Friday, March 10, 2017

Rumor of the Day: Is Ravel Law Being Bought by Lexis Nexis? Another Acquisition Without Integration?

www.lexisnexis.com
LexisNexis has been on an extraordinary spree -- buying up  companies that are almost always the brainchild of a former lawyer and always the product of entrepreneurial inspiration and grit.
The latest opportunity? target? victim? May be Ravel Law...
Sources in the legal publishing industry are whispering that LexisNexis is about to acquire Ravel Law. I reached out to Daniel Lewis, CEO of Ravel Law and he politely responded with a "no comment."

This would signal that LexisNexis is trying to dominate the legal analytics market the way they have grown to dominate the legal news market. Will Justly be next?

Lexis Content Acquisition Strategy? For the past few years LexisNexis  has been collecting legal content gems - Law360, Lex Machina, MLex, Knowledge Mosaic. Instead of integrating them into the massive LexisNexis organization, each company has remained a stand alone operation retaining their entrepreneurial culture, their key talent and their client relationships. The company has stated that core Lexis content is being leveraged to enhance the offering of the smaller companies.  This is a reasonable short term strategy. At some point Lexis should start aligning some of the content synergies to transform the old Lexis workhorse. Are they ready to do that?

The concern I have is that Lexis is collecting without integrating and streamlining. True they were showing of a limited integration of Lex Machina and Lexis at Legal Tech. This integration allows lawyers to see some analytics with their Lexis search results.

Is the "Tan Book" Litigation a Canary in the Coal Mine? Has Lexis Extended Itself Too Far?
I remember "Total Quality Management" business guru Tom Peters once commenting that companies must have a culture of quality. Coffee stains on the airline food trays suggest there might be something wrong with  engine maintenance.  Maybe not logical but   the "tan book" litigation issue does raise the flag of whether Lexis as a company can maintain the quality across their extended product lines. Most baffling is that Lexis asserted in an email to me that the "color books" are being created outside of Lexis. Think about that-- they are not using the massive Lexis data streams which include updates of state statutes and regulations to assure that their annual statutory codes are kept up-do-date. I have visions of people with glue sticks pasting amended regulations over the old ones. Not a 21st century process. It begs the question "why?"

Why Don't they Integrate and Build the Ultimate "Legal Research Service?"
This is the most baffling issue to me. LexisNexis has terrific assets that if combined could be game changing.... I understand wanting to keep the revenue from all of the legacy products but there is no evidence of an intent to integrate the products into a more powerful LexisNexis  platform.


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