Private Client

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Private Client

The Private Client team at Russell McVeagh is a specialist group of advisors focused on all aspects of asset planning to ensure property is carefully managed, protected and transitions in accordance with our client's wishes. When it comes to deciding the best way to protect and manage wealth, each individual and family brings different issues to the planning stage. Our team is focused on providing bespoke services to achieve the best outcome. The range of services we provide includes advising on and crafting trust and/or company structures, family constitutions or other governance framework, philanthropy, enduring powers of attorney, relationship property and wills/estates.    
Our team includes lawyers who have had considerable litigation experience resolving trust, estate and relationship property disputes both in court and private mediation. Their experience is able to inform and strengthen an asset planning structure. With the ability to utilise other specialists in tax, immigration, employment, and real estate the firm has the capabilities to steward a family through the complexities of life for many generations.


Full service offering

You want a seamless integrated delivery of legal services resulting in successful outcomes. By working with Russell McVeagh you can expect clear, commercial and solutions-focused advice from a provider who understands what is important to you, and the context in which you operate. Our wider team of specialists is from across our practice groups with market-leading expertise in tax, immigration, trusts, estates, relationship property and corporate/commercial matters who can draw on the capabilities of the broader firm, including banking and finance, real estate and regulatory expertise, to provide front-end solutions and advisory assistance.
In addition to advising on domestic arrangements and disputes, much of the work we do has an international dimension. We work collaboratively with existing offshore and domestic advisors and can help you choose the best advisors in another country from our extensive networks.

We have also assisted many of our private clients in their interactions with the Overseas Investment Office (which considers applications for approval for certain foreign investments), Immigration New Zealand, Inland Revenue and New Zealand Customs, and can advise you on the practical aspects of dealing with these agencies.

Tax specialists

With a large overlap between tax and private wealth law, tax is often at the heart of every decision a high-net worth individual, trustee or family office makes. Clients choose our tax team for its range of expertise, depth of experience, and commitment to advancing their interests. We have extensive experience of providing tailored solutions to private clients in relation to a myriad of complex tax issues, including:

  • New Zealand tax residence matters, including the migration of offshore clients to New Zealand.

  • The taxation of private wealth investment, including portfolio investment in offshore equities.

  • The use and taxation of trusts (and other entities) in domestic and international contexts, including the tax consequences of offshore trustees, distributions to offshore beneficiaries and the migration of trust assets to or from New Zealand.

  • Tax disputes and engagement with Inland Revenue.

  • General tax compliance, including New Zealand tax returns and ensuring efficiency and consistency with offshore filing obligations.

Contentious matters

We understand that no one wants to be involved in a dispute. If you do find yourself in a contentious situation, you can rest assured that our highly experienced litigators are in your corner. We can help you with domestic and cross-border contentious trust, estate and relationship property disputes. This includes litigation, alternative dispute resolution and pre-litigation advice and correspondence. We will work closely with you on strategies and defences to ensure that your desired outcome is at the forefront of our advice.


Our experience includes:

  • advising high net worth individuals (and their families) on complex immigration, residency and citizenship issues.

  • designing and implementing structures to protect and utilise clients' personal and business assets, including selection of an appropriate legal entity and efficiency of debt or capital funding matters.

  • advising on all legal aspects of the establishment, management, re-organisation and administration of trusts.

  • advising on complex relationship property matters, including disputes in respect of relationship property agreements and the tax consequences of asset transfers under such agreements.

  • acting on contentious cross-border and domestic trust disputes and applications (see, for example, Ivanishvili v Credit Suisse [2018] NZHC 1755).

  • acting for trustees, executors, administrators, fiduciary officeholders and beneficiaries across a wide range of disputes, applications and procedural mechanisms.

  • business and family asset succession and estate planning.

  • acting pro bono for successful appellant in precedent-setting decision of Supreme Court on "trust busting" under relationship property legislation (Preston v Preston [2021] NZSC 154).

  • advising high net worth individuals on the taxation of private wealth investment and the use and taxation of trusts (and other entities).

  • advising offshore clients migrating to New Zealand on the New Zealand immigration process, asset planning, tax residence and other tax aspects of their move to New Zealand.

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