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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.

Qualifications and memberships

  • 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


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). 

But don't take our word for it

"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

“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