Chris Young

Partner - Intellectual Property

Chris heads the intellectual property team in New Zealand and has a widely recognised IP practice internationally. He gives practical advice on all aspects of IP through its life cycle including development, protection, transfer, enforcement and commercialisation.

He is repeatedly recommended as a leading lawyer in leading legal directories including Chambers, Asia Pacific Legal 500, Managing IP and WIPR for a strategic and commercial approach to IP over a wide range of areas.

Chris advises clients from a broad range of industries including FMCG, fashion/apparel, publishing, food and beverage, liquor, advertising and marketing, retail, TMT, aviation, automotive, banking and financial services, entertainment, agriculture/horticulture, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, building, forestry, education, health and ageing, transportation and energy.

With more than 20 years’ experience in licensing and commercialisation, franchising, commercial arrangements and the IP aspects of transactions, including business acquisitions and mergers, and financing, commercial IP is a key area of Chris’ practice. Chris brings his extensive commercial IP expertise to advise and develop strategy for a wide range of corporate transactions including joint ventures, licensing and other collaborations, as well as the impact on taking security over IP.

Chris also has significant expertise in brand strategy and managing trade mark portfolios both nationally and internationally including managing risks, launching new brands locally and internationally and developing strategies to commercialise, protect and enforce brands, and handling counterfeits. He has extensive experience in commercial law, franchising, sponsorship, marketing, advertising, consumer protection franchising, sponsorship and other regulatory areas.

Chris also has significant experience in IP disputes, co-ordinates litigation strategy and provides both strategic and technical advice to clients.

Chris advises on film, digital and television production. He has acted for many years for a range of major US studios operating in New Zealand in relation to some of the leading productions filmed or produced in New Zealand.

He advises on regulatory work including in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors.

Chris has been actively involved in the International Trademarks Association (INTA) and the International Bar Association (IBA) for years and served on a range of important committees having chaired INTA’s East Asia Pacific Famous Marks subcommittee, and been on the Parallel Imports Committee, Internet Committee and the Asia Pacific Global Advisory Council. Chris is currently the New Zealand representative on INTA’s Bulletin Committee.

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Professional background

Recent work

IP strategy for SKYCITY

Advising on all IP advisory work and the worldwide strategy for SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited – a major New Zealand group and publicly listed company operating casinos, food and beverage and entertainment facilities in New Zealand and Australia.

Major NZ bank

Providing Westpac with its New Zealand IP advice, brand strategy  and trade mark portfolio management.

Synlait Milk Limited

Ongoing IP advisory work including worldwide brand strategy and management of its trade mark portfolio in New Zealand, Australia and worldwide, and other IP advisory work including commercial IP, patent licensing, brand clearance and trade mark registration. We also advised on the IP aspect of Synlait Milk Limited’s acquisition of 100% shares in the New Zealand Dairy Company.

Natural New Zealand lipsticks

Handling the worldwide IP strategy and portfolio management work for Karen Murrell Enterprises Limited including managing its trade mark and other registered IP portfolio worldwide.

Major online fashion retailer

Advising ASOS plc in relation to brand strategy and trade mark portfolio in New Zealand.

S C Johnson

S C Johnson is an example of some of the large multinationals we act for. We handled its acquisition of a local NZ IP based business / product that was then rolled out internationally by SC Johnson under its Raid brand. We also advise SC Johnson and assist with brand strategy for some of its brands in NZ and Australia.

Scholastic Inc

Advising the leading publisher Scholastic on its New Zealand IP and trade mark portfolio work.

Small and medium enterprises

iLabb is an example of the many SMEs we assist with worldwide IP and brand strategy for these local and export based businesses. iLabb is a very successful local apparel brand that has grown internationally.

Film and Television

Advising a number of major US and international studios on their film and television production in New Zealand including in relation to the IP, structural and grant requirements.

Tourism Holdings Limited

Management of Tourism Holdings Limited’s international IP portfolio and strategic IP advice worldwide. We assist with IP strategy, branding and management of their trade mark portfolio.


  • 1993, New Zealand


  • Dip IP Law, University of London
  • LLB, BCom, University of Auckland


  • Member, International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • Member, Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Member, Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Member, New Zealand Biotech Industry Organisation
  • Member of Parallel Imports Committee and Internet Committee (2016-2017), appointed to Parallel Imports Committee (2018-2019)
  • Council Member, Asia Pacific Global Advisory Council (2014-2019)
  • Chair, INTA Trademarks East Asia & Pacific Famous Marks Subcommittee (2014-2015)


  • Branding and Advertising
  • Copyrights
  • Film and Entertainment
  • Franchising
  • Patents
  • Trade Marks
  • Commercial agreements
  • IP aspects of transactions
  • Media


  • Ranked as a leading Intellectual Property lawyer, Chambers Asia-Pacific (2008-2020)
  • Ranked as a Leading Individual – Intellectual Property, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2011-2020)
  • Best Lawyers New Zealand – Intellectual Property (2021)
  • Ranked in IP Stars (2016-2021)
  • Winner - Acquisition International Global Excellence awards - Most Influential IP Lawyer 2020 - New Zealand
  • Winner – Client Choice Award Intellectual Property: Trademarks, New Zealand, Lexology (2013-2019)
  • WIPR Leader – World Intellectual Property Review (2020)
  • Recognised Individual – Prosecution and Strategy, World Trademark Review
  • International Who’s Who Legal – Trademarks (2015-2020)
  • Trademarks Law firm of the Year and Intellectual Property Law Firm of the year – Global Law Experts Awards (2020)
  • Trademarks Law Firm of the Year in New Zealand – Legal 100 Asia Awards (2019)