K&L Gates Advises on France’s British Normandy Memorial Project

23 July 2018

Paris – Lawyers from the Paris office of global law firm K&L Gates are advising the Normandy Memorial Trust on the British Normandy Memorial project, to be built overlooking Gold Beach in Ver-sur-Mer (Calvados) where the D-Day landings took place on 6th June 1944.

The memorial, which commemorates the British military services and members of the civilian services who lost their lives in the Normandy Campaign, will record the names of the 23,000 British servicemen and women as well as the French members of the Commando Kieffer group. It will be constructed on a 20 hectare site affording a clear view of the Mulberry Harbour off Arromanches, close to the spot where CSM Stan Hollis of the 6th Green Howards won the only D-Day Victoria Cross. Funding for the project has come from the British Government, providing £20 m drawn from fines levied on UK banks over the Libor interest rate scandal as well as funds raised by charities. The memorial is the culmination of much commitment and determination to provide a fitting tribute and a place where people can gather to reflect on the extraordinary achievements of those who lost their lives in Normandy.

The Normandy Memorial Trust, chaired by former British ambassador to France Lord Peter Ricketts, is overseeing the project, with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) set to manage the site in due course.

The inauguration of the memorial is planned for 6th June 2019 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day landings. In an official communiqué following the Franco-British summit on 18 January 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged their support for the project and confirmed that they will “together attend the inauguration of the project in June 2019 as part of the commemorations to mark the 75th Anniversary of the operation.”

The K&L Gates team advising the trust on the deal includes Edouard Vitry (partner, real estate), Joanna Klat (counsel, real estate), Sylvie Chandesris (associate, real estate), Blandine Bourelle (associate, real estate), Bertrand Dussert (partner, tax), and Alban Michou-Tognelli (associate, tax).

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