Innovation

Innovation is more than just another buzzword at MinterEllison. To us it is about having the best framework and supporting structures in place, an ambitious agenda and disciplined execution to better deliver innovative solutions to our clients and become our clients’ best partner.

Over the past year we have developed a detailed agenda to realise our goal, with our clients’ interests central to our approach.

Among the initiatives we have delivered this year are:

  • our award winning Taskflow
  • developing a cutting‑edge artificial intelligence solution to the delivery of legal services
  • our new flexible contract-lawyer business and new legal project management capability
  • a digital collaboration platform to foster even greater connections and creativity.

We have a roadmap for expanding the services we offer to clients, and work is underway on an exciting range of solutions. What inspires us are the possibilities that lie ahead.

Fostering innovation culture and capability

Our innovation agenda is supported by the work we are doing to develop a firm‑wide innovation capability and culture. Some recent initiatives include:

  • Coders Collective – to date more than 50 staff with coding skills have signed up to develop new apps to execute our innovation agenda
  • Hackathons – intensive workshops in an accelerated learning environment to develop new ideas
  • The Innovation Place – an online environment where we collaborate to solve challenges and share information about innovation across the firm
  • SkillUp – training in ideation techniques such as design thinking to enable us to design more innovative solutions.

Innovation Council

Virginia Briggs

Garry Schulz

Jeremy Blackshaw

Antra Hood

Gerhard Vorster

Gary Adler

Allison Warburton

Service Innovation

  • Flex General Manager, Juliet Fay with Flex Lawyers, Sydney

    Flex is our new flexible contract lawyer business and a prime example of service innovation.

    Flex partners with clients to provide on-demand contract lawyers, giving in-house legal teams the confidence to be agile.

    Visit our website www.minterellisonflex.com.

  • Since it was launched in late 2015, client response has been very encouraging and business performance has exceeded all expectations.


  • Springfield Land Corporation chooses MinterEllison Flex


    Nicole Riethmuller and Raynuha Sinnathamby at Springfield Land Corporation headquarters, Springfield, Queensland

    When Springfield Land Corporation’s general counsel resigned suddenly it created a major resource gap in the business. Thanks to our longstanding relationship, MinterEllison was the first port of call to get advice on how to fill this essential role.

    “That’s when I came across Flex,” explains Raynuha Sinnathamby, Springfield’s MD. Flex lawyer Nicole Riethmuller has been working on site at Springfield’s offices, and it’s an arrangement that has benefitted both parties.

    “Flex really suits me, because I love working in private practice as well as in-house as it offers me the variety that I really enjoy,” says Nicole Riethmuller. “And if I need to discuss an IP issue for example, I have ready access to a partner in the office. It is fantastic to have that sort of support from MinterEllison when I am working on site at Springfield.”

    Raynuha Sinnathamby agrees. “Flex has also helped us because MinterEllison has been there to support Nicole since she came on board. You can’t put dollar value on that – knowing that Minters is supporting her.”

    Subsequently, Nicole has formally joined Springfield as its general counsel.

Execution Innovation

  • High volume legal taskflow

    RYAN SAUL , BUSINESS PROCESS TECHNICAL LEAD AND GREG CARFOOT, PARTNER PLAYED KEY ROLES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF TASKFLOW

    Taskflow, an example of execution innovation, drives process standardisation for high-volume, task-based legal matters and provides a single view to manage each matter from initiation to completion.

    A library of task-based building blocks can be easily assembled by lawyers into a bespoke workflow that suits a unique client need. Workflows ensure each task is completed by the best person for the job. Building blocks have embedded document automation, best practice know-how and integration into our systems to quickly and efficiently automate tasks. Real‑time data gives managing lawyers and clients up-to-the-minute insights.

    An intuitive studio environment means lawyers can construct bespoke workflows with little or no need for IT assistance, speeding up the process and broadening the range of client work that can benefit from Taskflow.

  • Our progress with our innovation agenda was recognised by the International Legal Technology Association at its 2016 Distinguished Peer Awards where our solution, Taskflow, was awarded Innovative (Client-Facing) Project of the Year.

    Taskflow was recognised for delivering outstanding business value and having a transformational impact for clients.

Delivery Innovation

  • MinterEllison’s online compliance training solution, Safetrac, was one of the firm’s earliest service innovations.


    Over the last year, Safetrac has continued to innovate, expanding its range and reach including:

    • conversion of all courses from text-based to a new interactive format
    • launching a new course and customisation service which achieved 250% growth as clients took advantage of the platform’s capacity to create bespoke training and compliance solutions.
    • expanding operations into New Zealand, increasing the total number of courses to 64.
    • launching ShortBurst training, which offers five‑minute refresher courses throughout the year as an alternative to an annual 45‑minute course and has attracted a range of new clients including Aon, David Jones, Dulux, Bank of NZ and Penguin Random House.
    • enhancing Boardtrac which is scheduled for release in early 2017 and will enable secure document dissemination for transactions and litigation.

    Visit our website www.thesafetracgroup.com.au

  • In 2016 Safetrac continued to win accolades for innovation, excellence and effectiveness in meeting the needs of clients and influencing the marketplace, including a Platinum Award for Compliance Training, for a record 6th year in a row.

    This award was won in conjunction with Fisher & Paykel for our newly formatted courseware.


  • Smartphones deliver bespoke training for Australian Unity


    Our client, Australian Unity operates in highly regulated markets – health insurance, dental centres, financial advice and investment and retirement living. This diverse portfolio brings with it a unique range of compliance obligations.

    Australian Unity has used Safetrac to manage its compliance training for more than 10 years. In the last year Safetrac transformed the delivery of compliance training for Australian Unity by developing a series of bespoke training modules that can all be completed on mobile phones.

    The modules, and mobile delivery address the specific needs of Australian Unity’s workforce, many of whom work remotely, are non-native English speakers, and have limited access to desktop computers and/or time to complete training.

    The use of smartphone technology has given Australian Unity the flexibility required to achieve their compliance training objectives.

Delivery Innovation

  • Cracking the code on innovation


    “Learning the program has been a challenge but once the penny drops you can really unleash the power of the software!”

    Associate Cameron Loughlin pictured with Hackathon team mate, partner Gareth Jolly

    Central to our innovation agenda is our commitment to encouraging staff across the business to think creatively, expand their skillset and develop new solutions for our clients and our business.

    Earlier this year we had a fantastic response to our second Hackathon, staged in partnership with Neota Logic, with 21 teams signing up to pitch their ideas for solving a range of business challenges.

    Teams were challenged to use Neota Logic’s popular ‘no code’ software to develop an app to address an issue faced by clients or by the firm. Our Innovation Council assessed the entries before selecting four finalists who proceeded to the next stage, which involved intensive training in the Neota platform to build their code-crunching skills, and culminating in a Hackathon Day hosted by innovation leader, Andrew Cunningham and CIO Gary Adler. The full-day workshop brought the finalists together to apply their training and build their own apps – and importantly to enable them to collaborate with and learn from each other – with Neota Logic staff on hand to assist. The successful apps will be deployed in the coming year.