home : profile : 1996 - 2004

1996 - 2004

Director, Litigation, Inland Revenue Department


In May 1996 I was appointed as Inland Revenue's first Director, Litigation.


I was responsible for setting up the new Litigation Management Unit, which runs Inland Revenueís tax litigation. This involved closing down its predecessor, finalising the new unit's design, negotiating service level agreements with other parts of the organisation to define inter-relationships, all staff recruitment, supervising new premises' design and fit out, and establishing the unit's systems, procedures and ethos.


For the next eight years I ran that unit:

  • Supervising the conduct of all Inland Revenue tax and judicial review litigation
  • Carrying a file load of my own
  • Advising the department on a wide range of litigation and other legal issues (especially concerning the conduct of investigations in difficult or sensitive areas)
  • Carrying out day-to-day administration of the unit and its staff of approximately 12 lawyers and support personnel
  • Undertaking liaison with the Serious Fraud Office
  • Maintaining an overview of the Inland Revenue Departmentís entire litigation effort.

In this period the amount of tax involved in tax litigation ranged from about $500 - $600 million in the earlier years to over $1 billion in later years. 


At the same time the Departmentís win ratio in tax cases steadily increased from 40% in 1996 to a consistent 80% by the time I left.