Canadian Lawyer InHouse

October/November 2021

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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26 DEPARTMENT PROFILE IBI GROUP has evolved from a traditional architecture and engineering company into a technology-based firm. The company brought a broader range of legal issues to the table, so the legal team has adapted to shifting business needs and developed more profound technology, privacy and data integrity skills. The team is actively involved in all aspects of IBI's global business. Known for its innovative process automation tools, the legal team at IBI is always looking for new ways to speed up processes and support business growth. "We want to make sure we're not only providing legal services but business advice in real-time, so we focus on operational innovation to get ahead of the tidal wave coming our way," says Steven Kresak, general counsel and corporate secretary at the Toronto-based global company. "Part of the reason why people on my team enjoy the work they do is that they are not shoehorned into one area. Everyone on our team is multi-disciplinary, multifunctional and speaks the language of business." Kresak notes that many people have been spending significantly more time on screens during the pandemic, while the attention span for reading emails and other communications has shortened. With this in mind, the team came up with a set of Tik Tok-style communi- Adapting to shifting business needs cations. Instead of presenting to their internal clients for 30 or 40 minutes on an area of the law to support business growth, the legal team created seven-minute or shorter micro-learning videos. "We're offering very pointed, specific, punchy legal advice in microdoses, and it has been very well received by the business," says Kresak. The team continues to evolve its robotic process automation offerings by creating legal functionality in the form of a chatbot — dubbed BotIBI — that responds to high-volume, low-risk questions from internal clients, reducing the need to contact a lawyer. It also provides templates and documents to support the business and assists in licensing and contracting functionalities. "We're constantly trying to layer on additional functionalities in terms of what else can be done to make it easy for the business to get what they need to grow," says Kresak. IBI Group is currently undertaking a global multi-jurisdictional privacy scan of the business. Kresak's team supports that initiative by examining its approach to privacy and staying on top of changing laws. The team also ensures that services offerings from the legal group are adapting accordingly. Kresak's team has also adopted a more compre- hensive approach to risk management during Legal team at IBI Group focuses on operational innovation to empower business growth FAST FACTS: IBI GROUP IBI Group is a technology-driven company that aims to design and build cities with intelligent systems and sustainable buildings IBI Group was founded in 1974 by nine partners The company initially had just two offices — in Toronto and Vancouver IBI Group now has over 60 offices in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, with more than 3,000 employees In 2004, IBI Group went public with the formation of the IBI Income Fund. The fund was converted to a corporation — IBI Group Inc. — at the end of 2010

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