Catherine Dhanjal Jinfo feedback - the merits of "single source" for key content
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By Catherine Dhanjal

Abstract

Catherine Dhanjal explains how Jinfo answered a recent customer query about whether a law firm information centre can provide a high quality service with just one premium subscription source.

Item

We received a query from a law firm customer about the viability of moving to "single source" for key content:

"Are law firms considering the elimination of either Westlaw or LexisNexis? We are frequently asked to justify having both."


Our response:

Interest in moving to a single source for key content is a perennial question.

Sometimes the category is news content; sometimes it's company information; often the question is asked about the primary providers of legal information - Thomson Reuters (Westlaw) and LexisNexis.

Our opinion is that it's very unlikely a global, full-service law firm can operate effectively with only one of the two. The main reasons for requiring both:

  • Coverage: Each vendor has its strengths; one has modules in areas of law the other lacks.

  • Stakeholder preference: Law firms have a large number of influential stakeholders, and each of the stakeholders holds a preference for a product (or a specific component of a product). Even if a firm can manage with "good enough" content to move largely to a single supplier, the odds are that a few key stakeholders will insist on retaining some elements of whichever vendor isn't chosen. This leads to the third reason...

  • Pricing: The feedback we get from customers is that vendors have designed their pricing such that by taking a few pieces of a product, you are better off budget-wise taking most or all of it.

Certainly we've seen law firms make significant changes to their overall vendor strategy, but these variables prevent a fully single-source purchasing model. 

Jinfo will soon be publishing our annual research on UK legal purchasing patterns. Every year, we include subjects that have come up in customer conversations, and a few years ago, one of those subjects was single source purchasing.

When we asked research participants (a subset of the top 200 firms in the UK by revenue) about the likelihood of their moving towards single source purchasing, their response was consistently negative. Since that time, chatter around single source purchasing has died down again.


Do you have a query? 

Responding to customer queries is something we're happy to do and that we answer on a regular basis, so feel free to send your questions to us.

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