LexisNexis vs Thomson Reuters

LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters are international companies that offer a variety of products and services to a range of businesses, government agencies, the healthcare industry, and legal entities.

Legal professionals such as in house counsel or even private practice lawyers consider Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis the two best (and most costly) legal research platforms. However, users are sometimes confused about each company’s history, product offerings, and ownership. Deciding who you must choose in the LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters battle can be a tough decision if you don’t know all the ins and outs of each.

Does Thomson Reuters Own LexisNexis? 

No. RELX, formally known as Reed Elsevier, owns LexisNexis. Thomson Reuters owns Westlaw, a division of The Woodbridge Company, a holding company for the Thomson family. 

LexisNexis History

lexisnexis vs thomson reuters

In 1956, attorney John Horty began constructing a legal database to help track hospital administration laws in different states. Horty’s early work led the Ohio State Bar Association to develop its computer-assisted legal research (CALR) platform known as Ohio Bar Automated Research (OBAR). This early work foresaw the need for end-users to access information directly instead of relying on legal librarians. 

OBAR signed an agreement with Data Corporation in 1967 to develop a comprehensive legal database. When Mead Corporation purchased Data Corporation in 1968, company executives began to focus on legal research, eventually coining the term LEXIS, meaning “legal research.”

The introduction of LEXIS came when very few attorneys used computer technology to access information, relying instead on assistants and legal librarians. In 1980, the LEXIS database contained all U.S. state and federal court cases. The NEXIS service introduced journalists to a database of news articles. The company later combined the services, creating the LexisNexis brand. 

In 1994 Mead sold LexisNexis to Re Elsevier, who later acquired Shepard’s Citations, incorporating it into LexisNexis.

Thomson Reuters History

lexisnexis vs thomson reuters

This history of Thomson Reuters involves an eventual marriage between a news media organization and financial services company. 

Canadian newspaper publisher Roy Thomson formed The Thomson Company in 1934. Nineteen years later, Thomson acquired a newspaper in Scotland, where he moved. Thomson expanded the company by moving into the airline and oil exploration businesses. After he died in the 1970s, the company exited the newspaper and broadcast industry and moved into publishing. 

The company merged with Thomson Newspapers in 1989. In 1996 the company acquired West Publishing, whose Westlaw products provided a foray into the legal publishing world.

Paul Julius Reuter founded the Reuters Group in 1851 to transmit stock quotes between London and Paris. Interestingly, the company was the first to report on the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Reuters later ventured into radio in the 1920s, eventually becoming a leading provider of financial and economic news and services during the 1980s financial boom. 

In 2008, The Thomson Corporation purchased Reuters Group, becoming Thomson Reuters. Besides LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters competes with Bloomberg in the financial news sector. 

LexisNexis Products & Services 

LexisNexis divides its product line into legal and professional services and risk solutions. 

The company’s risk solutions division provides various technology and data services, including online fraud detection, prevention, and analytics for several industries. Insurance, business, healthcare, and governments use LexisNexis Risk Solutions services. 

Attorneys and legal professionals recognize LexisNexis as a leading provider of legal research solutions. 

The legal and professional services division of LexisNexis has six units. They are:

  • Lexis+
  • Lexis
  • Nexis
  • Nexis Newsdesk
  • LexisNexis IP Solutions
  • Print & eBooks

The company’s legal research division falls under Lexis+. Product offerings include primary and secondary case law research. Like most online software, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters offer research capabilities for a monthly or annual subscription fee. 

LexisNexis legal research tools include online options for solo practices and small firms to specialized boutique firms, large firms, corporations, and government lawyers. Basic plans begin at around $89 and increase depending on the number of attorneys and options chosen. 

Thomson Reuters Products & Services

With a long history of providing cutting-edge news and research, Thomson Reuters offers innovative services for the news, legal, and business sectors. 

Reuters Connect offers a comprehensive digital news platform that includes news from over 70 international sources. A Connect subscription provides access to thousands of photos, videos, graphics, and audio clips. Subscribers can purchase individual products for a fee dependent on the products used.

Another option is the Productivity Suite. Users can select licensed music or compose their own using an AI tool. Moreover, Thomson Reuters also offers a comprehensive database of secondary legal content, aptly named Practical Law, which can be readily accessed.

U.S. attorneys and law firms use the Thomson Reuters Westlaw product suite to research case law. Westlaw Essentials, Classic, and Edge offer users multiple options when analyzing and managing legal matters. 

Designed for small legal practices, Essential users can select from plans that include their state statutes or upgrade to plans that include federal case law. Other options that include Practical Guidance and Shepard’s Citation Service are also available.

Other legal products produced by Thomson Reuters include a vast number of law books and form builders.

Yet another product suite available at Thomson Reuters is cloud-based accounting software and tools designed for accounting departments and firms. For example, Thomsen Reuters ONESOURCE can accurately calculate sales and use tax, value-added taxes (VAT), and other global taxes for companies conducting worldwide business.

One common factor among both companies in the LexisNexis vs Thomson Reuters argument is that they are both increasing the use and promotion of AI-powered applications. Thomson Reuters began collecting data over 130 years ago, building a vast database of information, from news to worldwide legal cases, that can be sorted and categorized in mere seconds using their built-in AI tools.

LexisNexis vs Thomson Reuters – Which One To Choose?

Choosing between LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters will come down to your specific needs and preferences. You can list the pros and cons of each and weigh them according to what you think are the most critical factors. We recommend speaking with individuals and firms that have used one or both. Ask why they selected their current platform and what they like and dislike about both. LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters, both have unique features, making it difficult to recommend one over the other without knowing your particular needs.

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Unfortunately, other transcription companies choose to employ transcriptionists who reside in foreign counties and do not have experience transcribing complex legal matters such as trials, depositions, custody hearings, etc. 

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Innovative legal professionals like yourself realize that trusting their legal research to an inferior provider is a recipe for disaster. That’s why you are reading an article about LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters. We feel the same is true when searching for a  legal transcription company that can quickly, accurately, and competitively complete your legal transcripts. 

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