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 20 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:

  • Trustpower on its demerger through a court scheme of arrangement which saw the creation of two listed companies. The demerger was structured as a distribution of the demerged entities upon liquidation, and has been implemented without enabling legislation.
  • 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 International Fiscal Association and co-authored the New Zealand Securitisation chapter for the 2018 Chambers and Partners Global Practice Guides publication.

Fred is on the team which won 'International Deal of the Year' at the 2019 New Zealand Law Awards, is recognised as a top tier tax lawyer by Chambers and Partners 2021, and recognised in the Hall of Fame in the Legal 500. He is also ranked as a top tax lawyer by Asialaw Profiles 2020, Expert Guides 2020, and as a leading adviser by Tax Controversy Leaders (2017 Edition). He received the Best Lawyers® 2020 New Zealand Tax "Lawyer of the Year" award and has been voted by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers® New Zealand guide for Tax Law from 2008 to 2022, as well as being named a Global Leader for Corporate Tax-Advisory and Corporate Tax-Controversy in the WWL's Global Guides.

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