Examples of our work include:

• establishing charitable trusts, social enterprises, incorporated societies, charitable companies, and other types of for-purpose entities, including drafting constituting documents for various types of structural forms, and assisting with making associated applications to the Department of Internal Affairs - Charities Services | Ng
ā Ratonga Kaupapa Atawhai (formerly the Charities Commission), the Inland Revenue Department | Te Tari Taake, the Registrar of Incorporated Societies, the Companies Office, and other government agencies as required;

• assisting incorporated societies to transition to the new Incorporated Societies Act 2022;

• reviewing, amending and advising on constituting documents for various types of for-purpose entities, including company constitutions, incorporated society rules, charitable trust deeds etc and advising on associated government agency requirements;

• making submissions and appearing before hearing authorities, government agencies, and Select Committees, particularly in the tax and charities law contexts;

• public tax law, including tax disputes and litigation, voluntary disclosures, binding ruling applications and other issues with the Inland Revenue Department; 

• legal opinions on various issues arising for charities, including in the context of the financial reporting rules for registered charities, such as issues relating to control and consolidation, and reserves;

• assisting charities who have been declined registration, or who are facing deregistration, with evaluating their options;

• advising not-for-profit entities on disputes arising under licence or lease agreements with various central or local government bodies in the Reserves Act context;

• using public law tools such as the Official Information Act, the Ombudsmen, the Regulations Review Committee, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, the Chief Archivist, the Resource Management Act etc;

• advising on strategies under the Commerce Act, Charities Act, Income Tax Act and using policy and law reform for creating a level playing field in a particular industry;

• advising on taxation and public law issues regarding the potential creation of a new Crown entity subsidiary;

• resolving funding disputes; 

• incorporating companies, and assisting with their obligations with the Companies Office;

• advice regarding 
Māori incorporations and options under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act;

• legal writing, drafting and editing.


Sue is an experienced litigator, having successfully appeared before the Court of Appeal, High Court, District Court and Taxation Review Authority. Her Court appearances include:

Re Foundation for Anti-Aging Research [2016] NZHC 2,328, successful application for charitable registration 

• National Council of Women of New Zealand Incorporated v Charities Registration Board; National Council of Women of New Zealand Incorporated v Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2015] 3 NZLR 72 (HC), successful appeal for refund of income tax imposed during period of deregistration

• Foundation for Anti-Aging Research v Charities Registration Board [2014] NZHC 1,153, successful application for leave to adduce further evidence and for service upon the Attorney-General

• National Council of Women of New Zealand Incorporated v Charities Registration Board (2014) 26 NZTC 21,075 (HC), successful application for leave to adduce further evidence, for consolidation of appeal against the Charities Registration Board's decision not to backdate reregistration with related tax proceedings, and for service upon the Attorney-General 

• Exide Technologies Ltd v Attorney-General [2011] NZCA 651 and Exide Technologies Ltd v Attorney-General CIV-2011-485-1549, 16 September 2011, seeking judicial review of decisions by the Ministry of Economic Development regarding the export of used lead acid batteries under the Basel Convention

Case W52 (2004) 21 NZTC 11,475,  a highly factual income suppression case

• Inglis v CIR (2001) 20 NZTC 17,379 (HC), concerning the deductibility of legal expenses in an employment context, and factual issues concerning business commencement

• Borlase v CIR (2001) 20 NZTC 17,261 (HC), concerning the deductibility and apportionment of interest costs on loans secured by mortgages over properties with different uses

• Case U29 (2000) 19 NZTC 9,273, concerning warranties on the sale of a financial services business and the character and deductibility of a settlement payment made to a liquidator

• AM Piesse & Ors v CIR, High Court, Palmerston North, 30 March 2001, CP 35/00, before Wild J, on a procedural issue

• Birkdale Service Station Ltd v CIR; CIR v Birkdale Service Station Ltd [2001] 1 NZLR 293 (CA), concerning the assessability of compensation payments for large oil company trade tie arrangements, following deregulation of the petroleum industry in New Zealand. The case also concerned the test case procedure and an appeal over costs in that context

• CJ Faloon & Ors v The Attorney-General, Court of Appeal, CA 255/00, CA  280/00, 23 July 2001, with JAL Oliver, before Keith, Blanchard and McGrath JJ

• Faloon v CIR (2002) 20 NZTC 17,618 (HC) with JAL Oliver, before Elias CJ, a strike out application

• CIR v Registrar of Companies (2002) 20 NZTC 17,846 (HC), concerning the restoration to the companies’ register of a complicated group of 17 companies involved in alleged tax avoidance in the order of $30m, allegedly facilitated by complex transactions between different companies in the group, where the Commissioner of Inland Revenue was a prospective creditor only

• Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd v CIR (1999) 19 NZTC 15,375 (HC), concerning the deductibility of interest debited against policy holders in arrears with premiums payable under “bundled” life insurance policies

• Mainzeal Holdings Ltd v CIR (2001) 20 NZTC 17,409 (CA) concerning (although I wasn’t able to appear in Court due to a last-minute timetable change by the Court). This case concerned the deductibility of payments made in the context of a commercial property development joint venture and an analysis of the true nature of the contractual arrangements entered into.

• Rob Mitchell Builder Ltd (in liq) v The National Bank of New Zealand Ltd (2004) 21 NZTC 18,397 (CA), concerning GST in the context of mortgagee/mortgagor sales

• Involvement in the Privy Council case Latimer v CIR [2004] 3 NZLR 157 (PC) (the Crown Forestry Rental Trust case)

Seminars and presentations:

Sue is an experienced presenter, having presented seminars, webinars and papers for entities such as the University of Melbourne Law School, the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, Conferenz, the Auckland District Law Society, CCH, Legalwise, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (formerly the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants), the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, the Inland Revenue Department, Chapman Tripp, the Charity Gaming Association, the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, Buddle Findlay, Musical Theatre New Zealand Incorporated, and the Charities Commission (now Charities Services), on a wide range of topics, including: 

  • charities law updates
  • the new financial reporting rules for registered charities
  • the proposed new Incorporated Societies Act
  • the Charities Amendment Bill and charities' appeal rights
  • governance of charities and other not-for-profits
  • the anti-money laundering regime
  • tax disputes and litigation
  • strategies for appealing decisions of the charities regulator
  • issues relating to donee status
  • charities regulation
  • the Canterbury Development Corporation case
  • the Supreme Court decision in Greenpeace
  • insolvency law
  • tax on financing deals
  • tax issues for property lawyers
  • tax issues on the sale and purchase of a business
  • indirect tax update
  • the new GST rules
  • trademarks and branding
  • the benefits and drawbacks of the current definition of charitable purpose etc.