De Kempenaer - since 1816
De Kempenaer is one of the oldest law firms in the Netherlands. As long ago as 1816 Jacob Mattheus de Kempenaer (1793-1870) set himself up as a lawyer in Arnhem; the start of a notable career.
Jacob was a passionate person and heavily involved in social and political life. He was active as a councillor, a member of the Provincial Council, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, church guardian in the Dutch Reformed Church, a member of the Lower House and State Advocate of Gelderland.
In 1844 he was one of the ‘Negenmannen’ who, under the leadership of statesman Thorbecke, took the initiative for Constitutional Reform. He was part of the Thorbecke Constitution Committee and as Minister of Foreign Affairs played a key role in bringing about constitutional reform.
Committed indeed; he was a presence both on the national stage and in his Arnhem practice. Always close by, approachable and seeking to establish a bond. In this respect, little has changed at De Kempenaer Advocaten in the past 200 years.