CANADIAN top 10 law firm Goodman Phillips & Vineberg has been instructed by the Washington-based World Bank Group to draft a first set of regulations set to attract private funding to the Moroccan residential housing market.

The regulations will allow residential housing mortgage lenders to secure part of their loan portfolios, giving a new financing tool to attract private sector investment in what is regarded as a critical development area in Morocco.

The project is headed by the senior partner in the firm's Montreal office, Douglas Robertson, who is assisted by Shahir Guindi.

The firm was selected because of its international experience, the French and Arabic language skills of its lawyers and the close parallels between Quebec's Civil Code system and that of Morocco.

The project is being seen as a pilot for the region as laws allowing pooled assets to be used as security are virtually unknown in developing countries.