Kathryn McLardy

Areas of Expertise

Enforcement & Dispute Resolution, Copyright, Licensing & Commercialisation, Anti-counterfeiting, Trade Secrets & Non-Disclosure, Domain Names, Fair Trade
Qualifications & Memberships
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Grad. Cert. (Social Policy), including Māori Development

About Kathryn

Kathryn is an Associate in the James & Wells Litigation team, based in our Christchurch office.

She completed her LLB (Hons) at the University of Canterbury and upon completion she received the University Prize in Law. During her degree, Kathryn was awarded the Chalky Carr Scholarship, received six first in class awards, and won the library stair challenge twice.

Kathryn has a sound understanding of the role of indigenous intellectual property to Māori stakeholders, and has worked with kaiārahi rangihau Māori, to ensure that mātauranga Māori, taonga species and Māori data sovereignty are recognised.

Kathryn joined James & Wells in 2022 after spending nearly 10 years working at the University of Canterbury’s Research and Innovation Department as a Contracts Advisor.

In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys trail running in the Port Hills, playing tennis, reading, and exploring the outdoors with her young family.


Kathryn has nearly ten years of experience in university research contracts, having worked as Contracts Advisor for Research & Innovation at the University of Canterbury between 2012 and 2021. She has considerable expertise in ascertaining the place of intellectual property created from commercial or ‘blue-skies’ research; and in negotiating funding contracts, and negotiating and drafting collaboration agreements, non-disclosure agreements, memorandums of understanding, data access agreements, material transfer agreements, and more.

Kathryn also has a sound understanding of how Māori interests should genuinely be considered in intellectual property matters. She has engaged with Māori stakeholders and kaiārahi rangihau Māori (Māori Research Development Leaders) to ensure that research partnerships and agreements consider and recognise mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge), taonga species (treasures), Māori data sovereignty and Māori kaitiakitanga (guardianship).

Kathryn’s honours thesis investigated the ownership of inventions created by academic employees. She has a practical and academic understanding of issues unique to research and innovation in a university context.

With a strong background working and advising for a university in New Zealand’s contestable research funding environment, Kathryn is well-placed to provide commercially relevant and pragmatic legal and intellectual property advice to clients, especially in the research, science, and innovation sector.