Year in review


Bruce Cowley

Message from the Chairman

World-class businesses are defined by certain core characteristics: expertise, innovation and a passion to excel, to name a few. This year’s Annual Report contains many examples of how MinterEllison epitomises these characteristics.

As a firm, we achieved much to be proud of in FY16. We continued to challenge the status quo and look for opportunities to differentiate ourselves in the market by being innovative in our thinking, client focused and solutions driven.

The business environment we are operating in remains one of the most challenging we have seen in many years, and is made even more so by alternative service providers who seek to disrupt our business model.

We have responded confidently to this challenging environment – a strong partnership committed to excellence in legal service but also thinking beyond the law to new dimensions for the solutions we offer our clients.

We have launched new and expanded service offerings in areas that complement our core business, and we are using our skills and experience to develop client-specific offerings, so clients can see that we understand their business and have solutions to bring to the table that add real value for them.

We are evolving as a firm. Change is good; it keeps us relevant and encourages growth and progress. Our people are our bedrock and our future, and we have continued to pursue a world-class employer strategy in FY16 to foster high performing teams and give MinterEllison a unique positioning in the market to attract and retain talent. It’s about creating long-term value for the partnership and for all our employees.

While we remain strongly focused on supporting women into senior roles, including partnership, our diversity agenda has moved beyond gender equality to embrace the LGBTI community through the continued rollout by our partners and staff of the PRiME network. PRiME is an acronym for Pride, Respect and Inclusion at MinterEllison and its principles are based on the important premise that all our people should be able to bring their whole self to work.

Our commitment to, and the impact we have in, the communities where we live and work remain central to MinterEllison’s core values. Everyone at the firm has a role to play – through pro bono legal work, student mentoring, workplace giving or volunteering – and this year’s Annual Report contains many examples of how MinterEllison is making a difference. Staying connected and giving back is part of who we are as people and as a firm.

Our firm’s future is full of possibility. I am confident we will realise that potential by continuing to inspire our people, by being an innovative partner for our clients and by embracing collaboration in everything we do.

I encourage you to read this FY16 Annual Report. It shines a spotlight on our firm’s strong performance over the past year and showcases who we are, our key achievements and headline work for clients, and our community partnerships.

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Chief Executive Officer

Tony Harrington

Reflections from the Chief Executive

I'm pleased to say that FY16 was a year of significant achievement for us. We experienced strong revenue growth and announced our largest intake of new partners in more than two decades. On the client front, we strengthened relationships by serving over 70% of the ASX 50 as well as deepening our engagement with all of the clients we serve.

We worked on many of the region's headline transactions, won a number of international awards for innovation, continued to invest in technology and supported our community partnerships to help break the cycle of disadvantage.

The feedback we have received from our clients as we implement our 2020 strategy – with its focus on growth, capability and innovation – shows us we are on the right track and achieving results.

What makes MinterEllison different

Put simply, we think beyond the law. We're developing new service offerings that allow us to work with clients in non-traditional ways that deliver fully integrated valuable client solutions – and we're embedding this approach into our firm DNA. We have a clear goal – to be our clients’ best partner by putting our clients at the centre of everything we do.

During the year we collaborated with clients to find innovative solutions to their most complex legal issues and major disputes, helping them grasp business opportunities and create value for their stakeholders. Some of our most significant client work is highlighted in this Annual Report.

Growth is a priority

From our core legal services to project and risk management we believe there are significant opportunities for growth. Creating a culture that enables our people to grow, play to their strengths and enjoy an energised career at MinterEllison is also a key priority. Our Empower program is helping to drive a culture of high performance as we roll it out across our business. It allows teams to consider how and where they work to achieve our goal of being our clients’ best partner.

Innovation a driving force

Making our innovation sustainable and embedding innovation into our DNA are at the top of the list. It’s not about being innovative for the sake of it. Our people need to see, feel and touch it. From our clients’ perspective, innovation needs to deliver a better solution to a problem. So we are creating a context and framework where innovation can happen, looking over the horizon at artificial intelligence capability to create client value. I have no doubt the firm that partners with its clients to truly innovate and deliver value will distinctively lead the market.

This 2016 Annual Report celebrates our people, our clients and our firm. I hope you enjoy reading about our progress in creating an exciting future for our people, as we strive to be our clients’ best partner.

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Chief Executive

Tony Harrington

Partnership Board

Bruce Cowley Virginia Briggs

David O’Brien Tony Harrington AM

Amanda Watt John Prevost

Nevin Agnew Daniel Marks

Geoff Carter Andrew Rentoul

Executive Leadership Team

Business Performance

  • FY14
  • FY15
  • FY16


Y2Y Growth

We act for

  • inactive 30
  • active 70

ASX50 companies

  • 23% Financial
  • 8% Real
  • 14% Energy &
  • 27% Government, Projects & Infrastructure
  • 28% Consumer, Manufacturing & Technology
  • 26% Transactions
  • 29% Disputes
  • 27% Projects
  • 18% Advisory
Work type

$15 Billion

market value of M&A transactions we advised on in FY16

$42 Billion

market value of infrastructure projects we advised on in FY16

Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm
Brand Index 2016: Top 10