International law firm Bird & Bird LLP will open an office in Amsterdam on 1 January 2018. The office – the firm's second in the Netherlands following The Hague – will be an office with a difference: rather than fulfilling a "traditional" office role with permanent employees, it will instead act as a meeting place where our lawyers can work on matters alongside clients, share knowledge and collaborate to develop new solutions.
The hub will be an important tool for strengthening and deepening our client relationships. As well as being a valuable venue for meeting with Amsterdam-based clients and hosting meetings and events, we also intend to offer it as a workspace for international clients visiting Amsterdam – particularly those travelling from the US and Asia-Pacific.
Our Amsterdam base will open up a range of prospects, with particularly strong opportunities for our Corporate/M&A, Media, International HR Services, Automotive and Tax groups. It will also place us in closer proximity to clients in the Fintech, Energy, Retail and Tech & Comms sectors.
Bird & Bird's Netherlands head office will remain in The Hague, where the legislator and many supervising authorities of highly regulated sectors are located and where many intellectual property matters are ruled. A division of the Unified Patent Court is expected to be established in The Hague in 2018, while the European Medicines Agency (EMA) also announced last week that it will relocate to Amsterdam from London in April 2019.
Marcus Huisman, Managing Partner in the Netherlands, says: "Many of our clients and prospects in the Netherlands are organisations being changed by technology and the digital world. These organisations – a significant proportion of which operate in the financial, energy, media and tech sectors – are typically located in the Amsterdam region or doing business there. The arrival of the EMA in Amsterdam offers many opportunities. For example, from Amsterdam we can support our clients even better in their dealings with the EMA and, where necessary, assist should disputes arise.
"We see our 'office of the future' as a meeting place where the cooperation between clients and our lawyers goes far beyond the current way of working. Working together with our clients on matters, sharing knowledge, improving and developing our products and services with them, driven by their needs - that's how we see the future. In addition, the Zuidas area is close to Schiphol Airport and therefore very convenient for our international clients and for our colleagues from our offices across Europe and Asia-Pacific – as well as our US base which is set to launch next year."