AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Civil and Commercial Litigation, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property, Public and Administrative Law, Tax Law

YEAR OF ADMISSION TO THE BAR
1988

DIRECT DIAL
+64 4 917 1082

FAX
+64 4 472 9029

MOBILE
+64 27 438 1604

EMAIL
mike.lennard@stoutstreet.co.nz

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Overview

"Seen as "the right person for the job" in the tax avoidance and tax evasion cases he typically handles" - Chambers' Asia-Pacific Law Directory, 2013

"[Has] carved out a formidable niche for himself in those aspects of tax law involving the Inland Revenue's powers of search and seizure" - Chambers' Asia-Pacific Law Directory, 2015

"Mike Lennard of Stout Street Chambers is acclaimed for his strength acting in proceedings arising from allegations of tax evasion as well as tax avoidance cases.  Peers say: 'He is a good operator.  He knows the law, he knows his way around the courtroom very well, and has the background and understanding of how Inland Revenue works after being inside it for a number of years.'" - Chambers' Asia-Pacific Law Directory, 2016

I am a New Zealand litigation lawyer, specialising in tax disputes and litigation. My career to date has involved eight years' practice as a Crown prosecutor and civil litigation lawyer, eight years as head of litigation for Inland Revenue, and practice at the independent bar since June 2004.

I have been recognised as a leading tax disputes lawyer in both of the leading international reviews that cover this area of practice: in the 2011 onwards edition of the International Tax Review's publication "Tax Controversy Leaders" and from 2012 onwards in Chambers and Partners' Asia-Pacific review (moved up from band 3 to band 2 in 2015).

As a barrister, my practice covers tax disputes at all stages, from initial Revenue investigations through the pre-assessment disputes process to litigation in court. I have a substantial amount of experience in defending taxpayers charged with evasion and non-payment of PAYE in the criminal courts. I have participated on one side or the other on many of the most significant tax disputes in the past 10 years.  Non-tax aspects of my practice include competition law and relationship property litigation.

I have been a faculty member of the New Zealand Law Society's Litigation Skills Programme since 2000.  I have been an adjunct teaching fellow at the University of Auckland since 2004, where I have lectured in the Master of Taxation Studies programme on Conduct and Procedures of Tax Disputes (I have also lectured on Timing of Income and Expenses). I have spoken at numerous conferences and seminars over the past 15 years on subjects relating to tax disputes and administrative law issues.  I am a member of the New Zealand Law Society's Taxation Committee.

I am a regular contributor to, and a member of the Advisory Board of, "Taxation Today", a monthly magazine published by Thompson Reuters, and have also published in other journals.

I represented New Zealand at the International Fiscal Association in 2015, reporting with Mark Keating on "practical protection of taxpayer's fundamental rights".

I have contributed (together with EY Law Limited) the New Zealand chapter in the Thompson Reuters Tax Litigation Global Guide, to be published in mid 2016.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CAREER

Qualifications 

  • Bachelor of Science (Mathematics major), University of Canterbury, 1982 to 1984
  • Bachelor of Laws,  University of Canterbury, 1985 to 1987
  • Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, 1988
  • Residential Programme for Executive Development, University of British Columbia, 1997

Career

  • 1988 – 1990: Law Clerk/Staff Solicitor, Raymond, Donnelly & Co, Christchurch
  • 1990 – 1996: Associate/Staff Solicitor, Luke Cunningham & Clere, Wellington
  • 1996 – 2004: Director, Litigation, Inland Revenue, Wellington
  • 2004 – 2009: Barrister, Greenock House, Wellington
  • 2009 – present: Barrister, Stout Street Chambers, Wellington
RECENT AND NOTABLE CASES

Tax litigation

AAA Developments (Ormiston) Limited v CIR (2015) 27 NZTC 22-026 (HC)

Brown v CIR (2014) 26 NZTC 21-089 (HC)

CIR v Alistair Robb Ltd (1990) 13 NZTC 8,003 (HC)

CIR v Delphi Fishing Co Ltd (2004) 21 NZTC 18,525 (HC)

CIR v Edgewater Motel Ltd [2003] 1 NZLR 425 (CA)

CIR v Fugle [2017] NZCA 230 (CA)

CIR v Hyslop (2000) 19 NZTC 15,560 (HC)

CIR v Liburne Holdings Ltd (2001) 20 NZTC 17,268 (HC)

CIR v Stutz & Cowley (1991) 13 NZTC 8,241 (HC)

CIR v Vela Fishing Ltd [2002] 1 NZLR 49 (CA)

Edwards v CIR (2016) 27 NZTC 22-064 (HC)

Fugle v CIR (2016) 27 NZTC 22-069 (HC)

Great North Motor Company Ltd (in rec) v CIR  (2016) 27 NZTC 22-079 (HC)

Edgewater Motel Ltd v CIR (2004) 21 NZTC 18,664 (PC)

Honk Land Trustees v CIR  (2017) 28 NZTC 26,003 (CA)

Hyslop v CIR [2001] 2 NZLR 329 (CA)

Krukziener v CIR (2010) 24 NZTC 24,563 (HC)

PL Brown Farms Limited v CIR (2014) 26 NZTC 21-083 (HC)

Pomeroy v CIR (1995) 17 NZTC 12,057 (CA)

Queenstown Airport Corporation Limited v CIR (2016) 27 NZTC 22-054 (HC)

Saha v CIR (2008) 23 NZTC 21,676 (HC)

Saha v CIR (2009) 24 NZTC 23,011 (HC)

Saha v CIR (2009) 24 NZTC 23,015 (HC)

Saha v CIR (2009) 24 NZTC 23,399 (CA)

Saha v CIR [2010] NZSC 89 (SC)

Terry v CIR (1993) 15 NZTC 10,309 (HC)

TRA Case 02/11 (2013) 26 NZTC 2-001

TRA Case 03/11 (2013) 26 NZTC 2-002

TRA Case 04/14 (2016) 27 NZTC 3-037

TRA Case L33 (1989) 11 NZTC 1,200

TRA Case L36 (1989) 11 NZTC 1,223

TRA Case L67 (1989) 11 NZTC 1,391

TRA Case M40 (1990) 12 NZTC 2,247

TRA Case M58 (1990) 12 NZTC 2,333

TRA Case T45 (1998) 18 NZTC 8,300

TRA Case V4 (2001) 20 NZTC 10,045

TRA Case V10 (2002) 20 NZTC 10,131

TRA Case V12 (2002) 20 NZTC 10,142

TRA Case Z22 (2010) 24 NZTC 14,305

TRA Case Z23 (2010) 24 NZTC 14,334

Vela Fishing Ltd v CIR [2004] 1 NZLR 313 (PC)

Vinelight Nominees Ltd v CIR; 195 Khyber Pass Road Ltd v CIR (2005) 22 NZTC 19,519 (HC)

Vinelight Nominees Ltd v CIR (2005) 22 NZTC 19,298 (HC)

Vinelight Nominees Ltd v CIR (2012) 25 NZTC 20-155 (HC)

Vinelight Nominees Ltd v CIR (2013) 26 NZTC 21-055 (CA)

General Civil Litigation

Attorney-General v Bell-Booth Group Ltd (1991) 3 PRNZ (HC)

CIR v Dymock (2013) 26 NZTC 21-060 (HC)

CIR v Honk Marine Limited & Ors [2017] NZHC 1258 (HC)

Daimler AG v Sany Group Co Ltd (2015) 14 TCLR 191 (CA)

Re Burgee Investments Ltd; CIR v Registrar of Companies [1994] 2 NZLR 183 (HC)

Re Your Size Fashions Ltd [1990] 3 NZLR 727 (HC)

Sany Group Co. Ltd v Daimler AG [2014] NZIPOTM 33 (IPONZ)

W v Director-General of Social Welfare (1994) 11 FRNZ 548 (HC)

Criminal/Bill of Rights Litigation

Ashby v Police (1993) 12 CRNZ 114 (HC)

Bocock v Ministry of Transport (1992) 8 CRNZ 401 (HC)

Burnskey v Police (1992) 8 CRNZ 582 (HC)

Carr v Police; Walker v Police (1994) 12 CRNZ 447 (HC)

CIR v Rowley (2011) 25 NZTC 20-050 (HC)

Coghill v Police (1994) 12 FRNZ 347 (HC)

Cohen v Department of Conservation (1990) 6 CRNZ 668 (HC)

Coory v Police (1990) 6 CRNZ 549 (HC)

G v Police (1989) 4 CRNZ 671 (HC)

Judd v Police (1992) 8 CRNZ 582 (HC)

Kenyon v Police (1994) 12 CRNZ 337 (HC)

Marson v Police (1992) 9 CRNZ 97 (HC)

MAF v Paku [1992] DCR 302

Paku v Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries [1992] 2 NZLR 223 (HC)

Police v Coory [1991] 1 NZLR 630 (HC)

R v _ [1994] DCR 896

R v Andrew (1989) 4 CRNZ 531 (HC)

R v Coghill [1995] 1 NZLR 675 (CA)

R v Coghill [1995] 3 NZLR 651 (CA)

R v Greenaway [1995] 1 NZLR 204 (CA)

R v L (T58/95) (1995) 13 CRNZ 315 (HC)

R v Macfarlane (1995) 13 CRNZ 354 (CA)

R v Orchard [1991] 1 NZLR 320 (CA)

R v Phelan [1994] DCR 552

R v Rowley (2012) 25 NZTC 20-127 (HC)

R v Rowley (2012) 25 NZTC 20-133 (HC)

R v Rowley [2012] NZHC 2087 (HC)

R v Royale [2016] NZDC 15171 (DC)

R v Wojcik (1994) 11 CRNZ 463 (CA)

Rowley v Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2011] NZCA 160; (2011) 25 NZTC 20-051 (CA)

Sampson v Police (1994) 11 CRNZ 31 (HC)

S(1) and S(2) v Police (1995) 12 CRNZ 714 (HC)

Scott v Police (1993) 11 CRNZ 156 (HC)

Spencer v Police (1989) 5 CRNZ 145 (HC)

Steel v Police (1994) 11 CRNZ 383

Tauber v CIR (2011) 25 NZTC 20-071 (HC)

Tauber v CIR [2012] 3 NZLR 549 (CA)

PUBLICATIONS

The following articles originally appeared in the Thompson Brookers magazine Taxation Today and the publisher's permission is gratefully acknowledged.

  • A Trap for Unwary Employers - Criminal Proceedings for Failure to Account for PAYE - November 2007
  • Wham Bam, It's A Sham! - December 2007
  • Peace In Our Time [Settling Tax Disputes] - Part 1 - February 2008
  • Peace In Our Time [Settling Tax Disputes] - Part 2 - March 2008
  • Detention and Non-Disclosure - Questions about Inquiries - April 2008
  • Rabbits from Hats - Defects in Evidence Exclusion - May 2008
  • How Secret are the CIR's Squirrels? - IRD Secrecy Obligations - June 2008
  • Whoops, Wrong Section - Misdescribing the Section - July 2008
  • How Long to Resolution? - Delay in Tax Disputes - August 2008
  • A Walk on the Wild Side - Bizarre Tax Arguments - September 2008
  • Taxing but Interesting - Deductibility of Interest on Unpaid Tax - October 2008
  • Deemed Correctness in Time-Barred Years - November 2008
  • What's Mine is Yours - A New Dimension to Section 157 - December 2008
  • Search Powers Under Scrutiny - March 2009
  • Judicial Review? No Thanks! - July 2009
  • Two Tribes and an Elephant Called Ben Nevis - Tax Avoidance - September 2009
  • A Tale of Two Banks - Tax Avoidance - November 2009
  • Contract Pacific - IRD's obligations to pay GST refunds - February 2010
  • Double Taxation of ACC Payments? - April 2010
  • Orthopods' Arrangements - Orthodoxy or Avoidance? - CIR v Penny & Hooper in the Court of Appeal - June 2010
  • Security for Costs - August 2010
  • Judicial Review Revisited - Tannadyce - October 2010
  • Commissioner's "Care and Management" Powers - February 2011
  • Avoidance Revisted - Alesco - February 2012
  • Avoidance and Morality - December 2012
  • The Times, They Are A-Changing - IRD Prosecutions - April 2013

The following papers have been presented at the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants' annual Tax Conferences:

  • (Co-authored with Mark Keating, Auckland University) Developments in Tax Disputes Procedures - 2011

Commissioner's Search and Surveillance Powers - 2012