New Zealand > Tax
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Bell Gully is advising subsidiaries of Australian companies in a dispute with the Inland Revenue over the tax implications of funding investments through optional convertible notes (OCNs). The firm also worked alongside Goldmans Sachs to split AMI’s business into two entities during its sale, to be owned separately by the government and IAG. Willy Sussman heads the department, and Matthew McKay has ‘an excellent ability to understand complex business concepts’. Niels Campbell is also recommended. David Simcock is now a consultant.
Russell McVeagh’s tax practice is ‘in the top bracket’ and ‘consistently provides strong, business-focused advice’. The team acted on Telecom’s $4.3bn demerger, working with the Inland Revenue to draft legislative amendments giving the transaction tax relief. It also provided tax advice to Westpac during the fundamental restructuring of its New Zealand arm. Fred Ward is ‘technically excellent’, and Brendan Brown ‘has a good ability to sort through the noise’. Campbell Rose has moved to Deloitte.
Buddle Findlay has strong contentious expertise, through special counsel Alexandra Low and ‘very experienced and competent’ practice head Neil Russ. The firm recently advised Kiwibank on the tax implications of its euro commercial paper and Australian Bond programmes. Russ and Tony Wilkinson are actively involved in policy and legislative developments through their participation in the Law Society. The team also works with clients in developing new financial products.
The team at Chapman Tripp is active on a broad range of corporate transactions. It advised the New Zealand government on the tax aspects of the sale of AMI Insurance, and is also assisting Mighty River Power with arrangements for its approaching IPO. In a precedent-setting case, Casey Plunket resolved Direct Capital’s two-year dispute with the Inland Revenue concerning private equity funds. Other clients include ANZ National Bank, MARAC Finance and the Ngati Whatua o Orakei. Litigation expert Graeme Olding and consultant David Patterson are also recommended.
Minter Ellison Rudd Watts bolstered its Auckland offering, with John Peterson moving over from Wellington. He and special counsel Vivian Cheng, who now heads the practice in Wellington, advised the Treasury on transferring assets from South Canterbury Finance’s receivership into a government fund. The team also assisted The Co-operative Bank (formerly PSIS) on the tax aspects of registering as a bank. Andrew Ryan is recommended.
Recognised for its ‘excellent local government expertise, contacts and knowledge’, Simpson Grierson’s team is providing ongoing advice to Auckland Council following its large-scale restructure. It also advised Pernod Ricard and Toll Group in opposing Inland Revenue tax assessments, and represented Westpac in a dispute over a tax-advantaged transaction; Stuart Hutchinson heads the practice, and Barney Cumberland is now a partner.