Thomson Reuters and Wolters Kluwer Law & Business have announced [1] a collaboration to provide Wolters Kluwer current awareness content to Thomson Reuters’ Westlaw customers. 

The deal focuses on the daily current awareness products produced by Wolters Kluwer (WK) under the CCH brand. Two WK products will be the initial focus: Employment Law Daily, and IP Law Daily.  The deal will apparently begin with the integration of the WK products into Westlaw, but it seems likely that more product development initiatives involving the partners is contemplated. New offerings are likely to integrate WK daily analytical coverage with existing content, including Westlaw’s existing news databases, its general business and news coverage from Reuters, and the primary sources contained in Westlaws core legal information databases.

The strength of the Wolters Kluwer content is its editorial approach, with analysis of breaking events authored by attorneys who provide context and identify the significance of events within each practice area covered. What WK is missing is the powerful reach of a platform such as Westlaw.

In the past year or so, the major legal players have all beefed up their news and current awareness offerings:

  • LexisNexis acquired Law360, the new disruptor in the space. Law360 is a new breed of legal news provider, with a model driven by new technologies for uncovering breaking events, efficient processing, and very quick analysis. Law360’s inroads seem to have lit a fire under the other major providers (see Insights, 22 March 2010, LexisNexis Acquisition of Law360:
  • Toward a More Data-Driven, Real-Time Legal Information Environment). The addition of Law360 adds to LexisNexis’ existing investment in a 2011 agreement with ALM for exclusive access to ALM’s news content – a deal that pulled the ALM content off the Thomson Reuters’ Westlaw platform.
  • Bloomberg acquired BNA.  BNA provides much more than current awareness, but its various daily reports in major practice areas are a trusted source that were quickly integrated into the Bloomberg Law platform.  The BNA content adds to the already strong coverage of law and regulation that Bloomberg’s news provides to the financial markets.
  • Thomson Reuters’ integration of its coverage of professional markets with the Reuters news operation. Like Bloomberg, Reuters has a traditional news operation that covers legal and regulatory matters for non-legal audiences (see Insights, 8 April 2011, Thomson Reuters Beefs Up Professional News Offerings).

In Outsell’s opinion, the success of Law360 has been a major driver in pushing the big legal information providers to pick up their game in the news space; it showed that there was a different way to do legal current awareness that in many ways was faster, better, and cheaper than existing alternatives. 

Source:  Outsell Insight July 23, 2012