Our Story

Improving access to justice is our mission and our motivation.


Both in our professional and in our personal lives, we’ve engaged lawyers. One of us has even worked as one, for several years.

What we came to realise was that there was a lack of transparency, certainty and client-centric focus within the legal industry – which we’ve set out to change with Consensus.

As a lawyer, a web developer and a digital expert, we’ve created an independent platform that connects clients and lawyers – reflecting what we want for the future of the legal industry. We’re challenging the sector to modernise, whilst using our combined skills to increase access to lawyers across Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Consensus team

Anton Smith

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Anton is a lawyer and entrepreneur who believes those two words aren’t a contradiction. He’s studied and worked at law firms in the North and South Islands of Aotearoa New Zealand, but left a career in private practice to start Consensus and change the way we get legal advice. He found that clients often didn’t feel they had much choice, or they were afraid of hourly rates and ballooning invoices. He felt that there must be a simple solution to those problems. Prior to launching Consensus, Anton also led UN Youth New Zealand, co-directed The Equal Justice Project and worked as a senior advocate at the Auckland University Students’ Association. Anton knows about risk, and Consensus is a calculated one – the timing is right, the country is ready for choice, and Consensus offers just that. Visit Anton’s LinkedIn page for more info.

Ross Lynch

Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer

Ross is an advocate of a methodical approach to great design and believes it can be applied to solving most problems. That includes improving the way people access legal services in Aotearoa New Zealand. Ross envisages Consensus as a platform to democratise legal advice for everyone who needs it. Especially those who currently experience barriers to access, whether it’s price, understanding or available time. He believes that lawyer’s lives too can be enriched by modernising the practice of law and leveraging a new business model. Ross’ background is in technology and design, leading teams to deliver solutions across local government and private sectors. He lives on the Coromandel Peninsula with his husband Scott and their husky-beardie cross, Tiberius. He would love to hear from you. Connect with Ross on LinkedIn.

Joshua Walker

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer

Josh is a recent graduate of the University of Auckland, with a background in web design and app development. With experience at two of the “Big Four” accounting firms, Josh dealt with first-hand the pressure points of the client-advisor relationship and constantly envisaged how the client experience could be made remarkable with a tool like Consensus. As a tutor to first and second-year Māori and Pacific accounting students and as an executive officer for UN Youth New Zealand, Josh has developed a keen appreciation for the need and value of access to opportunity. Improving access to justice and legal representation is a mobilising force for Josh and something that makes him excited where Consensus will go in the future. Find Josh on LinkedIn.


Supporter

Auckland UniServices Limited, the company which provides commercialisation services to the University of Auckland, has backed Consensus to go all the way. We’re grateful to UniServices for its support, and for its vision of what is possible for the legal industry in New Zealand. Through their investment in Consensus, we have been able to honour our values and remain an independent provider.