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“Innovation is critical to diversifying New Zealand’s economy. It provides new technologies, new products and new processes. It creates new business models and opens up new markets, expanding the range of international opportunities. It allows New Zealand businesses to compete and win on the world stage. Ultimately this drives economic growth, is a key ingredient in developing higher value exports and greater diversity, and provides more opportunities for New Zealanders.”  - The Business Growth Agenda 2017

Innovation is one of the six key areas of New Zealand’s Business Growth Agenda with the Governments overarching goal to support New Zealand businesses to bring new technologies and other innovations to market.

Tompkins Wake has a long history and deep expertise in supporting innovation, working with clients from start-ups to established New Zealand businesses helping remove barriers to accelerate success both domestically and on the global stage.

Tompkins Wake’s involvement and support of the New Zealand National Fieldays Innovation Centre and Innovation Awards demonstrates a commitment to back and support innovation at grass roots level. Tompkins Wake provides commercialisation and intellectual property advice to help accelerate innovators path to market, with MyApiary, Antahi and Halter two recent examples.

R&D is crucial for creating a strong and diversified economy, and we are experienced in working with Callaghan Innovation's grants and funding framework. We also have significant experience in establishing collaboration projects and providing legal support to angels and venture capital investors during the negotiation processes.

Tompkins Wake is the exclusive New Zealand member of First Law International, an elite global network (as ranked by Chambers & Partners Global) providing our clients with the comfort of having recognised experts across more than 75 countries worldwide enabling us to navigate the variety of challenges for business through the varying legal requirements and regulatory frameworks by jurisdictions across different countries. This enables full support for our clients as they transact globally in their everyday operations.

Examples of our work:

Some of our recent work has included acting for:

  • Gallagher Group, winners of multiple innovation awards with their innovative product development.
  • FOOD WAIKATO, New Zealand’s first and only independent spray dryer capable of developing new products, from concept to commercialisation.
  • Lightwire – Pioneer of innovative rural broadband solutions, Lightwire turn research and development into world-class internet solutions connecting small communities and more recently, providing complex network, data and internet solutions.
  • Waikatolink, the commercialisation arm of the University of Waikato, and its portfolio companies on capital raising, restructuring, licensing and exits.

Areas of expertise:

  • Biotechnology
  • Capital Raising
  • Commercialisation of Intellectual Property
  • Corporate Restructuring
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP)
  • Investment
  • Joint Ventures
  • Overseas Investment Office applications
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Technology Commercialisation
  • Venture Capital
  • International Trade
  • Non-disclosure and Confidentiality Agreements
  • Terms of Trade

Innovation team

Mark Renner


Philip Monahan


Phil Taylor


Shelley Slade-Gully


Robert Bycroft

Special Counsel

Gina Woodfield

Senior Associate

Knowledge and insights

Tompkins Wake named as an employer of choice

Wednesday 22 July, 2020


Tompkins Wake again recognised for commitment to innovation

Friday 1 May, 2020


Tompkins Wake announces new Partner appointment

Friday 20 December, 2019


Tompkins Wake recognised for its commitment to innovation

Wednesday 8 May, 2019


Tompkins Wake back MyApiary as winner

Monday 19 June, 2017


IT Partners Group

Wednesday 26 April, 2017


Driving innovation at grass roots - the Antahi Story

Monday 10 April, 2017


Gallagher Group - an enduring partnership grown together.

Monday 3 April, 2017