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Tax

Our tax lawyers are specialists in corporate and commercial taxation.

They advise on a broad range of commercial transactions across all industries, as well as corporate mergers, acquisitions, and capital raisings.

Our expertise in cross-border taxation issues is called upon regularly in working with international institutional investors, private clients and international trusts.

Clients, both locally and internationally, seek our advice  on employee share schemes – a very topical issue with new tax rules enacted in March 2018.

A number of our tax lawyers are experienced in handling significant tax and excise duty disputes with the NZ Inland Revenue and Customs Service. They have expertise in regulatory and Court proceedings, working closely with our litigation department.

In addition, our knowledge of public sector taxation is second to none. We advise extensively in the local government and Crown entity area.

Our tax practice is also much sought after by the not-for-profit-sector. We advise numerous clients on charitable status and tax concession issues.

Examples of our work - advisory

  • OMV – principal NZ tax law adviser to Austrian oil and gas producer OMV on its US$578M acquisition of Royal Dutch Shell’s upstream oil and gas business in New Zealand
  • Heritage Lifecare – advised on the acquisition of care homes and retirement villages from BUPA
  • Icebreaker – advised global giant VF Corporation on its purchase of the iconic NZ Icebreaker brand
  • New Zealand Adventure Travel Company – advised on its recent purchase of International Volunteer HQ  
  • Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) – advised LIC on simplifying its two-class share structure, to benefit all shareholders, and obtaining confirmatory binding rulings from the NZ Inland Revenue
  • Waikato-Tainui –advised Waikato-Tainui on numerous ventures undertaken within the auspices of its charitable trust ownership structure
  • Dynes Transport – advised on its joint venture with HW Richardson Group
  • Tamaki Redevelopment Company Ltd (TRC) – principal tax adviser to TRC on structuring and tax issues since its incorporation to undertake urban regeneration in part of Auckland, including the purchase of $1.63 billion of social housing stock from Housing New Zealand
  • Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) – advised ACC on its part acquisition of Kiwibank from New Zealand Post
  • Archer Capital – advised on acquisition of Aspire2 group (New Zealand’s largest private vocational education provider to international students)
  • Various United States funds – advice on acquisition and operation of New Zealand forestry and/or farming assets and investment in NZ businesses
  • Solid Energy – advised on tax aspects of debt restructuring and asset divestment programme, culminating in the planned liquidation of the NZ SOE 
  • Graymont – advised this emerging global leader on its acquisition of Holcim's New Zealand lime assets and ongoing tax advice  
  • Shanghai Maling Aquarius – purchase by one of China’s two largest food companies of a 50% interest in Silver Fern Farms
  • Auckland City Council, Auckland Transition Agency and Auckland Council - tax aspects of the integration of Auckland into a "supercity" (particularly in relation to financing arrangements), and ongoing advice on various income tax issues, GST issues, and charity-related matters affecting Auckland Council and its council-controlled organisations
  • Auckland Transport – advice in connection with the City Rail Link construction project
  • Christchurch City Council – advice on restructuring ownership of its social housing stock
  • Harvard Management Company, Inc (investment arm of Harvard University) - tax advice on its New Zealand forestry and farming investments, including the sell-down of its stake in Kaingaroa Forest to Canadian pension fund Public Sector Pension Investment Board
  • New Line Cinema (NLC) – sole NZ advisors to and negotiators for NLC on the NZ financing structure for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy

Examples of our work - litigation

  • Declaratory judgment – preparing for a High Court hearing set down for June 2018 where our client is seeking a declaratory judgment, opposed by the NZ Revenue, on questions of tax law that will have very widespread implications
  • United States Department of Justice –expert witness in relation to New Zealand aspects of a significant international tax case between the US Government and a large US multi-national
  • Major NZ oil company - excise duty disputes with New Zealand Customs
  • Structured finance litigation – advocate for a leading NZ bank in its structured finance tax dispute – Westpac Banking Corporation v Commissioner of Inland Revenue
  • Convertible note tax disputes - represented taxpayers in tax avoidance disputes with the NZ Revenue over financing transactions involving the use of optional or mandatory convertible notes
  • International arbitration – acted for US defendant in a major international arbitration arising from a tax-advantaged NZ financing transaction
  • Tax avoidance rebuttal – acted for a leading NZ bank in successfully striking out proceedings commenced by Yandina Investments, relating to the equitable assignment of an aircraft lease to Yandina, where Yandina alleged tax avoidance – Yandina Investments Ltd v ANZ National Bank and Others
  • Mortgagee sales – advocate for financier in the leading GST case on the priority for payment of GST from the proceeds of a mortgagee sale – Edgewater Motel Ltd v CIR
  • Capital or revenue? – acted for taxpayer in significant tax case concerning the deductibility of gas pipeline work – CIR v Auckland Gas