Melissa Tan

Melissa Tan Profile Photo
Melissa Tan Profile Photo

Melissa is Head of Cyber Insurance and a litigation and dispute resolution lawyer, specialising in insurance law with a focus on cyber.

She has extensive experience advising both local and international insurers on a wide range of coverage and liability issues in both litigated and non-litigated matters.


Melissa regularly provides cyber incident response management services and advises on privacy and other issues arising out of cyber incidents.

Melissa also advises on complex coverage issues, cyber recoveries and regulatory investigations, as well as acting in disputes arising from cyber incidents.

Melissa regularly publishes thought leadership articles on cyber security and cyber insurance, including annual publication CyberSight 360. She is a proficient public speaker and regularly provides in-house training for clients and market participants in cyber security, including clients within the financial services, government and health sectors. She also speaks at industry events on cyber security, including at the AISA Australian Cyber Conference.

Melissa's strong technical legal skills and ability to simplify complex legal and insurance issues are well recognised by clients. She is commercial and has a strong track record of efficiently and cost effectively resolving disputes.

Melissa also has extensive experience in coverage disputes as well as defending claims against directors and officers, lawyers, brokers, engineers, architects, accountants, and financial planners.

Additionally, Melissa has experience in class actions both as defence counsel and coverage counsel.

Melissa has been named Cyber Security Lawyer of the Year at the inaugural Australian Cyber Security Awards 2023. She has also been awarded the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University credential for Cybersecurity Risk and Strategy. Melissa has also been recognised for her insurance expertise, and litigation and dispute resolution expertise by Lawyerly as a Litigation Rising Star 2021, Insurance Business Australia as a Young Gun in 2019, and Australasian Lawyer as a Litigation and Dispute Resolution Rising Star in 2014.

Career highlights

Melissa's experience in cyber includes:

  • acting as breach counsel in relation to a software exploitation attack and ransom demanded against a Software-as-a-Service platform provider
  • advising on social engineering fraud and business email compromise incidents
  • acting as breach response counsel for various SMEs in relation to crypto locker attacks or business email compromise attacks
  • providing cyber reinsurance coverage advice to a state government insurer involving healthcare services
  • advising a multinational company in relation to a data breach incident and undertaking contract review work in relation to the cyber incident so as to advise on recovery prospects
  • acting as privacy counsel in relation to a data breach incident involving a Victorian healthcare service provider
  • acting as breach response and privacy counsel for a workforce management company in relation to a Netwalker attack
  • providing coverage advice to a cyber insurer in relation to a cyber attack on a conveyancing practice
  • defending an international communications company in proceedings commenced by a multinational information technology company in relation to internet capacity services and DDoS attack

Melissa's experience in financial lines and professional indemnity includes:

  • acting for POSI insurers in the Dick Smith class actions
  • successfully defending insurers in a special leave application to the High Court of Australia in relation to complex coverage issues of non-disclosure, and the conduct exclusion and advancement of defence costs
  • successfully defending professional indemnity insurers in the Supreme Court of New South Wales involving notification issues and the application of section 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth)
  • successfully defending professional indemnity insurers in the Supreme Court of New South Wales involving issues around fraudulent non-disclosure and section 40(3) of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth)

Insights by Melissa