James & Wells moves back to the CBD

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After seven years in Riccarton following the 2011 earthquake, James & Wells intellectual property (IP) law firm has relocated to central Christchurch with a new office on High Street.

Although a return to the city centre was always planned, growth in the firm meant a move became increasingly necessary.

“While it was wonderful being immersed in the bustling Riccarton culture, it’s great to finally move back to the city and be a part of the newly re-built business district,” says Andrew Scott, Senior Associate.

Staff had only recently moved into the 20th storey of the PWC building when the earthquake struck and there were still unpacked boxes around the office. Being in the Red Zone, the building was inaccessible and was later found to be non-compliant with safety regulations. Staff worked from home for a few weeks, then moved into a temporary unit, before a more permanent move to Riccarton.

“After experiencing the earthquake and being displaced from the CBD it’s great to see the James & Wells team being part of the regeneration of Christchurch central,” says Partner, Jason Rogers.

As New Zealand’s only major IP firm with a Christchurch office, James & Wells’ team of IP specialists has a local focus but is backed by a national team to ensure clients’ IP rights are always front of mind.

“We were lucky that our files were backed up on a server located in the North Island and we were able to get back into action relatively quickly. With all our paper documents out of reach in the cordoned-off office, we had to embrace our IT and made the switch to a fully electronic filing system for good,” says Andrew.

The last seven years have seen significant developments in the firm including the establishment of a specialist division to assist clients doing business with Asia, and expansion of the firm into Australia.

“Our local clients create some amazing things, and are always looking to take their innovative ideas, inventions, brands and products global,” says Jason. “We aim to be there every step of the way to assist our clients with their international ambitions. Our firm has grown organically to meet our clients’ needs and to help them conquer global markets.”

As the country’s leading privately-owned IP law practice – and the 2018 winners of the New Zealand IP Specialist Law Firm award – James & Wells is proud to have been supporting innovation in Christchurch for over 20 years. Throughout that time, we have helped protect a multitude of brands and innovations, as well as resolve IP disputes across a wide variety of industries and organisations.

“Our South Island clients appreciate our committed local presence,” says Andrew. “Helping Canterbury get back on its feet after the quakes has been challenging, but we have turned the corner and are very excited about the future.”