Obelisk Legal Support Solutions is a collective of skilled, experienced legal professionals who are challenging the traditional working model. They believe no one should have to choose between family and work.

Denis-Smith created a completely new, flexible business model that allows legal professionals to fit their work around their personal lives, not the other way around.

Obelisk has a pool of 1,000 + freelance lawyers. Typically, they are former Magic Circle or City lawyers experienced with a minimum of four years PQE. Most are women, many are mothers, but all are passionate about discovering a better work/life balance for legal professionals.

When clients need legal support, Obelisk can send people on-site, offer remote support, or have a consultant ‘on call’ — as well as offer legal translation services in 27 languages. Obelisk supports a client base which includes some of the UK’s best-known brands including Vodafone, Asos, Siemens, ING, Goldman Sachs and BT.

Providing a different workplace for modern legal professionals was only part of the Obelisk ambition. The business had to prove that the new model could deliver the same or better quality of service and confidence as the traditional law firms. Building different working operations meant a need for tools and processes that were equally flexible and effective. They needed modern legal solutions that could do things differently too.

“When I practised law, I was staggered at the number of women who left the profession once they started a family—the commute, the long hours, the sheer responsibility of parenthood, the costs of childcare, the daily pressures—they all seemed to contribute to their decision to leave.”

Dana Denis-Smith
Founder and CEO, Obelisk

Built for the modern In-house lawyer

Obelisk chose LexisPSL because it offered a better path for how they wanted to deliver reliable legal services. It took an enlightened and modern approach to the role and responsibilities of in-house lawyers. For In-house lawyers, there is a formidable pressure

to maximise the best use of time. There is also a need to be proactive in order to support business requirements. Finally,

in-house lawyers must be able to share and inform business colleagues of legal consequences and obligations quickly and effectively. As Marketing Manager, Laure Latham explains:

“We used [a rival product] for a while, but then we saw PSL and felt it had such a great alignment with the work our consultants do, which is mainly in-house.

It’s not just the breadth of subject matter that’s impressive, it’s the way it’s presented. It’s very commercially-minded, aimed at the business community.

At that level, nobody wants to know about sub-section C, or whatever. They want to be told ‘what does this mean’, ‘what do we need to do’, and ‘by when’. With PSL, you get different levels of summaries. If the board wants a summary at any time, you can be confident that you’re ready, accurate and precise.”

One of the key challenges that Obelisk had to continually fight against was the risk of isolation and access to professional resources of their consultants. Obelisk wanted to be able to support and enhance every consultant regardless of location and time with access to leading, current resources. Freeing up more opportunities to deploy their expertise in the service of client needs.

“LexisPSL provides a powerful collection of online resources available whenever needed, for every situation. Our consultants and our clients can be confident that they can always rely on the most up-to-date advice.”

Switching for success

Running a professional organisation with a commitment to customer experience and the potential impact of change on the consultants and clients was something Obelisk didn’t take lightly. Working with LexisNexis, Obelisk developed a transition process based on programme of information exchange, demonstrations and access to training all within the context of the new Obelisk flexible working model. Laure recalls a recent training session:

“It seemed very straightforward. They set up small groups for webinars and did a workshop. They were very proactive and people seem to pick it up really easily. And if there are problems, LexisNexis are always ready to help. Everybody’s very responsive.”

LexisPSL is now a core legal guidance solution for Obelisk consultants.

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