Approach

Nick Weston

Founding Principal

Outcome Based Lawyering (OBL) starts with the outcome in mind before we consider specific documents, tactics, courts or negotiations. We start with the goal and map a plan to get there, using the legal and other business tools at our disposal. 

As founder of the firm, I am an Australian Legal Practitioner, having qualified and been admitted to practice in 1997. I am also a Registered Trade Marks Attorney, having qualified and been entered on the register in 2001. In 2008, I was appointed a Domain Name Panelist by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Founded in 2005, we operate a full OBL approach commercial law firm with particular skills in all commercial matters, particularly franchising, M&A and intellectual property but leases, insolvencies, recoveries, you name it, we’ve done it.

My trade marks practice manages international trade mark portfolios, providing strategic advice in relation to registration, management and defense of IP rights, including clearances, filing strategies, oppositions, coexistence agreements, cancellations and monitoring. I also have significant experience of dealing with M&A, large scale IP acquisitions, managing ownership updates, and the implementation of portfolio takeovers.

I have managed trade mark portfolios for blue chip clients in a range of sectors including tech, entertainment, retail, food and drink, manufacturing, and consumer goods.

I have also determined more than 250 UDRP and auDRP domain name disputes involving many of the world’s most instantly recognisable brands.

Where enforcement is required, we conduct a broad range of litigation matters in the Federal Court, all Victorian Courts and other State Supreme Courts. Nick has a 2018 qualification from MIT in artificial intelligence and has been published in a number of legal journals, including the Australian Intellectual Property Law Journal, Intellectual Property Law Bulletin and acted for the successful plaintiffs in Mond v Berger (2004) 10 VR 534; [2004] VSC 45, a seminal reported decision on bias and misconduct.

My practice is recognised for integrating pragmatic business experience with IP law: “Clients noted the thoroughness of the firm’s paperwork and attention to detail” – Managing Intellectual Property Magazine’s Managing IP Handbook. The firm is also recommended for ‘Trade Mark Prosecution’ ‘Trade Mark Contentious’ – Managing Intellectual Property Magazine’s World Survey.

In 1989, I represented Australia at the World Rowing Championships, which probably informs my interest in outcomes and high performance. I enjoy writing and speaking on IP issues. I am married with two awesome children.

Tailored fee
Arrangements

Fee arrangements that reflect an alignment of interests

We can easily modify our remuneration arrangements to suit the client or case, so that our clients have greater certainty over the potential financial outcomes of their matters.

Legal work often involves third parties over whom a law firm has no direct control, so for that reason, we use cutting edge project management to scope, onboard and manage the engagement. Hourly rates or fixed fees are not always feasible as a pricing arrangement: hourly rates do not always reflect vital work done efficiently or the hundreds of hours that have gone into a battle-tested precedent document and they can reward inefficiency. We instead apply a tailored, disciplined approach to budgeting and work-plan development, and commit to actively monitoring and managing each matter using transparent and open financial reporting.

Our fees are reasonable because we are a focused, experienced, efficient niche firm without the overheads that burden our competitors. We also think that having skin-in-the-game and aligning our interests is a sensible foundation for a lasting lawyer-client relationship.

Depending on what you consider a successful outcome of your matter, your priorities, both overall and for the matter, the key risks and opportunities and your specific pricing parameters, our value conversation during client onboarding will typically involve a frank and detailed discussion of pricing options including:

  • Fixed fees/Flat fees
  • Virtual General Counsel Engagement Agreements
  • Volume Discounts
  • Blended Hourly Rates
  • Capped fees (hourly rates not to exceed a set amount)
  • Collar fees (sharing of “savings” or “overages” should actual fees deviate from estimate)
  • Cap and Collar arrangements
  • Contingency fees or Uplift fees
  • Success or Performance Bonuses

We aim to ensure that our fee or value-based pricing arrangement reflects our clients’ goals and business objectives.

We are very open to discuss your specific requirements.

What our clients
are saying

Semantia is a software technology company based in Melbourne and has had a long-standing relationship with Nicholas Weston. We work closely with Nick on matters of intellectual property protection.

When a major Australian telecommunications company sought to partner with us and presented us with a one-sided Agreement, we consulted Nick.

Nick reviewed the agreement and suggested amendments that were in the interest of all parties and ensured protection of our company’s intellectual property. Crucially, his suggestions provided all parties protection from the impact of user-generated content.

Nick’s suggestions were accepted and incorporated into the Master Agreement and we were able to sign off confident that neither company would be disadvantaged.


Luce Chandon CEO of Semantia PTY. LTD.

I have been Managing Director of three Victorian registered businesses over the past 25 years:

• Lyburne Pty Ltd (current)
• EMQ Pty Ltd
• Dynamiq Strategy Pty Ltd

My company accountant initially recommended Nick nearly 20 years ago when I was looking for some legal advice on business ownership structure.

Since then Nick has been assisting all three businesses I have run providing legal advice, assistance and representation.

Over the time of our relationship Nick has helped us in the following areas: Establishment of business ownership deeds, Trademark registration including subsequent legal challenge of breach by another organisation, Debt collection, Contractor/Client contract development, Contract reviews, Contractual disputes, Negotiations with purchaser’s lawyers during business sales, Advice on employment law, Legal challenges to contractual breaches, Review and advice of settlement deeds.

As a business owner I am acutely aware there is a constant need to have access to prompt and sensible legal support.

Nick has provided the security and confidence to allow me to focus on building and running my core business activities without being distracted unduly with legal matters.

Nick is easy to talk to, supportive and concise in his advice, knows when to ask the hard questions and is without a doubt better to have on my side than theirs!!


Gary Rigby Managing Director of three companies

Nick is a man who deals in facts – he listens intently, assesses promptly and presents options in plain English before awaiting instruction. He’s got an excellent way with words and is able to apply the right amount of pressure at the right time. He was completely transparent in outlining the strengths and weaknesses of my case and was able to negotiate a favourable settlement for my company very quickly. He’s a straight talker, a strong communicator, and overall, a pleasure to work with.

Litigation aside, I also engaged Nick to file my company’s trademark application. Again, he was diligent, informative and straightforward in his approach.

I’d highly recommend Nick, and hope we can work together on many aspects of commercial law as my company grows.


David Mclean Founder at St. Hemp

Get in touch

Do you have questions regarding M&A, Australian commercial law, trade mark infringement or a case that involves technology?

We are looking forward to having an initial conversation about your legal issues. Please fill in the form and we will be in contact to discuss your legal issues. We never charge for an initial phone conversation. We simply want to know if you will be a good fit for our firm and if we will be a good fit for you. Thank you for your interest in Nicholas Weston.

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