David is well-known for:
David has provided taxation advice on a wide range of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, international capital markets transactions and project financing. He has a very broad experience in New Zealand taxation matters.
David has advised a number of Maori iwi on Treaty settlements and the establishment of post-settlement governance entities, including advising the Central North Island Iwi Collective on the CNI Forests Settlement in 2008 (involving over $400m) and the establishment and restructuring of Tuhoe - Te Uru Taumatua.
He has significant experience in acting for clients in relation to proposed tax legislation, and has appeared before the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on numerous occasions, as well as other Parliamentary Select Committees. In 2009 and 2010, David acted as a specialist advisor to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee in relation to legislative drafting issues arising in two Tax Bills.
David has appeared for defendants in a number of tax prosecutions.
David is very experienced in handling tax disputes and is well known for his ability to resolve tax disputes without resort to litigation. He has appeared as counsel in about 40 tax cases at all levels from the Privy Council to the Taxation Review Authority. He appeared as junior counsel in the Privy Council in Rangatira Limited v CIR (gains from share sales). He has appeared as lead counsel in a number of Court of Appeal cases, including:
David also has an extensive advisory practice in relation to trusts for non-residents and overseas trust companies. He provides trust law and taxation advice for these clients.
David speaks overseas on New Zealand tax matters on a regular basis, as well as at leading New Zealand conferences. He has also written extensively on New Zealand tax issues. He is the Consultant Editor for CCH’s New Zealand Tax Planning Report and a member of the Editorial Board for CCH’s New Zealand Income Tax Law and Practice. David recently authored a chapter entitled "Taxation of Monetary Awards" in Blanchard (ed) Civil Remedies in New Zealand (2nd ed., 2011).
David has been listed by Chambers and Partners for many years. Chambers Global in 2009 referred to David being "a notable tax practitioner" and in 2010 as "a well-renowned barrister, praised for his expertise in corporate taxation, GST and contentious taxation issues". Chambers Asia Pacific (2014 edition) states that David "has a broad-ranging practice with a noted focus on the tax law aspects of charities and trusts" and (2016 edition) "is widely recognised by peers for his representation of charities and trusts". He "is highly regarded for his pragmatic and commercial approach".
He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and of its New Zealand Branch Education Committee. David is a former member of the New Zealand Branch Committee of the International Fiscal Association and the Taxation Committee of the New Zealand Law Society.
David was Chair of the Rewrite Advisory Panel until its disestablishment in December 2014, having been appointed in June 2008 by the Minister of Revenue to replace the late Sir Ivor Richardson (former President of the Court of Appeal). The Panel supervised the rewrite of the Income Tax Act and considered submissions about unintended legislative changes. During 2010, David was a member of the GST Advisory Panel, which addressed transitional effects of the increase in the GST rate.
Before commencing practice as a barrister, David was a tax partner at Bell Gully from 1986 until early 2003. Previously, David was a Lecturer in the Accountancy Department at Victoria University of Wellington.