I am a barrister practising from Sangro Chambers in Auckland. I have specialised in intellectual property litigation and commercial disputes for over 20 years.
Intellectual property experience
I have extensive specialist expertise in relation to intellectual property disputes, both as an advocate and adjudicator. I was an Assistant Commissioner of Trade Marks and Patents with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) from 2013 until returning to private practice in 2019. In that role, I regularly decided cases about registrability of trade marks and patents, trade mark similarity and related matters such as applications for revocation and declarations of invalidity.
I have been a member of the Copyright Tribunal since 2012, and determined the first case file-sharing infringement case when its jurisdiction was expanded. I am currently Deputy Chair of the Copyright Tribunal, although this does not affect my ability to advise and act on copyright infringement matters.
Community and pro bono
I have been a trustee of the Waiheke Budgeting Service since 2016. I act on pro bono and reduced-fee terms (on a case by case basis) for community groups and individuals who are unable to afford private client rates.
Background and qualifications
I graduated from the University of Auckland with an LLB (Hons) and BA in Japanese in 1999. During my undergraduate degree I received various university prizes including F W de la Mare Memorial Prize for top Part III law student 1997-1998 (awarded biennially) and senior prizes in law and Japanese. I completed a first class Master of Laws at the University of Auckland in 2012. I am currently enrolled in a Postgraduate Diploma in Bioethics and Health Law at the University of Otago.
I began my legal career with Russell McVeagh, and then spent two years working as a junior barrister for Andrew Brown QC. I spent two years at Ashurst in London and practised as a barrister from 2006 until 2011.
In addition to regularly attending seminars and conferences relating to IP and litigation, I have completed various advanced advocacy courses including the NZLS Expert Witness course (2018), the Resolution Institute’s 5 day course on mediation (2017) and the Australian Bar Association’s Advanced Advocacy 1 week residential course (2010).
Seminars and publications
I am frequently invited to present conference papers and seminars on intellectual property matters. Recent presentations include:
- “A Spotlight on Trade Mark Opposition Procedures” (Legalwise Trade Marks and Commercial IP Protection conference, Auckland, 2019)
- “Section 40: Are we following Europe or not?” (IPTA annual conference, Gold Coast, Australia, 2019)
- “Patent support, sufficiency and a change of direction” (IPSANZ Auckland and Wellington, 2019)
- “Copyright law in New Zealand” (PRINZ webinar, 2019)
- Panel discussion on IPONZ hearings (NZIPA annual conference, Wellington, 2018)
- “New Zealand Patent Opposition and Case Law Round Up” (IPTA annual conference, Perth, Australia, 2017)
- Various seminars to law firms and patent attorney firms
I am an author of the copyright section of the leading text Intellectual Property Law (LexisNexis New Zealand), and contributed a chapter to the text Therapeutic Jurisprudence: New Zealand Perspectives (Thomson Reuters, 2015). My article “Swallowing the Red Pill: Sufficiency and the New Fragility of Patent Protection” was published in IPSANZ’s journal IP Forum in June 2019.
I hold the following professional memberships:
- New Zealand Law Society – currently practising as a barrister sole
- Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand (IPSANZ)
- Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association
- New Zealand Bar Association
- New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys (Associate member)
- Lawyers for Climate Action New Zealand
- Resolution Institute (formerly LEADR)