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"Canal Seine Nord" PPP's allocation proceedings


13 April 2010

Allen & Overy LLP today confirms its appointment by Voies Navigables de France (VNF)* as its legal counsel in the organisation of the "Canal Seine Nord" PPP's allocation proceedings.  

This EUR4.2 billion project is one of the most important PPPs launched in Europe and the most significant one in the area of navigation infrastructure. This PPP is for the design, construction, maintenance and running of a 66-mile (about 100 km) stretch of canal between Compiègne and Aubencheul-au-Bac (a town near Cambrai), which will be built in accordance with international standards. The project will also include the construction of eight reaches with seven sluices, of canal bridges, of transhipment quays and embankments with boating facilities and finally of multimodal platforms**.

This canal, which has been declared a "European priority plan", will form a junction between France and both Belgium and the Rhine basin. The private partner of VNF who will be awarded the contract, will not only have to design and build but also to maintain and run the canal (platforms excluded).

The Allen & Overy Paris team, who will handle the matter, is led by Noël Chahid-Nouraï who heads the Administrative and Public Law department of the firm in Paris. Public law issues will be dealt by Romaric Lazerges, senior associate, assisted by Jean-Luc Champy, also senior associate. Rod Cork, partner and Geoffrey Levesque, counsel, will handle the financing aspects. Frédéric Moreau, partner, and Mathieu Odet, will deal with Corporate aspects, David Affejee, senior associate, with tax issues and Jean-Dominique Casalta, partner, and Xavier Jancène, counsel, with real estate issues.

Commenting on this new PPP involving Allen & Overy, Noël Chahid-Nouraï, partner, declared: "We are particularly proud to have been appointed by the French state agency VNF to advise on this emblematic PPP of major economic importance. The wide range of skills our integrated "PPP" team has acquired on large projects will be of substantial help to fulfil our mission. We have been acting as legal counsel to the French State on PRISONS' deals, to one of the bidding consortia on the TGV Tours-Bordeaux deal (LGV-SEA), to the lenders on the GSM-R deal that has just been closed as well as to the Caisse des dépôts et des consignations for its saving fund loans. Where necessary, we will also rely on the experience gained by other European Allen & Overy offices, which are very dynamic in the field of PPPs, such as the London, Brussels and Amsterdam offices."

* VNF is the State agency in charge of planning, modernizing, maintaining and managing French navigable channels.

** An other law firm – Gide Loyrette Nouel – will advise VNF on the specific questions relating to the platforms.




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