Tom Cleary

Tom Cleary

Senior Associate, Auckland

Litigation & dispute resolution; Intellectual property

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T:+64 9 357 9889

M:+64 27 722 9430


LLB (Hons), BSc (Biochemistry), MBHL (Dist), University of Otago


2014, New Zealand

Tom specialises in commercial litigation, intellectual property and media law.

Tom is an experienced litigator who advises on a wide range of complex commercial disputes. He has particular expertise in intellectual property, defamation, privacy, company, trust and consumer protection law.

He is highly recommended by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020, and is recognised as a Rising Star by both Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 and IP Stars 2019. Tom is a co-author of the patent infringement section in New Zealand’s leading intellectual property commentary, Intellectual Property Law (LexisNexis).

He joined Chapman Tripp in 2018 from Shortland Chambers where he was a barrister. Before that Tom was a Judges' Clerk and Clerk to the Rules Committee.

Recent experience

Tom has:

  • represented Fisher & Paykel Healthcare in the High Court defending its health technology products against patent infringement claims and in challenging the validity of the asserted patents

  • appeared in the High Court and Court of Appeal establishing that a director of a law firm was liable for breaches of the Fair Trading Act 1986 concerning financing the share purchase of Orcon

  • acted for MediaWorks in the High Court and Court of Appeal defending a claim to journalistic source protection

  • appeared in the Supreme Court in a high-profile defamation case about qualified privilege, damages awards and the circumstances when a jury's verdict can be set aside

  • advised a range of entities on issues under the Overseas Investment Act 2005

  • appeared in the Supreme Court successfully arguing that a commercial property was not held in a beneficial trust and the transfer of that property was intended to defeat the respondent's rights in the property

  • acted for a leading New Zealand designer in prosecuting copyright infringement proceedings in the High Court

  • appeared in the High Court challenging the enforcement in New Zealand of a multi-million dollar award by an overseas tribunal, and

  • represented an international production company in a dispute over a former television channel, intellectual property rights and unpaid royalties.

Litigation & dispute resolution; Intellectual property; Privacy & data protection





Technology, media & telecommunications