Oh joy!! Just when you thought that LexisNexis acquiring Knowledge Mosaic was the big legal publishing news of the day. Along comes Thomson Reuters to one-up them. Practical Law Company (PLC) just sent out the news that they’ve been acquired by Thomson Reuters (TR). Everyone I’ve talked to in the past hour has groaned about this announcement, as TR is notorious for acquiring good companies and then chasing out all the talented people associated with that company (think: GSI).

Good luck to the folks at PLC (as it seems the news was a bit of a shocker for them, too.)

Here’s the press release. (Now to sit back and wait to see if Bloomberg has something to tell us today… )

I am delighted to let you know that today we announced that we have entered into a definitive agreement for Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, to acquire Practical Law Company. I wanted to share this news with you as a valued subscriber. You can learn more in the news release and FAQ.

Thomson Reuters is a great home for Practical Law Company. We share many values with Thomson Reuters, most notably a passion for innovation in the legal marketplace and for providing lawyers with the best possible resources so that they can spend more time delivering value for clients and less time reinventing the wheel. We also share a commitment to helping our subscribers respond to client demands to work faster and smarter.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory review in the US and UK. This means that you can continue to look to Practical Law Company for the high-quality products and services you have come to expect. You will keep the same contacts for your account and for assistance as you always have. Longer-term, Practical Law Company and Thomson Reuters will work together to develop a comprehensive suite of compelling productivity solutions that marry world-class legal information, expert know-how resources and software tools to give you an enhanced experience and deliver greater value.

We will keep you apprised as appropriate in the coming weeks.


Jeroen Plink
CEO, Practical Law Company US

  • Anonymous

    The announcement is not really a surprise but is a real shame. This just reduces competition in the market even more. Given the way TR have treated the IDS service (especially its online presence) I don't hold out a lot of hope that service will improve. My firm relies heavily on PLC. It isn't perfect by any means and in all honesty I'd like to have seen a new product come onto the market to give it a little more competition rather than it now be a part of a big conglomerate which will most likely lead to a lesser service for the same if not higher price. Interesting times ahead.

  • Anonymous

    "Same if not lesser price" – who are you kidding? Thomson took GSI and did nothing much more with it than change its name to West Business and after customer contracts came up for renewal tried to charge an arm and a leg for it. You'll see the big two (Lexis & Thomson) take perfectly good products PLC & Knowledge Mosaic add a few "improvements", maybe change the names, and then charge even more for what is basically the same product.

    Makes you wonder why there's even anitrust laws in this country. Basically every information provider startup bases their business plan on making a viable and profitable product and then cashing out when Lexis or Thomson comes knocking.

  • Ann

    Dear LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters – Next time you think acquisitions, think Executive Press.

  • Anonymous

    Employees at Practical Law should expect moderate layoffs. This deal was about the owners of PLC getting paid and Thomson Reuters buying the competition so it didn't fall in the hands of a competitor. Unfortunately I think the employees at Practical Law will will be on the losing end transaction.

  • Anonymous

    I agree.

    A great deal for the owners of PLC who'll probably buy a helicopter or some Van Gogh's; not so great for the employees who now know why they haven't had a pay rise for the last 3 or 4 years.

  • Everything was good until TR came along. I guess deep in our hearts we all knew this would come along. Acquisitions and lay-off employees. Best start packing now.

  • sai

    An acquisition is made in a hostile environment. What matters is, whom is this hostile environment meant for? Definitely it is for the employees of the acquired.

  • Roger

    We have just received our renewal quote. They wish to increase our subscription 5-fold.