After admission to the bar in May 1996, I spent 2 and a half years combining criminal defence law and editing the Smart Tax database for Thomson Reuters.

Seeking to combine these two areas I joined Inland Revenue as a solicitor, and from 2003 I led a team of solicitors. My team and I specialised in progressing very complex tax evasion and tax avoidance cases, including the high profile ACTONZ, Skinner and Rowley, and O’Connor cases. We also progressed a number of technical tax disputes, and litigated tax debt and child support cases.

Part of my role at Inland Revenue involved introducing an in-house prosecution function. As part of that I’ve appeared in court in numerous fraud and evasion prosecutions and also in cases involving the use of Inland Revenue’s search and inquiry powers. From 2004, I was the convenor of Inland Revenue’s National Prosecution Group.

From 2012, I was the legal lead on Inland Revenue’s hospitality project which focused on the prevalent issue of ‘cash skimming’. I concluded civil settlements in many of these cases, prosecuted a number of cases in court, and trained Inland Revenue investigations and legal staff in how to progress these cases.

I joined the bar as a barrister sole in November 2017.

Outside of the law, I’ve a keen interest in the outdoors, especially trail running and mountaineering. I’ve competed in a number of ultramarathons in New Zealand and around the world.

I’m also a keen chess player winning New Zealand titles in rapid and speed chess, and I’ve also obtained the title of FIDE master. I’ve represented New Zealand in the World Chess Olympiad, the Asian Teams Championship, and the Asian Individual Championship.

Stephen Lukey