What do CrossFit, trade marks and te reo Māori have in common? These are all things that AJ Park Paralegal Morgan Cross is passionate about and has experienced success in.
Morgan first joined AJ Park in February 2014. She initially applied for the office assistant role but, recognising her skills, was told she would be suited for the Trade Mark Assistant role in Jonathan Aumonier-Wards team. In the past nine years, Morgan has supported various people in the firm, raised two beautiful children and gained her NZLS Legal Executive Diploma, among other milestones.
To keep herself in-check, Morgan gets up at 4.50am each day for CrossFit training. Inspired by those around her, she can deadlift 100kg and squat 80kg, however just making it out of bed and to the gym each morning is what she considers her personal best.
Affiliated to Ngati Ruanui and Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Morgan has completed her level 2 and 3 te reo Māori course. AJ Park currently has 20 employees completing their level 1, so Morgan is doing a refresher alongside her colleagues to support the initiative.
Morgan's tenacity sees her striving for 110% in everything she does. As a result, she's been a vital fixture and a solid part of the AJ Park whanau for over nine years!
What are you most proud of in your role?
My favourite success stories include getting the trade mark MINERAL in Australia after three attempts, and objections for one of my favourite clients Alphapals (trade marks include ALPHAPALS, ALPHALAND, ALPHAWORLD). I also love overcoming objections where we told the client we had little chance of success (say less than 40%). It feels great to get awesome results like that.
Generally, I love when you get a successful outcome for a client, as you need to dig deep to develop something new for your objection!
Which clients do you like working with the most?
I get to work with so many fantastic clients, but here are three moments with clients that stand out the most:
- Spark – I'd just started at AJ Park when Telecom changed their name to Spark. As an assistant, I remember filing 40 applications for Spark, which had to be filed by 5.00pm before the public announcement. It was thrilling and was just the start of my love for working in trade marks.
- Karma Drinks – simply because I love seeing their progression as a business, and knowing we have been part of that is awesome. They have a great product that I love, and are just good people!
- Treetech – the first client I met in person.
What makes the trade mark team shine?
We care about our clients, and we're incredibly responsive. We have a high volume, high-intensity prosecution practice where clients require urgent due diligence searching or pre-filing clearance searching. Jonathan has instilled in the team to return to clients promptly, which is always appreciated.
We often get great feedback from clients, and they tend to file based on the advice we give them, which is great. Our team is quick to know the answers for clients and good at filtering it down to the key information that matters.
We have a lot of experience across our team, which is excellent to work with.
In addition, because there is a high tenure across the group, there is minimal disruption, and we retain a consistently strong team.
You're very family-orientated. Tell us about your family.
Yes, managing a work-life balance is important to me and I’m lucky that AJ Park has supported me to achieve this.
I met my husband, Neil, in the UK while travelling. After spending six years there, we got married and decided to come to Wellington, New Zealand, to start the next chapter of our lives. In 2016 I had my daughter Florence and in 2020 my son Ash. Both have similar personalities which keeps me on my feet – outgoing, fiery, energetic, and cheeky.
In 2022 we moved to Christchurch for the lifestyle. It was a hard decision as my parents are in Wellington. But they missed their mokopuna so much that they ended up following us to Christchurch, so the kids get to spend lots of time with their grandparents.
What keeps you busy in the weekend?
As a family who love the outdoors, we spend most of our time outside. Whether it be walking or cycling in the Port Hills during summer or skiing in the winter, our weekends are usually jam-packed.
We're also lucky to have a group of friends with kids similar ages to ours (three and seven), so we tend to spend time with them over a BBQ where the kids can all play.