Q&A with Dr Fiona Pringle, Lexology Client Choice Award winner

News  \  16 Nov 2022

Dr Fiona Pringle is the 2022 Lexology Client Choice winner for Intellectual Property - Patent Agents & Attorneys (New Zealand). With over 2,500 legal practitioners nominated by their clients for the award, Fiona’s experience, know-how and excellent client service stood out from the crowd.

Fiona is a Principal in AJ Park’s Wellington Chembio team and has over 15 years of experience in her field. Primarily working in the life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, she leverages her expertise to help clients turn their ideas into assets.

We sat down with Fiona to learn more about the Lexology Client Choice Award winner. 

Can you tell us about your role as a patent specialist?

I remember when I first became aware of the patent attorney profession – I helped out at a careers day for PhD students when I was a post-doctoral research fellow in the United States and saw a presentation by a patent attorney. It stuck with me, and after spending a brief time as a science policy analyst for a government department on my return to New Zealand, I started my career in intellectual property with Baldwins Intellectual Property in 2005. During my time at Baldwins, I qualified as a patent attorney, gained a law degree and worked my way up to being the team leader for the Chembio patent team. When Baldwins was acquired by AJ Park in 2020, I became a Principal in the Chembio team in Wellington. I work with a talented team with a wide variety of knowledge and experience and that makes my role a real pleasure.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I mainly focus on patent prosecution in New Zealand and Australia, so a lot of my time is spent reviewing examination reports, providing advice for clients to help them address objections, and responding to examination reports.

However, there’s not really a “typical day” as I also work with plant variety right applicants, am a “go to” person for questions about the quirks of New Zealand and Australian patent prosecution and mentor new attorneys.

You were recently recognised as a winner for patents at the Lexology Client Choice Awards. Can you tell us about this achievement, and other proud achievements in your career?

This award was a real surprise since I didn’t know I had been nominated by a corporate counsel client. I strive to provide excellent service and advice, so I’m really flattered and grateful to receive an award which recognised this. I’ve also been named in previous editions of Who’s Who Legal and in Best Lawyers in New Zealand for Biotechnology Law. 

Other proud achievements in my career are getting good outcomes for clients when appearing before the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand in hearings challenging objections that have been raised during patent prosecution. However, the thing I am most proud of is seeing the progress of people I have mentored as they qualify as patent attorneys and start making their mark.

What are your interests outside of work?

I live up the Kāpiti Coast from Wellington city, so like to spend time outdoors with my partner and our not-so-little puppy.  The puppy is just over a year old and has a better social life than I do (as well as more of a social media presence).  I also enjoy sampling the excellent food and craft beer of the Wellington region. There are so many places to choose from, it is hard to find time!  At home, I pamper our 15 year old cat (who was not a big fan of the puppy’s arrival) and like to read, garden and generally potter in the Kāpiti sunshine.


Dr Fiona Pringle is an expert in her field and it’s fantastic to see this recognised. With a BSc, LLB and PhD, Fiona is passionate about what she does which shines through to her colleagues, peers and clients.


About the Lexology Client Choice Awards

Established in 2005, Client Choice recognises those law firm partners around the world that stand apart for the excellent client care they provide and the quality of their service. The criteria for this recognition focuses on an ability to add real value to clients' business above and beyond the other players in the market. Uniquely, law firm partners can be nominated only by corporate counsel. View full list of award winners here.

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