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James & Wells, New Zealand’s largest privately-owned intellectual property practice, and one of Australasia’s leading independent patent and trade mark firms, is expanding its presence in Australia with the acquisition of Brisbane based Innofy IP.

Innofy is a perfect match for James & Wells. Both firms are aligned in their commitment to being a client focussed independent IP firm, privately owned by patent attorneys.

James & Wells founding partner Ceri Wells says the firm’s decision to join forces with Innofy comes at a time of great change in the Australasian IP profession, which over the last four years has seen around 70% of the profession become employed by publicly owned companies, leaving just 30% of the profession in independent privately-owned firms. James & Wells believes the recent phenomenon of publicly-listed IP holding companies buying up most of Australia’s larger IP practices, and prioritizing shareholder profit over client needs, is a negative development for the profession.

“With so many firms now members of listed IP holding companies, there is a lack of independent firms for clients to turn to. Joining forces with Innofy represents a significant step in our strategy to fill that void and offer clients the independence they seek. It also opens up opportunities for ambitious and talented IP professionals who are looking for a future with a growing independent IP firm.”

Founder of Innofy IP, Dr. Andrew Clarke, will head the practice in Queensland, Australia. Passionate about the biotechnology industry, Andrew brings with him a stellar track record in managing IP portfolios for universities, large research organisations, ASX-listed companies, and start-ups. His expertise in biotechnology and immunology strengthens and complements the existing James & Wells practice.

Andrew says joining James & Wells provides the opportunity for rapid growth in Australia and internationally, adding “I’m excited to become a part of a growing IP practice that shares the same ethos of working and partnering with innovative clients at every stage of the journey – from experimental design to commercialising IP assets, and beyond. I’m also delighted that James & Wells is an innovative firm with a strong reputation for delivering a high standard of client service and leading technical expertise. It’s a genuinely great fit and we’re looking forward to the next chapter.”