Person Image

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 selected by his peers as 'Lawyer of the Year' in the Best Lawyers® New Zealand Guide 2022, and is recognised in the 2024 Guide for Advertising Law, Intellectual Property Law, Privacy and Data Security Law, Litigation and Media Law. He is named a Leading Individual in the Legal 500 2024 Guide for Intellectual Property and Data Protection and as a "Copyright star" and "Trademark star" in IP Stars 2022 New Zealand rankings. Joe is also ranked 'Up and Coming' for TMT in the Chambers and Partners 2024 Guide. 

Client feedback in the Legal 500 and Chambers 2022-23 Guides emphasised Joe's Litigation expertise, commenting that Joe:

  • "is an extremely capable lawyer. What makes Joe stand out is his attention to detail and dedication to his clients. Joe is extremely responsible and he and his team take the time to get to know us and our business."
  • "is somewhat unique among private practice partners. He also has in-house experience, which means he really gets our business needs when providing advice.''
  • "is incredibly responsive. He understands what we grapple with as in-house lawyers and tailors his advice depending on whether it will be shared directly with the business or practical advice for the in-house team to work with the business on."
  • "is rated incredibly highly by everybody within our business. His advice is exceptional and his level of client service is unmatched"
  • "has an excellent technical ability and a comprehensive understanding of international and domestic market trends, meaning he is the first person we call for our novel privacy issues and cutting-edge data initiatives."

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. He has also co-authored the Product Liability and Safety in New Zealand Chapter for the Thomson and Reuters Practical Law guide and the Trends and Developments New Zealand section of Chambers' Trade Secrets Global Practice Guide 2022.

Related Expertise
Related People