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Intellectual Property: the ins and outs

Intellectual Property (IP) can be a powerful advantage in the right hands. Metropol catches up with IP specialist and Patent Attorney Virginia Nichols from Saunders & Co Lawyers about how to use IP to your commercial advantage.



Every business has valuable IP, but it is easy for owners or executives to overlook the opportunity to leverage those intangible assets fully for their commercial advantage.

The first step is to perform an ‘IP audit’ to find out what intangible assets your company already has or may need or want.

Many companies underestimate the value and commercial importance of the intangible assets they already own.

IP comes in a lot of different forms, including trademarks and other brand elements, copyright in written text, technical or artistic drawings, photos and videos, know-how and inventions, processes, licences, customer lists and databases.

Every company has different intangible assets, and should regularly consider their IP strategy as part of their evolving business plan.

It is important to ensure all intangible assets are correctly owned and that your trade secrets remain confidential.

There should be clear contracts with employees, contractors, external providers and co-founders.

Many legal disputes arise because the parties were not clear at the outset about who would own the output, or how it is to be used.

This can be avoided by being proactive in getting contractual arrangements right before work starts (or as soon as possible).

Certain types of IP rights are recognised by statute, which can provide a legal monopoly.

Trademark registration is a very effective tool for brand protection and essential for any business involved in either exporting or overseas manufacture.

Patents provide an extremely powerful protection for any new product or process and should be given serious consideration by any innovative enterprise.

The main ways to exploit these intangible assets include:
• Protecting your own market position to keep competitors from copying you
• Licensing others to use your IP, in exchange for an income stream
• Selling some or all of your intangible assets to another company.

As your business plan evolves over time, your IP strategy should do the same.

Leveraging intangible assets can be extremely useful when expanding into new markets.

Now is the time to maximise your IP potential.

For a no-obligations discussion about your current IP strategy, call Virginia on 03 963 1463.


Legal expertise

Great lawyers must bring more to the table than traditional expertise and experience. Today they must have an affinity with people in all their diversity, earn trust, have great communication and reporting skills, be in tune with the quickly changing social context, and do the whole job in a cost-effective way.



Commercial Lawyer Emma Jackson, new Senior Associate at Papprills Lawyers, puts clients at the centre of her practice. “I love the satisfaction that comes from helping people: identifying their needs and assessing the best path forward for them, assisting them to achieve their goals and avoiding problems along the way. I take a collaborative approach every time – I like meeting people and finding out about them and their businesses and guiding them through what can be daunting legal processes.”

Emma has 20 years’ experience in the commercial and property areas and specialises in subdivisions, sales and purchases, leases and financing. Acquisitions, sales and restructuring of businesses together with succession planning are also key competencies. She gets great satisfaction from advising clients on all technical aspects throughout all stages of the transaction. Career highlights include advising on flagship commercial and residential subdivisions as well as acting for two large irrigation companies on all parts of their expansion projects: product disclosure statements, issue of shares, financing and property access. “I take
pride in reducing clients’ scope for worry and ensuring we move forward together.”

A Cantabrian who studied at the University of Otago, Emma comes to Papprills after eight years at a South Island based firm. As a fan of English and grammar, she can’t recall a time when she didn’t want to be a lawyer.



“It all seemed so glamourous and fast-paced! The reality is a little less so but I do love working with words, and through commercial work I’ve surprised myself by becoming a really passionate numbers geek too,” Emma says.

The team at Papprills also includes partners Jeff McCall and Margaret Smyth, solicitors David Collins, Rebecca Maynard and Emma Ioane and Legal Executive Carmen Campos. The firm’s vision is to develop the commercial practice, in what is already a firm of extremely varied skill. There is a rare medical focus as the firm is contracted to the Cook Islands in the health area. “We are an all-service firm celebrating 125 years of doing wills and estates and family and employment law: looking after South Islanders personally and their business needs from cradle to grave,” Jeff says.

“People that come to Papprills are looking for technical expertise but on a personal level,” Margaret says. “We came back early to the CBD, because we are a firm with heart, and wanted to be part of the revitalisation of the city’s heart.”

At their Gloucester Street office there is client parking available and with people at the centre of the practice, their phones are always on, call 03 379 2800.




Cut through the legal jargon: Kannangara Thomson

By Kannangara Thomson Partner Brent Selwyn 

At Kannangara Thomson we have a point of difference which not all law firms have in that as many as nine different languages are spoken in our offices. As a firm we also have a by-line “we speak your language” which is a play on words in as much as it signifies the point of difference that there are a number of different language speakers at Kannangara Thomson but also, it speaks to the fact that as a law firm our aim is to try to cut through all the legal jargon and explain matters to our clients in plain English.


Some of the languages spoken at Kannangara Thomson include Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Afrikaans, Malay, Sinhalese, Tamil, Arabic and of course English. As a firm we are delighted to celebrate the cultural diversity of the people who make up our thirty strong contingent of lawyers and legal assistants. The range of services provided within the firm varies from the purchase of residential property, investment property, commercial property, business sales and purchases, family trusts, wills, enduring powers of attorney and with a particular focus on immigration. We have most areas of law covered and anything we cannot assist with we will always recommend to someone appropriate to provide assistance to our client.

We have modern premises at 575 Wairakei Road in Burnside and one feature which clients dealing with our firm love is the easy access to car parking which can be a major issue for our central city colleagues. One of our number of bilingual lawyers is Sandra Iskander who was born in Egypt and came to New Zealand with her family as a child. Sandra is fluent in both English and Arabic. In the immediate aftermath of the horrific events at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Mosque in Christchurch on Friday 15 March 2019, with the full support of the partners, Sandra volunteered to give her time in the week beginning Monday 18 March at both the Hagley Community Centre and the Christchurch hospital to help those affected by this terrible tragedy in any practical way possible.

As a firm we were pleased to be one of the first law firms to offer pro bono services to any of the Christchurch Muslim community who had family or friends killed or injured in the attacks on the two Mosques. This offer remains open and Sandra along with a number of other lawyers in our office have registered their details with the Canterbury District Law Society as being available to assist any affected members of the Christchurch Muslim community with Legal Services, initially free of any charge.


Pegasus Bay Law

Five years of legal expertise: Pegasus Bay Law

For the past five years, Pegasus Bay Law has proudly provided clients in Christchurch and Kaiapoi with trusted, professional legal services.


Pegasus Bay Law


Celebrating its anniversary in January, the team took the time to reflect on the significant growth of the business, while also looking forward to what’s planned for the future.  With two offices – one at 327 Westminster Street, Christchurch and one at 97 Williams Street, Kaiapoi – Directors Pam Wheeler and Robyn Loversidge lead a team of solicitors and legal assistants who can attend to your legal requirements.

Staff are available in both offices for personal and small business client services, including residential sales and purchases, family law, wills and enduring powers of attorney, trusts and estates. On May 1, 2015, Pegasus Bay Law merged with long-established Christchurch law firm Thompson & Morgan and in July the same year, they acquired the business of Kaiapoi lawyer, Ian McNish.

Now well established in both locations, in the past year they’ve been joined by solicitors Jess Voysey, in the Christchurch office and Anneliese Muldoon, in the Kaiapoi office. Pegasus Bay Law offers a free, no obligation consultation to enable you to meet with a legal professional and chat about how they can assist you. If you cannot travel, they offer a mobile service and are happy to come to meet you at your home or workplace.


Phone the Christchurch office today on 03 386 2211, the Kaiapoi branch on 03 928 1215 and, for more information, visit


Cameron & Co

Celebrating Milestones: Cameron & Co

Becoming senior associate in a law firm is a significant milestone. Marg Morrison and Kirsty Morris of Cameron & Co have recently achieved this status and see their promotion as recognition by their firm of their experience and achievements.


Cameron & Co


“Cameron & Co have a generous attitude to rewarding ability and commitment,” Marg and Kirsty say. “The areas of the law we specialise in are very client-focused and that is a particular emphasis for Cameron & Co as a law practice.” Marg and Kirsty both took up the law in their mid-20s after gaining life experience in other fields – Marg as a mother and a teacher, and Kirsty as a world traveller and ‘Jill of all trades’. “What we like most about being lawyers is working with people, helping them navigate through the legal issues they may have and empowering them with understanding to then make their own decisions.”

Marg works in the Riccarton office of Cameron & Co, while Kirsty is at Barrington. “The variety of work gives us great satisfaction as well. Property transactions, estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney, relationship property, as well as commercial law for small businesses are our forte. It’s as if we are guiding our clients through life’s stages and that’s a real responsibility that we take seriously. You can’t rest on your laurels with the law either. It’s very dynamic and we are continually learning and refining our processes.”


You can contact Marg on 03 379 3110 and Kirsty on
03 337 0218.


Kannangara Thomson

A law firm with a difference: Kannangara Thomson

Kannangara Thomson isn’t your average law firm. Formed only 10 years ago by founding partner, Stephen Kannangara, the firm has grown to be over 30 strong and occupies a modern premises at 575 Wairakei Road.

Kannangara Thomson

The firm enjoys a point of difference which the partners believe makes it unique among law firms in Christchurch. Rich in diverse cultures with staff from all corners of the globe, there are an astonishing ten languages spoken at the firm which, at least in part explains the firm’s by-line, ‘We speak your language’.
The by-line is also something of a play on words and intended to portray the fact that the lawyers and support staff at Kannangara Thomson break down the often complicated language of the law and explain your legal issues to you in plain English (or Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and Afrikaans to name just a few of the other languages spoken at the firm).
As well as being culturally diverse, the firm provides a wide range of legal services to its divergent client base, with lawyers specialising in business sales and purchases, commercial property transactions, investment property, residential property sales and purchases, estates, asset protection and estate planning involving the use of family trusts, wills, company law, family law and much more beyond.
The partners at Kannangara Thomson have a good grounding in the law having all served their time at much bigger law firms. Part of the ethos of the firm is that it does not wish to replicate the typical law office environment of those larger firms and, with that in mind, staff and partners are not burdened with such mundane daily tasks as time recording in six minute units or fee budgets, as is the case at almost all larger law firms.
Another factor which sets the firm apart from its larger counterparts is that once a fee range is quoted, it will very rarely be departed from, thereby giving clients certainty.

Kannangara ThomsonThe staff at Kannangara Thomson is respected and well looked after, with occasional unexpected gifts from the partners in recognition of stellar performance, frequent morning teas, flexibility of work hours and arrangements and almost fortnightly lunches provided by the partnership. As a result, the team at Kannangara Thomson is a settled and happy one, able to function at its absolute best to provide excellent legal results for clients.
With ample off street parking available and a convenient location near the airport, the gateway to the south, the new western Belfast bypass and the motorway north, the Wairakei Road location has proven to be one which is very popular with the firm’s client base.
The team at Kannangara Thomson look forward to being part of the Canterbury legal landscape for many decades to come and assisting you with your legal needs.

Pegasus Bay Law Team

The legal liaisons: Pegasus Bay Law is here to keep you covered

The team’s focus at Pegasus Bay Law is having the passion to listen to its clients, and ensuring they are genuinely looked after.

Pegasus Bay Law Team
Pegasus Bay Law Team: Tina-Marie Case, Robyn Loversidge,
Gretta Leigh.
Pegasus Bay Law Team
Pegasus Bay Law Team: Viviene Holmes, Christine Jackson, Dee Woods,
Pam Wheeler

The firm was established four years ago by two directors, community-minded born and bred Cantabrians Pam Wheeler and Robyn Loversidge. The Christchurch and Kaiapoi offices merged with Thompson and Morgan in 2015 and acquired the clients of Ian McNish Lawyer, together with his long-time receptionist, Barbara Burney.
Pam leads the conveyancing team. Having previously owned and managed her own business, she offers sound professional and practical advice. Christine Jackson was recently welcomed as an Associate. She is a licenced Conveyancer who qualified in Australia and has many clients in North Canterbury. Vivienne Holmes, a registered Legal Executive, works closely with Pam and her clients. Dee Woods, who is training as a legal assistant, completes the conveyancing team.
Robyn specialises in family law, including estate matters. She has worked for a time in London and is an officer in the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve in her spare time. Assisting her is Estates Administrator Tina-marie Case and Gretta Leigh, Robyn’s PA.
Pam and Robyn say thinking and planning ahead is imperative. For example, wills should be looked at every five years or if circumstances change and powers of attorney need to be considered while a person still has the capacity to make their own decisions.
Visit Pegasus Bay Law Ltd, 327 Westminster Street, Mairehau,
03-386 2211; 97 Williams Street, Kaiapoi 03-928 1215; or