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How do you find the time today to plan for tomorrow?

Using flexible legal services can help busy general counsel find vital time to plan and implement operational improvements AND deliver the routine work commercial colleagues rely on.

Many clients come to Obelisk Support after changes in their company or group structure. Following merger or divestment activity, in-house teams can find that they are facing a perfect storm of personnel changes, post-transaction legal work and the need to set up new processes to deal with routine contracts and commercial matters. These are certainly an exciting opportunity to re-shape the remit and structure of the legal team but they often present legal leaders with short-term challenges. Operational, day-to-day commercial work still needs to take place, while at the same time the legal leadership needs to find and implement new ways of doing their work that fit with the longer term plans and budgets of the business.

Flexible working in action

One of our clients, a global healthcare business, found themselves in exactly this situation, with a new UK General Counsel faced with the task of building up their legal organisation from scratch. The nature of the business meant that there were peaks and troughs in their workload that needed to be balanced against the demands of regulatory work and designing an operating model to support the business as it grew. Obelisk had the answer: flexible, remote-working consultants.

“Obelisk are my first port of call when we need extra resource”, says their general counsel. “They really understand flexibility and make it so quick and easy to set up a new consultant.”

The team currently use a consultant from Obelisk who works full-time, but remotely, in order to manage a range of commercial projects from the legal perspective. “Since I left private practice in 2014, I’ve seen the market really change in terms of the service provision options that are available,” explains their general counsel, “Which opens up new ways for us in-house counsel to build a service model that works for our functional colleagues and meets our business goals.”

The benefit of experience

“Our Obelisk consultant has been a great addition to the team from Day One”, the company’s GC told us. “After I had introduced her to the key people she needs to work with, she has been happy to get on with the work required with little to no intervention. She has built up her knowledge of our business quickly and she knows where to spend her time – she cuts out the nonsense and focuses on what matters!”

Bringing in a temporary team member is hardly a new solution, yet what sets Obelisk apart from the more traditional law firm secondee route is the experience our consultants have to offer. “We did consider approaching one of our firms for a secondee”, says our client, “However, the amount of time that they would’ve required in terms of internal supervision meant that it just would not have been an effective solution. If you have to check every detail of the work done, then you are losing the benefits of passing that work over. With our consultant from Obelisk, I know I’ve got someone in place who has done this type of project before and has the experience to cover work off independently.”

As workload has increased yet further across the team, Obelisk have been able to put in place additional resources to support the team, again based remotely. Obelisk has established one of the largest pools of pre-vetted legal talent in the world. “We know that in-house leaders’ time is their most precious asset,” says Dana Denis-Smith, CEO of Obelisk Support. “We have developed our own platform that matches our customers’ requirements with available consultants best suited to do their work. That means that busy in-house lawyers don’t have to spend time screening loads of CVs and can find the perfect solution to getting their work done, fast.”

Working with Obelisk means that in-house teams can make vital extra time to focus on strategic initiatives that improve the way their team operates within the business in the longer term, meaning that they can add more value within the company and get better results for their internal and external customers.

Five ways flexible legal services can help in-house teams in times of change

Working with a flexible service provider like Obelisk during a time of organisational change can help you to:

  • Continue to meet commercial colleagues’ expectations
  • Bring extra experience into the business
  • Find new ways of working
  • Put solutions in place quickly
  • Keep your options open for the future.

Find out how Obelisk can help your legal team in these case studies.

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