New Zealand

Reviews

Practice area

World Tax Reviews

Tax
Bell Gully

Mathew McKay is the head of the tax department at Bell Gully. The team includes four partners and 10 lawyers. It provides a wide range of tax services and has a broad transactional client base, including Fletcher Building, Vodafone New Zealand, Air New Zealand, the Todd Corporation, Blackstone and Platinum Equity.

Willy Sussman has led a project of looking at GST issues regarding PPPs. The clients include the New Zealand Transport Agency, Ministry of Education and Department of Corrections. Anna Buchly and James Gibson lead one transactional tax issue for Platinum Equity. The firm is helping the client on the tax aspects of the proposed acquisitions of Staples Australasia and OfficeMax Australasia.

The firm has hired several professionals recently, including previous High Court and Supreme Court clerks.

Buddle Findlay

Tony Wilkinson and Neil Russ lead the tax practice at Buddle Findlay. Wilkinson has a strong reputation with both public and private sector clients. His practice includes corporate restructurings and acquisitions, tax disputes, inbound and outbound investments and customs and excise duty matters. Russ, meanwhile, is involved in tax disputes in New Zealand. He advises on innovative banking products, GST, international tax matters, and international and domestic tax disputes. Maria Clezy and Brett Rawlings are two of the rising stars at the firm.

One example of its recent work was when Wilkinson and Clezy helped Vodafone New Zealand deal with a transactional tax issue. They advised the client on the acquisition of 70% of the shares in Baycity Communications. The team is also helping a client on a tax controversy matter. The firm is assisting the client regarding the excise duty dispute of an owned operating company.

In 2017, Brett Rawlings was promoted from a senior solicitor to a senior associate.

Chapman Tripp

Chapman Tripp provides tax services covering M&A, securitisations, restructurings, cross border capital repatriation and dividend issues, tax disputes with the Inland Revenue Department, and capital-raising exercises. The firm is involved in high profile tax policy work and has contributed to changes to both New Zealand and international law. The team has a broad client base including private equity firms throughout Australasia, banks in New Zealand and corporates from the NZX50.

Bevan Miles and Vivian Cheng are helping various clients with general corporate tax matters. The team is advising banks and financial institutions on their obligations under AEOI/CRS. These clients include ZNA, the Bank of New Zealand, Kiwibank, Westpac and the New Zealand Banker’s Association. Miles and Simon Akozu also advised the Bank of China on a transactional tax issue. In this project, the team helped the client by drafting all legal documentation, structuring from a legal perspective and assisting all parties with settlement.

Deloitte

The Deloitte tax team is comprised of 26 partners, 11 directors, 29 associate directors, 19 managers, 24 senior consultants and 72 consultants. It provides tax services that include general corporate tax, indirect tax, tax controversy, transactional tax and transfer pricing. The firm has been involved in the tax committee of the New Zealand professional accounting body.

In the past year, Campbell Rose led one transaction tax matter for the E-Co Products Group. The team offered tax vendor due diligence and tax sale advisory services to the client regarding its sale to Vector. Meanwhile, Troy Andrews advised Oceania Healthcare on general corporate tax issues valued at about $140 million. The team suggested approaches to improve the balance sheet, recommended prepaid tax, reviewed losses and ensured that the value of New Zealand foreign investor tax credits was understood.

In 2017, Deloitte expanded by hiring three managers, two directors and seven associate directors.

Client feedback

“Thorough, competent and helpful.”

Grant Thornton

Greg Thompson is the head of the tax department at Grant Thornton. The tax team includes four partners and 13 other fee earners. It provides tax services including corporate, indirect, transfer pricing, direct international and global mobility services. The team provides advisory and compliance services to various entities, including multinationals, entrepreneurial businesses, central and local governments and high net worth individuals. In addition, the firm has built a strong relationship with the Inland Revenue tax policy team. It represents clients when requesting specific tax policy changes.

In 2018, Oksana Simonov, who previously worked at Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand, joined the firm.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Andrew Ryan and Sacha Oudyn lead the tax practice at MinterEllisonRuddWatts. The firm provides services including tax disputes with the Inland Revenue, M&A transactions, general corporate tax and transfer pricing. It is also well-known as a Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and Common Reporting Standard expert in the local market. The team regularly advises investment funds and banking and financial services groups on the tax aspects of various fund structures, complex financing arrangements and new-to-market financial products.

The firm dealt with a large number of transactional tax matters in 2017 and 2018. Andrew Ryan, Sacha Oudyn and Zoe Barnes led one transactional tax issue from TOMRA. In this project the firm’s work covered several matters with regard to sale and purchase agreement negotiations, tax due diligence and securing warranty and indemnity insurance. It also provided strategic and tactical advice.

Russell McVeagh

Russell McVeagh offers tax services covering financing and capital raising, M&A, business establishment and reorganisations, investment products, PPPs, employee remuneration packages, customs and excise, transfer pricing and tax investigations and disputes. The team also participates in the tax reform process, including appearing before parliamentary committees and making representations at a ministerial level. It has a large client base that includes ANZ, BNZ, ASB Bank, Fonterra, Origin Energy and Spark.

In the past year, Fred Ward advised the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on a transactional tax matter. It required engagement with several regulatory agencies, including the New Zealand and Australian tax authorities. Brendan Brown and Andrew Butler recently advised the Queenstown Airport Corporation on a tax controversy issue. In this project, the team represented the client regarding its appeal against a High Court decision.

Client feedback

“Excellent work. Very practical and mindful of a solution that works in real life. Able to connect with different areas of the business and explain very complex issues in a way that makes it understandable. Always goes the extra mile. Polite and respectful to the regulators, which eased tensions.”