A novel laccase from the ascomycete Melanocarpus albomyces was purified and characterised. The enzyme was purified using anion exchange chromatography, hydrophobic interaction chromatography and gel filtration, and the purified laccase was biochemically characterised. It had activity towards typical substrates of laccases including 2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzthiazo-line-6-sulphonate), dimethoxyphenol, guaiacol, and syringaldazine. The laccase showed good thermostability and it had a pH optimum at neutral pH, both unusual properties for most known fungal laccases. The activity of the laccase from M. albomyces was highest at 60-70°C. With guaiacol and syringaldazine the pH optima were rather broad: 5-7.5 and 6-7, respectively. It retained 50% of its activity after 5 h incubation at 60°C. The molecular weight of the laccase was about 80 kDa and the isoelectric point 4.0. The ultraviolet-visible absorption and electron paramagnetic resonance spectra of the purified laccase indicated that the typical three types of copper were present.