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Eversheds has been appointed as sole legal adviser to the French Ministry of Justice for its PPP work, as the UK-originated model expands further on the other side of the Channel.
Eversheds has taken over the position of trusted adviser to the ministry from Allen & Overy (A&O). It was awarded the mandate from the ministry’s Agence Publique pour l’Immobilier de la Justice following a competitive tender.
The arrangement will see Eversheds advise on the structuring of 20 prisons and 10 tribunal PPPs across France, with a projected value of hundreds of millions of euros. The newbuild programme is expected to help address France’s heavily overcrowded prison system, where institutions built to house around 50,000 inmates actually contain around a quarter more.
Eversheds PPP partner Boris Mrtor, who is leading an eight-strong team, said: “There’s a lack of capacity of prisons in France; they’re overcrowded and the government’s making a major investment to address this.”
The mandate will see Eversheds advise on all the structuring of the projects, document drafting and competitive dialogue negotiations dealing with the various project stages, including design, construction, regeneration, management and maintenance to financial close.
This is the first time Eversheds has worked with the ministry and the appointment comes after the firm advised France’s Ministry of Defence on the consolidation of its offices into a single headquarters on the edge of Paris.