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Craig Rothwell

Senior Associate
Auckland craigr@jaws.co.nz
64 9 914 6740

Craig Rothwell is a Senior Associate in our Auckland Patents Team.  He combines his extensive engineering experience with his knowledge of patent law to help his clients maximise the value of their intellectual property.

Craig works with his clients to secure patent and design protection, including developing filing strategies, drafting and prosecuting patent and design applications, and providing patentability and freedom to operate advice.  He has a strong engineering background with a focus on mechanical engineering and hydraulic and electrical control systems, having worked in the steel industry here in New Zealand as well as the subsea oil industry in London and Aberdeen.  

Craig has experience working in building and construction, healthcare, the primary industries, and manufacturing, with a focus on mechanical and electrical fields of technology, and including inventions implemented in software.

Outside of work, Craig loves spending time with his family, and making the most of the outdoors by fishing, diving, spear fishing, swimming and surfing. 


Qualifications and memberships

  • Bachelor of Technology (Engineering & Automation) (Honours) from Massey University
  • Bachelor of Laws from The University of Auckland
  • Registered Patent Attorney - New Zealand & Australia
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand 
  • Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys (NZIPA)
  • Member of the New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) 

Industry specialty

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Software
  • Automation 


  • Patents
  • Designs
  • Freedom to operate
  • Intellectual property strategy
  • Portfolio management
  • Education
  • Due diligence
  • Commercialisation
  • Competitive intelligence


Prior to joining James & Wells, Craig worked at another leading intellectual property law firm, and has been a registered patent attorney since 2010.  Prior to working in intellectual property, Craig was a Production Engineer in the steel industry in New Zealand, and a Controls Systems Engineer in the subsea oil industry in the United Kingdom.