Q&A with Thomas Huthwaite, recently named in NZ Lawyer’s Rising Star List

News  \  8 Mar 2022

Thomas Huthwaite was recently named in NZ Lawyer’s Rising Star List. He is a talented lawyer and emerging leader in the IP litigation space. With an impressive resume, Thomas has represented clients at all levels of the New Zealand Courts from High Court through to Supreme Court, and the New Zealand and Australian Intellectual Property Offices. He has represented clients before the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre, and the New Zealand Dispute Resolution Service.


Described by his colleagues as being ‘too nice to be a litigation lawyer, until you see him in action’, Thomas is a calm, confident, and exceptional lawyer treading his own unique path in the litigation space.


Can you tell us about your role at AJ Park?

I’m a Senior Associate in AJ Park’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution team, specialising in intellectual property (IP) enforcement and dispute resolution for all types of IP: trade marks, copyrights, patents, and designs. I’ve acted for some of the world’s biggest and best-known brand owners to enforce their rights, defended local companies from overzealous claims, and helped individual creators in need of practical guidance. Whether by way of negotiation, litigation, or other official resolution channels, I’m here to help with clients’ IP woes.


Tell us about a key turning point where you decided a career in law was for you?

I only truly committed to a career in law after I discovered IP. Before that, I was on the fence as to whether to pursue the sciences, academia, or law. A summer clerkship with Baldwins (now AJ Park) had me hooked on IP litigation, in my first week observing a contentious hearing involving a particularly well-known ‘crocodile’ brand. More than 11 years later, I’m still working with that same brand owner, and still just as enthusiastic about the role.

A summer clerkship with Baldwins (now AJ Park) had me hooked on IP litigation

What do you enjoy about your job?

The intellectual challenge is one of the main attractions. I think there are few jobs that allow for the same combination of intellectual skills across language, reasoning, persuasion, science, and creativity. But, most of all, I enjoy problem solving for others. How best to resolve a dispute, protect an invention or creative expression, or otherwise strengthen your position for the future.


What are your career ambitions?

I aspire to be a globally trusted name for IP advice.


What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I’m passionate about art, photography, and local hospitality. When not at work, I’ll likely be spending time with my family – seeking out the Wellington region sights, events, and latest eateries, often with camera in hand.

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