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Major move for CMS to the Atrium

With Zuidas developing in leaps and bounds, it's not surprising that it has become a magnet for companies looking to relocate. Take for instance the internationally renowned law rm CMS, which is the sixth largest rm in the world, employing 1,000 partners and 4,500 lawyers. Hello Zuidas caught up with Managing Partner Willem Hoorneman to talk about their move to the Atrium building and to ask how CMS sees its future there.

When quarters at the firm's old premises in the Mondriaan Tower started getting too cramped for comfort, CMS immediately set its sights on Zuidas. 'The Atrium is one of the oldest buildings in Zuidas, but it's been modernized with the addition of these new towers. It's brilliant to work at such a beautiful, well-connected and new location, with a view of the courthouse as an added bonus.'


In early September, CMS traded its o ice at the Amstel for the Atrium, where the firm was greeted by an impressive refurbishment. 'From day one', says Hoorneman, 'everyone was excited about this new location. We made a conscious choice to keep the whole interior open and transparent. That was quite a change for a lot of people, but now we have more interaction, which is great. It's also convenient for our sta and lawyers in Utrecht, who can come to work at the hot desks here. The idea of each person having an o ice that's o limits to everybody else is antiquated - those days are over.'


Settled now at its new premises, the firm is conti- nuing its steady path to growth. According to Hoor- neman, CMS, with its o ices around the globe all intensively collaborating, is one of a kind among law firms. This is borne out in various ways, one being their relationship with clients. 'One of our core values is a client-centred approach, providing assistance that's tailored to specific sectors. For example, we have a group of lawyers devoted to life sciences, hotels, insurance, energy. Each sector has been as- signed its own, dedicated sta . They know the ropes and speak the language and understand exactly where those clients are coming from, so clients get maximum support in the areas where they need it.'


Hoorneman has seen quite a few things change at the firm over time. He joined CMS almost 28 years ago, back when he was seeking a position in intellectual property law and patents. Hoorneman found it at CMS and never le . He went on to write the patent law chapters in the authoritative handbook on so ware protection in the Netherlands, and later expanded his practice into copyright and trademark law. Since be- coming managing partner, he has had less time for li- tigation, but from time to time he can still be found in the courtroom. Recently he argued a case on whether the iconic Rubik's Cube is copyright-protected.


Looking towards the future, Hoorneman sees a bright future for CMS. 'I foresee significant growth in the time ahead, and I also think that we'll take on increasingly larger cases and larger transactions for big projects. Maybe in another ten years we'll have outgrown our o ices again.' Fortunately, Zuidas is growing too!


Willem Hoorneman is a member of the IP/TMC Practice Group at CMS and leads its Life Sciences Practice Group. With almost 25 years' experience in IP law, and as author of the patent law section of the main Dutch handbook on so ware law, Willem is regarded as an expert IP lawyer and one of the best in the field of patent law. He feels equally at home in other fields of IP practice, and for many years was the editor- in-chief of BMM Bulletin, a journal on Benelux and European trademark and design law.