Dana Denis-Smith | Obelisk

Dana Denis-Smith

Dana built Obelisk into a multi-million legal business, from a standing start in 2010 and at a time she was pregnant with her daughter. In both 2015 and 2016 Obelisk was named by The Times as one of UK’s Top 50 Employers for Women, an achievement all the more impressive given the age of the business. Obelisk’s unique value proposition to the legal market was market changing as it was focused on onshoring work through an innovative business model. Obelisk has over 800 lawyers, mainly women lawyers who wished to continue to work around their family commitments but had become economically inactive due to inflexible workplaces; Obelisk deploys this amazing talent on assignments to cover peaks in work for a stellar client list that includes Vodafone, BT, Siemens, ING, Barclays and many more blue chips. The innovative business model operated by Obelisk has led to Dana being recognised as a trailblazer in the legal sector – most recently, she received the 2015 Outstanding Innovator Award from the Legal Week for “constantly finding new ways to get alternate ways of working accepted and has helped provide a voice of reason in a hotly debated area”. In 2010 she was featured in Management Today magazine’s “35 under 35” list of UK female high flyers. The yearly list features a roll call of the most inspirational businesswomen under the age of 35 in the UK. She is former magic circle lawyer and international journalist.

In 2014 Dana also founded the First 100 Years Project, the UK’s largest digital library charting the journey of women in law, which also includes the commissioning of 100 originals films, all freely available and to be donated to the nation upon the projects’ completion in 2019. Uniquely for the legal profession, in 2015 the project raised over £12,000 through crowdfunding to finance some of the films.

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