CMS UK’s Obelisk partnership

We recently caught up with CMS’ head of innovation and legal operations, John Craske, to find out more about the UK top 10 law firm’s strategic partnership with Obelisk.  CMS is using the flexible legal talent provider to support the delivery of CMS Mix, which focuses on the deployment of the right people, processes and tech for the right job.
Mix draws on the firm’s growing pool of legal project managers, designers, product managers, legal tech tools and 90+ paralegals across its legal service units.  The new partnership with Obelisk will allow the firm to resource client and business projects more flexibly.
CMS has, in our humble opinion, a slightly confusing number of different brands running consecutively, and Mix is part of CMS by Design.
CMS’ head of innovation and legal operations, John Craske, who leads CMS by Design, told Legal IT Insider: “CMS by Design is a client-facing proposition – the idea is that we talk to clients about their challenges and design a solution that helps them.  The innovation process means getting your hands around the problem and working with the client to understand what they want using all the resources available to us to solve it.”
There are a number of services in CMS by Design and one of those is Mix, of which Craske says: “The arrangement with Obelisk is another tool in our toolbox when we’re thinking about the solutions that we can offer to clients.  Sometimes that might be a flexible lawyer.  That’s not anything new, but it’s something that clients ask for and something we wanted to do.  Rather than building up our own flexible lawyer offering, we’ve been having discussions with various providers.”
Obelisk’s flexible talent pool is made up largely of female lawyers who are returning to work after having children and, in many cases, want to work part time.
“One of the things I like about Obelisk is that they don’t just pay lip service to diversity,” Craske tells us.  “It feels like a properly inclusive culture and we try to live in that way.  I’m not saying we’re perfect but it’s something we really try to do.  For us it’s about like-minded organisations working together.”
This article first appeared in the June edition of the Orange Rag.