Gillian Nelson

Gillian Nelson

Senior Associate \ AJ Park Law Limited, Auckland

With a unique mix of arts training and legal experience, Gillian is equipped to help clients in a wide range of industries and locations.


During her time at AJ Park, Gillian has worked in the firm’s Wellington and Auckland offices with both local and international businesses. While in Wellington, Gillian assisted international companies with their trade mark portfolios throughout the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. Now in Auckland, Gillian’s practice focuses on local clients, and helping guide everyday New Zealanders through the world of intellectual property (IP). Her clients operate in the areas of food and beverage, manufacturing and engineering, human and animal pharmaceuticals, and IT and software.  

Gillian conducts trade mark availability and clearance searches, advises on trade mark registration, files and prosecutes applications, and deals with border protection matters.

I enjoy being able to solve a client’s problems, provide the information they need, filter out what they don’t, and help ameliorate their stresses. Being able to help New Zealand start-ups move their businesses into a global setting is exciting. I spend my days helping people realise their dreams.


With degrees in History and English literature, Gillian brings a unique approach to IP that focuses on explaining the law in a clear and succinct manner, without the legal jargon. She is currently finishing off her law degree part-time.

Gillian has lived all around the world, often doing humanitarian work, including teaching English in Tanzania. It’s this global outlook that helps her understand different markets and international clients. During her university studies, she worked for several charities and not-for-profits, including Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

Efficient, diligent and approachable, Gillian’s special combination of arts studies and her knowledge of trade mark matters, gives her a unique skillset; and her understanding of language and semantics is an asset when arguing against trade mark objections.

Recent accolades

Gillian was named a 'rising star' in Managing IP's IP STARS for 2023 and 2022.

Beyond the office

Outside of work, Gillian has a wide range of interests. A professionally trained classical singer, she’s a member of a local Auckland choir. She also loves hiking and rock climbing, and volunteers her time to Habitat for Humanity, going overseas every second year to build houses. Born in South Africa, Gillian has lived in Hong Kong, Tanzania and England, but calls New Zealand home.




  • BA (Hons, First Class), Victoria University of Wellington (2011)
  • MA, Victoria University of Wellington (2012)
  • Registered Trade Marks Attorney (Australia)
  • LLB, Auckland University of Technology (2020)
  • Admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
Gillian Nelson's insights