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Colleen Cavanagh

Colleen Cavanagh


AJ Park Law Limited, Auckland

With 30 years’ experience in advising multinational and local New Zealand clients, Colleen has the skills and expertise to help businesses manage and protect their trade mark portfolios across the globe. 


With a career track record spanning over three decades, Colleen has considerable experience advising clients on their brand development, trade mark portfolio management, and global intellectual property (IP) protection strategies. She works with clients in a range of industry sectors such as FMCG, pharmaceuticals, insurance, finance, retail and fashion.

Colleen offers expert advice to businesses of all sizes, from multinational corporations, such as Fonterra, to small and medium businesses operating locally in New Zealand and abroad. Her extensive experience also includes other areas of the law such as fair trading, passing off and copyright.


An ability to build strong, lasting relationships with her clients has seen Colleen work with several generations of business owners from the same family. That ongoing involvement with her clients means they not only connect on a business level but also develop long friendships. 

‘Building enduring relationships and working with great people is really rewarding. Helping my clients is what I’m most proud of in my career. One of my passions is helping SMEs make good decisions about their brand management—maximising their options for protection within their budget. I love seeing those small businesses grow.’


Colleen first joined AJ Park in the early 1980s. She trained as a patent attorney and went on to become the firm’s first female partner. She left after 17 years to raise her young children before taking on a part-time role at a boutique IP firm. After a decade managing the trade mark team of a large commercial law firm, she returned to AJ Park in 2014, and rejoined the partnership the following year.

Pragmatic, down-to-earth and conscientious, Colleen has never been afraid of hard work and has reaped the rewards in her career path and working relationships.

Beyond work

Colleen keeps fit by doing Pilates, power walking and going to the gym. Reading and spending time with family and friends at her Waiheke Island beach house are her favourite ways to relax. She has two adult sons—one recently graduated from university, the other is currently studying law.


Collen's recent accolades include being:

  • selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best LawyersTM in New Zealand 2020 in the field of IP law
  • recognised by her peers as being amongst the world’s best and brightest IP practitioners in the WIPR Leaders 2019 handbook
  • quoted as having ‘vast experience’ and ‘easy to draw inspiration from’ in the 2019 edition of the WTR 1000
  • acknowledged for having more than 30 years’ experience in trade marks and for regularly assisting clients in the pharmaceutical, financial and retail sectors in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019.


  • LLB, Victoria University of Wellington (1982)
  • Admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • Registered Patent Attorney (New Zealand and Australia)
  • Trade Marks Attorney (Australia)


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