Tuesday, January 12, 2016

American Lawyer Media Acquires Legal Week: What Are the Ramifications of the ALM/ LexisNexis Alliance? LexisNexis Dominance of Legal News Market Globailizes?

London based Incisive Media  announced in a press release this morning that they had sold their  legal market news publication Legal Week to  American legal news pioneer American Lawyer Media. Ironically ALM was briefly owned by Incisive Media from 2007 to 2009.

As the legal market globalizes it makes complete sense for law firm leaders to understand the international market.

Bigger Data?

ALM CEO Bill Carter is quoted in the press release:  "This acquisition is an important next step as we expand our offerings into key international markets," Since ALM has been expanding it's analytics offerings on the ALM Legal Intelligence Platform I assume this acquisition will provide not only an opportunity for ALM to expand the international news purveyed through Law.com and their many regionally branded news products ( New York Law Journal, Texas Lawyer etc.) but it will enable ALM to expand their analytics to include "big data" insights into the international market. Legal Week also publishes periodic reports on the state of the legal market. The press release focuses on the synergies between both companies conference and events businesses. ALM's events include Legal Tech which will be held in New York February 2nd  through 4th. The press release was silent on what I would call "the elephant in the room."

What is the LexisNexis Angle?

What is intriguing to me is how this will fit into LexisNexis recent alliance with ALM. Last November  LexisNexis announced that it  had become the exclusive provider of ALM. ALM bills will appear on Lexis invoices. ALM accounts will be serviced by LexisNexis account executives... Will this support model apply to Legal Week as well - I think we need to assume yes. Although this may be a bit dicier outside the US where large segments of the LexisNexis customer base are supported by third party vendors.

I asked ALM to provide clarification on the Legal Week/ALM/LexisNexis trifecta. According to Lenny Izzo, President of ALM's  Legal Media division:  Legal Legal Week content is available today on LexisNexis via a pre-existing licensing agreement. It will not be immediately included in the recent ALM/LexisNexis AmLaw 200 exclusive distribution arrangement, but can be subscribed to through direct channels by contacting Legal Week directly  at +44 (0)207 316 9404.  Nothing was said suggesting or precluding future changes.

Dominance of the Legal News Market

LexisNexis has been so persistent in routinely acquiring legal news assets that it is getting a bit tiresome to repeat the litany once again - but it is impossible to understand the market impact without repeating the list. Lexis will now own or control the following legal news assets:

  • Legal Week
  • MLex
  • American Lawyer Media
  • Law 360
  • Wall Street Journal Online - distribution to legal market
  • New York Times online exclusive
  • Newedge news platform
It's only mid January. It will be interesting to see how LexisNexis plays the ALM/Legal Week alliance  and what other news gems they may add to their crown in 2016.







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