When Mondeléz International Inc. moved into its new headquarters last fall, the legal department had to adjust to a much smaller space. That meant an open floor plan with few private offices and no filing cabinets to sort paper documents. At the beginning, general counsel Gerhard "Gerd" Pleuhs said, "you didn’t see that many happy faces." But people have adjusted. "What everybody realizes is it enhances communication," he said, "and you find an easier way to access what other people are doing so you can help each other."

It’s been a year of big changes for Mondeléz, the new name for Kraft Foods Inc.’s global snack foods division, launched after the North American grocery division, now called Kraft Foods Group Inc., spun off last year. "We’ve been through a lot in the last year," said Gene Stavrou, associate director of compliance at Mondelé z.

The legal department sorted through pending legal issues and redesigned its policy management system to perform as a "self-service tool," Stavrou said. Lawyers sorted through thousands of legal contracts associated with the respective brands and divvied up 90,000 trademarks and 20,000 patents. Kraft Foods Group owns Oscar Mayer and Miracle Whip, while Mondeléz has Oreo and Cadbury. The department worked with a vendor to go through the documents, all electronic. "What we ended up with for both companies was, for the first time, a central database for all existing agreements," Pleuhs said. The result is a much smaller number of lawyers than at Kraft before the split, but the department had to add corporate attorneys, too — like a general counsel. Pleuhs, deputy general counsel at Kraft, stepped into the position.  — Amanda Bronstad

 

Mondeléz International Inc., a publicly traded provider of packaged snack foods
Headquarters: Deerfield, Ill.
Industry: Consumer food manufacturing
Number of lawyers in the Chicago area: 12
Number of lawyers in the U.S.: 21
Number of lawyers worldwide: 122