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Thomson Reuters takes law research solution up a notch

24 Feb 2020

Thomson Reuters has released an entirely new version of its flagship legal research tech solution, Westlaw.

The solution aims to assist legal practitioners in boutique firms by speeding up the often time-consuming research process.

Built with input from practising lawyers and barristers, the technology initiative is expected to provide relief to the small law market, who are known for spending excessive time on legal research for clients.

“The small law segment no longer has to rely on the uncertainty of free legal research, as we have innovated with the industry to provide a smart alternative that is typically only afforded to large law firms,” says Thomson Reuters Asia and emerging markets legal professionals vice president Carl Olson.

“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.”

Boutique firms and sole practitioners commonly draw on free legal research to represent their clients, which can turn clued-up prospective clients away from using their services. 

However, this new opportunity for the small law market to invest in verified legal research will provide additional assurance to existing and prospective clients.

“Good legal solutions ought to provide business-oriented results for lawyers and I am pleased our legal research software, Westlaw, can save practitioners up to four hours per week,” says the project leader and Thomson Reuters Asia and emerging markets legal solutions vice president James Jarvis.

“Our design partners are the real heroes in the story here, where they have joined us on our digital transformation journey to overhaul research workflows. Forget everything you know about searching for precedents and case law - the new software is a totally different experience for practitioners, and it’s now easily accessible to the smaller end of town, with an additional suite of niche practice areas to tap into.”

The design partners who helped inform the software developments include Danny King Legal principal Danny King who founded her successful firm in 2011.

“I have noticed my juniors have been spending less time looking for answers and more time conveying them to the team,” King says.

Corporate and litigation boutique law firm principal Mark Wilson has said that Westlaw provides a compelling business case for firms like his across key knowledge areas. 

Westlaw in its newest form has also been praised by Melbourne-based barrister, David Kim, who noted that the marriage of the smart citator, built-in classification system and search function is a “game-changer”.