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Melissa specialises in public and private M&A, predominantly in mining and resources.

Melissa is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer who specialises in public and private mergers and acquisitions, predominantly in the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors, as well as related contractual, corporate governance and regulatory matters. Melissa focusses specifically on advising financial investors (including private equity funds and Japanese trading houses) on their Australian investments and she has experience across a range of acquisition and divestment structures, corporate restructures, capital raisings and joint ventures and strategic alliances.  

Having previously held the role of General Counsel & Company Secretary of a listed resources company, Melissa has developed a deep understanding of the mining industry in Australia and a practical and commercial approach that clients value.  Leveraging her in-house experience and work with Japanese investors and off-takers, Melissa is also a core member of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Japan-Australia practice and the Foreign Direct Investment team.


Melissa holds a Bachelor of Laws with first class Honours and the University Medal from the University of Queensland. Melissa also holds a Bachelor of Science and completed the AsiaLink Leaders Program in 2015.

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • advising Washington H. Soul Pattinson on its divestment of Round Oak Minerals (a producer of copper, zinc and gold) to Aeris Resources Limited.
  • advising Rincon Limited (a company owned by funds managed by the private equity group Sentient Equity Partners) on its sale of Rincon Mining Pty Limited (which owns the Rincon lithium project, a large undeveloped lithium brine project in Salta, Argentina) and Lithium Extraction Technologies (Australia) Pty Ltd to Rio Tinto for US$825 million
  • advising GIC on its acquisition of a strategic equity investment in InterContinental Energy, which is pioneering green hydrogen production though its portfolio of projects in Western Australia, Oman and Saudi Arabia
  • advising Nikko AM Limited on its merger with Yarra Capita Management to create one of Australia’s largest independently owned Australian equities and fixed income fund managers
  • advising Mitsui & Co., Ltd. on its buyout (in conjunction with Nomura Holdings) of New Forests Pty Limited, a forestry investment manager
  • advising ITOCHU Corporation on the sale of its interest in the Worsley Alumina bauxite mining and alumina refinery