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Partner Interview - Petra Heemskerk

Annual Review 2017-2018

June 2018

What will be the most important market trend affecting your clients’ sector over the next 12 months?

Mobility has always been important to the Netherlands from a social and economic perspective. Being a densely populated country we are constantly challenged by congestion and accessibility. This requires us to constantly rethink our views on
how we organise our infrastructure: the movement of goods and public transport. In recent years, this has expanded to interconnected transport and infrastructure. This involves not only the automotive and transport industries, but also players in
the telecommunications and IT sectors. More traditional industries, such as real estate, are also driving developments in areas such as smart cities and smart buildings. This ‘connected’ approach necessitates out-of-the-box thinking and, as a result, innovative legal solutions.

What has been your most memorable day as a lawyer?

My first day in the office was at the age of 22. My senior partner did not ask me to answer a difficult legal question but instead summoned me to go to the store and buy food for his cat. I was quite nervous driving his Audi cabriolet so decided to smoke a cigarette in the car to calm down and accidentally burnt a hole in the roof of the car.

If you weren’t a lawyer, how would you earn your living?

I would have become a vicar. Not so much for the biblical part of the profession but because vicars are like lawyers, as both get to talk to, and help, people. Both also get to perform in front of an audience trying to convince them that they are telling the truth.

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