The Obelisk Story

Obelisk was founded in 2010, in that same year to create a perfect match between the under-utilised legal talent and the unanswered demand for talent across the legal sector. Through the founder Dana Denis-Smith’s vision and values, Obelisk has grown from an initial talent pool of 4 ex-City lawyers to 1,000+.

What defines us is our flexibility. Allowing people to work flexibly makes people feel happier and, in my experience, more valued.

Dana Denis-Smith, CEO

In my search for a business name for Obelisk in 2010 I decided to opt for probably the oldest man-made structure in London – Cleopatra’s Needle. Originally made in around 1450 BC, the needle was re-erected in London in 1878. Back then, a time capsule was concealed in the front section. Inside the capsule was a baby’s bottle, a portrait of Queen Victoria and the Bible in four different languages. These three objects, and this human, foreword thinking idea, are perfect for our Obelisk story too.

The Obelisk is a symbol of feminine power and its role in history. There was no better name that can suggest solidity, vast, long-lasting experience and a significant change in the work culture.

Dana Denis-Smith, CEO

From 2010 onwards, Obelisk fitted perfectly into the new legal landscape, with our flexibility, innovation and strategic thinking catching people’s eye across the sector.

Our lawyers love that we place them on projects with the same calibre of client they worked with before their career break. At Obelisk, there is no compromise on quality.

And there is no following the legal pack. We are innovators and entrepreneurs. In these changing times, we are incredibly proud to be different and, with our business and our reputation growing fast, we know our creativity and our difference makes real commercial sense.

We have a vision and a set of values that are modern, progressive and relevant to both our clients and our lawyers. We deliver great work. We champion and celebrate family life. We are pioneers; leading on creating the kind of social and corporate change we need to make work, work – for our clients, our lawyers and their families.

The time is right for companies like Obelisk to reshape the workplace for women – placing much more emphasis on human qualities, not just business. In fact, when you get the balance right between work and family life, when you help create much happier and valued employees, you see productivity and profit rise as a result. Obelisk is successfully challenging the old-fashioned culture of ‘jacket-left-on-chair’ presenteeism. Dana’s approach of flexible outsourcing means that success if measured by results, not hours spent grafting in the office. A real boost for all working parents.

Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State the Rt, Hon Elizabeth Truss MP