As a commercial law specialist, Grace works with AJ Park’s patent attorneys and other teams to provide commercial advice to clients ranging from start-ups to government agencies.
A specialist in commercial law, Grace provides commercial advice to AJ Park’s clients with a focus on technology, intellectual property (IP) licence agreements and related issues. These include IP ownership and strategy, infringement issues, and the protection of confidential information and trade secrets. Her role also involves providing general company advice, and preparing and reviewing company constitutions and shareholders’ agreements, ICT and software procurement contracts, confidentiality agreements and sale and purchase contracts.
Grace’s clients range from start-ups through to government agencies and Crown Research Institutes. While most are New Zealand businesses, she also does patent assignments for overseas companies looking to protect their IP in New Zealand. Another aspect of her work involves helping organisations navigate the very specific laws around running competitions in Australia and New Zealand.
Among Grace’s interesting recent cases was working on the terms and conditions for the New Zealand flag-change referendum and advising on the ownership rights around flag designs.
Efficient and analytical by nature, Grace has the ability to identify a problem or pertinent issue and solve it. She enjoys collaborating with the wide range of experts at AJ Park whose varied backgrounds and training make for an interesting working environment.
AJ Park has quite a different culture compared to other big law firms. We have a lot of engineers, scientists and support staff who approach things from different perspectives. I like that variety.
Credentials and experience
Grace attended Victoria University in Wellington, graduating top of her class with a Bachelor of Laws with honours. Her first position after graduating was a two-year term as a judges’ clerk at the Wellington High Court.
Grace was named in both the 2019 and the 2020/21 editions of Managing IP's Rising Stars, produced by the IP Stars research team. This special list recognises some of the best up-and-coming IP practitioners who contributed to the success of their firms and clients.
Grace was also named in NZ Lawyer’s 2020 Rising Stars list. The inaugural 2020 Rising Stars list, put together by NZ Lawyer, honours up-and-coming stars in the legal profession who are committed to making a difference. It showcases young legal practitioners making waves in the early stages of their careers. The Rising Stars list recognises individuals who have not only made incredible advancements within their own companies, but who work with charitable trusts and organisations, lead talks on diversity and inclusion, contribute thought leadership in their areas of expertise to drive the industry forward, and who mentor aspiring junior lawyers.
Grace Thomas-Edmond is a great role model for young women in the legal profession. She is highly regarded by both clients and colleagues alike and is known as a ‘safe pair of hands’ for providing practical advice to clients who are often engaged in dealing with complex licensing and contractual issues. Aside from her technical legal skills, she mentors AJ Park’s junior executives across all teams to provide guidance on developing business relationships and navigating firm life.
New Zealand Lawyer Rising Stars 2020
Grace Thomas-Edmond's insights
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