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Our story

James & Wells are the champions of Kiwi innovation. 

Starting out with just one patent attorney in 1979, James & Wells has since grown to be New Zealand’s dominant independent intellectual property firm. With offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch, we assist businesses throughout the country to own, control and leverage their brands and innovations. 

James & Wells’ reason for being is to support innovative Kiwi businesses - helping them grow locally and internationally. We are experts in all aspects of intellectual property, but we  go the extra mile to provide clients with connections to the right people, funding and investment opportunities, and offer strategic business advice. We facilitate valuable networking events and educate on the use of intellectual property rights to grow business. That’s why we are the ‘Champions of Innovation’. 

We have the largest and most formidable intellectual property litigation team in New Zealand; we employ leading experts in all major technical fields and are the go-to firm for doing business in Asia; we are a top ranked patent and trade mark filer in New Zealand and have won many prestigious international awards. As authors of New Zealand’s most comprehensive legal text on intellectual property law, we are the Number One authority on New Zealand intellectual property matters.

Talk to us to see how we can help. 


Industry recognition

Working with James & Wells

To add real value we need to know your business from the inside out. So we have to ask a lot of questions.

Our ‘Enquiry meeting information sheet’ was designed to make the getting-to-know-you stage of our relationship easier from the start

Before we can indulge in the interesting stuff (finding out about your innovation), we have to do some business house keeping. We need to make sure we have your correct details on our ‘Account application form’ and that we are working with the right parties.

Our ‘Terms of engagement’ defines how we will work together. We apologise that it is so lengthy, the Law Society makes us do it. However, getting these formalities out of the way at the very start means we are free to concentrate on your business needs.

Thank you for your patience.

Partnership structure

James & Wells is the trading style of two separate partnerships, James & Wells Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys and James & Wells Lawyers.

All of the partners of James & Wells Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys are registered patent attorneys and subject to the Code of Practice and disciplinary procedure of the Institute of Patent Attorneys.

Similarly, all of the partners of James & Wells Lawyers are lawyers and, therefore, subject to the ethical constraints and disciplinary procedures of the New Zealand Law Society. Some of our partners are both registered patent attorneys and lawyers and are a partner in both practices.

A detailed breakdown of the respective partnerships is as follows:

James & Wells Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys

Ceri Wells Registered Patent Attorney Barrister & Solicitor
Ian Finch Registered Patent Attorney Barrister & Solicitor
Jason Rogers Registered Patent Attorney Barrister & Solicitor
Carrick Robinson Registered Patent Attorney  
Tim Walden Registered Patent Attorney Barrister & Solicitor
Gus Hazel Registered Patent Attorney Barrister & Solicitor
Jonathan Lucas Registered Patent Attorney  

James & Wells Lawyers

Ceri Wells Barrister & Solicitor Registered Patent Attorney
Ian Finch Barrister & Solicitor Registered Patent Attorney
Jason Rogers Barrister & Solicitor Registered Patent Attorney
Tim Walden Barrister & Solicitor Registered Patent Attorney 

For your security, money received from you or on your behalf for matters relating to reserved areas of work, other than in payment of invoices which we have already issued, will be held in a trust account operated by James & Wells Lawyers.

It has been necessary for us to adopt this dual partnership structure in order to comply with the requirements of the Lawyers & Conveyancers Act 2006 and the Patents Acts 2013, each of which reserves particular areas of work for lawyers and registered patent attorneys.

Generally speaking, all work associated with a patent will be conducted, or supervised, by a registered patent attorney. All work, generally speaking, related to an infringement of your rights, legal proceedings etc, will be conducted, or supervised, by a lawyer. Any other work is likely to be conducted, or supervised, by a person who is either a registered patent attorney or a lawyer (and possibly both).

If you are in any doubt as to whether the person you are dealing with is a lawyer or registered patent attorney, please feel free to clarify this with them, their supervising partner, or by accessing their qualifications via the "Meet the team" section of this website.