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 Aussie banks before joining Switch Legal in 2012. She combines technical legal expertise with great people skills and business nous.
She also has a degree in Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering from her days before finding the law – and is a lover of killer sudoku and cryptic cross-words. She’s simply one of those great all-rounders who loves any sort of challenge – the more mind-bending the better. Of course, a glass of wine in hand always helps…
She also gets on with just about anyone and is known as a collector and connector of people, a true “mother-hen”. She’s had more mentorees than we can count and is always finding new ones to put under her wing.
Clients love Mel for her relaxed, friendly and down-to-earth manner, her common sense approach and for the great results she achieves through going truly above and beyond.
Melanie has around 24 years post qualification experience – 11 in top tier law firms and about 8 years as the Head of Legal for Technology, IP and Outsourcing in 2 major Australian banks, before joining Switch in 2012.
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.
- Leading legal negotiations on a claims management system implementation and support arrangement, with the software licensed from one vendor and hosted on another vendor’s infrastructure, but with managed services provided by the first to deliver an end-to-end supported solution.
- Advising a supplier to the health industry on technology, IP, e-commerce and payments legal aspects of A series of initiatives, involving novel business models and associated smartphone apps to deliver savings and efficiencies to hospitals, clinics and their physicians.
- Advising on, drafting and assisting in negotiation of, a complex agreement for website development, networking, hosting and support of a customer website and associated phone app, interacting with wearable fitness devices to track fitness progress for insurance purposes.
- Minter Ellison – Melbourne (Senior Associate)
- Chapman Tripp – Wellington (Senior Lawyer)
- Helmore MacDonald and Stanley – Christchurch
- Baldwin Son & Carey (now Baldwin Shelston Waters) – Wellington
- 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)
- 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
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