Information giant’s new offering promises smart research for boutiques and solo practitioners

“The profession can expect to see a rise in nimble law firms and barristers yielding speedier results for clients”

Information giant’s new offering promises smart research for boutiques and solo practitioners

Thomson Reuters has launched an update to its Westlaw service in Australia, promising the small law market access to smart research, which in the past typically only large firms could afford.

Described by the information giant as “new Westlaw,” the offering was built with feedback from practising lawyers and barristers. Thomson Reuters said that the update is “expected to provide relief to the small law market.”

It also said that the new software is “a totally different experience for practitioners,” is “easily accessible” to smaller operations, and now offers more niche practice areas. Thomson Reuters offers plan options ranging from $83 to $176 per month for solo, small, bar, and legal teams of one to five practitioners, according to its Australian website. 

Carl Olson, vice president of legal professionals at Thomson Reuters, said that boutiques and solo practitioners no longer have to rely on the uncertainty of free legal research.

“The profession can expect to see a rise in nimble law firms and barristers yielding speedier results for clients, due to the data retrieval benefits such as complex search algorithms and natural language search that Thomson Reuters’ legal research technology offers,” he said.

The company said that using the newly updated service, which provides access to verified legal research, can prevent knowledgeable clients from choosing another firm if they notice that the small law firms they’re considering is using free legal research.

The update to Westlaw was headed by James Jarvis, who is vice president of legal solutions for Asia and emerging markets. He said that the service can save practitioners up to four hours of work per week. He said that the real heroes of the story are the company’s design partners, who have helped overhaul research workflows.

Among those partners are Danny King, principal at Danny King Legal, who explained how the update has helped her practice.

“I have noticed my juniors have been spending less time looking for answers and more time conveying them to the team. As a boutique law firm, our resources are precious, so we see the new Westlaw as a smart investment for a nimble law firm like ours looking to take the burden out of manual knowledge work,” she said.

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