Birmingham law firm Shakespeares has secured a multimillion pound deal to help Romania prepare for EU entry in 2007.
The legal contract was awarded to them by Birmingham-based management consultancy STC which heads up a five-partner consortium appointed to undertake the transformation of Suceava, a key province located in the north of the former communist country.
The three other consortium partners are Eon - owners of Powergen - Laing O'Rourke International and Dowding & Mills.
The funding, involving a £162 million loan secured from Deutsche Bank, has been endorsed by a guarantee from the Romanian government.
The initial 38-month project will upgrade the existing infrastructure and introduce electricity generating capacity, natural gas distribution, combined heating and power facilities, water and sanitation. Waste disposal and land fill remain high on the agenda for future activity.
Preparations are already underway with a full start on April 30.
Richard Baizley, partner at Shakespeare and head of the consortium presentation team, who has already visited Suceava twice, said: "This is probably one of the most fascinating and rewarding contracts that Shakespeares has secured in recent years.
"Following the 1989 revolution, Romania has been trying to grow away from post communism to become an EU compliant country but was not included in the last EU concessions. One of the major problems is that, until now, 1930s utility systems have remained in use.
"The Romanian government gave Suceava permission to seek foreign investment 18 months ago to be used to upgrade and bring the utilities in line with the 21st century needs of the country and EU standards.
"The EU has stated that provided the country reaches certain parameters including financial stability and infrastructure by 2007 they should be accepted into the EU and Suceava wants to ensure they are part of this transition.
"Our brief is to take on all legal aspects of this huge project. Initial work has included drafting an eclectic mix of agreements including confidentiality, exclusivity, formal consortium and those involving sub contractors."
STC said: "This is an exhilarating project and one that we know will make a huge difference to the country.
"We approached our longterm consultants and partners, Shakespeares and Eon, to help us produce our initial two-month feasibility study which examined the needs of the province."