Imagine if Lexis and Westlaw were new products today, offering your firm the same subscription price you already have. Would you really purchase both? Most would argue that these products are far too close in total content to need both. Yet, many firms still have both of these vendors. This duopoly paradigm has been in place since the early ’90s, and has become the norm in law firms.
Historically, nearly all firms retained both Lexis and Westlaw because the majority of costs could be passed through to clients. The recession forever changed the dynamics of the online legal information market for both vendors and firms. Firms started to see their sophisticated corporate clients closely scrutinizing costs and refusing to pay for online legal research. Now that recovery rates have greatly diminished, firms are being forced to evaluate their need to retain both vendors.