Garry Williams


Garry Williams has more than 25 years' experience of civil and commercial litigation.

He started his career at Russell McVeagh in 1992, where his work focused on commercial litigation and contentious intellectual property matters.

In 1997, Garry went to the UK where he worked for Nabarro Nathanson and then Olswang – two leading UK firms. On his return to New Zealand in 2003, Garry joined Bell Gully and was a member of that firm’s litigation department until moving to the independent Bar at the beginning of 2014.

Garry accepts instructions in most areas of civil litigation and he has particular expertise in intellectual property and media law matters (especially defamation). He is client and resolution focused, and committed to providing timely and efficient service.

Regarded as pragmatic and robust, Garry offers client strong commercial judgement, excellent analytical skills and clear strategic guidance. He is an experienced trial and appellate advocate, having appeared many times in New Zealand’s superior courts and specialist tribunals.

In 2017 the World Trademark Review named Garry in its list of leading trade mark practitioners saying he has an “impeccable reputation on the IP scene” and that “clients flock to Richmond Chambers’ Williams for his crystal clear plans of attack”. In 2018, it said: “Experienced advocate Garry Williams of Richmond Chambers has a broad civil litigation practice, but is best known as a media and IP ace”.

Doyle’s Guide also recommends him for intellectual property, technology, media and telecommunications disputes in New Zealand.

Garry is on the Faculty of the NZLS Litigation Skills Programme and is a member of the Training and Diversity Committees of the New Zealand Bar Association. He is also a member of the New Zealand and Trans-Tasman Committees of the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand (IPSANZ).

Recent Experience

DOUGIAMAS v BENNER (2017-2018) Invalidity action relating to the trade mark MOODLE®. The MOODLE® platform is the world’s leading online learning management system. The proceeding also involves claims of misleading and deceptive conduct, passing off and bad faith.

R McDONALD CO NEW ZEALAND LTD v MAVERICKS GROUP LTD (2017) High Court proceeding relating to alleged misrepresentations made by the defendants in connection with parallel imported WEBER® gas barbeques.

S C JOHNSON & SONS, INC v INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED BUSINESS PTY LTD (2017) Dispute over the ownership of the ZIPLOC trade mark in New Zealand. Successfully opposed S C Johnson & Sons, Inc’s attempt to register the mark for itself, in circumstances where International Consolidated Business Pty Ltd was the legal proprietor of the mark in this jurisdiction. The matter has been appealed.

SEALEGS INTERNATIONAL LTD v ZHANG & ORS (2016) Complicated proceedings relating to whether or not the defendants had infringed the copyright in drawings of the plaintiffs’ amphibious boat system. Interim injunction sought and obtained by the plaintiffs. Design right and breach of confidence were also in issue.

Z v Y (2015-2017) Acting for a UK-based manufacturer of industrial equipment in respect of an international arbitration. The causes of action included copyright infringement, breach of contract and breach of confidence.

EIGHT MILE STYLE, LLC & MARTIN AFFILIATED, LLC v THE NATIONAL PARTY OF NEW ZEALAND (2014-2017) Successful claim for music publishers in copyright infringement proceedings brought by them against a political party. The claim arose as a result of the synchronization of an alleged substantial reproduction of the musical work Lose Yourself with election campaign advertisements.

TOMTOM COMMUNICATIONS LTD v TOMTOM INTERNATIONAL BV (2014-2015)Acting for the leading international manufacturer and distributor of personal navigation devices in respect of an opposition to its application to register the trade mark TOMTOM in New Zealand.

The Coca-Cola Company v Frucor Soft Drinks Ltd & PepsiCo Inc (2011-2014)Successful defence of allegations that a unique bottle used by Frucor and PepsiCo infringed trade marks owned by Coca-Cola.

Clague v APN News & Media Ltd (2012) Successfully defended an urgent interim injunction application brought by the Executive Principal of Kristin, one of New Zealand’s most prestigious private schools, to prevent the publication of a news story relating to certain allegations being made by his former wife.

W v S (2012) Complex contractual dispute relating to whether or not the installation of a snack food manufacturing plant met specification. Successfully mediated.

Intellectual Property Development Corporation Pty Ltd v Primary Distributors Ltd (2007-2012)Successful trade mark infringement proceedings. Acting on behalf of the registered proprietor. The proceedings involved the taking of an account of profits and the judgments are the leading ones in New Zealand on this form of relief.

Graham v Colenso BBDO Ltd (2012)Defending allegations of copyright infringement arising from the alleged unlicensed synchronisation of a sound recording with an internet and television commercial.

A v B (2011-2012)Multi-million dollar international arbitration between parties in the petrochemical drilling equipment industry.