V.O. is opening its tenth branch this summer on Amsterdam’s Weteringschans, a stone’s throw from the Rijksmuseum. The plan is the initiative of Otto Oudshoorn and Frits Schut. Asked about the motivation for the new office, Oudshoorn says, “We want to be right where our clients are.”
What’s the main reason for having an office in Amsterdam?
“Over the last few years, we have generally seen attractive start-ups and rapidly growing tech firms crop up in the capital. And we at V.O. want to be in the same locale as them. The Startup Delta initiative – whose patron is the former European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes – didn’t choose Amsterdam as its base for nothing. Their aim is to improve the Dutch business climate for start-ups. Amsterdam already has a good knowledge infrastructure, of course, with two top universities conducting a great deal of high-quality research.”
Being close to them is important then?
“Yes, the ability to reach companies and sit down with them within a short space of time is important. We often speak on the phone or email each other, but every now and then you do need to talk face to face. That builds up trust on both sides. The fact that we will soon have a presence in Amsterdam will be handy for our network of global agents as they can get to us more quickly from Schiphol airport. And naturally that’s a bonus for us too if we go and visit our clients.”
Which makes you more visible in the international world of IP?
“Amsterdam is home to a great many global financial institutions, surrounded by numerous law firms and therefore plenty of IP attorneys. That’s why it’s important to have an office here; it puts us more firmly on the world map.”
What does the Amsterdam office offer?
“There will soon be a solid team of fourteen, half of them patent attorneys. And all of our patent disciplines will be represented here.” •