I just received an announcement from Bloomberg Law that they have just inked a deal with the 25 US offices of DLA Piper to bring Bloomberg Law to the desktop all of the 1,400 attorneys in those offices. This is by far the biggest coup that Bloomberg has had to date within the Big US Law Firms. It is actually exciting news to hear, and should cause a few wrinkles in the business of legal publishing.

Right off the top of my head I have a few questions that pop out on this deal.

  1. Who lost DLA Piper’s US business?? (I’d find it very hard to believe that a firm, even of DLA Piper’s size, would want to carry Westlaw, Lexis AND Bloomberg on their annual budgets.)
  2. If DLA Piper did dump one of the other vendors,  what resources does DLA Piper lose in the change? Does making a deal like this for the US office affect future deals with legal vendors outside the US?
  3. Did the deal with BNA come into play on the negotiations of a US office-wide agreement?
  4. How are attorneys going to adjust to the new platform? I know DLA Piper has had Bloomberg in a more limited access role for a while now (in fact they were one of the first, if not the first firms to jump on the Bloomberg trial when it rolled out.)

This announcement will make a number of firms stand up and take note. There is a lot of talk about BigLaw firms going with a single-vendor, or at least a primary vendor with another smaller deal with the other. It’s apparent that the folks at Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis are taking notes as well, and attempting to set up barriers to going down this route (such as no longer offering pay-go or credit card access for one-off research requests.) With a legitimate third party in play, it may shake up the game a bit and make for some interesting times ahead for both the law firms and the legal publishers.

I’m hoping to learn the answers to the questions above. As I do, I’ll do some follow-up posts with what I learn. I applaud DLA Piper for testing the waters on this idea, and look forward to seeing if other firms follow suit. Things just got interesting!

Here’s the press release I received:

Bloomberg Law to Provide DLA Piper’s US Lawyers with Legal Research and Business Information Platform
New York – Bloomberg Law, the legal research system from the world leader in data and information services, today announced an agreement with DLA Piper, the world’s largest global business law firm, to provide high quality, cost-effective legal research for all its lawyers throughout the United States. Bloomberg Law’s integration of legal research with the Bloomberg industry and financial information relied upon by corporations and investment institutions throughout the world, provides lawyers with a competitive edge in understanding their clients’ businesses.
With DLA Piper’s enterprise-wide adoption of Bloomberg Law, the firm’s 1,400 US lawyers practicing in 25 cities will have unlimited access to Bloomberg Law from their desktops. Bloomberg Law’s legal research system integrates comprehensive legal content, company and financial information, and news all in one place, including Bloomberg’s world-class proprietary news, company and market information. Bloomberg Law’s all-inclusive, transparent and predictable pricing means that every user has the same unrestricted access to the content in the Bloomberg Law databases.
“We are deeply gratified that a firm of DLA Piper’s caliber has chosen Bloomberg Law for its lawyers throughout the United States,” said Bloomberg Law Chairman Lou Andreozzi. “We look forward to working closely with DLA Piper as we continue to develop the resources to help law firms better manage their research and costs so they can concentrate on adding value to their clients.”
Don Jaycox, DLA Piper’s Chief Information Officer, said, “Law firms need to cost effectively deliver great client service in a highly competitive environment. In addition to being experts in law, our clients have made it clear that they also want us to understand the business challenges they face on a daily basis. Bloomberg Law’s unique combination of legal research, company information, and news helps our lawyers stay abreast of a wide array of information affecting our clients.  Plus, Bloomberg’s inclusive pricing model helps us manage costs in a predictable way.”
About Bloomberg Law
Bloomberg Law is the real-time legal research system that integrates innovative search technology, comprehensive legal content, company and client information, and proprietary news all in one place. This collaborative workspace also includes a suite of new tools for more effective legal analysis and more productive client development. For more information, visit BloombergLaw.com.
About Bloomberg
Bloomberg, the global business and financial information and news leader, gives influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas. The company’s strength – delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology, quickly and accurately – is at the core of the Bloomberg Professional service, which provides real time financial information to more than 310,000 subscribers globally. Bloomberg’s enterprise solutions build on the company’s core strength, leveraging technology to allow customers to access, integrate, distribute and manage data and information across organizations more efficiently and effectively. Through Bloomberg Law, Bloomberg Government, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Bloomberg BNA, the company provides data, news and analytics to decision makers in industries beyond finance. And Bloomberg News, delivered through the Bloomberg Professional service, television, radio, mobile, the Internet and two magazines, Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Markets,  covers the world with more than 2,300 news and multimedia professionals at 146 bureaus in 72 countries. Headquartered in New York, Bloomberg employs more than 15,000 people in 192 locations around the world.
Jill Goodkind
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