Camerons joins magic circle on rail project; Dutch firms take back seat
The Netherlands call-ed in a contingent of UK law firms to complete its first major public private partnership (PPP) deal. CMS Cameron McKenna advised the Dutch government on a range of PPP issues, Slaughter and May and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised the winning consortium and Allen & Overy (A&O) advised the finance syndicate. The project is to develop and operate the high-speed rail link between Schiphol Airport and the Dutch-Belgian border. The link is one of the European Commission's Trans-European Network (Tens) projects, which are intended to cut rail journey times in Europe. The rail sector PPP is worth around v1.3bn (£804m). The Dutch government was advised by Camerons and Dutch firm Stibbe, with financial advice from the Royal Bank of Scotland and European Capital. The Camerons team was led by Ian Bendell and included project partners Robert Phillips, Peter Long and Jason Davies. Bendell believes the firm was selected because of previous work for the UK government on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, also a Tens project. He said: "If the PPP does deliver on time and on budget, the government will be very active in promoting further deals of this type, and I expect other countries, such as Germany, to follow suit." The winning bidder Infraspeed - an international consortium of Fluor Daniel, Siemens, NBM Amstelland, Innisfree and Charterhouse - was advised by Slaughter and May and Freshfields' Amsterdam office. Project finance was provided by Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank, ING, KBC, KfW, Dexia and Rabobank, with non-commercial funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The commercial banks were advised by A&O, and EIB was advised by McDermottt Will & Emery London partner Andrew Watson.