Rachel O'Brien

Senior Associate

Intellectual Property and Privacy

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Rachel is a senior associate in Russell McVeagh's litigation team who specialises in trade mark, copyright, privacy and data protection matters. With significant experience in intellectual property and privacy law, she provides strategic advice in corporate and commercial matters to ensure clients' rights are protected.

With a scientific background, Rachel has experience working for numerous clients in technical sectors, including intellectual property litigation relating to pharmaceutical products, chemical compounds, medical devices, agricultural products and the paper making industry.



Rachel draws on her international and local experience to provide pragmatic advice on high-profile disputes. Her experience includes:

  • Providing contentious and non-contentious advice in relation to all forms of intellectual property, including trade marks, copyright, patents, designs and confidential information.
  • Enforcing and defending intellectual property rights on behalf of clients in numerous industries, including fashion, FMCG, sports, financial services, aviation and telecommunications in New Zealand and internationally. 
  • Advising on IPONZ disputes, including oppositions, revocations and declarations of invalidity.
  • Advising on the intellectual property and privacy aspects of corporate transactions and during insolvency events.
  • Preparing numerous intellectual property and commercial agreements, including in relation to licensing, assignments, co-existence arrangements, sponsorship, franchising and joint ventures.  
  • Defending ASA complaints for various clients in the FMCG industry.
  • Advising clients on their privacy and data protection obligations in relation to the collection, storage, use and transfer of personal data.
  • Advice to numerous companies in relation to the application and enforceability of the GDPR for New Zealand businesses.  
  • Advising on the risks associated with the parallel importation of pharmaceuticals, including the possible patent, trade mark and Fair Trading Act concerns.


LLB (Hons), BSc (Chemistry), University of Auckland

PGDIP in Intellectual Property Law and Practice, University of Oxford


Rachel was admitted to practise in New Zealand in 2009 and is a member of IPSANZ.

Prior to joining Russell McVeagh, Rachel was a senior associate at Clyde & Co in Dubai and worked for several years in London for international law firm Bird & Bird, specialising in contentious and non-contentious intellectual property.

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