ILANZ, In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand

Head of Intellectual Property - Wellington

Xero is a beautiful, easy to use global online platform for small businesses and their advisors. Xero has over one million subscribers in more than 180 countries and seamlessly integrates with more than 600 third party applications via it’s app marketplace. Xero was ranked No. 1 by Forbes as the World's Most Innovative Growth Company for two years running and was rated by Canstar Blue as Australia’s best accounting software three consecutive years from 2015-2017.

We are rewiring the global small business economy, enabling it to thrive through beautiful software, advice and connections. Innovation is in our DNA. Creating and implementing game-changing ideas is what drives and inspires us. And like all great teams with big dreams, it’s what we do together that sets us apart.

An outstanding opportunity exists in our evolving, global legal team to head up Xero’s Intellectual Property function, taking responsibility for global strategy and execution across the entire IP spectrum.

The role will report to Xero’s General Counsel and will work closely with key stakeholders globally on all matters relating to Xero’s IP assets and strategy and has one direct report. The Head of IP role will run and expand on Xero’s patent and trademark strategies and work with the business to protect Xero’s innovative technology and brand worldwide. The role will be part of Xero’s agile Legal team, and be the key contact for the business for anything IP, including policies, standard contracts, protection of IP and the strategic vision for IP. This hire will manage external counsel to protect and enforce Xero’s IP globally, build strong relationships internally and be able to communicate IP strategies to Xero’s leadership team.

Overview of Key Responsibilities

  • Assist leadership teams to help drive commercial relationships and initiatives for Xero globally
  • Develop and execute Xero’s global IP strategy
  • Provide proactive legal advice and prepare internal policies in relation to relevant IP matters
  • Manage Xero’s internal patent portfolio program, including patent application preparation and prosecution of infringements and defence of challenges
  • Manage Xero’s global trademark strategy
  • Coordinate with applicable business units and key stakeholders
  • Manage any IP related litigation, infringement action and enforcement issues
  • Liaise with, and manage, Xero’s external IP advisors and legal counsel, within budget
  • Assist the legal team with day-to-day IP queries in contracts
  • Manage all other IP functions of the Xero Group
  • Advise senior management on key IP issues

The successful candidate for this vacancy will bring extensive experience and expertise in intellectual property. A background advising global, growth focus businesses (with a tech focus) will be viewed favourably. Your commercial acumen and strategic delivery skills are complemented with the ability to both develop relationships and influence key stakeholders globally. You have a practical and proactive approach to in-house intellectual property management and strategy and a bias for innovation, agility, collaboration and natural language communication. A current practising certificate/patent attorney registration in Australia/NZ/US is desirable.

This role presents as an outstanding opportunity to manage an interesting combination of intellectual property work, to innovate ways of working and outcomes (such as creating natural language policies and procedures) and to be part of a dynamic, global legal team and contribute to interesting and challenging IP outcomes.

Take the next step with a progressive and innovative business with a global footprint in this full-time role.

At Xero, we champion innovation, foster inclusion and celebrate success. We also live and breathe our values everyday. As #Human is one of Xero's values, please outline in your application what makes you #human at work, and how do you think an intellectual property function can be more #human?

Apply today.