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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the Canberra Metro consortium (Canberra Metro) on its successful bid for the Australian Capital Territory Capital Metro light rail project.

Canberra Metro will finance, design and construct the project and then operate and maintain the 12km light rail route from the fast growing area of Gungahlin - in Canberra’s northern suburbs - to the CBD. Canberra Metro aims to have the light rail system operational in early 2019.

The Canberra Metro consortium includes Pacific Partnerships, John Holland, Mitsubishi Corporation, Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments, CPB Contractors, Deutsche Bahn International, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Herbert Smith Freehills advised the consortium and the design and construct joint venture (CPB Contractors and John Holland) throughout the competitive bidding process.

Erin Wakelin, Andrew Griffiths and Amelia Fleming led a cross practice team, with support from senior associate Anna Britten-Jones and solicitors Lauren Whitehead, Melissa Rubbo, Sam Cooper and Laura Ferraro.

Erin Wakelin commented that working on the bid had bolstered the firm’s already significant PPP financing expertise.

“In Australia, Herbert Smith Freehills is leading the way when it comes to the financing of PPPs. Last year we advised on the financing for the New Schools PPP in Victoria and on four Australian PPPs which were repriced while still in the construction phase, the first such deal of its kind,” Erin Wakelin said.

Corrs Chamber Westgarth advised the operation and maintenance joint venture (John Holland and Pacific Partnerships) in relation to the project. 

Key contacts

Erin Wakelin photo

Erin Wakelin

Partner, Sydney

Erin Wakelin