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Joe Edwards




Joe is a partner in Russell McVeagh’s litigation practice. Joe heads the Marketing Law, Media and Intellectual Property team. He specialises in commercial litigation, with a particular focus on regulatory investigations and prosecutions, privacy law, intellectual property and information technology disputes.

A seasoned litigator, Joe regularly provides advice to some of New Zealand’s largest domestic companies and multi-nationals on a diverse range of issues in relation to media, privacy law, intellectual property, regulatory, social media, marketing and promotions, product recalls, border protection measures, anti-counterfeiting, gambling and consumer law issues.

Joe has worked in a number of high-profile capacities, including as in-house counsel for the International Rugby Board during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, hosted in New Zealand.


Joe has appeared in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, acting on a range of high-profile matters. His past work includes:

  • Acting for Perpetual Trust Limited (PTL) in judicial review proceedings against the Financial Markets Authority and related proceedings against PTL by its statutory supervisor (at High Court and Court of Appeal level).
  • Acting as counsel in some of New Zealand’s leading consumer and marketing law cases, including Godfrey Hirst v Cavalier Bremworth.
  • Acting on a range of high profile regulatory investigations and prosecutions, involving the Commerce Commission, the Department of Internal Affairs, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Primary Industries.
  • Appearing at Advertising Standards Authority and IPONZ hearings.
  • Regularly advising New Zealand and overseas companies on defamation, advertising and social media matters, including in the food and beverage, FMCG, telecommunications, banking and electronic retail industries.
  • Providing litigious and non-litigious advice in relation to all forms of intellectual property, including trade marks, designs and copyright.


LLB, BA, University of Auckland.


Joe was admitted to practise in New Zealand in 2007. He is a member of the Australia New Zealand Sports Law Association (ANZSLA), the Judiciary for Auckland Football Federation and a guest lecturer at Auckland University of Technology.

Joe was recently selected by his peers as "2022 Lawyer of the Year" in the the Best Lawyers® New Zealand 2022 guide, in the fields of Intellectual Property Law, Advertising Law, and Privacy and Data Security Law and is listed as a leading lawyer in the Legal 500 for Data Protection - this is the first time Data Protection has been considered as a standalone category by Legal 500 - in addition to his existing ranking for Intellectual Property. He is also ranked as "Copyright star" and "Trademark star" in IP Stars 2020/21 New Zealand rankings.

Joe is a well-regarded authority on intellectual property law, he regularly speaks at New Zealand and international conferences and presents via national webinars, including the Conferenz Annual Food Safety Summit, the NZ Intellectual Property and Commercialisation Forum, and the NZ Institute Food Science and Technology Conference.

Joe has authored Trade practices: Everyone loves a bargain: When is 20% off really 20% off? – 14th International Association of Consumer Law Conference Publication, as well as co-authored the Product Liability and Safety in New Zealand Chapter for the Thomson and Reuters Practical Law guide alongside partner Sarah Armstrong.

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