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Changes to unlock growth: Deloitte steps up renewed direction in legal with the appointment of Melinda Upton

11 APRIL 2024: Deloitte is continuing to grow its legal team locally, regionally and globally with the announcement that leading intellectual property lawyer Melinda Upton has joined the professional services firm.

The appointment is part of a renewed direction for Deloitte’s global legal network of nearly 3,000 legal professionals operating in more than 75 jurisdictions, aimed at bringing new business value by enhancing the firm’s ability to provide integrated, multidisciplinary solutions to clients.

Over the last two years, Deloitte has made a significant strategic shift to grow its legal capability by investing in local and global IP, Data & Technology (IDT), Contracting, Climate & Sustainability and People & Workplace expertise. The firm has expanded its key offerings, innovative solutions, and customer-centric capabilities to build unity of purpose and deliver strong and sustainable returns for clients.

Melinda brings to Deloitte over 25 years of IP and leadership experience, deep client relationships, and a solid business network. Most recently, Melinda was Asia Pacific CEO where she steered a global corporate performance specialist group utilising data and behavioural change science creating the group’s first base outside London.  

From a variety of client relationship and senior leadership roles locally and internationally in leading global law firms, including as Country Managing Partner, Australia and Partner, Global Head of the Intellectual Property and Technology Group, Melinda is well versed in driving development of the firm’s IP, Tech and Client agenda in the face of disruption in the legal industry and supporting clients to navigate their most complex legal and business challenges.

Melinda also currently serves as Chair of Minds Count Foundation and a former Board member of the business-led, expert-guided Corporate Mental Health Alliance. Deloitte Australia is a founding member and Deloitte Consulting Managing Partner, Ellen Derrick, continues to serve on the Board as the professional services representative.

Deloitte Legal’s National Leader, James Fabijancic said: “We are thrilled to welcome Melinda to our talented and rapidly growing team. Melinda has a strong record of driving and delivering organisational, digital, and cultural change in global organisations and in finding innovative solutions to complex, multi-dimensional challenges facing clients.”

“This multidiscplinary approach has never been more important as we work with clients to manage risk, realise opportunity and drive change for their businesses, particularly through enabling the uptake of technology in this defining moment for the legal industry.  Our strategy is very much rooted in offering solutions to our clients and not just advice.”

New Deloitte Partner, Melinda Upton said: “I am delighted to join Deloitte as a Partner and Deloitte Legal APAC & Australia Growth Client Lead. This is a very exciting time for Deloitte, and we’ve certainly gained real momentum in the Australian market and deepened our legal technical capability in IP, Data & Technology, Contracting, Climate & Sustainability and People & Workplace areas.

“The world is getting more complex, and the opportunity lies in having the deep business and legal expertise, global scale, and brand reputation, all of which is crucial to being able to support clients and win the trust of clients as they identify fresh opportunities in new challenges.

“Thinking outside the box to operationalise top legal advice to deliver multi-disciplinary legal solutions for clients together with overarching obligations to the rule of law will see better implementation within a client’s business and client relationships fully realised. 

“To both deliver and operationalise legal services within Deloitte’s broader professional services framework across the region holds significant appeal for me. I’m particularly drawn to the potential to enhance credibility within client organisations, especially at the Office of General Counsel, Chief Legal and Operations Officer and Board level. This alignment not only underscores Deloitte’s commitment to providing comprehensive solutions but also strengthens our position as trusted advisers in the eyes of our clients.”