Investigations & Disputes


We have assisted taxpayers in numerous ATO investigations, represented taxpayers in various forms of ADR and acted for taxpayers in many of Australia’s largest and most significant tax investigations and disputes. In many instances, we have been successful in negotiating advantageous settlements prior to litigation. The details of those cases remain confidential.

Our experience includes acting in the following cases and settled matters which are in the public domain: 


For many years, we have assisted clients in a variety of forms of ADR, including:

  • mediations
  • early neutral evaluations
  • independent review

Publicly settled matters

We have a long list of credentials in settled but publicly profiled matters, including acting for:

  • Tabcorp on the successful resolution of a matter involving the tax treatment of a $597.2m payment made to the State of Victoria in 1994 relating to wagering and gaming licences granted at that time (May 2015); and
  • National Australia Bank in tax disputes with more than $900 million at stake concerning international hybrid capital raisings (the US$1 billion ExCaps and US$450 million TrUEPrS).

Tax cases

Our team has a proven track record in complex tax disputes, having acted for taxpayers in a number of landmark cases over a long period. By way of example:

  • Mills (for Commonwealth Bank of Australia) (High Court): a landmark decision on the application of the general franking anti-avoidance provision s 177EA in relation to franked returns paid by CBA on its PERLS V hybrid capital raising.
  • GE Capital Finance Australasia (Federal Court): operation of consolidation rules.
  • Lend Lease (Federal Court): principally a Part IVA matter (although the ultimate decision was confined to a CGT), with ATO abandoning it Part IVA case following Lend Lease’s evidence being filed with the court.
  • Citylink Melbourne (High Court): leading authority on the tax treatment of subordinated project finance commitments.

For a more detailed list of cases in which we have acted click here.

More information about our tax investigations and disputes practice in alliance with leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills can be accessed here.


Profiles of the combined Greenwoods and Herbert Smith Freehills investigations and disputes team can be accessed here.