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The 27-Year-Old Tax Lawyer Achieving Global Recognition

Tax law can be demanding and – dare we say? – sometimes dry. But it can also be fascinating and stimulating. It has been, however, long dominated by male practitioners. Maria Clezy appears to be changing that perception.

A young tax lawyer with Buddle Findlay, Maria has broken a number of barriers with her tax work, which includes advising both domestic and foreign clients on tax issues of all kinds, by achieving world recognition for her tax work in ‘World Tax’ , the ‘Legal 500’ and other top global law directories.

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Maria Clezy is a tax solicitor at Buddle Findlay. In her role, she advises domestic and foreign clients on the New Zealand income tax and GST consequences of a broad range of transactions including mergers and acquisitions, inbound and outbound investment, and corporate restructurings.

Tax Law Recognition

She has been given a rating of Highly Regarded in this year’s World Tax directory for the second consecutive year, an accolade usually awarded only to partners or senior members of the profession. Directory inclusion is based on deals handled by the lawyers as well as client interviews.

Graduating from Otago University in 2015 with a double degree, a Bachelor of Law with Honours and a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, she had no initial intention being a tax lawyer and had not studied the subject at Otago.

Litigation was her preference but she was put into the tax team after joining Buddle Findlay in 2016 and quickly discovered she enjoyed the work.

Varying from day to day, her work includes providing transactional advice, drafting legal documents, dealing with the IRD and advising on best tax positions.

“I find it challenging and I also get to work with lots of interesting people,” she says. “It’s turned out really well for me so far.”

And because she hadn’t planned on doing tax law, the experience has made her “more open-minded about the future”, she told Otago University’s Alumni & Friends news.

Maria says her degree contributed “in a huge way” to her current success.

She also credits the firm and clients for the opportunity for the second year of world recognition. But it must be her own ability and the ‘duck-to-water’ approach to tax law that has seen her triumph in a tough environment.

Peter Boshier

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