Linklaters strikes deal with Obelisk to draw on pool of flexi-working lawyers

Dana Denis Smith-Article-201703280530

Linklaters has signed a deal with alternative legal services business Obelisk Support to use its pool of flexible lawyers to provide an additional staffing resource.

Obelisk, which was founded in 2010 by former Linklaters lawyer Dana Denis-Smith (pictured above), has a 1,000-strong pool of flexible lawyers drawn from magic circle and other City law firms.

Linklaters will use the company to provide additional support on certain matters or to provide cover for absences such as maternity leave and sabbaticals.

To date, Obelisk has traditionally focused more on the in-house market, with clients including Vodafone, BT, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, ING, Goldman Sachs and Intel.

Denis-Smith, who is currently on a trade mission to France with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “Obelisk’s offer makes sense for our lawyers and our clients alike, putting the former in control of their working lives and allowing the latter to rethink their staffing requirements.

“I am particularly pleased to have my old firm as a client – what I learnt there helped set the standards I expect from an Obelisk consultant and ensures that we can offer the quality that a firm like Linklaters demands.”

Linklaters’ magic circle rivals Allen & Overy and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have their own flexible lawyering services – Peerpoint and Continuum – to allow them to tap into a pool of contract lawyers in periods of high demand.

Other firms such as Eversheds, Pinsent Masons and Addleshaw Goddard have also set up their own flexible lawyering business.

DLA Piper, meanwhile, agreed a deal in 2015 with Berwin Leighton Paisner’s flexible lawyering spin-off LOD to allow the alternative legal services business to manage a pool of DLA’s alumni, who work mainly on DLA matters but can also take on other LOD work.