Tag Archives for " Lexis "

Jan 18

What happened in 2017?

By Michael Feit | Contract Negotiations , Feit Consulting , Librarians , Resources , Sole Provider , Vendors

Westlaw and Lexis continued to see their market share erode due to firms eliminating one or the other vendors as the Sole Provider trend continues. Lexis is now starting to become victorious where previously Westlaw has dominated the market.  What is interesting is the rate at which firms choosing Lexis to Westlaw has increased.

Lexis really stepped it up in 2017.  By purchasing new companies and developing a suite of products. Lexis holds onto firms that might have canceled by allowing access to their exclusive suite of products, making it difficult for firms to exist without Lexis.  

Westlaw maintains legacy popularity but we find them priced too high in many places and firms cannot justify the astronomical price disparities. Firms are unhappy with Westlaw’s inexplicable pricing model and as a result, more firms are eliminating Westlaw more so than ever before.

BBNA had some success in 2017.  They have been breaking into firms that have phased out Westlaw or Lexis but for the most part they are more expensive than Westlaw/Lexis and firms are not interested spending that much money on an unproven product.  

Westlaw/Lexis were very aggressive in going after firms that they had historically lost by giving firms they lost?  10-15% of firms that had previously canceled a vendor contract are “flipping” in order to get best in market vendor pricing, sometimes at 1/10th the price, and taking vendors back to these lower price points.

Dec 07

What to Expect in 2018 from the Vendors

By Michael Feit | Contract Negotiations , Vendors

Currently, Westlaw’s position on contracts is your pricing is correct. One can anticipate receiving the standard 3-5% increase, no matter what the situation is. This is what one can expect for 2018. The exceptions to this are 2017 year-end proposals with 0-1% increases for contracts that are already priced high in the market, giving one the impression they are getting a good deal.

Westlaw has been able to sustain such increases due to their vast popularity. One-quarter of firms that had considered eliminating Westlaw ended up retaining Westlaw because of its popularity amongst attorneys. However, this success is dwindling. The inability to rationalize pricing according to events at the firm such as usage and demand will continue to alert firms to the value for the dollar. As word gets out that more firms are eliminating Westlaw, the House of Cards will fall. While currently it is very difficult to negotiation core pricing, we expect this to change if not in 2018, then in 2019.

Lexis on the other hand is a much more open negotiating partner. Because they do not have the popularity of Westlaw, they are always fighting against this. In the latter half of 2017, Lexis developed a bottom line on pricing. A new strategy enacted in 2017 that we will see carried through in 2018 is the inability to retain peripheral products without a core Lexis contract; this is especially true for AmLaw 200 firms. This policy will not work indefinitely. At its core, this could be a great strategy but in our opinion, it is too soon for Lexis to enact this now. They need more buy-in and ramp up of the new acquisitions; time to solidify their product offerings before cutting off firms.

Unless there are dramatic changes in the market such as product offerings or new competition, more firms will choose to eliminate one of these two vendors, with an even split equally divided between Lexis and Westlaw.

Nov 30

Is Lexis on the rise?

By Michael Feit | Legal Information Trends , Vendors

There has been a long-standing preference by attorneys and other legal information researchers for Westlaw products. And as such, Westlaw’s pricing has been significantly higher than Lexis. It had been enticing for some consumers to contract with Lexis based on pricing alone. But given how aggressively Lexis is acquiring Westlaw customers, it is clear that the reason is more than pricing and terms.

Based on a roadmap of enhancements that LEXIS provides subscribers, firms are looking to the future as they negotiate multi year contracts. Firms are choosing Lexis based on visual, analytical tools that have been highly received. Lexis has developed a clear vision for the future which includes a richer and more diverse portfolio than their past product mix.

With acquisitions like Lex Machina and Ravel, Lexis has seemingly cornered the market on analytics and data-driven decision making. Their new strategy is rebounding their solutions and products. It is evident that Lexis is paying attention to the future trends of artificial intelligence, and end users’ desire for greater functionality. The result, an improved LexisAdvance that knits these new products with a common gateway.

2017 has been a critical pivot year for Lexis. We anticipate to see Lexis continual rise in the market, both in number of contracted clients as well as in the richness of their products.


Sep 27

The Demise of the Wexis Monopoly

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider , Vendors

Today, over 50% of large law firms retain only Lexis or only Westlaw. Within large law, 21% of firms with over 500 attorneys have gone this route. If a firm with 1000+ attorneys can go sole-provider, does this foretell the end of the Wexis monopoly?

In the world of legal information, Westlaw and Lexis have been and remain the market leaders. Until recently, midsize and large law firms universally believed that Westlaw and Lexis were complementary products. Even once-innovative products and services ultimately find themselves on the path to commoditization as they mature. Fierce competition motivates products to adopt their rival’s successful features, and therefore become more similar. While there may be preference for one or another, unique product benefits become less obvious.

As corporate clients pushed back on research costs, firms were not able to recover costs entirely. The effect on the bottom line pushed some firms to make the decision to go sole-provider. The freedom of funds allows firms and organizations to purchase wish-list software and technology to enhance the delivery of legal information. Feit Consulting has been monitoring the sole-provider trend for over a decade. While this has worked for some, the big question is whether it is the right decision for your firm or organization.

How should you proceed?

1) Get the pricing intel to determine contract pricing is favorable. Compare contracts with market intel in Feit’s white paper, Optimizing Legal Information Pricing.

2) Whether or not your firm or organization has favorable pricing, this alone does not pre-determine whether you should keep both. It is worthwhile to assess the viability of sole-provider option. Develop a business case. If needed, check out this resource, the Sole-Provider Viability Decision Guide.

3) Execute and implement. Consider hiring a consultant if you decide to make a change.

Regardless of the outcome, exploring the sole-provider option is a healthy step in revising your legal-information strategy and can provide intelligence to enhance your tactics for upcoming negotiation. If you choose to do it alone, these resources are an advantage to legal-information decision makers on what steps and considerations should be made in the process.

Sep 19

Why A Start-Up Wouldn’t Purchase Both Westlaw and Lexis Today

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider

Imagine you had a new start-up law firm. You are deciding which legal-information resources to purchase. You sit down with Lexis and Westlaw. Each offers you the same pricing and contract terms your firm or organization currently has today. Would you purchase both?

With the majority of firms already making the choice to retain just one vendor, the market has proven that firms don’t need both Lexis and Westlaw to operate successfully. It is hard to imagine a start-up today purchasing these redundant services when, instead, the firm could redirect its legal-information budget to a multitude of other products and simultaneously enjoy substantial savings.

Until a decade ago, more than 85% of law firms had both Lexis and Westlaw. The vendors offered products with a lot of unique content, making it justifiable to have both. Additionally, approximately 90% of costs associated with online research were passed through to clients.

Since the 2008 recession, recovery rates have dropped to 36%, overall usage is down and continuing to decline, and Lexis and Westlaw products have become quite similar. While there is still some unique content, it is not enough to justify firms retaining both. And, fortunately, there are many workarounds to alleviate concerns about lost content.

If you are still retaining both vendors, it is time for you to re-evaluate your legal information vendor portfolio. Feit Consulting’s Sole Provider Playbook provides a step-by-step process for firms to assess the option and, if viable, implement the change. Learn more here.

Jun 21

Throwback Thursday

By Michael Feit | Vendors , White Papers

Flashback to 1994 when the “customer is always right”. The online legal information market was so much fun to be a part of during the mid-nineties, for both vendors and law firms. Law firms loved their vendors. In the go-go 90’s, everything was great. The market was super-charged everywhere.

By 1994, 95% of large law firms had both Lexis and Westlaw. Usage and revenue was increasing 20-75% annually. Firms enjoyed the “customer is always right” philosophy that both vendors embraced. Customer feedback was respected and encouraged. With costs being passed through to firms’ clients, it was a period of mutual admiration.

The competition between Westlaw and Lexis was fierce on all fronts. Both products were continually and rapidly enhancing with tremendous ongoing innovation. The products became more complete, with deeper and more archival content sets.

Healthy competition spurred each vendor to strive to match and surpass the other in content functionality. Lexis was favored for news and information, while Westlaw was favored for litigation. One vendor would announce a new feature, only to be matched and outdone by the other.

As growth accelerated and prices increased, the vendors worked even harder to ensure costs would not become a concern to law firms. Vendors created very successful programs to instruct firms on how best to develop and maintain strong online cost recovery.

It was a true win-win relationship for the vendors, law firms, and the lawyers.

Feit Consulting’s white paper, Westlaw & Lexis: Path to Commoditization tracks the progression of these two vendors and provides a future outlook. Learn more here.