Tonia Brugh

Areas of Expertise

Indigenous Rights, IP Strategy, Trade Marks, Copyright, Licensing & Commercialisation, International Filings, Renewals & Maintenance
Qualifications & Memberships
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • NZ Lawyer Elite Women 2023
  • World Trademark Review 1000 Recommended Individual 2024
  • Women Leading Bay Business – Bay of Plenty Business News 2024
  • Member, International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • College of Law Programme (London, UK)

About Tonia

Tonia is a dual qualified trade mark and intellectual property specialist, with over 20 years of domestic and international experience advising clients in this area. Tonia also has significant experience in the entertainment and IT sectors, including drafting, reviewing and advising on a wide range of agreements for publishing companies, recording artists, song writers, authors and film production companies. Tonia also offers IP expertise in indigenous rights, privacy and data protection and sovereignty as well as commercial contracts.

When working with Tonia, you are valued for your perspective, contribution and background. Tonia is authentic and truly believes “people come first”. Tonia’s expertise is recognised internationally, and coupled with her positivity and solution based approach you will want to keep working with Tonia again and again.


Tonia joined James & Wells in October 2022. Prior to joining James & Wells, Tonia worked in Australia and the United Kingdom, where she worked for one of Europe’s leading intellectual property firms. Tonia offers a unique perspective given her experience working with some of the largest US media technology companies such as Apple Corp, Warner Bros. and Google across their UK and European matters.

Tonia spent her formative years growing up in Rarotonga, Cook Islands and is passionate about supporting Pasifika and Māori entrepreneurs in her work. She is an advocate of te reo Māori and assists a number of Māori Boards in a pro-bono capacity, as well as acting as Co-Chair on the Pacific Island Community Trust Bay of Plenty (PICT BOP), supporting the Trustees of Te Murumāra Foundation (Te Aka Māori Dictionary) and working alongside her esteemed colleagues at Long White Cloud Productions (an independent Māori owned television and content production company).