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Legal services for the future: How Obelisk is working in partnership with BT

 

BT is one of the world’s largest communications companies, so it’s no surprise that they were early adopters of the remote legal services model Obelisk first launched in 2010. In the seven years that the two organisations have worked together, Obelisk’s pool of legal consultants have delivered more than 19,000 hours of legal support services, covering commercial, real estate, banking & finance, environment, legal translation and project work.

In 2012 BT put together a completely new approach to their panel, moving to a “network of advisors”. In 2013 Obelisk started working with BT in this new structure, thanks to their ability to deliver unrivalled access to high-quality legal talent. Obelisk has established one of the largest communities of freelance lawyers in the world, able to provide services across 18 practice areas and bolstered by legal translators covering the world’s major languages.

 

hours of legal support services provided

For the last five years, legal consultants from Obelisk have been supporting Ruth Murphy, General Counsel for BT Enterprise, a division that supports large businesses and public sector organisations in the UK with large scale digital transformation.  These types of projects require the legal team to be heavily involved and generate a high volume of commercial drafting, review and negotiation work. As well as supporting the commercial teams with in-life contract matters, Obelisk’s consultants have been instrumental in drafting new terms and conditions to support new product launches.

“Using flexible legal services from Obelisk helps my team to consistently deliver on a busy slate of commitments. I’ve been impressed not just with the quality of the work delivered but also with the ability of the consultants I’ve worked with to come into the organisation and build productive relationships with BT colleagues.”

Ruth Murphy, General Counsel for BT Enterprise

Fundamental to the service Obelisk provides is the idea of homesourcing – tapping into high-quality legal talent by enabling more people to work remotely. This means clients have access to local expertise and Obelisk’s lawyers can better fit work around their other commitments. Obelisk is committed to inclusivity and sees the value in supporting men and women as they build flexible careers in law that allow them to unleash their full potential.

Obelisk consultant Lynda Johnson, who has supported the team at BT for nearly two years so far, comments, “I work from home on average four days in the week, going into the office for one day.  If required, I have been going in two days in some weeks for either team events or client meetings. The flexibility in this role has been a very important aspect of the work for me personally, enabling me to create a good work-life balance.”

Sarah Richards

Sarah Richards, Obelisk Consultant

It’s more than a common outlook on the benefits of working remotely that makes BT and Obelisk such good partners. Obelisk places a great deal of emphasis on service delivery, making every step of the journey as streamlined as possible for clients, whether that’s scoping a project or signing a contract.  Obelisk also only accepts lawyers into their network who have got solid experience of operating in complex organisations and exceptional interpersonal skills, as well as top-flight legal experience.

Says Ruth, “It’s imperative that my team can deliver strategic, risk savvy, customer-centric advice.  Working with Obelisk means I know I can access extra expertise from lawyers with the same commercial outlook whenever we need to, helping us build the agility we need to support the future success of our business and our customers.  Obelisk’s consultants have really set the bar when it comes to the attributes we look for in the people who support us.”

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