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Barney Cumberland

BA LLB(Hons)


P+64 9 977 5155

M+64 21 497 462

Barney Cumberland

With nearly 25 years in practice, Barney has significant experience across all aspects of New Zealand's domestic and international tax law.

He advises clients on a wide range of transactions and other non-contentious tax matters, both domestic and cross-border, and involving the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Barney also assists clients with tax disputes and litigation and advises high net worth individuals and families on trust, asset planning and related tax matters.

Barney is a member of Simpson Grierson's Board.

  • Asia Pacific Legal 500 Tax 2022 - Leading Lawyer (Hall of Fame)
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific Tax 2023 - Leading Lawyer

Examples of Work

Private Sector Advisory (2021-22 matters only)

  • Adamantem Capital Management Pty and Heritage Lifecare - principal legal tax advisor on Heritage’s $280 million care home property sale and leaseback transaction with Centuria Capital Group
  • Arena Investors, LP (and related entities) - tax and structuring advice on new and continuing New Zealand investments worth in excess of NZ$400 million and on a proposed expansion/restructuring of its New Zealand lending business
  • Macquarie Asia-Pacific Infrastructure - tax advice in relation to the prospective merger of Orcon Group with 2degrees, forming New Zealand’s third-largest integrated telecommunications company
  • Doordash, Inc. - advised Doordash, a US multinational that operates an online food ordering and food delivery platform, on tax aspects of its entry into the New Zealand market
  • New Zealand Medical and Scientific – provided tax advice on its sale to US multinational, Dexcom, Inc.
  • Lodestone Energy - tax advice in relation to various aspects of its prospective development of a network of solar generation farms throughout New Zealand
  • Constellation Brands - advised Constellation on New Zealand tax issues arising on the sale of parts of its international wine and spirits portfolio to E&J Gallo Winery, Inc
  • Matariki Forests Trading – advised on tax-related matters in establishing a log export joint venture with Hancock’s, that has immediately become the biggest log exporter in the Southern Hemisphere, with an annual turn-over of about NZ$1 billion
  • The a2 Milk Company Ltd - advised on tax aspects of its NZ$385 million strategic acquisition of Mataura Valley Milk Ltd
  • Advised numerous large multi-national enterprises on the impact on their NZ subsidiaries of BEPS related changes to NZ income tax rules and NZ’s remote services and distantly taxable goods GST rules
  • Advised numerous high net worth individuals and families on tax, trust and asset protection matters, including with respect to business succession arrangements, the impact of the Trusts Act 2019 and international and domestic disclosure matters

Examples of Work – Public Sector Advisory

  • Auckland City Council, Auckland Transition Agency, and the Auckland Council group - advising on multiple projects, including tax aspects of the Auckland Council reorganisation and post-reorganisation structuring and transactional advice, establishment of the Council’s charitable trust council-controlled organisation (CCO) Regional Facilities Auckland, establishment of the Council’s urban development CCO (Panuku Development Auckland), the 2020 amalgamation of ATEED and Regional Facilities Auckland Ltd into Auckland Unlimited, America’s Cup funding issues and various income tax, GST and charity/not-for-profit matters for the Council group
  • City Rail Link - advised on its income tax and GST position, including liaising with Treasury and Inland Revenue, and on the transfer of assets from Auckland Council
  • Tamaki Redevelopment Company/Tamaki Regeneration/Tamaki Housing Association LP – principal tax advisor on structuring and tax issues since their establishment to undertake urban regeneration in part of Auckland

Not-for-Profit Sector Advisory

  • Tait Ltd/Tait International/Tait Foundation/Tait Contel Charitable Trust - advised on a significant internal restructuring and the subsequent part sale of the Tait electronics business to JVC Kenwood Corporation
  • Skills Inc. - providing ongoing advice to Skills, New Zealand’s largest industry training organisation, on various acquisitions and its transitional arrangements under the Government’s ROVE reforms
  • Waikato-Tainui - advised Waikato-Tainui on numerous ventures undertaken within the auspices of its charitable trust ownership structure


  • 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
  • Structured finance litigation - advocate for a leading NZ bank in its NZ$960 million 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

Other Credentials

  • New Zealand Law Society Tax Law Committee - Member
  • International Fiscal Association (New Zealand branch) - Member
  • International Bar Association Tax Law Committee - Member