Reckitt Benckiser’s group legal team is rolling out its Business Integrity-powered contract management system globally as it also launches an innovative face-to-face global leadership program for its lawyers called The Academy.

Since the end of 2013, the international health, hygiene and home FTSE 100 group has enabled staff within the RB business to create their own contracts – branded i-Legal – with built-in risk and compliance checks that divert contracts to the legal department if necessary, based on a traffic light system. RB has also introduced eSignatures from DocuSign that are embedded within the automation solution and which speed up that process. Vice president and general counsel within group legal affairs, Claire Debney told Legal IT Insider: “It’s all about speed to market. If you’re in a meeting and you realise you need an NDA you can do it right there in the meeting.”

A further limb to the i-Legal solution is i-Contract, a repository used to store all signed contracts, which is now being rolled out across RB’s global business including to Canada, France and Poland.

Contracts created by staff are automatically stored in i-Contract, while those negotiated by legal are uploaded into the system when they are finalised. RB is currently looking at how it can enhance i-Contract to maximise its value to the business and, prior to Business Integrity’s acquisition by Thomson Reuters, had been exploring integrating i-Contract with RB’s bespoke Mitratech document management system.

Debney said: “I-Contract gives us visibility over all our contracts and eventually we will be able to apply data analytics to get real benefit from that information.”

The move comes as RB launches its own development program, called The Academy, for 12 lawyers globally. Part one of the program took place in September and focussed on leadership – including crisis management and finance. Part two will take place in the US and will focus on lawyers managing their own brand within the business, the use of technology tools, compliance and ethics. Part one saw a number of high profile speakers come in from outside of RB to talk to its lawyers, including the group GC of a fellow FTSE 100 company.

Debney said: “Right from the very beginning of your career it’s important to have and to show leadership qualities as a lawyer. We want RB lawyers to really think about their personal brand and how they are perceived by the business.”

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