February 04, 2014
It's Go Time: Thomson Reuters Reveals 2014 Products for Its US Business
NEW YORK — This week at the annual LegalTech New York trade show — as well as in law firms, corporate law departments and government offices across the United States — Thomson Reuters will begin showing its new products and product enhancements to legal professionals. Practical Law, acquired last year, will be on center stage for Legal’s 2014 to-market strategy, but the company also is doubling down on its matter-centric workflow platforms and continuing investment in WestlawNext® — the core of its U.S. product strategy.
With the integration of Practical Law operations in the U.S. and U.K., editorial and marketing teams are accelerating critical to-market initiatives to drive even more momentum. Teams launched a new Practical Law website in the U.K. and U.S., introduced Practical Law China, added practice areas in both the U.K. and U.S., and, perhaps most importantly, have begun creating the long-term path to bring Practical Law’s powerful know-how content into the workflow of Thomson Reuters customers.
In the U.S., Practical Law content is now integrated into Firm Central, the workflow platform from Thomson Reuters for small-law-firm customers, and Thomson Reuters Concourse, which provides matter-centric practice and department management for customers in corporate law departments and government offices.
According to Chris Wedgeworth, managing director of Practical Law at Thomson Reuters, “Practical Law provides a great starting point for a matter, whether it’s a familiar or new area of law. For instance, an attorney in a small law firm might specialize in litigation but refer transactional work — even for their best litigation clients — to a different firm. Practical Law will allow small law firms to keep more work by providing expert guidance and know-how tools that help attorneys navigate matters with confidence using Checklists and Practice Notes created by Practical Law’s expert attorney-editors.” Wedgeworth noted that Practical Law, in collaboration with its new Thomson Reuters colleagues, also has created entirely new state-specific know-how products for small-law-firm users.
Likewise, the addition of Practical Law on Thomson Reuters Concourse will help corporate and government legal professionals get up to speed quickly on new matters and also will help at gut-check time to make sure important steps haven’t been overlooked, and that laws or regulations that might affect the outcome of a matter haven’t changed.
Building on Its Connected Solutions Strategy
According to Chris Maguire, global head of Strategy for Legal, the success of its workflow offerings in 2013, such as Firm Central, Thomson Reuters Concourse and hosted litigation products, confirmed that Legal professionals want mobile products and have embraced the cloud. “We received great validation for our mobile-first, matter-centric and workflow-oriented product development strategy, and we’re strongly committed to it,” he said. “Now we’re focused on accelerating our evolution to drive this change deeply into our organization so we can even better help customers adapt to the expectations of their marketplace.”
Beyond the addition of Practical Law content, Thomson Reuters is announcing at LegalTech New York a number of other Concourse enhancements, including an integrated suite of products for transactional attorneys, including Drafting Assistant and Form Builder, as well as Practitioner Insights, the highly customized current-awareness service from Thomson Reuters. The Concourse team also has added Integrated Search, technology that pulls highly relevant firm documents from Concourse Matter Room concurrent with a WestlawNext search, and there are more innovations scheduled throughout the year.
Firm Central is introducing a Client Portal, which provides solo and small-firm attorneys and their clients with a private, secure shared space to communicate and share documents, organized by matter on the Firm Central dashboard. And now, Firm Central can be integrated with QuickBooks to synchronize law firm accounting and billing data. The business also will focus in the months ahead to begin bringing Firm Central, as well as its other workflow solutions, to customers around the world.
WestlawNext at the Heart of Product Development
Thomson Reuters investments in WestlawNext are a powerful complement to its expanding portfolio of workflow solutions. In the last year, Thomson Reuters has created major content sets on WestlawNext, including Practitioner Insights, as well as Business Law Center and Company Investigator, both part of Thomson Reuters Business Law Solutions. The WestlawNext team also introduced Alert Management Center, which allows for the creation and streamlining of docket, case and news alerts across an organization.
At LegalTech, Thomson Reuters will spotlight PeopleMap on WestlawNext, which brings the premier public records search and intelligence tool — with billions of legal documents and public records, as well as U.S. and international news, and more — to the market’s leading online legal research service. PeopleMap now features advanced and intuitive navigation and a graphical display to see connections and relationships within large, complex sets of data.
This focus on Thomson Reuters information assets also brings key new Practical Law content into WestlawNext for certain customer groups — including state-specific know-how content for customers in corporate law departments and small law firms — as well as new technology to help WestlawNext users deeply customize their view and experience with the platform.
“At this point, everyone in the legal market is accustomed to change and focused on efficiency,” said Maguire. “At Thomson Reuters, our goal is to bring the best content, technology and services to support legal professionals, so they can work quickly, stay organized, focus on the things that matter the most, and drive their practice and their organizations forward.”
Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs approximately 60,000 people and operates in over 100 countries. For more information, go to www.thomsonreuters.com.