Tag Archives for " vendor preference "

Mar 08

30% of the Market is Still Paying Too Much

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting , Legal Information Trends , Pricing , Sole Provider , Vendors

“As a person who has watched this industry for over 17 years; it is amazing and frustrating to see that 30% of the market is still paying way too much.” -Michael Feit

Prices for Westlaw and Lexis grew astronomically from the late 90’s up until the 2008 due to usage growing so fast.  After 2008, 30% of the market said it cannot afford to cover the costs of online research – not being able to pass off the full costs to clients.

Some firms were successful in getting concessions from both Westlaw/Lexis. However, in 2010 the Sole Provider trend emerged. Many firms started to move forward and eliminate either Westlaw or Lexis.

Right now; 55% of large law firms have one or the other.  Of the 45% of firms that continue to have both Lexis and Westlaw, 20% have threatened to eliminate a vendor….or have eliminated a vendor but then took them back at best of market pricing.

Currently,  25-30% of market are still overpaying by greater than 50-100% of mid-market pricing (per Feit’s Benchmarks).  Is your firm getting the best market pricing?  Click here to get more information from our experts.

Jan 19

What can we expect in 2018

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting , Legal Information Trends , Modern Law Library , Vendors

In 2018, Lexis will continue to purchase existing products. They are taking the lead in visual analytics. By acquiring great products such as Intelligize, Lex Machina, and Ravel Law, this momentum is expected to continue.

We anticipate that Lexis will further enforce their rules. If you don’t have core Lexis you won’t have access to their peripheral products (right now this is only being enforced with AMLaw firms). Rolling out of this policy to the entire market will be dependent upon their success rate.

More firms will choose Lexis this year, unless Westlaw corrects its tone deaf pricing model.

As Lexis and Westlaw usage declines at the firm level, we anticipate Lexis/Westlaw will try to aggressively lock firms into longer term contracts.

What does legal information management mean for firms in 2018? Recovery rates firms used to pass through to clients will continue to dwindle. We are seeing more firms seeking solutions to modernize their library, in search of great efficiencies and cost-savings. This is an illustration of a growing investment of time and money to improve and enhance the library and its role. 

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.

Nov 30

Troubles for Thomson?

By Michael Feit | Legal Information Trends

Despite immense popularity, firms are no longer tolerating the price disparity between Westlaw and Lexis. Lexis has turned a corner. They have been buying up a lot of exciting new products.

Lexis is offering Westlaw preferred firms an array of products, a suite at a price that is a percentage of Westlaw comparables. Westlaw’s stronghold is waning as firms learn to develop work arounds for alternative Lexis product offerings.

Before, firms did not have the wherewithal nor time to combat attorney pushack. Recovery rates continue to diminish, leaving less dollars in the firm’s pocket. We now see firms taking the time to plan ahead to consider eliminating a vendor. This adequate planning is allowing for smoother transition and substantial savings to the firm. As we see larger firms make the transition to having Lexis solely, we project the trend to increase more rapidly.

If your firm or organization is interested in assessing whether vendor elimination is the optimal path, check out our step by step guide on the Sole Provider Viability Decision Guide. For a limited time, Feit Consulting is offering a special year-end price on this report. Click here to learn more.

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.

Mar 20

Tough Choices: Navigating Difficult Decisions in the Legal Information Market 

By Michael Feit | Contract Negotiations , Sole Provider , White Papers

Achieving optimal results in legal information management and costs requires tough decisions. The decisions may be small, as to which content or products to keep, or grand, like the consideration of eliminating or flipping a vendor.

When a library audit is completed, it may become apparent that retaining a resource that is rarely used is not worth the costs. However, on the flip side this could upset the 1 or 2 people who do utilize it. If deleted, an alternative option may be as simple as a different product, or it could be more time spent by accessing a local law library.

Another difficult choice is the decision of whether to eliminate Lexis or Westlaw (for firms who currently retain both) or to flip to the alternative (for firms who currently retain only Lexis or only Westlaw). In either instance, this is a complex change-management process. The downsides include a lengthy process from start to finish, the amount of time necessary within the process by key personnel to execute, and the general adversity by many towards change. The upsides: the process forces a firm to really review each and every resource–how they are used and the value they bring, substantial savings with available funds to purchase more complementary resources, and price correction. To correct the pricing path your firm has been on, the firm might need to eliminate a vendor for a short period of time or indefinitely. If your firm has been with a vendor for a while, flipping to a new vendor may present the best outcome.

Feit Consulting’s Legal Information Market Trends Series addresses the questions and concerns facing law firm administrators. Each report is a tool that offers guidance and insight with supporting data from interviews and/or surveys. Learn more about these tools here.