Clifford Chance advises on rebuilding of Kosovo

Clifford Chance is sending lawyers to Kosovo to help the region get back on its feet.

Jeremy Carver, head of the firm's international law group, has got the go-ahead from the United Nations Mission in Kosovo for an internet project to support the rebuilding process.

Carver says: “One of the first projects was to develop a database, helping to reassemble refugee details. That is now done and has worked.”

Carver returned from Kosovo on Monday for a second project to encourage foreign investment in the region.

Carver is looking at drafting laws to regulate the 150 to 200 non-governmental organisations currently operating in Kosovo. And he is putting forward plans to the authorities running Kosovo on how to spend more than $2bn in aid.

Carver was retained by the General Counsel of International Rescue, New York lawyer George Huritz.

A Clifford Chance spokeswoman says the firm's post-conflict capability will be boosted by US firm Rogers & Wells' trade and international law group. The two firms are merging on 1 January 2000.

Rae Lindsay, international law partner at Clifford Chance, says Kosovo is very different from other recent post-conflict situations.

She says: “Kosovo is in a transitional phase and a new regime has yet to be established. The infrastructure is gone. Documents and records destroyed.

“For lawyers developing contractual relationships, it's an unprecedented situation.”