Our team has been securing successful outcomes in high value, complex tax disputes for leading Australian and multinational corporates and financial institutions for many years.
What sets us apart?
- a team that specialises in tax disputes, with demonstrated success in litigating complex cases to judgment and appeal;
- a track record of successfully negotiating outcomes for clients with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the state revenue offices;
- expertise in a range of alternative dispute resolution tools available to taxpayers, including voluntary disclosures, negotiated settlements, independent review, mediations and arbitration;
- an understanding of the tax authorities’ programs for identifying potential tax disputes, including the ATO's Justified Trust and Next Actions programs, which allows us to think ahead and protect the position of our clients;
- experience in the administrative law challenges which commonly arise in tax disputes, including seeking judicial review of administrative decisions or determinations and also in connection with information gathering issues such as legal professional privilege;
- integration with our taxation advisory team, providing clients with seamless front- and back-end advice; and
- experience working with clients from across all sectors.
- Chambers Asia-Pacific – Tax: Ranked Band 2 (2022)
- Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2 – Tax: Ranked Tier 2 (2021)
Managing tax risk is a significant concern for all businesses operating in Australia. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reviewing companies and individuals with greater sophistication and rigour than ever before, including before commencement of any specific audit or investigation, and the State revenue offices have significantly increased their compliance activities.
Knowing the strength of your legal position and being prepared for what has become inevitable scrutiny from tax authorities allows you to plan the best course of action.
Experience dealing with ATO and the state revenue offices
Our knowledge of tax authorities' processes for identifying and managing tax disputes, as well as our effective communication with the ATO and the State revenue offices, give us an edge when it comes to resolving taxation disputes.
Negotiating successful outcomes
We have consistently negotiated successful outcomes for our clients. We understand that a negotiated outcome can often be in the best interest of our clients.
Experience managing tax litigation
Our team has managed large, complex tax litigation matters against the ATO and State revenue offices. We have acted for clients across all industries and on all aspects of tax litigation in the High Court, the Federal Court, State and Territory Supreme Courts, and in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the state administrative tribunals.
Current and recent matters
La Mancha Africa S.a.r.l. v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 1977 (VID778/2020) and (NSD1243 of 2020): We act for a large privately held entity in an income tax dispute over the sale of share in a publicly listed company. We were successful in seeking declaratory relief from the Federal Court effectively preserving the client's obligation and tax appeal rights following a complex, offshore restructure. The case involved intricate issues of multiple foreign laws and questions of Federal Court jurisdiction.
Newmont Canada FN Holdings ULC v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 958 (WAD585/2017) and Newmont Capital Limited v Commissioner of Taxation (WAD590/2017): We act for a large, multinational gold company in an income tax dispute over an intra-group restructure. We were success in resisting a stay of the proceedings pending another Federal Court tax case.
Confidential Client v Commissioner of Territory Revenue [2020/ 2021]: Provided advice on the apportionment of consideration between dutiable and non dutiable property in a business sale and the appropriate valuation methodology to apply to hotels.
Confidential Client v Commissioner of Taxes : The dispute arose from a prolonged investigation and dealt with amongst other things, associated transactions under a public offer in respect of landholder duty, administrative law issues relating to a refusal to apply a private ruling, and the application of general anti-avoidance provisions.
Commissioner of Taxation v Virgin Australia Regional Airlines Pty Ltd  FCAFC 209 and Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 523: We acted for Virgin Australia in relation to the fringe benefits tax (FBT) treatment of car parking benefits for workers.
Commissioner of State Revenue v Telgrove Pty Ltd  QCATA 67: We acted for the Commissioner of State Revenue in a payroll tax dispute about the grouping of taxpayer entities, which has been remitted to the Tribunal for reconsideration. We have also acted for the Commissioner in another similar matter.
Coal of Queensland Pty Ltd v Innovation and Science Australia  FCAFC 54: We acted successfully for the regulator in establishing that the taxpayer was not entitled to the R&D tax offset.
Comptroller-General of Customs v Smoothflow Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 144: We acted successfully for the taxpayer in relation to the classification of certain pipes imported into Australia, which were held to be "prepared for use in structures" and were therefore subject to a lower rate of duty.
ACN 154 520 199 Pty Ltd (in liquidation) v Commissioner of Taxation  FCAFC 190: We acted for Pallion Group, the largest precious metal services group in Australasia, in a GST dispute in the Full Federal Court which is significant for all precious metals suppliers as it clearly defines the process of "refining" of precious metals such as gold.
Newmont Tanami Pty Ltd v Secretary for Mineral Royalties (NT)  NTSC 22: We acted for Newmont in proceedings in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory regarding the mineral royalty provisions.
Commissioner of Taxation v Racing Queensland Board  FCA 509 and Commissioner of Taxation v Racing Queensland Board  FCAFC 224: We acted for the principal racing authority in challenging superannuation assessments for payment of superannuation to jockeys. We worked closely with our client to secure key witnesses and documents relied upon by the Court.
Jordan, Commissioner of Taxation v Second Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 1602: We acted successfully for the Commissioner of Taxation in proceedings which determined that certain protected taxpayer information could be used by the Commissioner in defending defamation proceedings which the taxpayer had commenced against him.
Resource Capital Fund IV LP v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 41 and Commissioner of Taxation v Resource Capital Fund IV LP  FCAFC 51: We acted for Resource Capital Fund in a landmark decision of the Federal Court that held that “land” does not encompass more than has previously been thought. This will have important implications for anyone investing in Australian assets, particularly in the energy and resources sector. The decision is relevant for non-resident multinational and private equity investors alike. It also gives important guidance in the operation of double taxation treaties and the fiscal transparency of foreign limited partnerships.
Comptroller-General of Customs v Pharm-A-Care Laboratories Pty Ltd  FCAFC 237: We acted successfully for the taxpayer in relation to the correct classification of certain goods referred to as pastilles containing vitamins, which were held to be vitamins and therefore not subject to duty.