As a leading financial services lawyer, it’s Melanie Taylor’s job to assist Australian Financial Services Licensees and financial planning practices navigate the increasingly complex world of financial product advice.
It’s challenging. Financial Services law is evolving and constantly being written – and rewritten. In particular, the area of financial advice, including the FoFA reforms, has a minimal body of case law, and it demands clear, technical and rigorous examination.
Mel’s skill is in delivering a succinct, easy-to-understand explanation of the relevant law and its application and the regulatory risks attending the running of a financial services business.
“I think it’s important to help licensees have confidence they’re doing the right thing by their customers.”
Melanie enjoys collaboration… helping someone achieve what they wanted to achieve, and she gains great satisfaction from good outcomes:
“Helping someone understand something they didn’t understand previously; watching them have that a-ha moment when you’ve explained something complex and they’ve been battling with it for a while, and you’ve been able to help.”
When her careers counsellor asked her what she wanted to do after school, Melanie always replied ‘lawyer’.
“Mum always said I’d be a great lawyer – I knew how to argue.”
She even did her work experience at a law firm in Milton Keynes, in the UK. But Melanie didn’t practise law straight out of school, waiting until her late twenties to take up her calling. And not for the reasons most might think.
“I think most people study law because they have a genuine desire to help people and to help society to change – that’s certainly my motivation.”
She was the first graduate lawyer seconded to MLC’s legal team.
“I learned as much in-house as I did in the graduate program.”
Smart, practical and tenacious, Melanie enjoys being challenged intellectually and is always learning.
And when she’s not knee deep in financial services law, she enjoys spending time with her children, walking her dog on the beach at sunrise, swimming and playing soccer for the local soccer team.