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Barney Cumberland

BA LLB(Hons)


P+64 9 977 5155

M+64 21 497 462

Barney Cumberland

With over 20 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 investment and finance transactions, both domestic and cross-border. Barney also assists clients with tax disputes and litigation and advises high net worth individuals and families on tax, trust and asset planning matters.

  • Chambers Asia-Pacific Tax 2021 - Leading Lawyer
  • Asia Pacific Legal 500 Tax 2021 - Leading Lawyer (Hall of Fame)
  • Asialaw Leading Lawyers Guide Tax 2018 - Leading Lawyer

Examples of Work - Advisory

  • Transdev New Zealand - advised on the tax aspects of its acquisition of 100% of the shares of two separately operating bus companies, Mana Coach Holdings Ltd and InMotion Group Ltd
  • Shinsei Bank/UDC - principal legal tax adviser to Japanese finance conglomerate Shinsei on the conditional NZ$762 million acquisition of iconic New Zealand finance company, UDC 
  • Heritage Lifecare - advised on tax issues arising in connection with its acquisition of seven aged care facilities and villages from Golden Healthcare Group - Heritage is majority owned by Australian private equity firm Adamantem Capital 
  • Urwin and Company - advised on all tax aspects of the sale of its business and assets, comprised of a significant amount of domestic fishing quota (primarily oyster, crayfish and blue cod quota), multiple JV interests and the fish processing facility, as well as its subsequent wind-up 
  • Constellation Brands - advised Constellation on New Zealand tax issues arising on the sale of its wine and spirits portfolio to E&J Gallo Winery, Inc
  • Mighty Ape - legal tax adviser to the shareholders of Mighty Ape (New Zealand's first e-commerce retailer) on the sale of 100% of its business to Australian retail and insurance company Kogan for A$122.4 million ($NZD128.3 million) 
  • Event Hospitality and Entertainment - advised Event on tax aspects of its acquisition of 50% of the shares in Jucy Snooze Ltd
  • Dense Air - advised Dense Air on structuring and tax aspects of its sale of NZ subsidiary Dense Air NZ Ltd to Softbank Ltd of Japan
  • Optic Security Group - tax and structuring advice on the roll-up by Optic Security Group of six Australian and New Zealand companies to create an integrated security products and services provider
  • Restaurant Brands - tax and structuring advice to Mexican investor Finaccess Capital on its NZ$881 million partial takeover of Restaurant Brands
  • Hellers - tax advice to Australian private equity firm, Adamantem Capital, on its purchase of Kiwi small goods manufacturer Hellers
  • OMV - principal NZ tax law adviser to Austrian oil and gas producer OMV on its US$578 million 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 NZ$228 million acquisition of the iconic NZ Icebreaker brand
  • Mercury Capital - tax advice for this NZ$400 million Australian-based investment company on its purchase, through New Zealand Adventure Travel Company Ltd, of 78% of the New Zealand digital company International Volunteer HQ
  • Tait Ltd and Tait International Ltd - tax advice relating to a major restructuring of its New Zealand and worldwide operations
  • Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) - advised LIC on tax aspects of simplifying its two-class share structure 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
  • 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 NZ$1.63 billion of social housing stock from Housing New Zealand
  • Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) - advised ACC on its NZ$231 million 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) 
  • 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 
  • 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 and the impact of the Trusts Act 2019 

Examples of Work - Litigation

  • 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
  • Inaugural Future Auckland Leadership Programme run by The Committee for Auckland in 2004-2005 - Participant