Colleen Cavanagh

Colleen brings over 30 years' experience in advising multinational and local clients in relation to their intellectual property.

Colleen has recently rejoined the partnership. She was a partner at AJ Park for nine years in the 1990s, and in 2014 she returned to the firm as a consultant after 11 years overseeing the non-contentious trade mark practice of a large New Zealand law firm.

Colleen has extensive experience in trade mark portfolio management and related areas of law, including fair trading, passing off, and copyright.


Colleen's areas of expertise include:

  • advising on trade mark availability and protection, including clearance searching and filing trade mark applications
  • prosecution of trade mark applications from filing to registration in New Zealand and worldwide
  • IP due diligence and auditing
  • drafting and interpreting IP agreements
  • managing IP portfolios including advising on strategies for brand implementation and maintenance
  • trade mark opposition and invalidity/revocation proceedings
  • advising on strategies for maintaining integrity of brands
  • domain names
  • advising on and implementing Customs notices to combat counterfeiting
  • trade mark licensing issues.


Colleen has over 30 years' experience in advising clients in a wide variety of industry sectors, including fast moving consumer goods, household products, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, insurance, finance, retail, and fashion.

Colleen helped us develop a strategy that worked within our budget. It's been a long and sometimes painful process, but in hindsight it was a hugely valuable exercise. If we'd invested all this time, resource and capital to get to market and then realised we couldn't use our mark, it would've all been for nothing.

DanielMcLaughlin, co-founder of Rogue Society

Other credentials

In 2017, Colleen was featured in the World Trademark Review (WTR) 1000 rankings. The publication noted that 'few have as much substantive IP experience as three-decade veteran Colleen Cavanagh. As an integral consultant to the group, Cavanagh is a prime choice for meticulous prosecution'.  

Colleen was also included in the Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017 guide as 'an experienced non-contentious IP practitioner with specialist expertise in trade marks'. She was also acknowledged for her practice advising domestic and overseas clients on international portfolio management.


In 2016, Colleen was recognised by peers as being amongst the world’s best and brightest in IP private practice. Named in the WIPR Leaders 2016 publication, Colleen joins the ‘leaders club’ of the world’s top trade mark lawyers. 

Colleen was recognised by Chambers Global 2010 as a leading IP lawyer with particular expertise in trade mark, brand protection and copyright with the statement that 'commentators note her high-quality approach and advice'.

Client stories

That's the spirit!

Three Kiwi guys are building a business around their passion and looking to fly the flag for Kiwi gin. Protecting their unique brand has been a top priority.


Click 'Team' to see other members of my practice group.