The fact that Baker & McKenzie could move into offices that do credit to their corporate identity was a deciding factor for making the move from the Hirsch building in the heart of Amsterdam to the prestigious Zuidas business district. Baker & McKenzie House is a true eye-catcher here, with its red brick façade and green roof.
Looking out through the entrance to the building, Fred de Hosson, Managing Partner at Baker & McKenzie Amsterdam, points to the café next door. “Oliver’s is a very popular spot where many of our employees enjoy a drink after work. It gets especially lively late on Friday afternoons, when the young professionals come to relax after a hard week.”
Nevertheless, Oliver’s is just one of the many cafés and restaurants here. “Bolenius is one of my favourite places around here for a business lunch”, Fred de Hosson continues. It’s the businesses that have established themselves here in the last few years that make the Zuidas district so cosmopolitan and dynamic. With a variety of restaurants, sports clubs, shops, apartments, several child day-care centres and five hotels, the Zuidas has become more than just a triple-A business location. It’s also a place where people like to live. To make it an even more attractive location for people to spend their leisure time, the Zuidas will continue to develop and grow according to the needs of its inhabitants, visitors and business users.
For Baker & McKenzie, the exceptional accessibility of the Zuidas was of paramount importance for the decision to move. “Our practice is truly international, and our lawyers travel frequently. It’s a big plus for us that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is just 6 minutes away by train.” The nearby Amsterdam Zuid train station is fast becoming Amsterdam’s main international railway station. At the same time, Amsterdam’s famous historical city centre and canals are just a few minutes away by tram.
It’s no wonder that over 400 companies have chosen to set up shop here. “This really is the corporate heart of Amsterdam, with law firms, banks and consultants all rubbing shoulders”, adds De Hosson. The clustering of so many financial and professional service providers also creates a strategic advantage for businesses based here, accelerating their growth through the efficiencies of ready access to key advisers. Not surprisingly, the Zuidas is home to many international head offices.
The international culture that’s evident inside Baker & McKenzie House doesn’t end when you leave the building. With more than 35 nationalities working here, the entire Zuidas has a cosmopolitan vibe. This in turn attracts talented, highly-educated workers from all over the globe to live and work here. To help them to feel at home, and to contribute to making it a vibrant, accessible and safe district, Baker & McKenzie has joined the Hello Zuidas initiative, and is actively involved in community activities such as the Zuidas Run.