Fred Ward




Fred brings many years of experience to his role as a partner in our Tax team. His practice has a particular focus on corporate finance work, mergers and acquisitions, and structured investment products. Offering both tax advice and litigation services, Fred is a highly regarded tax specialist.


With more than 26 years’ with the partnership, Fred’s work has involved offering clients a broad range of taxation services, including advice on cross-border financing structures, mergers and acquisitions and dealing with the Inland Revenue at all levels of the investigation process, including negotiating settlements.

His experience includes advising:

  • CBA, ASB, ANZ Banking Group and ANZ on Basel III compliant Tier 2 and Additional Tier 1 issues.
  • Auckland Transition Agency on its merger of local authorities to form Auckland's 'Super City'.
  • Fonterra Co-Operative Group on its Trading Among Farmers project and the establishment of the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund (FSF). The FSF was the first multi-rate PIE to be listed.
  • ASB Bank and ANZ Bank New Zealand on the establishment of their covered bond programmes.
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia in relation to the PERLs IX, PERLs VIII and PERLs VI capital raising transactions.
  • Rabobank on the establishment of its cash PIE and wrap platform.
  • ANZ Bank New Zealand in relation to the sale of UDC Finance.
  • Lion in relation to a number of acquisitions, including Panhead and Wither Hills.
  • Pacific Equity Partners in relation to the acquisition of Academic Colleges Group and sale of Tegel and Griffin's Foods.
  • Auckland Airport in relation to the acquisition of Queensland Airport acquisition and related rights issue.
  • KordaMentha in relation to the receivership of Pumpkin Patch.
  • Trustpower in relation to litigation concerning the deductibility of feasibility expenditure in the Supreme Court (Trustpower Limited v CIR (2016) NZTC 22,061).
  • Vector in the Court of Appeal in relation to the capital treatment of a lump sum payment received for infrastructure access (CIR v Vector [2016] NZCA 296).
  • Various individuals in relation to asset planning on immigration to and emigration from New Zealand.


LLB (Hons), BCom, University of Canterbury.
LLM, University of Michigan.


Fred has been a partner with Russell McVeagh since 1995.

He is a member of the New Zealand Law Society Tax Committee, a member of the International Fiscal Association, he co-authored the New Zealand Securitisation chapter for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 Chambers and Partners Global Practice Guides and the New Zealand chapter within The Law Review's Virtual Currency Regulation Review (edition 5). 

Fred is recognised as a top tier tax lawyer by Chambers and Partners 2024 Guide and features in the Hall of Fame in the Legal 500 2024 Guide. He is ranked a World Tax Leader by World Tax 2023, and as a Distinguished Tax Lawyer by Asialaw Profiles 2022, Expert Guides 2020, and as a Leading Adviser by Tax Controversy Leaders (2017 Edition). He has been twice named 'Lawyer of the Year' for tax law by Best Lawyers® New Zealand and has been voted by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers® New Zealand Guide for Tax Law from 2008 to 2024, as well as being named a Global Leader for Corporate Tax-Advisory and Corporate Tax-Controversy in the Who's Who Legal Global Guides. He is on the team which won 'International Deal of the Year' at the 2019 New Zealand Law Awards.

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