It’s almost difficult to recall pre-2008 when law firms were able to pass invoices and include back and middle office costs through to clients and clients paid, a world where a law firm would rather have some overlap between providers, say its research services vendors LexisNexis and Westlaw, than to be without any niche product, no matter how esoteric.
Clients were paying the costs for the most part hence the ability for firms large and small to have dual information service vendors. Things changed, as we all know so well. Downward pressure on price brought margins down to razor thin levels and not just tremendous pushback on recovery, but the law firm’s own C-suite needed to push lean efficiency in every department of the firm could not afford that kind of lux decision making any longer—thus giving rise to the sole provider trend.
The sole provider trend reached an all-time high last year at a remarked 68% of firms going sole provider and 62% of those firms having opted for Westlaw. However, our survey’s preliminary results are showing that change is afoot! In fact, firms who dropped Lexis for Westlaw are seeing Lexis come back with pricing and services so attractive, that firms are taking them back!
Westlaw’s price increases may have proved to be short-sighted, and overconfident.
Context, the new tool recently launched by Lexis Nexis rolls in much of the features from Ravel Law. Using AI and machine learning to power visualization technology, provide quantitative data and anticipate behavior. Context delivers a seamless search experience, allowing lawyers to access analytics within Lexis Advance. Cumulatively Context’s research functions and solutions deliver a compelling, competitive alternative to Westlaw Edge.
Perhaps more importantly, LexisNexis has not only kept up with its competitors in features, but we anticipate that Context will be offered at a considerably lower cost than Edge. While Westlaw is focused on price-protection, Lexis is striving to grow market share and increase product adoption with more reasonable pricing.
We can’t wait to see how the data plays out in this area. If you haven’t participated yet, there’s still time. The Survey is closing on December 15th and all participants receive a complimentary copy of the full results. Start here.
Michael Feit earned his J.D. from the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago and was an executive at Westlaw before founding Feit Consulting 16 years ago. Feit Consulting partners with law firm administrators and legal information professionals to optimize vendor contracts and the management and delivery of legal information resources by providing leading-edge, customized solutions. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org