What’s your link to Townsville?
I grew up in Ayr and went to St. Patrick’s College on The Strand. I spent a few years at James Cook University and North Queensland was my inspiration for developing Virtual Legal as I came to realise that a lot of people there couldn’t afford lawyers and tended to get their legal advice from their neighbour or at a barbecue, so it was generally incorrect. I wanted to create something to help.
Where are you now?
I spend much of my time in Brisbane but travel to Sydney and Melbourne, and then Europe and New Zealand quite a bit. Our online law firm (Virtual Legal) is established in Australia and New Zealand and we have plans to launch in the UK and Ireland in the next five months. I speak at international tech events, run a few teams and manage finances, strategy and software build instructions. I have a fairly hectic life and my partner is very accommodating, plus he’s an I.T. expert on security so he’s been incredibly helpful with my software build.
What’s your next project?
In the next 10 weeks we’re launching a self-service legal platform for the public to manage their own legal work across family law, business law, property, trademarks and wills and estates. They can then zoom a lawyer in for a fixed-fee advice session (20 minutes) that’s recorded online and they get legal liability insurance for that advice session. This will save the public up to 90 per cent on their legal work, but give them the same protection as using a law firm.
How did your time in Townsville set you up for success?
We reached out to many people in Townsville to tell us the key types of legal questions they face daily and we’ve answered all of them so there will be better quality answers to their questions at the next barbecue.