New Zealand

New Zealand > Leading tax law firms

Index of tables

  1. New Zealand – Leading tax law firms
  2. New Zealand - TDH500
  3. Next generation lawyers
  4. Revenue authority details

New Zealand - TDH500

  1. 1
    • Brendan Brown - Russell McVeagh
    • Shaun Connolly - Russell McVeagh
    • Barney Cumberland - Simpson Grierson
    • Stuart Hutchinson - Simpson Grierson
    • Mathew McKay - Bell Gully
    • Graeme Olding - Chapman Tripp
    • David Patterson - Chapman Tripp
    • Neil Russ - Buddle Findlay
    • Andrew Ryan - MinterEllisonRuddWatts
    • Willy Sussman - Bell Gully
    • Fred Ward - Russell McVeagh
    • Tony Wilkinson - Buddle Findlay

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Nick Bland - Simpson Grierson
    • Campbell Pentney - Bell Gully

Bell Gullyprovides excellent service to consistently high standards and has a very practical approach. ‘Absolutely brilliant’, said one client, who praises the team’s ‘steadfast dedication to working for the best outcomes’. In Auckland, team head Mathew McKay advises domestic and offshore clients on corporate tax law, particularly in the context of M&A transactions. Willy Sussman is New Zealand’s only specialist indirect tax lawyer, focusing on GST, VAT and customs and excise duty. Graham Murray and Jarrod Walker are also recommended. The team is advising Vodafone on tax aspects of its proposed merger with Sky Network Television.

At Chapman Tripp, a strong senior team includes Auckland-based Graeme Olding and newly promoted Bevan Miles, who has in-house experience as general manager of taxation at ASB Bank, and Wellington-based David Patterson. The firm handles the tax aspects of major M&A transactions and acted for Tower Limited in its NZ$220m takeover by Fairfax Financial Holdings. It also advised NZ Post on tax structuring for the NZ$494m sale of its stake in Kiwi Group Holdings. The team also advises on major infrastructure projects and plays a role in the formation of domestic and international law through its tax policy advisory work.

Top-notch firmRussell McVeaghscores 10 out of 10 for exceptional service’. The team advised major domestic banks on the tax implications of European regulatory capital requirements, Trustpower on its demerger, ANZ Bank on the NZ$660m sale of its UDC Finance subsidiary, and Fairfax Group on its proposed merger with NZME. In Auckland, Fred Ward (who is ‘very commercial and extremely knowledgeable, especially on tricky issues’) and team head Brendan Brown are highly recommended. Clients also praise Shaun Connolly in Wellington, who advised the ShapEd consortium on its successful NZ$220m schools PPP bid.

The team at Simpson Grierson in Auckland is ‘highly efficient; it provides the best value in NZ by some margin and always keeps the client’s needs in mind’. Clients appreciate the ‘excellent value for money and in-depth knowledge of tax law as it changes’, from a team that is ‘prepared to push boundaries to explore alternative approaches’. Practice head Stuart Hutchinson has ‘extremely extensive knowledge and can see traps even when they are not obvious’. Barney Cumberland, who advised Accident Compensation Corporation on its NZ$494m purchase of a stake in Kiwibank, ‘has a good commercial understanding of what clients require’.

Buddle Findlay works closely with banks and domestic and international corporations on tax matters and regularly advises on innovative tax structures and high-value contentious matters. Neil Russ in Auckland leads the team and is ‘extremely knowledgeable and patient with clients’. Tony Wilkinson is the lead tax adviser to the firm’s biggest corporate clients and acted for Sky Network Television in its NZ$3.4bn merger bid for Vodafone New Zealand. He also advised Chevron South Asia Holdings on tax aspects of the NZ$785m sale of shares to Z Energy. The firm also counts Newell Brands and Smartshares Limited among its clients.

The team at MinterEllisonRuddWatts is ‘highly responsive, prepared and technical, as well as co-operative and trustworthy’. Sole tax partner and chartered accountant Andrew Ryan is ‘efficient, extremely patient and good at building client relationships’. He advised Tomra Systems on its NZ$70m purchase of food sorting solutions provider Compac Holdings, and assisted Rangatira Limited on the sale of its stake in Tuatara Brewing Company to DB Breweries. He also counts Milford Asset Management Limited and Goldman Sachs New Zealand among his clients.

The tax practice at EY Law is part the firm’s global law network and is known for advising on complex and high-value matters in the areas of structuring, audits, risk reviews, disputes and dealings with the Inland Revenue. It acts for multinational corporates, high-net-worth individuals, trusts and charities. Kirsty Keating in Auckland leads the team, which also includes director Tori Sullivan. Recent highlights include advising multinational companies in disputes with the Inland Revenue concerning withholding tax.

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Powerlist -
Australia and New Zealand Teams

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Jurisdictional Overviews worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to