Q&A with Amanda Griffiths, recently named in NZ Lawyer’s Elite Women List

News  \  18 Jan 2022

Amanda Griffiths was recently named in NZ Lawyer’s Elite Women List for ‘making great strides in shaping a new future for the legal sector’.

She was appointed as the Trade Marks Practice Group Leader (PGL) on 1 July 2020, in recognition of her people leadership skills and outstanding reputation as a practitioner. Amanda is AJ Park’s first woman in this role and leads a team of 60 staff across the Auckland and Wellington offices.

Characteristically humble about her accomplishments, Amanda has also been recognised as a leading lawyer by several publications, including IP’s Top 250 Women in IP 2021, Managing IP’s IP STARS list as a Trade mark star 2021 and The Legal 500's Asia-Pacific 2021 guide and elite 'leading lawyers' list.


Can you tell us about your role at AJ Park?

I started at AJ Park as an executive 15 years ago. During my time here, I’ve married, and had two children as well as come through the professional ranks. In my current role as Practice Group Leader of trade marks, I am responsible for the strategic direction of the trade marks group. 

In my time as PGL, I’ve driven the reorganisation of the trade marks group. The reorganisation means we can continue to provide a high standard of client service, while also provide group members with clear career pathways and opportunities. This has been the biggest transformation of the group in the time I have been at AJ Park.

A lot has changed in my twenty years of practice (I’m showing my age!). One of the most notable changes has been the diversity in our profession. Seeing more women in leadership roles both in our client businesses but also at AJ Park (in management and in our client facing roles) is encouraging but also overdue.  

I’m really excited to continue working with and mentoring our talented people.


With equality in the workplace being important to you, what are some of the things you’ve been involved in implementing?

The people who have supported my career have always made me feel like there has been no limit to what I can achieve - even if I’ve had a hard time believing it myself.  Not everyone is so fortunate so there’s a few initiatives I’ve been involved in implementing. The first is establishing the role of paralegal across the whole trade marks group. This gives our team members, such as assistants, the opportunity to grow and progress within the firm.

Secondly, I’m passionate about flexible working arrangements so everyone has the opportunity to balance work and interests/responsibilities outside of work.  Many years ago, I was one of the first in the firm to change my hours beyond the traditional 9-5 structure.  Since then, I’ve worked on rolling out our flexible working policy which all our team members can take advantage of.

“I’m passionate about flexible working arrangements so everyone has the opportunity to balance work and interests/responsibilities outside of work.”


What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I’m from South Australia (with a weird hybrid kiwi/Aussie twang as proof), so I love enjoying wine from my hometown with family and friends. I also like to think of myself as a bit of a baker, but the kids love it too so my role is now more supervisor, health and safety officer, and cleaner.

I’m on the board at my son’s school and I enjoy seeing what is needed for a school to operate and for kids to thrive in a learning environment. It’s so different to law but it also makes you realise your education never stops.