Essence is led by founder, Ciska de Rijk, who recognised that there was a gap in the market for cost-effective and specialist compliance advice for businesses operating in Australia and New Zealand.

Ciska is legally trained as a lawyer and worked for top-tier commercial law firms in both Australia and New Zealand, prior to becoming a regulatory compliance specialist.

Ciska has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Otago and a first class honours law degree from the University of Waikato.  She has been admitted to the High Court of New Zealand, Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia.  On top of this, Ciska is also currently studying a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management.  These qualifications make her uniquely placed to advise on technical scientific and regulatory laws in the food, medicine and cosmetic space as well as understand the real commercial needs of a business. 

Ciska is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology and Natural Products New Zealand, and has good relationships with key people within various industry organisations and Government Departments across Australia and New Zealand.   

In her previous roles she has worked for many well-known large multi-national FMCG companies as well as small start-ups, providing product compliance and marketing advice.  She also has extensive in-house counsel experience due to on-going secondment work for two large multi-national food companies covering Australia, New Zealand and Asia.    

Essence also utilises other consultants and lawyers on an as needed basis and depending on what your needs are. This includes commercial contracts and intellectual property.