0800 INNOV8
Home » Meet the team » Ian Finch

Ian Finch


You’d think being in the drivers seat of our Litigation team would keep Ian busy enough, but he’s also the General Editor of New Zealand’s leading text on intellectual property law, James & Wells Intellectual Property Law in New Zealand, immediate past-President of the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys,  and on the Board of one of New Zealand’s leading manufacturers of machines for heavy industry. Yeesh.

You don’t get a CV like Ian’s without pulling some long hours. But all work and no play makes Ian a dull boy, so he loves hanging out with his kids, mountain biking, fishing and car restoring. Yep, he’s just restored a 1961 Series II Sunbeam Alpine convertible to its former glory and is starting work on a 1955 Buick Riviera Special. Keep an eye out for them next time you’re cruising around the Tron.


  • LLB (Hons)
  • M.Com.Law (Hons)
  • Registered Patent Attorney - New Zealand and Australia
  • Barrister and Solicitor

Industry specialty

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


  • Copyright
  • Confidential information and trade secrets
  • Domain name disputes
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Fair trading in New Zealand
  • Litigation
  • Intellectual property strategy

Credentials & experience

Ian works out of our Hamilton office advising on the validity and infringement of patents, copyright and trade marks, as well as on trade secrets and consumer protection legislation. Like most of our owners he spent ages at Uni. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Master of Commercial Law (Hons), is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and a Registered Patent Attorney (New Zealand and Australia). 

Industry recognition

His rampant overachieving hasn’t gone unnoticed by the industry. 

He’s ranked amongst the World’s Top 1000 Patent Attorneys by influential publication Intellectual Asset Management, recieving a gold ranking for patent litigation and transactions. Ian was the sole top-tier ranked individual for patent litigation, out ranking not only practitioners from specialist intellectual property firms, but also from general law practices with IP divisions in New Zealand.  

He is also recommended by the World Trade Mark Review 1000 for enforcement and litigation, with judges commenting  "A prize fighter in the patent space, Ian Finch keeps the gloves on in branding disputes for household names and start-ups alike." and is featured on NZ Lawyer's 2015 Hot List (a guide detailing the who's who in New Zealand law'), recognised for his efforts 'leading the profession'. Ian is recognised as a leader in the field of intellectual property by the Chambers Asia Pacific 2016 Guide, rated by Managing Intellectual Property as an 'expert of experts' in the field of IP Law and is listed as a leading lawyer in the 2014 edition of Asia IP Experts for licensing and franchising, litigation and enforcement.

Ian was most recently ranked by World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) as a leader in IP private practice. 

But don't take our word for it

“As in-house counsel, I appreciate Ian's willingness to work directly with the business units to investigate facts, analyse complex issues, understand commercial objectives and deliver timely reliable counsel. Most importantly to me, he communicates his legal conclusions to business managers clearly and effectively, enabling them to manage risk and invest resources wisely.”

Lisa Soltis, Group Technology Counsel

"Ian Finch and his team expertly navigated us through the litigation process. By adopting a considered and systematic approach to the infringement and validity of the patent, they were able to convince the owner of the patent to withdraw the claim. The result was better than we could have expected had we pursued the matter to full trial and we can now move forward and grow our business with certainty.”

Ramendra Narayen, National Manager

"Although litigation is something best avoided, I would have no hesitation working with Ian and his team again and highly recommend others work with James & Wells for their intellectual property protection. Keep up the excellent work James & Wells.”

Kevin Chubb, Managing Director