Legal information providers are increasingly moving into markets that traditionally have been served by their law firm customers.  Conditions in the market are presenting new opportunities to pursue these markets more directly, but at the risk of alienating customers writes Hugh Logue, Sr. Market Analyst (Legal) at Outsell Inc.

Thomson Reuters recently announced the launch in the US of Business Law Center on WestlawNext, with the additional service of Experts On-Call, which provides dedicated research support.

Although Experts On-Call doesn’t offer legal advice, frontline legal researchers are experts on the Westlaw platform and are trained on corporate law. If a subscriber’s request is complex, the legal researcher can escalate to different levels of higher specialists.

Thomson Reuters plans to steadily expand the Experts On-Call program. In addition to the monthly newsletters and webinars it already offers, it is also developing in-person round-table meetings and looking for ways to make the service more accessible at the point where it is needed.

Hugh Logue opines that a move into this market will be seen as a threat by corporate law firms, and legal information providers could find themselves competing with their own customers and even their authors. It would be futile to gain new customers in one division if it resulted in losing existing customers in another.  The key to the success of legal information providers entering the legal services market is to find the right balance.

Source:  Outsell Insight