Sue Barker
LLB(Hons) (First Class) / BCA / CA

Sue Barker is the director of Sue Barker Charities Law, a boutique law firm based in Wellington, New Zealand, specialising in charities law and public tax law. Since its founding in 2012, the firm has won a number of awards, including Boutique Law Firm of the Year at the New Zealand Law Awards. Sue serves on the board of a number of not-for-profit organisations, including the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, and is a regular presenter and contributor of articles on charities law, tax and governance issues. Sue is also a co-author of the text, The Law and Practice of Charities in New Zealand, published by LexisNexis and a contributor to Regulating Charities: the Inside Story, published by Routledge. In 2016, Sue was made an Honorary National Life Member of the National Council of Women of New Zealand Incorporated for her work assisting the Council to regain their charitable registration. Examples of Sue’s specific experience can be found here.

Career Summary:

2012-present, Director, Sue Barker Charities Law. In 2013, the firm was voted New Zealand’s boutique law firm of the year, and first runner-up for the tax law firm of the year award, at the New Zealand Law Awards. The firm has also received a number of other awards, including:

    • New Zealand - Gamechanger of the Year, at the ACQ5 Global Awards 2017;
    • New Zealand - Niche Law Firm of the Year (Charity), at the ACQ5 Global Awards 2017;
    • Excellence in Charity Law - Australasia, at the Corporate LiveWire Legal Awards 2017/2018;
    • Best Boutique Law Firm, at the APAC Insider New Zealand Business Awards, 2017;
    • APAC Insider Polynesian Excellence Award, 2017;
    • Boutique Charities Law Firm of the Year, at the LawyerIssue Awards 2017;
    • Public Tax Law Firm of the Year - New Zealand, at the Corporate Insider Legal Awards 2017;
    • Boutique Tax Law Firm of the Year - New Zealand, at the Corporate LiveWire Legal Awards, 2016;
    • Boutique Charities Law Firm of the Year - New Zealand, at the Corporate LiveWire Legal Awards, 2015;

• 2010-2012, Principal and Consultant, Chen Palmer, New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists, Principal, Leader of Commercial Law Team. In 2010 and 2011, Chen Palmer was voted New Zealand’s best public law firm at the New Zealand Law Awards;

• 2008-2010, Chapman Tripp, Senior Solicitor, Finance Team, Tax Team. In 2010, Chapman Tripp was placed in the top band in Chambers Global 2010 in 5 main practice areas, including banking and finance, and tax;

• 2002-2008, Buddle Findlay, Senior Associate, Revenue Law Team, Business Services Team (part-time 2005-2008). In 2008, Buddle Findlay was declared New Zealand’s tax controversy firm of the year in the prestigious International Tax Review’s Asia Awards;

• 1998-2002, Crown Law Office, Associate Crown Counsel, Tax and Commercial Law Team (part-time 1999-2002). Sue achieved wins for the Commissioner of Inland Revenue/Attorney-General in every case she argued in Court;

• 1993-1998, Inland Revenue Department, Senior Policy Analyst, Policy Advice Division (part-time 1995), working principally on the rewrite of the income tax legislation;

• 1990-1993, Inland Revenue Department, Investigations Unit;

• University tutor, accounting, 1991.


New Zealand Law Society, since 1999;

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (formerly the New Zealand Institute of
   Chartered Accountants and the New Zealand Society of Accountants), since 1993;

Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand since 2012, Director since 2016;

• Honorary National Life Member, National Council of Women of New Zealand Incorporated
  since September 2016;

International Fiscal Association, since 2012;

New Zealand Trustees' Association, since 2012;

Council member, Wellington branch of the New Zealand Law Society, 2015 - 2017;

Onslow College Board of Trustees, since 2014;

• Trustee, the gift trust, a donor-advised philanthropic trust, CC40774, 2013 - 2016;

• Trustee, Wellington Dance Festival Charitable Trust, since 2011;

• Member, Khandallah Arts Theatre, since 2003;

• Recipient, United World College Scholarship and graduate, United World College of 
the Atlantic
, Wales;

• Occasional member, Counsel in Concert.


Sue reached national level in 5 sports (cross-country running, springboard diving, football/soccer, trampolining and life-saving) and 3 musical disciplines (classical piano, chamber orchestra (violoncello) and chamber choir).

Sue is an accomplished pianist, having studied piano performance at Victoria University of Wellington. Her piano engagements include: working as a pianist for dance classes at the New Zealand School of Dance and Deirdre Tarrant Dance Studios, as an on-stage pianist for Downstage Theatre’s production of Arsenic and Old Lace, as a café pianist and vocalist in Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch, as a private piano teacher, and as a member of Nightlife, a 5-piece covers rock band, playing for weddings, parties, clubs and bars around Wellington and the lower North Island. Sue has also studied, taught and performed in several different forms of dance.