International law firm Bird & Bird assists companies going through changes in the technological or digital world. Hello Zuidas is pleased to introduce two of the newest arrivals to the growing group of practices in Amsterdam: Tjibbe Douma, an intellectual property lawyer with a focus on patents and trade secrets, joined Bird & Bird as a partner in early 2021, and Roger van Buuren, who’s been a finance partner at Bird & Bird for just over a year and advises on project financing, mainly in renewable energy and technology & communications.
Bird & Bird has a constantly evolving sector-focused approach, with a focus on sectors like technology & communications, digital infrastructure, energy and life sciences, ‘’Each partner has extensive specialization to really get to grips with a case. And that knowledge is clearly in demand’’, says Roger. Tjibbe adds, ‘’Because of its focus on technology, Bird & Bird is in a position to know these sectors and the issues affecting them, and to appropriately apply that knowledge. We take a creative approach to matters, take on board the commercial interests of the client and start out from: What do we want to accomplish, and what’s the best way to do it?’’
Since Tjibbe Douma came on board, Bird & Bird now has five partners working on intellectual property, four focusing specifically on patents. That makes them a force to be reckoned with in the Dutch market. Plus, all have individual expertise to best serve their clients. Tjibbe explains, ‘’One of my main reasons for joining Bird & Bird is its focus on technology, and Bird & Bird being an established and high regarded firm in particular on IP. Bird & Bird further struck me as an entrepreneurial firm at the intersection of technology and law. It’s essential that we share the same vision on the future of European patent law with our European patent partners. Clients can turn to me for strategic advice as well as for me to represent them in legal proceedings. These are proceedings before the Dutch courts and the European Patent Office and I have ample experience with multi-jurisdictional matters in particular also with parallel proceedings in the US.’’
Truly international firm
Roger van Buuren characterizes Bird & Bird as a truly international firm. It has a transnational network which has many advantages (such as the availability of expertise and flexibility to advise in multiple jurisdictions) and a personal client approach. The distance between partners and clients remains relatively small. With over 20 years’ experience in private practice and as an in-house lawyer at a Dutch bank, Roger specialised in skills to bring commercial functions together in finance transactions. ‘’In my move to Bird & Bird’’, says Roger, ‘’there was mutual synergy to combine knowledge. As a finance partner, I mainly advice on project finance transactions in the renewable energy sector – such as solar, wind park, heat transportation – and in infrastructure with a telecom focus (such as financing of optic fibre networks). This knowledge is vital for good teamwork with my (international) specialists.’’
Even in the midst of the pandemic, work is powering ahead at Bird & Bird. This also includes Covid-19 related work; Tjibbe for example is advising a Dutch company developing a new Covid-19 test and Roger advises multiple clients on COVID-related financing arrangements. Both partners affirm that, despite the crisis, many companies are making the switch to new technology. On top of that, the climate transition is ramping up investments in renewable energy projects like solar and wind parks. ‘’We work with many long-term projects’’, says Roger. ‘’The virus has no bearing on infrastructure, and the large amount of work being done online is fuelling demand for digital knowledge.’’ Nevertheless, the partners note that personal contact shouldn’t be underestimated. Tjibbe concludes, ‘’We hope to be able to welcome clients again soon to meet over coffee or lunch at our office in Amsterdam. Our practice groups always have a team of specialists ready to help and answer any questions.’’