Jan 15

Introduction & Purpose (Excerpt from The Sole Provider Playbook)

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider , White Papers

Vigorous debate continues regarding the viability of a large law firm successfully operating with just Lexis or just Westlaw. However, for the first time since the early 1990’s, retaining just one of these vendors has become the norm. Today, nearly 51% of large law firms have opted to retain only one vendor.

An evaluation of the sole-provider option has become necessary for law firm administrators. Whether or not a firm chooses to go sole-provider, the evaluation in itself provides an opportunity for a firm to review, revise and refine its legal information strategy and potentially save significant money.

In a perfect world, Lexis and Westlaw would publish retail pricing, and firms could pick and choose which products they wanted based on their practice needs and budget. This ideal world does not exist today, as both vendors have discontinued standardized pay-as-you-go retail pricing. Instead all they offer is secret pricing and terms that vary greatly from firm to firm.

The idea of transitioning to sole-provider can be daunting, considering the many individuals and processes that might be impacted. There are a great number of elements to examine, from contracts to content, not to mention the strong reactions of users to fundamental system changes. Lexis and Westlaw have both successfully infiltrated law firms’ cultures and infrastructures over their many years of service.

Yet, the pay-off in taking a deep look at these factors can be exceptional. A midsize U.S. law firm with favorable pricing will spend well over half a million dollars annually to retain both vendors. There was a time not long ago when firms could pass through online legal information costs to clients, making Lexis and Westlaw essentially free. That is no longer the norm. We have entered a new paradigm.

This is what inspired us to write the Sole Provider Playbook. It is intended to empower you and your firm to break free from the vendors’ shackles. In a world where every law firm is searching for efficiencies, the Playbook presents a clear path to savings. Our team of experts has carefully examined each step of the process, and we aim to provide a range of solutions to any obstacle whenever possible. Meant to be an all-encompassing guide, Playbook will provide your firm with tools to quickly determine the viability of the sole-provider option and how to actually execute it.

Order your copy today!

Dec 07

Are you in the 81%?

By Michael Feit | Surveys , Vendors

Pre-WestlawNext, law school preference was roughly

55% Westlaw/45% Lexis.

Feit Consulting conducted a random survey of 238 associates.

This year, 81% of surveyed associates who indicated a preference prefer Westlaw, compared to 19% for Lexis.

Dec 06

Year-End Vendor Gifts Too Good to be True?

By Kate | Best Practices , Contract Negotiations , Pricing

Year-end holidays are full of fun, gifts, giving and cheer!

But beware of those special tidings from your legal information vendors that seem too good to be true.

Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg, WK–virtually all your legal information vendors–provide bonuses and incentives to salespeople who can add incremental sales at the end of the year.

Vendors may offer year-end gifts that on the surface seem quite generous. The resulting variety of offers can be staggering but can also be tricks. Your firm may be offered price breaks on new contracts, extensions on current deals, trial periods of new products, and the list goes on and on. There may be something hidden in these special tidings. If a vendor has proposed to extend your contract at the same price or slightly lower price, it is very possible your firm is already paying too much.

Be proactive this December! Get the gift you truly want. If you have a wishlist, tell your vendor now; you just might get a deal you actually want. Don’t play “Secret Santa” with your vendors; take a moment now to anticipate the year-end push, and alert the rest of the firm to be wary of reps bearing gifts.


Dec 05

Our Evolving Perspective on Sole-Provider

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider

Many factors have contributed to the sole-provider phenomenon.

The leading factor driving this trend is the deterioration of recovery rates, now at 38%*.  

With half of large law firms successfully retaining only one of these vendors, there is validity that the sole-provider option is viable. Firms that have eliminated a vendor are achieving tremendous new efficiencies without compromising work product.

Dec 02

Why We Changed Our Minds about the Sole-Provider Option

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider , White Papers

Our view going into the writing and development of The Sole Provider Playbook was that the outcome of the business case would vary from firm to firm.

We thought at the time that the ability to overcome hurdles would sometimes be too expensive, overwhelming, and difficult to make this option worthwhile.

We changed our minds, and we’re convinced.

After months of scrubbing the market to identify any and all possible hurdles and concerns, we are confident that the business case for a sole-provider option is clear and valid for virtually all large law firms. While hurdles and concerns are numerous, the workarounds, hassles and costs are inconsequential in comparison to the savings opportunity.

Nov 17

Oversaturated Market Causes Unfavorable Contracts for Loyal Customers

By Michael Feit | Contract Negotiations , Pricing

If you love Nordstrom (or Target, Starbucks, etc), being a loyal customer has lots of benefits.

Retailing in the 21st century is oversaturated, so many similar brands create a bidding war for consumers.

And loyal consumers win the most: discounts, perks, events, you name it–they all await the customer willing to channel more spending toward one brand.

That mentality is so ingrained, it’s easy to think it’s true with your legal information vendors. Sadly, it’s the opposite.

The key difference, of course, is that legal information isn’t really a marketplace at all, and the benefits of open competition don’t apply.

Stick with Westlaw and/or Lexis long enough, and chances are you’ll be getting among the worst value.

In legal information the best deals and offers are reserved for new customers. And who’s funding those great deals? Loyal customers like you.

The new customer is their preferred customer. Loyal customers just pay for it.