Mel’s spent about 11 years at top tier law firms both in Australia and New Zealand (in tax, general commercial and IT/IP), then a further 8 years as Head of Legal for IT/IP/Outsourcing at two major Australian banks. She combines technical legal expertise with great people skills and business nous.




Curriculum Vitae

Career Summary

Melanie has around 28 years’ post qualification experience – 11 of those spent in top tier law firms in both Australia and New Zealand; and about 8 years as the Head of Legal for Technology, IP and Outsourcing in 2 major Australian banks.

While her in-house focus has been deeply involved in complex IT and outsourcing transformation projects, her private practice years also included her working on a number of biotechnology alliances, development agreements, patent licensing and venture capital deals.

Recent Highlights
  • Acting for a supplier of a Cloud messaging system, in negotiations with a major bank implementing the Government’s Superstream superannuation and Peppol industry systems.
  • Advising on a client’s whitelabelling of systems as a Cloud managed service, offered to third parties.
  • Acting for a Victorian Government agency in its tendering process and contract negotiations for its core customer relationship management system.
  • Advising multiple clients on the impact of the NSW disclosure statement requirements for standard term consumer contracts, as well as the new amendments to unfair contract terms provisions of the Federal Australian Consumer Law.
  • Drafting various template agreements, including supply, distribution, materials transfer, manufacturing, licensing and research services agreements, and advising generally on licensing issues, for 2 Australian biotech companies, one with a US IP holding parent.
  • Assisting in the complex structuring of intra-group and extra-group trade mark licences, to align with the new corporate model of the client group and its marketing strategies.
  • Drafting and negotiating research services, licensing, IP assignment and commercialisation agreements arising out of:
    • an acquisition of drug candidate rights from a CRC;
    • a spin off by a research organisation of patent rights, for the purposes of their commercialisation by the internal inventors (through a new company); and
    • a similar spin off by a joint venture to a new company, of the commercialisation of medical technology patent rights.
Employment History

Law Firms

  • Minter Ellison – Melbourne (Senior Associate)
  • Chapman Tripp – Wellington (Senior Lawyer)
  • Helmore MacDonald and Stanley – Christchurch


  • National Australia Bank Ltd – Melbourne (Head of Legal IT/IP and Outsourcing)
  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd – Melbourne (Head of Legal, IT/IP)
  • JBWere – Melbourne (secondment from Minters)
  • MLC Life Insurance (secondment from Switch)
  • People’s Choice Credit Union (secondment from Switch)
  • Energy Australia (secondment from Switch)


  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons) – Canterbury University, New Zealand
  • Bachelor of Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering – Massey University, New Zealand


  • Former Company Secretary of Working Capital Services Pty Ltd
  • Former Secretary of the IT Subcommittee of the NAB Principal Board
  • Observer on, and adviser to, the NAB Global Offshoring Council
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Mel’s great skill is to apply her extensive legal knowledge and experience to a range of issues, while maintaining a clear understanding of the commercial context in which we operate. She frequently provides creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems quickly and cost-effectively. Importantly, she is fun to work with and can handle quite tense situations with a calm and even demeanour that make her a pleasure to work with.

Michael Ross Director - eVision Pty Ltd

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