Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bloomberg Law Unbundles: “Bloomberg Law: Banking” Product Offers New Features and Signals New Vertical Market Strategy

Today Bloomberg BNA announced the launch of Bloomberg Law: Banking. Until now Bloomberg Law appeared to be focused exclusively on competing with Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis in selling legal research platforms on an enterprise basis. With the launch of Bloomberg Law:  Banking, Bloomberg seems to be taking aim at Wolters Kluwer, a company which  offers legal products tailored to specific practice group needs. The  new banking platform will offer a practice level slice of Bloomberg Law including banking news, analysis, cases, statutes, regulations, treatises, legislative tracking,  multi-jurisdictional content,  and workflow improvement tools. Completely new features include interactive 50 state charts and Banking Law Portfolios.

Bloomberg is determined to conquer the legal market one way or another.  It is only 4 months since lawyer and "legal rebel" David Perla was hired as President of Bloomberg BNA's Legal Division. Perla who practiced law and founded Pangea3, an alternative legal services provider, is steering the company toward  weaving workflow and content into a single platform which drives efficiency.

 Bloomberg Law Pulls a "Head Fake"  Yesterday  BLaw appeared to be focused exclusively on the market space occupied by Lexis and Westlaw. Today they are steering into Wolters Kluwer territory. What gives? Since the initial rollout of Bloomberg Law in 2011 the company has offered only a scalable enterprise-wide approach to selling Blaw. Unlike Lexis and Westlaw, Blaw was  positioned as a core utility that could remain open on a lawyers desktop. Blaw was not built to be  metered and  parceled out in small pieces with costs charged out to clients. The law firm market has been somewhat slow to embrace the veritable “research nirvana” offered by Blaw.  I do not believe for a minute that the new offerings are an indication the Blaw is retreating from the enterprise market.

Bloomberg Law: Banking I was given an exclusive preview of BLaw’s new product. David Perla described Bloomberg Law: Banking  as being “built to  provide lawyers with  a dynamic, well organized, intuitive and interactive workflow solution.”  The platform includes some impressive new content and functionality which will also be available on the Blaw platform in the Banking Practice Center.  
Bloomberg Law: Banking

Why Financial Services? It is not surprising that they started with a financial services platform. This is one of the fastest changing areas of law  and subscribers will benefit from  the substantial editorial expertise of their BNA reporters and analysts who live in DC’s regulatory trenches. They have also leveraged the legislative resources of Bloomberg Government product and aligned all of these resources into a single powerful workspace for financial services lawyers. In an earlier interview Perla described his vision for combining Bloomberg’s strength in technology and business analytics with the BNA staff’s premier legal analysis in order to solve emerging challenges facing the legal profession better than their competitors. I particularly like the interactive charts.  They are intuitive and easy to  generate, yet they cut hours of research time off of a “50 state survey” project. This is a feature that they plan to continue expanding.

Special Features and Functionality

·       50 State surveys. Proprietary state law Chart Builders, which enable practitioners to easily create and export custom reports based on topics they select  in order to identify key banking requirements across multiple states.   There are currently 9 financial topics which include 7 to 10 subtopics  each which can be combined to create custom comparative charts All the charts include citation and links to the code sections. Cover hot topics such as “pay day lending” Additional topics are planned though the first quarter of 2015.

·         Dodd Frank Tracker monitors the ongoing implementation of Dodd Frank regulations.

·         A citator gives users the ability to verify their research, quickly determine the overall treatment of a case and identify the information they need. 

·       Trackers provide unique content on current regulatory and legislative activity and emerging banking law issues. Trackers can be customized to deliver news any time throughout the day.

·        Banking Law Portfolios. Following on the success of Tax Management and Corporate Practice Portfolios, the company is introducing the first “born digital” set of portfolios which are focused on banking..

50 State Survey Chart

Existing subscribers will have the option of accessing the stand-alone Bloomberg Law: Banking platform.They will  also have  access to the same content in the  Blaw Banking Practice Center, although organized in the original practice center format.
 A demo of the product can be requested here.

Bloomberg is playing a game of seduction.

The folks at Bloomberg are no fools. They are not giving up on enterprise sales, they have simply shifted into seduction mode. They are lifting the veil on  a core cluster of assets derived from  Bloomberg Law and BNA but they are also keeping some of "crown jewels" (financial and company data)  behind the enterprise wall. It is a smart strategy that has the advantage of creating a new revenue stream as well as engaging a new segment of customers who may ultimately join the enterprise fold.
The current state of the legal market also makes this an attractive approach. One size does not fit all. Cost recovery for Lexis and Westlaw have continued to decline and this decline effectively shrinks the pool of money available for new resources. Law firms and individual practices have to be more strategic with their spending. Resources which are highly targeted to the specific needs of a practice group may be easier to justify in a budget. Perla also indicated that additional practice platforms are planned. The platform approach will continue to  offer Bloomberg BNA new opportunities for expanding their share of the law firm research and workflow market while also trying to onboard new firms to the enterprise platform.

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Welcome to Bloomberg Law, No Deals, No Discounts, No Apology.

Here is the Press release:



David Peikin

Arlington, Va. (November 19, 2014) — Bloomberg BNA today announced the launch of Bloomberg Law: Banking, which helps attorneys understand and navigate rapidly changing legal and regulatory issues by providing integrated banking news, analysis, primary and secondary sources and practical tools.   Bloomberg Law: Banking builds upon Bloomberg BNA’s market-driven strategy of delivering the content, information and tools that professionals need – an all-in-one resource in a single solution – to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively in order to be more confident, proactive advisors to their clients.  
Bloomberg Law: Banking is a great product — it’s well-laid-out, easy to use and has all the information I need in a single solution,” said Ron Glancz, Chair of Venable LLP’s Financial Services Group.   “It incorporates all the information I need – news, regulations, case citations, statutes and interpretations and third-party content.  I particularly like the product’s robust daily news, which I utilize every day to assess the impact of new rules, laws, court decisions, and other developments on my clients’ business.”   
Bloomberg Law: Banking features Bloomberg BNA’s timely and trusted news, keeping practitioners abreast of changes in banking law and helping them understand their implications by providing analysis of banking legislation, regulatory requirements, and litigation in the courts.  Attorneys can provide sound legal guidance on key banking law trends with access to analysis and insights from in-depth Portfolios and treatises by some of the country’s leading banking experts and practitioners. 
“Developed with the unique needs of the banking attorney in mind, Bloomberg Law: Banking provides guidance to in-house and law firm counsel that enables them to get ahead of issues,” said David Perla, President, Bloomberg BNA’s Legal Division.  Bloomberg Law: Banking is the complete solution for banking professionals at law firms, government agencies and financial institutions and is the latest example of how Bloomberg BNA is rethinking how we solve our customers’ problems.
Bloomberg Law: Banking offers a number of practical tools, including:
·         Proprietary state law Chart Builders, which enable practitioners to easily create and export custom reports based on topics they select to identify key banking requirements across states.   
·         A citator gives users the ability to verify their research, quickly determine the overall treatment of a case and identify the information they need. 
·         Trackers, which provide unique content on current regulatory and legislative activity and emerging banking law issues to stay on top of regulators’ implementation of Dodd-Frank reforms and other timely matters. 
The product is available on Bloomberg Law’s sophisticated legal research platform, which provides faster access to the information users need through advanced search capabilities, case law citation and easily accessible content.  Bloomberg Law, a fully integrated legal and business intelligence research solution, combines Bloomberg BNA's trusted news and expert analysis with Bloomberg's comprehensive market data and cutting-edge technology. 
For more information on Bloomberg Law: Banking and to request a free trial, please visit here.
About Bloomberg BNA
Bloomberg BNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bloomberg, is a leading source of legal, regulatory, and business information for professionals. Its network of more than 2,500 reporters, correspondents, and leading practitioners delivers expert analysis, news, practice tools, and guidance — the information that matters most to professionals. Bloomberg BNA's authoritative coverage spans a full range of legal practice areas, including tax & accounting, labor & employment, intellectual property, banking & securities, employee benefits, health care, privacy & data security, human resources, and environment, health & safety.




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