When traditional firms said it couldn’t be done in the time or budget, Mondelez International + Kraft Foods looked to Axiom’s innovative approach to contract review to meet the upcoming deadline. Axiom led the project management, incorporated new technology, and left both parties with a new approach to handling legal services.
When Kraft decided to spin off its $18 Billion North American grocery business, it affected more documents than anticipated; 20,000 patents, 40,000 contracts and 80,000 trademarks. When traditional firms advised them that it would be impossible in the timeframe, the in-house team turned their focus to IP matters and brought on Axiom to review 40,000 documents and negotiate 6,000 agreements.
First, Axiom loaded Kraft North America’s commercial agreements into a contract management system configured to meet the unique needs of the project. After assessing a sample of contracts, Axiom provided Kraft with a fixed-fee, giving them budget certainty and putting the burden of efficiency on the Axiom team. 60 Kraft and Axiom attorneys were trained on the process and completed the assessment in 35 days.
The disposition phase involved thousands of notices and consents during negotiation with counterparties. To manage this, Axiom drafted a 90-page project playbook detailing roles and responsibilities, processes for 8 different workflows and negotiation guidelines based on in-house experience with counterparties. Executed documents were uploaded into the new Contract Management System, giving Kraft all of their agreements in one place.
The team was highly collaborative, using daily progress reports to monitor budget and time and course correct when needed. Together, they executed the project in 10 months with substantial cost savings. “Neither of us could have done this alone” says Mondelēz International General Counsel Gerd Pleuhs, “rather than outsourcing, this was continuous cooperation and teamwork.”
Through this successful experience with Axiom, Mondelez International has changed the core principles of how their legal department functions. They’ve adopted a “Do What Matters” approach, leveraging Axiom as trusted resources where needed–not just for specialty or overflow work– so their in-house attorneys can be more strategic in where they add the most value to the company.
In addition to the meeting their deadline with significant savings, Kraft North America is able to hit the ground running with all of their contracts in one place. Not only is it centralized, it can be analyzed and queried for business insight moving forward.