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Barney Cumberland

BA LLB(Hons)


P+64 9 977 5155

M+64 21 497 462

Barney Cumberland

Barney has significant experience across all aspects of New Zealand's domestic and international tax law.

Barney advises clients on a wide range of investment and finance transactions, both domestic and cross-border. He also assists clients with tax disputes and litigation.

  • Chambers Asia-Pacific Tax 2020 - Leading Lawyer
  • Asia Pacific Legal 500 Tax 2020 - Leading Lawyer
  • Asialaw Leading Lawyers Guide Tax 2018 - Leading Lawyer

Examples of work - advisory

  • 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$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 NZ$228 million acquisition purchase 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 Limited - 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

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