment for this report.

Sources near the Antitrust Authority, who had handled the Sonol-Dor Alon case, said that they had no doubt she had handled the case properly and honestly. They said that Klein had not been privy to the business figures of the companies competing with Paz.