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Join Obelisk Support,
the home of flexible legal work

We create opportunities for legal professionals who want to work flexibly.

Why choose Obelisk Support?

We understand not everyone wants to work full-time. Whether you are looking to balance your professional and personal life, to develop a portfolio career or simply don’t want to be tied to set hours in one place, we are for you.

Through established partnerships with blue-chip companies, growing businesses and large law firms, we can deploy you on interesting projects that make the most of your skills and experience.

We currently have hundreds of freelance professionals on our platform around the world.
This is why they choose to work through us:

We offer outstanding access to projects with dynamic legal teams, both in-house at large global corporations and growing businesses, and in private practice with large City firms.

With our commitment to flexible working, you can set your availability and tell us how you want to work. You have the freedom to take jobs that fit your interest and skills, as well as the hours you want.

We don’t ask you to bring clients to us or do your own business development, so you can focus on the work that you enjoy.

We provide all our consultants with continuing education, professional development and career advice, helping you pursue your professional goals.

Our platform connects you with work that corresponds to your professional profile. We provide one-on-one support to help you develop further in areas of work that interest you.

We are a business with a purpose, paving the way forward in the legal industry and creating genuine opportunities to work in a different way.

Joining Us

1

Applying

We will review your CV and be in touch to arrange an interview by telephone or video conference.

2

Onboarding

We’ll also run background and reference checks, ask you to accept our terms & conditions and set you up on our platform so you’re ready to work.

3

Matching

Once you’re set up, we’ll start to match you with projects. Our proprietary software allows us to find the best fit for your skills.

4

Working

When we find the right match, we’ll approach you with potential projects and set up your first work with us.

Consultant Stories

Whether working flexibly with our clients or achieving their work/life balance, our consultants make a real difference. If you want to join us, please apply here.

 

Carla Senior Commercial Solicitor Obelisk Support

Carla

Position: Senior Commercial Solicitor

A senior commercial solicitor, Carla is admitted as both an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa and a Solicitor in England and Wales. After working in the Commercial & Corporate pratice at Garlicke & Bousfield, a leading South African firm, she joined Sodexo Group and The Keyholding Company in London, advising their executive team as senior counsel. With considerable expertise in major contract awards, Carla supports companies with her strong skills in contract drafting, vetting and negotiating, and post-execution contract support. Business- and commercially-minded, she drives effective legal and commercial advice to businesses within the legal framework of relevant legislation. Here, she shares her insights on recent experiences as an Obelisk consultant.

Can you describe your work experiences through Obelisk?

I’ve worked with Obelisk since 2014. Most recently, I took on a technology/IT law role with a large advisory firm in London, after being prompted by Obelisk to consider the role. Initially, I was hesitant about applying for the role as my background is general commercial law, but the Obelisk team thought that I would be a good fit and so I decided to apply for the role. I was very surprised when I got it! Needless to say, I am very glad the Obelisk team encouraged me to go for it because I have been really enjoying the challenge.

What makes your expertise unique?

Prior to joining Obelisk, I worked in a large law firm in South Africa and after moving to the UK, gained in-house experience working for both large multinationals and for small SMEs. That, coupled with the 10 years + PQE I have in both private practice and in-house, has enabled me to apply for roles with small companies looking for legal processes and systems to be set up from scratch and with large powerhouses needing flexible, pragmatic legal support.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

Being trusted and treated with integrity and respect. And of course, having an amazing work-life balance and getting to spend quality time with my family. – The most challenging? The daily struggle of not enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done, both from a professional and personal perspective and working remotely 3 days a week, with only 2 days in the office also comes with its challenges – thanks to modern technology it is workable but does mean that my visibility within the workplace is probably not where it should be.

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

Professional – wrapping my head around GDPR and successfully navigating the company Obelisk placed me with in 2017/2018 through GDPR compliance from a zero base. Also, being appointed as one of the youngest senior associates at the law firm I worked for in South Africa. Personally – taking myself out of my comfort zone and applying to be a governor at my children’s school. After being elected, I then had a very short period of time to get up to speed with governance in the education sector, which at the time felt like an insurmountable challenge – it still feels this way two years into my term!

How do you find the right work/life balance?

Ensuring that the roles that I apply for (through Obelisk) are with companies that are forward-thinking from a work/life balance point of view and that flexible working is encouraged and practised. The cultural fit in this respect is essential in my view. I also firmly believe that family are #1 and a job will always take second place.

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Don’t be scared to apply for roles that don’t fit neatly with your skill-set. Change is good and challenge is good. And if you are ever out of your comfort zone, believe in yourself and don’t underestimate the ability you have to learn new things about new sectors/areas of law.

How do you start and end your day?

A typical day starts with small people waking me up, which drives me straight to the coffee machine to make a strong coffee! My day usually ends with a good book.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Mind-reader! The ability to read minds would make both my personal life and professional life a lot easier.

 

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Carla Senior Commercial Solicitor Obelisk Support

Carla

Senior Commercial Solicitor

A senior commercial solicitor, Carla is admitted as both an...

Ralph Financial Services Lawyer Obelisk Support

Ralph

Position: Financial Services Lawyer

Ralph is an experienced lawyer who has worked in a number of different organisations, but specifically in retail financial services. He is a specialist in consumer credit and (consumer facing) payments services/payments regulation. He has also worked in private practice and in-house at the FSA, Barclays, Harrods Bank and Lloyds. Here, he shares his insights on recent experiences as an Obelisk consultant.

Can you describe your work experiences through Obelisk?

It has been varied and enjoyable. Working through Obelisk has given me access to high-quality work while keeping the administrative side seamless and efficient.

What makes your expertise unique?

My key specialisms are consumer credit and payment services, which are regarded as fairly niche areas, though I also provide general financial regulatory and commercial advice.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

For me, the greatest benefit has been the ability to work from home and occasionally, even while on the move.

The most challenging?

The availability of work can fluctuate, with quiet periods followed by several requests for advice at the same time!

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

Professionally, the most memorable experience was setting up the legal department in a private bank and revamping their legal documentation and processes. Personally, I would have to say building the UK’s first prefabricated passive house, though it went up too quickly to be featured on Grand Designs!

How do you find the right work/life balance?

Particularly when working from home, I have learned to switch off, both physically and mentally, during non-working hours.

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Be open-minded about the kinds of work you take on and don’t be afraid to jump in at the deep end.

How do you start and end your day?

Start with an oat milk (Barrista Oatly) latté and end with a Scotch whisky…

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Feline telepathy, so that I could find out what our cat really thinks of me!

 

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Ralph Financial Services Lawyer Obelisk Support

Ralph

Financial Services Lawyer

Ralph is an experienced lawyer who has worked in a...

Shalini Senior Commercial & IT Lawyer Obelisk Support

Shalini

Position: Senior Commercial & IT Lawyer

Shalini is a senior commercial and IT lawyer who is commercially astute and enjoys collaborating across business functions, as well as aligning activities to business objectives. Shalini has sound experience that stretches across various sectors, including commercial and finance, mainly based around technology. She has proven to be an excellent communicator and influencer through her time at Argus Media and Addleshaw Goddard where she advised and supported internal and external stakeholders. Here, she shares her insights on recent experiences as an Obelisk consultant.

Can you describe your work experiences through Obelisk?

I’ve actually only had one role so far – in the GC team at a multinational media conglomerate in Canary Wharf. I went for two months and over two years later, I’m still there. I love the team and the work is varied and interesting.

What makes your expertise unique?

I’ve had a varied private practice and in-house career across different areas of the law; and I’m also the founder of my own company, which is a coaching and L&D business. The people side of law is so important now and I’m really interested in that – it’s where my legal and coaching interests come together.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

Being able to manage my time and see my children more.

The most challenging?

I have to be really clear about boundaries – working from home, it’s easy for all the boundaries to get blurred!

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

My proudest professional moment was meeting Lady Hale (who is one of my heroes); and my proudest personal achievement has been adopting each of my two children.

How do you find the right work/life balance?

It’s hard! I’m not there yet.

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Always say yes to work and clients that you have the right gut feeling about.

How do you start and end your day?

I usually start by being woken up by my children, making loads of noise; and I try and end it with a few pages of a good novel.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Time travel.

 

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Shalini Senior Commercial & IT Lawyer Obelisk Support

Shalini

Senior Commercial & IT Lawyer

Shalini is a senior commercial and IT lawyer who is...

Lola Senior Commercial Lawyer Obelisk Support

Lola

Position: Senior Commercial Lawyer

A senior commercial lawyer with experience at the London School of Business and Finance, London City Airport and the Leasehold Advisory Service, Lola provides legal advice, drafts commercial/corporate contracts, real estate, negotiation, employment law advice, compliance and litigation in the sectors of property, transport, private education and FMCG. Her experience in commerce and industry means that Lola is well suited to working in a variety of environments. Here, she shares her insights on recent experiences as an Obelisk consultant.

Can you describe your work experiences through Obelisk?

Working through Obelisk is like enjoying a sumptuous box of chocolates. I get to work with a broad variety of clients and practice areas, everything from software agreements and share acquisitions to data privacy compliance and governance. Every client is unique, and I enjoy the ever changing disciplines and sectors.

What makes your expertise unique?

My expertise is unique because I am truly a general practitioner, although my expertise leans towards commercial practice I have held positions in organisations where I was a standalone lawyer and as such had to pick up multiple practice areas. This has included niche areas such as aviation law, business rates, corporate immigration, leasehold enfranchisement and state aid law.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

Being able to set my availability and mode of work is the most rewarding. This has meant that even pre Covid I was working remotely and have always enjoyed this mode of work.

The most challenging?

Managing a diverse workload and maintaining CPD. Being a freelancer it’s easy to forget about attending Webinars, Seminars and legal updates. However, I try to do something every other month to ensure that I keep updated with the latest developments in my core practice areas. Obelisk has a discount via MBL and having attended MBL’s in person seminars as well as webinars I can recommend them.

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

Helping a start-up business with key customer facing policies that were needed in order for their website to be compliant with GDPR and best practice. The business involves a field that I am passionate about, as such, my work with this client was both professionally and personally rewarding.

How do you find the right work/life balance?

  • The majority of my work is performed remotely, however, since covid-19 this has been 100%, as such, maintaining the right work/life balance has always been key. I use my home office, a dedicated room for work, I find that having a dedicated space assists in creating the right balance. I try not to let work spill out into other areas of my home.\
  • Where possible I agree realistic deadlines with clients to ensure that I can complete all tasks at a reasonable pace and avoid work overload.
  • I use time blocking and often batch similar tasks together, this creates efficiency for me and assists in planning my working day.
  • I exercise during the week and use it to break up the working day, for instance I often go for a run at lunch time or straight after work. Exercising regularly balances my energy and enables me to get more work done. Similarly, when I know I have dinner with friends or drinks after work, I am motivated to progress through my task list since I have something nice to look forward to.
  • I socialise with friends and family regularly, pre Covid this would mean two to three evenings a week being out with friends or family.
  • I reserve evenings and weekends for rest and recreation and only work if it is absolutely essential.

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Stay motivated, there may be times when you are in between contracts, rather than viewing this time as a setback, use the time to upskill, there are great resources available such as reading online blogs on sectors that you are interested in working in, legal updates via Webinars and listening to some TED Talks.

How do you start and end your day?

I meditate most days and do this before breakfast and starting work. I believe that this helps to keep me centred which in turn helps me have a focused and productive day. At the end of the day, I wind down by clearing my mind, I achieve this by ensuring that I do a mind dump, and use a digital or paper journal to make a note of key tasks for the following day, ideas or anything that I did not get around to doing. My mind dump means that I can relax and enjoy my evenings and weekends without having to worry about work matters.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Time manipulation.

 

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Lola Senior Commercial Lawyer Obelisk Support

Lola

Senior Commercial Lawyer

A senior commercial lawyer with experience at the London School...

Banking Lawyer Obelisk Support

Behram

Position: Banking Lawyer

Behram is a senior banking and finance lawyer. He worked at Ashurst LLP in their leveraged finance and international loan markets group before joining CMS Cameron McKenna’s international finance department. He later joined Clifford Chance LLP in the litigations, dispute resolution and anti-trust team, advising on a variety of regulatory and litigation matters, as well as other City firms. His experience covers a broad range of multi-jurisdictional matters, leveraged finance in private equity deals, re-financing, restructuring, company re-organisations and investment grade loans. Here, he shares his insights on recent experiences as an Obelisk consultant.

How was working at a leading global financial services firm?

It was challenging but collegiate and varied, requiring real time legal input and problem solving for multiple business lines in complex commercial and operational scenarios.

Describe your favourite part of the role

Firstly, the subject matter was both enjoyable and interesting. My team dealt with legal implementation of a changing regulatory landscape across business lines. As this came from U.S., European and U.K. sources, the work was intellectually stimulating from a global legal view. Secondly and more relevant to me, I had a very knowledgeable and supportive, calm manager and was treated like a member of the team by other colleagues.

What was the biggest challenge?

It was delivering the business risk advice on 50 trading platforms in the run-up to the MiFIDII go live date. The time frame was really challenging and I had limited experience of the type of agreements we were looking at. To get through the steep learning curve, I found quiet places in the open plan office and was trained by my manager who was very experienced and made herself available.

Can you describe working as a freelance lawyer through Obelisk?

Being an Obelisk consultant has enhanced my continuing legal career development, which is exactly the sort of relationship you need when you have to adapt to a new role swiftly as the legal markets adapt to business needs. The Obelisk team has been very approachable and supportive and I think we have had a very good open dialogue in general terms to discuss any issues and concerns and also just to have a friendly chat over coffee. Obelisk has also been pro-active at finding roles that suit my strengths as well as servicing their clients, e.g. in the current Financial Regulatory space.

 

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Banking Lawyer Obelisk Support

Behram

Banking Lawyer

Behram is a senior banking and finance lawyer. He worked...

Kate Commercial Lawyer Obelisk Support

Kate

Position: Commercial Lawyer

Kate is an experienced, versatile and practical commercial lawyer. She trained, qualified and practised for over 10 years at Norton Rose Fulbright, where she specialised in asset finance and commercial transactions. Kate now practices on a freelance basis, undertaking a wide variety of commercial law in-house placements at both blue-chip corporates and smaller entities, predominantly in the IT, retail, social media and telecoms sectors. Kate advises clients with a particular emphasis on the practical business application of legal principles. Here, she shares her insights on recent experiences as an Obelisk consultant.

Can you describe your work experiences through Obelisk?

It has been wonderfully varied mix of long and short term commercial in-house assignments, including everything from ad-hoc work to full time placements, stretching across the IT, retail, telecoms, pharmaceutical and financial sectors, and many more.

What makes your expertise unique?

I’d like to think I am a particularly practical commercial lawyer, with a broad range of experience and an ability to get going on tasks without much hand-holding required. Having had an “insider’s view” of so many business and sectors, finding creative solutions, problem solving and helping clients to simplify and streamline is what I like to do best. Efficiency is always my goal.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

For me it is all about feeling in control and independent; I find it hard to imagine life as an employee now and I would miss the freedom and variety too much.

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

Professionally it would be the amazing feedback from my Obelisk clients, both in terms of their wonderful comments and how often I have unexpectedly returned to/retained clients over the long term. Personally, it has to be the kids – I am ridiculously proud of them both.

How do you find the right work/life balance?

I don’t always get it right, but being a home-based consultant is a pretty good start! I also try and roll with things as much as possible; nothing is forever so I enjoy downtime while I have it and I know a break will come soon when work is intense.

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Believe in yourself – you are better than you think. Don’t think for a minute that what you want will fall in your lap – grab every opportunity that comes your way, and if none come to you, go out and find some.

How do you start and end your day?

My day starts with a coffee and a walk around the garden for a moment of peace. The end of the day is always reading a good book.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Given the timing, it would have to be a virus-destruction superpower.

 

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Kate Commercial Lawyer Obelisk Support

Kate

Commercial Lawyer

Kate is an experienced, versatile and practical commercial lawyer. She...

Neil Commercial Lawyer Obelisk Support

Neil

Position: Commercial Lawyer

Neil has broad, cross-jurisdictional commercial experience within the travel, hospitality and leisure sectors. Most recently he acted as Legal Director for Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s Legal & Compliance Team and has previously held senior in-house legal positions at Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, the Monarch Travel Group and Kempinski Hotels. He is familiar with negotiating high value, multi-national services agreements, as well as cross-jurisdictional framework agreements. Here, he shares his insights on recent experiences as an Obelisk consultant.

Can you describe your work experiences through Obelisk?

My most recent role through Obelisk was working alongside the Head of Legal at a British catering company, advising a number of its food service and hospitality businesses. The experience itself was great. Lots of close interaction with the various businesses and an interesting mix of work, all whilst having the support of a fun and personable team.

What makes your expertise unique?

I think every good lawyer will have something unique to offer, based on their own experience (good and bad!). I have been lucky enough to have worked in a variety of businesses across different sectors over the years, and these experiences have helped to shape me into the lawyer (and indeed the individual) that I am today. I think a solid and up-to-date understanding of black letter law is always expected of any good lawyer. However, together with hard work, the ability to communicate clearly, concisely and whilst being sensitive to the specific, commercial needs of the business, is what makes a lawyer invaluable and (seemingly) “unique” for that business. On a lighter note, a good (and some might say, unique) sense humour has helped along the way!

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

Variety of interesting work. Family is important to me, so having the ability to effectively manage my time is essential.

The most challenging?

Plate-spinning. Keeping on top of moving goals and conflicting priorities that are being driven across business. This can be a challenge which, admittedly, I am still working on. That said, if you have a good rapport with your business partners and are able to clearly and honestly communicate with them, those challenges can be less cumbersome.

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

Professional: I spent part of my career working as a lawyer for a travel and tourism business and happened to join just as that business was undergoing a number of senior leadership changes, as well as having to manage its way through various time sensitive regulatory changes. The experience presented a number of technical challenges. It also required a great deal of empathy and understanding for the very human impact that was being felt across the business, all whilst trying to get to know that business and its new faces. Whilst challenging, the experience was rewarding.

Personal: My wife and I have toddler twins. Every day feels like a personal achievement.

How do you find the right work/life balance?

I try to stay organised. Easier said than done, I realise! However, diarising certainly helps. Being self-disciplined about having that work-life balance is also essential.

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Be open to new experiences. One of the great advantages of legal consultancy roles is that they can provide a platform for working within new and interesting sectors.

How do you start and end your day?

Early mornings are usually spent with the twins, changing nappies and preparing food (x2) before my wife takes over for the day. Same applies in the evenings unfortunately! I do, however, make sure that I leave my desk every lunch time to get outside and get some exercise. Our dog joins me and he is grateful for this.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The ability to learn, unlearn and relearn quickly is a superpower worth having. Otherwise, I would happily settle for the power of superhuman flight.

 

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Neil Commercial Lawyer Obelisk Support

Neil

Commercial Lawyer

Neil has broad, cross-jurisdictional commercial experience within the travel, hospitality...

Simon Corporate & Technology Lawyer Obelisk Support

Simon

Position: Corporate & Technology Lawyer

Simon is a City-trained in-house lawyer who has extensive experience in corporate and commercial matters across many sectors including technology led businesses in defence, telecoms and engineering. He has strong commercial and procurement contracts experience, in addition to dealing with outsourcing and licencing in UK and Europe, and transactional experience in M&A, leasing and asset finance. Here, he shares his insights on recent experiences as an Obelisk consultant.

Can you describe your work experiences through Obelisk?

They have been very variable ranging from small to large businesses and engineering to telecoms. However, the constant is dealing with technologies of many kinds in a commercial environment.

What makes your expertise unique?

I can pick up a new business very rapidly and so become effective quickly.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

The people! The industries! The cultures!

Most challenging?

Convincing people that I can do their work. I am losing count of the times that I am asked “What contracts do you do?” for a general commercial in-house role.

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

Professional: Helping BT procure £2 billion technology supply for broadband.

Personal: Making and delivering a set of silver gilt candle sticks and flower holders to my godson as a wedding gift from his father.

How do you find the right work/life balance?

When working from home: shut work down and move onto my studio where I have silverwork to do. If not working from home, then it’s the commute home.

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

While I have become very widely experienced across many business sectors, it has shown me that contracts seldom differ. There may be sector or technology led issues, but the fundamentals never change. If you start from that position, all but the most regulated sectors where specific statutory issues rule are available to you.

How do you start and end your day?

If I am working from home (and I have been since 2017) I just get stuck in when the business gets going. That can be 08:00 for European based businesses. At the end of the day, I shut work down and head to my studio.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The one that keeps new assignments promptly following on from the last.

 

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Simon Corporate & Technology Lawyer Obelisk Support

Simon

Corporate & Technology Lawyer

Simon is a City-trained in-house lawyer who has extensive experience...

Rashda Commercial Lawyer Obelisk Support

Rashda

Position: Commercial Lawyer

Rashda has extensive experience in international legal practice gained across the UK, Europe and Australia, representing and advising clients in a broad range of contentious and non-contentious multi-party matters including joint venture and partnership disputes. She has advised on and conducted major commercial, banking, insurance, insolvency, maritime, tax, regulatory and construction & infrastructure litigation, arbitration and mediation involving wide ranging issues. She also has significant in-house experience at one of the world’s leading project management, design and construction companies. Here, she shares her insights on recent experiences as an Obelisk consultant.

Can you describe your work experiences through Obelisk?

I took an assignment with a client in March 2019 and following a number of extensions, I’m still there! I’m a commercial/construction/infrastructure specialist and being in the thick of it with a large property development & construction company in the UK has been very rewarding. The challenges presented have also been to some extent of a unique kind, especially in 2020. I have very broad responsibilities covering work for the group, individual business units, front-end and disputes, strategic and pure legal.

What makes your expertise unique?

I think I am a rare breed of lawyer in that I have worked in every facet of the law in that I have been (and still am) a barrister, I’ve been a partner in a mid-tier law firm, I’ve been adjunct professor teaching law, I’ve been GC at a global property development & construction company (Lend Lease), I’ve practiced in multiple jurisdictions and took silk in a different jurisdiction to my original one (original E&W, silk in NSW, Australia), I have sat and still sit as an international arbitrator and am a non-executive director at a university and an NHS Trust! That wide ranging experience has given me rare insights into how the commercial world operates.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

I’ve always been self-employed and flexible working has to some extent been how I have operated in my myriad roles. What flexibility allows is the chance to order one’s life more to suit you and to be able to deal more effectively with the demands on one’s time and energy.

Most challenging?

Only more recently, I’d say that the necessity of working from home has created a few challenges in the context of not having the usual physical interaction with your client. Like most people working in an agile environment, my flexible working entailed working from home, going to different client offices and external advisers. This level of interaction provided the opportunity to build a rapport with different stakeholders effectively and efficiently. It helps to build trust and confidence. That dynamic may have been taken for granted by most of us. I think it was by me. Virtual contact still allows for that but the multifarious nuances in peoples’ behaviour are harder to detect through a screen. It is not impossible but it is harder if that person is not known to you. As we all become used to, adept at, virtual meetings even with people we have not come across before, the readiness to accept each other, as we are, warts and all, is also changing. This is all for the better given that the use of technology in this way is unlikely to diminish even if and when we return to working out of offices.

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

Being included in the Lawyers As Citizens listing held at the National Archive of Australia and the work I have done in promoting EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) in the legal profession, internationally. That work (EDI) is not yet done so perhaps I can’t yet count it as an achievement so I will add my unfailing commitment to it as something I am proud of!

How do you find the right work/life balance?

Good organisation and time management. It’s almost compulsive but I book everything into my diary including things with the family, otherwise, I know I’d just say ‘Yes’ to everything work related.

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Back yourself when it comes to the quality of your advice to the business and try to have fun. It’s no longer worth it if you’re not having fun.

How do you start and end your day?

Trying desperately hard not to read my emails before coffee in the morning and ending the day with a simple a cup of lapsang tea and a chapter (or two) of whatever is on my bed-side table.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The ability to eradicate unconscious bias in everyone such that the notion that women, BAME people, disabled people, poor (all disadvantaged groups) are not as good as some other sector of society is an alien, irrational, incomprehensible and irreconcilable concept in all minds. That should achieve what is needed in every society in one fell swoop!

 

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Rashda Commercial Lawyer Obelisk Support

Rashda

Commercial Lawyer

Rashda has extensive experience in international legal practice gained across...

Commercial & Compliance Lawyer Obelisk Support

Golnar

Position: Commercial & Compliance Lawyer

Golnar is a qualified French Jurist and has worked internationally for a number of years with a number of organisations. Golnar’s previous projects include developing and implementing contract risk assessment processes for the EMEIA region and supporting on various legal matters such as contract reviews, litigation, potential data breaches and the design of compliance processes.

Can you describe your work experience through Obelisk?

My experience has been positive so far, Obelisk has allowed me to take on new challenges and projects that I would have never thought of! I am given the freedom and independence that I am looking for as a consultant, but the Obelisk team is always here if I need any help or advice.

 

What makes your expertise unique?

My experience’s diversity: my commercial and compliance background, added to the various industries and countries I worked on, allow me to take on many different types of projects and to provide a more comprehensive support to clients

 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

The variety of projects and clients, and the freedom of organising my own business and workload. I can focus on work when I want to, and rest when I need to.

 

What’s the most challenging?

The lack of long term visibility, especially in today’s uncertain times!

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

Quitting my corporate job to become a consultant. It has been the scariest decision I have ever made, and I do not regret it!!

 

How do you find the right work/life balance?

By being very conscious of how much work I am taking on and know my capacity. There is an irrational fear as a consultant that you must say yes to anything and everything in case work slows down in the future, but it never does! So I listen to myself and adjust my workload accordingly. I also never, ever, work on weekends. This is a sacred rule for me.

 

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Give yourself some time, as appropriate, to work on your practice as a consultant instead of working for your client(s) only. This will give you a perspective, a goal, and the motivation to work and progress that can sometimes be difficult to find when operating alone.

 

How do you start and end your day?

In today’s world, I start my day with a daily, coffee video catch up with a client, and end it with a video chat with my loved ones! Hopefully this will end soon…

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation. It used to be shape-shifting, but Zoom calls killed it for me!

 

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Commercial & Compliance Lawyer Obelisk Support

Golnar

Commercial & Compliance Lawyer

Golnar is a qualified French Jurist and has worked internationally...

Elaine Regulatory and Corporate Lawyer

Elaine

Position: Regulatory & Compliance Lawyer

Elaine is a regulatory and corporate lawyer who has extensive experience in interpreting and implementing technical financial services’ regulation. She has supported the business units and legal functions of highly complex global financial services companies, helping them to identify and manage risk to meet strategic objectives in a timely, effective and cost-efficient manner. Her legal advice has covered a wide range of regulatory and corporate law matters, including global compliance programmes. Here, she shares her insights on recent experiences as an Obelisk consultant.

Can you describe your experience of working through Obelisk?

I have really enjoyed my work experiences through Obelisk. I have met some terrific people, both client-side and at Obelisk. Aside from working with these inspiring people, I enjoy using my skillset and experience to widen my horizons and learn about new areas of practice. I have over 20 years of experience as a corporate and financial services lawyer. Hence, I am always striving to apply the knowledge and experience I have gleaned over the years to new areas of the law.

What makes your expertise unique?

I do think it is useful to have gained experience both in private practice and in-house. This makes my approach to, and application of the law more practical. I also have experience of working on projects to create efficiencies through tech solutions and I relish the challenge of keeping things as user-friendly and as simple as possible. I am a great believer in common sense, which can often save the day. I also have a wicked sense of fun and really believe that when you find time to laugh you can achieve so much more and at the same time be super productive.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

When life starts moving more again, there are a great deal of advantages to working freelance. The big appeal for me is that I can be more mobile. I can choose to spend time during school holidays with my family. For me, this means quality time spent in rural Suffolk or on a golf course in Portugal. As a farmer’s daughter, the flexibility of being able to escape London, heading to rural open spaces and green fields as often as possible, is most rewarding.

What’s the most challenging?

Certainly, the most challenging aspect for me is the lack of predictability. If you work in-house or in private practice, it is often easier to manage workloads, but this can be more difficult if you are working on a ‘one person’ assignment. However, in my experience the pros comfortably outweigh the cons.

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

On reflection, I look back and I am proud to have qualified and learned a great work ethic at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. It was at times very challenging and with long hours in the office. Nevertheless, I believe that the ‘office’ is really important for those training and learning the ropes in the legal profession. Having the ability to drop by and talk things over with a colleague is so valuable, especially in those early days.

Personally, I am so lucky and proud to have a such a wonderfully supportive family who make me laugh everyday in the best possible way.

How do you find the right work/life balance?

This can be difficult, but it is work in progress. The balance can often change and depends on different circumstances not always within one’s control. That said, I would always rather be too frantically busy than not have enough to do.

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Whenever you have a chance, try and take the time to read into areas of the law you might not be so familiar with as well as those areas you are expert in. This doesn’t have to be too onerous a task. Nowadays there are so many accessible and different ways to do this. Blogs, social media and podcasts can provide accessible ways to learn about legal developments. For instance, in financial services, I find following legal developments in the U.S. can provide useful insights into where the law may be heading in a post-Brexit UK.

How do you start and end your day?

Walking my Puggle – Icarus. He is a cross between a pug and a beagle. This means he needs to sniff absolutely everything. So it’s not usually a brisk walk but more of a slow meander. Anyway, it’s the best way to reflect at the start and end of the day.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Definitely teleportation! Living in central London means it is arguably the most useful superpower one could imagine having. Trying to escape from London in order to get to the glorious Suffolk countryside is more often than not a battle. If I had this superpower, it would also do wonders for my blood pressure!

 

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Elaine Regulatory and Corporate Lawyer

Elaine

Regulatory & Compliance Lawyer

Elaine is a regulatory and corporate lawyer who has extensive...

Anna Commercial Lawyer Obelisk Support

Anna

Position: Corporte Solicitor

Anna is a solicitor with experience in private practice and in-house roles dealing with corporate and commercial matters, more recently for large telecom companies.

Can you describe your experience of working through Obelisk?

I have worked on various assignments through Obelisk since I left private practice in 2012. Whilst I trained as a corporate lawyer with some commercial experience, I have mainly worked in-house in telecom and technology sectors during my time with Obelisk. The length of these assignments has varied from shorter (2 weeks) to longer (nearly 2 years). I have been very lucky to have exposure to working with different businesses and to receive high quality assignments along the way.

 

What makes your expertise unique?

I speak several languages, have lived in different countries and I really enjoy legal work with an international dimension.

 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

For me, it has been the ability to successfully combine work and having a young family, whilst being able to grow professionally. Also, I enjoy the constant change that working flexibly brings. I believe businesses value self-starters and the skills such as adaptability and the ability to work independently that Obelisk consultants demonstrate.

 

What’s the most challenging?

The feeling of having to constantly re-assess priorities and adjust quickly when things change.

 

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

I am currently working as a sole legal counsel for a tech start-up company. I feel great excitement of being able to support the growing business so closely and be part of their journey.

 

How do you find the right work/life balance?

I haven’t quite found that balance yet but I keep trying.

 

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Believe in yourself and in work that you do.

 

How do you start and end your day?

I start my day with a cup of coffee and try to end it with a good book.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The power to be in different places at once!

 

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Anna Commercial Lawyer Obelisk Support

Anna

Corporte Solicitor

Anna is a solicitor with experience in private practice and...

Ivan Legal Consultant Obelisk Support

Ivan

Position: Coporate & Commerical Lawyer

Ivan is a senior corporate/commercial lawyer with a wealth of in-house experience. His career includes time spent with some of the world’s largest brands and law firms. Ivan also holds a PhD in corporate governance and is a successful musician. 

 

Can you describe your experience of working through Obelisk?

Working through Obelisk has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to remain in the market as a senior legal professional in a model that is flexible and beneficial for both the client and myself. It allows me to maintain a much needed sense of belonging to a team, while at the same time being properly looked after as a person and as an independent professional.

 

What makes your expertise unique?

I have had the wonderful opportunity during my career, to be a senior in-house lawyer and global general counsel for many years, having an international outreach in large organisations where my skills as a lawyer and as a senior manager were put to the test, always to a successful outcome. I suspect that I am as a professional the result of the collision of two worlds. From one side you have all my formation as a lawyer in Latin America, working in Spanish, under Civil Law and being exposed to that tradition not only culturally but also legally. On the other side, which amounts to the last 20 years of my professional life in the UK, I have achieved excellence as an academic, which was complemented by all the working experience I have accumulated over the years as a corporate/commercial lawyer in the role of head of legal and senior general counsel. This mix of skills, and experience has positioned me well as a very effective global general counsel. But I guess that beyond any academic or professional qualifications, what has always made a difference to me is that I am a people’s person! I enjoy being part of a team and I am always determined to enjoy what we do!

 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

My true passion is music and I am an active concert pianist! So, having a working model (through Obelisk) that allows me to render my services in a flexible manner, has allowed me to continue with all my music activity, which is a very important part of my life!

 

What’s the most challenging?

The challenge is to deal with the uncertainty around a project coming to an end and not knowing for sure when there will be a new project. However, I must say that all the team at Obelisk has always been amazing at keeping an eye for new opportunities to keep me busy!

 

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

Professionally I am particularly proud of the moment when I was awarded the doctorate degree in law by Cambridge University after a few long years researching  the area of law and economics of corporate groups’ regulation. Personally, it has been a great achievement for me to have been able to combine my professional life as a lawyer with my life as an artist (professional pianist) both at a very top level, and both interacting very positively to my benefit through the years!

 

How do you find the right work/life balance?

It is a recipe that involves good time-management skills, with a lot of good team work, the good sense to distinguish between what is important and what is urgent, and discipline not to breach the quality and attention to time that is me-time, and the time that is work-time.

 

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

My advice is that working as a legal consultant is a wonderful model, especially when you are a senior lawyer, letting you manage your own time, your own work-load, and devote your quality time to the things that really matter to you, both professionally and personally. The life of a legal consultant can be really rewarding because it allows you to meet a lot of interesting people, it allows you to help and feel really useful and it is a wonderful way to use your skills and experience in a very efficient manner.

 

How do you start and end your day?

I start my day with a 30 minute walk in the park (after the school-run) at 7.45 am. Then I start my working day at 8.45 am with a daily catch up call with the team at my client. I end my day at different times because doing M&A work, the demands of transactions can take place at any minute, especially if you are working internationally. But I normally try stop at 8pm to relax with the family and have dinner. Then sometimes I check in on a few things at around 9pm. Finally, I practise the piano for 1 hour and end my day after watching the news at 10pm.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I wish I could fly or simply have a way to physically transport myself anywhere in just a few seconds. Especially now that we have been in lockdown, many of us with our families so far away! The power to reduce the distance from the people or places we love and be able to find a way to be physically there within seconds is truly a power I would love to have.

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Ivan Legal Consultant Obelisk Support

Ivan

Coporate & Commerical Lawyer

Ivan is a senior corporate/commercial lawyer with a wealth of...

British Business Bank case study

April

Position: Structured Finance Lawyer

April is a structured finance lawyer with experience gained at Allen & Overy in their Capital Markets department (securitisation team) as well as eight years in-house with RBS providing general legal support to the structured debt business.

 

Can you describe your experience of working through Obelisk?

I’m currently in my very first role through Obelisk, working for a government-owned business development bank. The bank has been integral in supporting the UK government’s economic response to the shocks caused by the global pandemic. They needed an extra pair of hands on deck at the height of the pandemic to help with extending the reach of their emergency loan schemes so as to increase the supply of credit to struggling small and medium enterprises. Joining a team remotely has its challenges but a combination of a very welcoming team at the bank as well as the efficiency of Obelisk made the whole transition very smooth.

 

What makes your expertise unique?

I started my legal career as a securitisation lawyer in private practice during the early 2000s when there was a real boom in the economic cycle, which gave me exposure to a wide range of complex financial structures. I then spent the next chunk of my career working in-house at an investment bank during a period of restructuring and change in the financial services industry in the wake of the global financial crisis. The juxtaposition of those two things makes the breadth of my experience quite unique.

 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of flexible working as a lawyer?

Remote and part-time working (I currently work 4 days a week) has enabled me to be more present for my two young kids. It has also allowed me the freedom to pursue my other interests on my day off – when the schools are open!

 

What’s the most challenging?

Over the last year, with remote working and schools being closed, the biggest challenge has definitely been balancing working and home-schooling simultaneously. I feel like I have acquired multiple additional jobs overnight (teaching was one but also having to feed a house full of people that seem to be constantly hungry)!

 

What are your proudest professional and personal achievements so far?

I like to live in the moment so I’ll say, from a professional perspective, I’m pretty proud of the work I’m doing in my current role in helping the bank with the Covid emergency loan schemes (which has allowed for multiple accredited lenders to extend finance to so many struggling businesses during this crisis) and now with the recent launch of the Recovery Loan Scheme which will hopefully help businesses recover and grow as we emerge out of the pandemic.

Inspired by my lived experiences of disability through my eldest daughter, on a personal level I am proud of the platform that I created on Instagram called “Portraits of Grit” which aims to raise disability awareness and connect communities through the power of conversation and storytelling. Essentially it is a human library of stories and experiences of disability and, in addition to being online, has also been displayed in various cultural institutions including at the Lyric Hammersmith and at private events such as at The Wallace Collection.

 

How do you find the right work/life balance?

I’m still looking for the perfect balance! I’m not sure I believe there is such thing as having the perfect work/life balance as those two things constantly evolve and so your needs also fluctuate. It helps me to just be conscious of that.

 

What are your words of advice to other legal consultants?

Not to lose sight of the reason you chose to become a consultant in the first place, whatever that may be.

 

How do you start and end your day?

Doing my other job – parenting! Right now that means getting the kids up in the morning and, at the end of the day, making sure we’re ready for the next morning.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Being able to create the gift of time!

 

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British Business Bank case study

April

Structured Finance Lawyer

April is a structured finance lawyer with experience gained at...

 

Read more of our consultants’ stories here.

 

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