Fiona MacDonald

Commercialisation specialist and senior associate Fiona MacDonald provides business advice to clients across a diverse range of industries, but specialises in biotechnology and IT.

Expertise

A member of AJ Park’s commercial team, Fiona advises clients on commercialising their intellectual property. Her role includes drafting, advising on and negotiating agreements for transfers and the licensing of patents, trade marks, copyright, plant variety rights and other related assets.

Qualified to act in New Zealand and New South Wales, Australia, she provides advice to businesses operating in both countries. These range from individual inventors looking to commercialise their innovations to multinational corporates across industries as diverse as food, biotechnology and IT.

Working style

While no stranger to large corporate deals, Fiona says many of her career highlights to date focus around working with passionate owners of small and medium-sized businesses, and seeing them reach their goals. She’s helped New Zealand growers broker licensing deals in Europe for a new fruit variety, has overseen the sale of a boutique beer brand to a large multinational, and has drawn up agreements for a franchise business branching into new territory.

I love helping clients make a business out of their cutting-edge technologies. My work is incredibly varied and often sees me devising solutions for challenging new problems, so my days are never the same.

Honest and forthright, Fiona wears her heart on her sleeve and says it’s hard not to become emotionally invested in her clients’ endeavours when they put everything in to achieve success and follow their dreams. 

Background

Before joining AJ Park in 2012, Fiona worked in Melbourne, first at a boutique IP firm and then spent three years at Allens Arthur Robinson (now Allens Linklaters) in its telecommunications, media and technology group. She subsequently joined the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) working on research collaborations and commercialisation agreements with industry and research partners.

As well as being a qualified solicitor, Fiona has degrees in biological sciences and psychology from the University of Auckland, so it’s no surprise she enjoys getting to grips with her clients’ technologies.

Outside the office

Food, travel, music and photography are among Fiona’s passions. Her travel adventures include an African safari, walking the Inca trail, cruising in Antarctica and visiting the Galapagos Islands. Since becoming a mum, she enjoys spending time reading, exploring and running about with (and after) her toddler.  

Team

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