Laccase-mediator systems have numerous potential uses for green oxidations, but their practical use may be limited because the reactive, oxidised mediators deactivate the enzyme. TEMPO, 4-hydroxybenzyl alcohol, phenothiazine and 2-hydroxybiphenyl caused almost complete deactivation of laccase from Trametes versicolor within 24-140 h. By contrast, 18% activity was retained after 188 h in controls without mediator, and 15% in the presence of ABTS. A biphasic reaction system was developed to protect the laccase, by partitioning the mediator into water-immiscible ionic liquids. In the presence of [C mim][AOT], laccase retained 54, 35, 35 and 41% activity after 188 h in the presence of 4-hydroxybenzyl alcohol, phenothiazine and 2-hydroxybiphenyl and ABTS, respectively, whilst 30% activity was retained in the presence of [N][Sac] and TEMPO. The protection against deactivation by the mediators correlated strongly with the distribution coefficients of the mediators between ionic liquids and water.