The Founding Principle
Obelisk Support is founded on and continues to honour the principle of human first. We create opportunities for professionals to flourish by delivering flexible legal services powered by a community of legal professionals who want to work differently. We set ourselves apart through our commitment to putting people first and focusing on what our clients and consultants really need to succeed – which is why 90% of our clients come back to us again and again.
CEO, Obelisk Support
The Obelisk Story So Far
The idea for Obelisk Support was born in India, March 2010. Our CEO Dana Denis-Smith travelled there from London to explore her next entrepreneurial idea. At that time, many businesses were developing offshore outsourcing centres. Instead Dana’s thinking took a different line. Why not utilise the talent left behind by traditional working models in the UK?
On returning to London she set up Obelisk Support, starting with a team of just four ex-City lawyers. Since then the business has grown from strength to strength, becoming a trusted and respected provider of flexible legal services. Why the name? Dana took inspiration from London’s Obelisk – Cleopatra’s Needle.
“It is a symbol of feminine power and its role in history. There was no better name to suggest solidity, vast, long-lasting experience and a significant change in the work culture”.
Meet the Team
As well as our central team, we are proud to have over 1,000 freelance legal professionals in our community.
Meet some of our legal consultants here.
“I founded Obelisk Support in 2010 to keep ex-City lawyers working flexibly, around their family or other commitments. As CEO, I am committed to making Obelisk Support a great place to work for my team and our consultants, and to delivering innovative legal services that delight our clients time and time again.” Formerly an international journalist and Linklaters lawyer, Dana is CEO of Obelisk and founder of the First 100 Years project. As well as being named Lexis Legal Personality of the Year 2018, she has also been recognised by many other industry bodies, including Legal500 and Legal Week. She was the winner of Strategic Leadership Award at the MPF 2014 awards and was a finalist in the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2012.
“I never forget whether I’m interacting with clients, consultants or colleagues, we are humans first” Debbie joined Obelisk Support in 2016 having held various marketing management roles in the largest publicly traded tobacco company in the world, before moving to a strategic marketing agency in London to manage and grow their client base. Her focus is to grow and nurture client relationships and ensure a strong sales pipeline. Debbie is also a Board Member at Obelisk and works closely with other Members to ensure that the business continues on its growth trajectory through rigorous and regular assessment of our strategies and operational processes and efficiencies.
“I head up finance, operations and people at Obelisk. This gives me the opportunity to review and develop every aspect of the business”. Will is an experienced CFO/COO with track record of developing high growth privately owned or VC backed SMEs in multiple sectors. He works with the other Board members at Obelisk Support to develop strategies for optimising market growth and keeping one step ahead of the competition in terms of service delivery and customer satisfaction.
“The legal sector can be very conservative, but it is changing rapidly and to see the choices expand, especially for women, is part of what makes the job so fascinating.” Jane joined Obelisk Support in October 2013, managing the recruitment and onboarding of new consultants into the Obelisk Support talent pool. With a background in recruitment and development from Linklaters, her role is to attract and select lawyers, often at the start of their journey into interim legal work, that are a good match with our clients’ businesses.
“I joined Obelisk to make a difference to the world of work – I hate the idea that so much talent is going to waste because too many jobs are still designed around old-fashioned ideas of what work should involve.” Before joining Obelisk Support in 2019, Laura led marketing teams in a range of legal, technology and education businesses, most recently at LexisNexis and Pearson. Her focus is on making sure everyone in our Obelisk community is set up to succeed and helping as many people as possible make their working life work for them.
“The experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. My role at Obelisk Support is to make sure that our consultants are looked after. I provide a human touch alongside our online platform.” Prior to joining Obelisk in Spring 2020, Daniela ran Winmark’s Academies for C-level executives. Her focus at Obelisk is looking after our consultants by helping them secure work and develop their skills.
“I joined Obelisk Support as a Contracts Manager in September 2021, as their values and innovative approach to flexible working demonstrated to me that this was a 21st Century company that cared. Each day is different in the life of a contracts manager, and my day-to-day role entails producing the documentation for client and consultant onboarding, as well as negotiating contracts with third party service providers.” Prior to joining Obelisk, Hollie was a trainee solicitor at Holland & Barrett International Ltd and worked primarily in commercial and compliance.
“The opportunity to be part of a team that is passionate to change the world of work not only inspires but is also a great privilege. In pursuit of this vision, my role at Obelisk is to inform the talent strategies that underpin our ambitious growth plan, by providing insights and building relationships with our consultants.” Daniel joined the company in Autumn 2021 as a recent graduate.
“I joined Obelisk Support as I value their human first approach and the emphasis placed on being a diverse, inclusive and forward thinking company. My role as a Client Projects Manager consists of supporting both the clients and consultants with onboarding to new projects and making sure everything runs smoothly.” Chloe brings with her a strong customer focus and service delivery expertise developed in previous roles in the technology and security industries.
Louisa van Eeden-Smit
“Obelisk Support has grown from strength to strength over the last decade, making the original vision to enable talented lawyers who want to work flexibly and still make a difference in the legal profession a reality. I’m looking forward to working with the Obelisk community to empower more lawyers and clients to work in ways that benefit all.” Prior to joining Obelisk in 2022, Louisa established her marketing expertise through a variety of agency and client-side marketing roles, most recently at LexisNexis.
“Providing clients with a nurturing and attentive approach is key to successful relationships. Delivering and maintaining these qualities mirrors the core value of #HumanFirst here at Obelisk.”
Obelisk in the media
We believe nobody should have to choose between life and work.
We’re passionate about making legal work more inclusive and we’re on a mission to spread the word about the benefits of flexible work.
Read our latest media coverage here.
We are proud that our achievements so far have been recognised by some of the business world’s most prestigious awards.
- Finalist in the LexisNexis Legal Awards 2023 in the Diversity and Inclusion category
- CEO Dana Denis-Smith received special commendation as an “Innovative Leader” for the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Europe Awards, 2022
- Ranked as a Leading Firm for Flexible Legal Staffing, Chambers & Partners, 2022
- Highly commended for The Lawyer Award for Law Company of the Year 2022
- Ranked as Highly Recommended for Flexible Legal Staffing, Chambers & Partners, 2021
- CEO Dana Denis-Smith awarded Women in Law Awards Special Contribution Award 2020
- Winner of the Women in Law Awards Supplier of the Year 2020
- Highly commended for The Lawyer Award for Law Company of the Year 2020
- Highly commended for The Modern Law Awards 2020 in the Supporting the Industry (1-25 employees) category
- Shortlisted for The Lawyer Award for Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion 2019
- CEO Dana Denis-Smith awarded Legal500 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Legal Services 2019
- CEO Dana Denis-Smith named as Lexis Legal Personality of the Year 2018
- One of The Times Top 50 employers for women in 2015 & 2016
- CEO Dana Denis-Smith named as a finalist for the Aphrodite Award in the Natwest Everywoman Awards 2016
- CEO Dana Denis-Smith named as legal sector’s ‘Outstanding Innovator’ at the Legal Week Legal Innovation Awards 2015
- Winner of the Innovation Marketing Award at the Legal Innovation Awards 2016
- Included in the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyers Award every year since 2012
- Member of the London Stock Exchange Elite 50
- Member of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses