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Gus Hazel


Gus is one of New Zealand’s most experienced intellectual property lawyers and is responsible for the Auckland Litigation Team. His experience includes litigation at all levels of the New Zealand and Australian systems, alternative dispute resolution procedures (mediation and arbitration), commercialisation, regulatory issues and administrative law. 

In addition to traditional intellectual property and associated areas of law he has particular experience with litigation and regulatory matters concerning hazardous substances, agricultural chemicals, and veterinary medicines. 

Gus is ranked in Intellectual Asset Management’s IAM Patent 1000, recommended for patent litigation and transactions, and is also featured in NZ Lawyer's 2016 Hot List (a guide detailing the who's who of New Zealand law).

In his down time, Gus can be found in the wilderness mountaineering. He also enjoys a well -rounded whisky and has an interest in photography. .

Qualifications and memberships

  • Bachelor of Science-Australian National University
  • Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) -Australian National University
  • Registered Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High and Federal Courts of Australia
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory
  • Member of the New Zealand Law Society and the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand. 

Industry specialty

  • Building materials/construction technology
  • Domestic design
  • Agribusiness
  • Creative/Design/Media
  • Food and beverage
  • Natural products
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical
  • Clean technology
  • Electronics
  • Health technology
  • ICT - software
  • Mechanical


  • Copyright
  • E-commerce and domain names 
  • Confidential information and trade secrets
  • Information sharing
  • Commercialisation
  • Litigation
  • Anti-counterfeiting 
  • Fair trading in New Zealand
  • Domain name disputes
  • Alternative dispute resolution


Gus has acted in many New Zealand High Court copyright matters, from a wide array of industrial copyright disputes to successful urgent proceedings on allegations of copyright infringement, breach of confidence and breach of contract in connection with software development and outsourcing. Gus has recently been involved in a series of landmark cases concerning copyright infringement in relation to furniture: his work in the Plantation Grown Timbers v ESR case in particular has been watched with worldwide interest.

Gus has also been involved in the first cases before IP Australia and the Federal Court of Australia under the “Raising The Bar” Amendments to the Australian Patents Act, acting for United States Gypsum (USG).

Prior to joining James & Wells, Gus was an Associate to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, a lecturer at Monash University Law School in Melbourne, and worked with other leading law firms.

He has represented clients at all levels of the New Zealand and Australian Court systems and before various tribunals and non-judicial authorities, from the District, High, Court of Appeal and Supreme Courts in New Zealand, to the Federal, Supreme and High Court in Australia, as well as before the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ), IP Australia, and the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) / Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

But don't take our word for it

"Intellectual property disputes and the attendant litigation are seldom easy or pleasant experiences. Ben and Gus prepared and presented four cases  simultaneously before the DRS on our behalf in which we prevailed and then negotiated a complex partnership dissolution without resorting to the High Court. My Company’s experience with James & Wells was exemplary and we are best pleased with the results they achieved on our behalf.”

Dave Kenyon, Director

“Gus and Sébastien are currently helping us enforce our intellectual property rights in the courts.  They have applied their strong expertise in confidential information and industrial copyright law to our highly technical products and our unique situation.  This has given us the confidence to take the necessary steps to protect our most valuable assets.”

Tony Messenger, Founder and Director

"Sebastien and Gus recently obtained a great result for me and my business.  Their negotiation skills were key in finding a commercial solution to a high-stake contractual dispute and avoiding the need for expensive litigation.  I was most impressed with their dedication to finding a commercially savvy solution which suited my interests.  I highly recommend the Dispute Resolution Team at James & Wells to anyone in a difficult situation and needing strategic advice on how to go about resolving it.  The key to cost effective solutions is to involve James & Wells early in the process.  This prevented the situation from deteriorating and made it possible to quickly come to an agreement satisfactory to all parties.”

Dr. Bernd Kleinlagel, Director