image [cc] Angelskiss31

Let me start out this post by saying that I like David Perla, President of Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg BNA’s Legal division, and consider him to be an ally for the law librarian and legal information/knowledge profession. However, I have to say that I am a little disappointed at his Above the Law article yesterday called “A Challenge for the Gatekeepers.” His article starts out with a warning to the legal industry saying that “change is coming – with or without you,” but then he spends the rest of the article singling out Law Librarians and Knowledge professionals as the gatekeepers. Although David says this isn’t about Bloomberg Law’s new roll out of a Tax Product, quite frankly, it reads like it is. I’m really disappointed that he took to Above the Law to vent.

Transitions in how a legal products perform for practice areas is something law librarians deal with practically on a daily basis. One of our primary responsibilities for our firms are to evaluate these products and present an initial evaluation report to the Practice Group Leaders or power players within the practice area. Law Librarians have a diverse legal expertise, and some are legal area experts. I know law librarians that are more savvy when it comes to understanding practice areas like Tax or IP than most Associates or Junior Partners in their firms. We understand our firms, we understand our Practice Groups, and we are tasked with the responsibility to know when it is right to push for new products, and when it isn’t time.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I push for change every day! EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

I constantly evaluate new products, establish training sessions to teach attorneys and others the value of the very expensive resources we purchase with our law firm partners’ money. I work to de-duplicate resources so we are not wasting money. I also make recommendations on keeping similar products because I understand the way the attorneys work and know that sometimes it pays to have those resources, even if on the surface it seems irrational. I make sure that we have team members that go to PG meetings to observe, listen, and engage. It’s not gatekeeping. It’s called being a leader and making sure that we are implementing the overall strategies of our individual attorneys, our Practice Groups, our Offices, and our Firm as a whole.

I’m a little confused when David wrote:

I attended a session at AALL [American Association of Law Libraries] where librarians were brainstorming how to be more relevant or get lawyers to pay more attention to them. But when the moment comes to actually introduce change at law firms, they flinch out of fear. Afraid that the attorneys they work for will find change uncomfortable, they balk—just as Monster’s executives balked at upsetting the site’s customers.

Not buying a new legal information product is not the same as “flinch[ing] out of fear.” I find that statement to be a bit misleading, and way overly broad in the assumption that law librarians can’t pull the trigger on change.

I appreciate Bloomberg BNA being a disrupter in the legal information field. But, I will say that when the disruption initially affects the Tax and the Labor & Employment groups, it makes for a very difficult sale to those groups. Not that they are change adverse, but that they are either well served by their current products and have a comfort level with them, or that they are a group with very narrow profit margins that have to have concrete evidence that new, much more expensive, products will truly make their work more efficient and not decrease that narrow margin.

It’s not about throwing up barriers for change. It’s about understanding our environments and applying our expertise, experience, knowledge, and wisdom to every single change we see, every single day. I’m not a gatekeeper that flinches at change, I’m an experienced leader for change that make sense for my organization.

There has been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere and twitter this week about the Bloomberg Law article “Law Firm Librarians Feel Underused and Underpaid” and the accompanying survey. First off, I want to thank Bloomberg BNA for conducting this survey, sharing the results with the law librarian community and David Perla, President, Bloomberg BNA Legal Division and Bloomberg Law, for discussing these results with me.

I think this title was a bit misleading. Librarians were expressing their frustration that firms weren’t fully utilizing their talents. I think that leaner staffing and more recognition of Librarians as an excellent low cost resource have kept them extremely busy and useful. As David said, “Research is in its lowest cost place today. Research is being pushed down to the lowest cost research, the library.”

My discussion with him about this survey was interesting. Their motivation for conducting this research was as a vendor of Business Development (BD) tools, they wanted to get a sense of the scope of the involvement of law librarians in BD. The overwhelming response of librarians answering “yes” to the question of could they be better utilized took them by surprise (95% of the respondents to Question #6). This is something I’ve been talking about for years (Here’s an example) and I’m pleased to see that this is becoming a universal point of view.
He also noted that law firm librarians see themselves as a resource for the acquisition of work for the firm. This is borne out by the following survey responses:
Q1: 81% cite pushing relevant information on client intel directly to individual stakeholders as demonstration of their value
Q2: 72% see BD and CI as areas currently handled has part of their job
Q3: 66% see BD and CI as logical areas for someone with a law firm librarian skillset to add value

The numbers clearly demonstrate a recognition by the law librarian community of the fact that this is a major contribution they can make to the success of the firm. However, only 18% say their law firm is currently using them in this capacity (Question 5). When taken into account with the previously discussed results, it appears that librarians are not being acknowledged for the BD and CI contributions they are making now. The reasons for this could be that these contributions are funneled through other departments, not recognized as BD or CI, or simply done on an ad hoc basis.

One possible cause for this was identified by David in our discussion. He noted that firm BD initiatives lack consistency from one firm to the next. As result, the quality of the underlying research and analysis is not consistent. Using librarians in this capacity is an easy way for firms to utilize an existing resource to create a consistent high quality basis for strategic business decisions.
The most interesting post for me was from fellow Geek Zena Applebaum. Zena used the survey to point out a path to address the concerns that were expressed by the respondents. David agreed with Zena’s assessment that Librarians are natural sleuths and are good at figuring out the client’s needs early and identifying strategic areas for the firm to target. Let’s face it, the days of “they know what I can do and they know where to find me if they need me to do it” are long gone.   Her post should inspire each of us to take charge of our destiny. Pick up that phone and ask your Marketing counterpart to lunch. Meet with your practice group leaders and show them how you help them achieve their strategic goals. Now is the time for action!
 

Toby Brown and I got a sneak peek yesterday at Bloomberg BNA’s new Big Law Business community site, and we liked what we saw. We all know that Big Law is big business, but there are very few resources out there from vendors that cover current stories and trends of the business side of a large law firm, and even fewer that promote a community to comment and contribute. Most of us have relied upon bloggers to fill the gap, but a resource like this coming from Bloomberg Law is a welcome new addition.

The site is free to access, but content contribution will be limited to those of us that work within large law firms (AmLaw200), in-house counsel, thought leaders within the industry, and vendors within the industry that want to contribute useful content to the community through articles, white papers, videos, and other (non-commercial) type content.

BBNA’s David Peikin gave us the tour and said that “[T]he community enables legal executives to share best practices leveraging the insight and wisdom of those in similar roles at other firms and supports peer-to-peer engagement with focused, role-based content areas for managing partners, in-house counsel, technologists and marketers.”

There are no walled communities within the site, so everyone can see all the content regardless of what type of role you play within your firm.

The site is now open, so go check it out and see if this is a community you’d like to join. Bloomberg BNA’s press release on the Big Law Business site is below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
David Peikin
703.341.5900
dpeikin@bna.com

BLOOMBERG BNA LAUNCHES BIG LAW BUSINESS, 
COMMUNITY WEBSITE FOCUSED ON THE BUSINESS OF LAW

Arlington, Va. (March 5, 2015) — Bloomberg BNA today announced the launch of Big Law Business, a first-of-its-kind online community that helps law firm executives and in-house counsel be even more successful in addressing opportunities and challenges created by accelerated disruption in the legal market related to the business of law.  Big Law Business enables legal executives to learn how to better manage day-to-day business, finance and technology issues while also sharing best practices.

Big Law Business helps legal executives and professional managers better serve their internal and external clients through access to a wealth of targeted content — perspectives, news and insight, data, and resources — created by Bloomberg BNA editors and thought leaders in the legal market.  The community also supports peer-to-peer engagement in focused, role-based content areas for managing partners, in-house counsel, technologists and marketers and also will offer related online and offline programs.

“Big Law Business provides access to a wealth of robust content, including timely news on the business of law from our dedicated editorial staff and the rich data and in-depth analysis the market has come to rely on from Bloomberg BNA and Bloomberg Law,” said Scott Mozarsky, President, Cross Platform Businesses, Bloomberg BNA.  “Big Law Business features articles, podcasts, videos and white papers, enabling legal executives to stay on top of the latest trends affecting the business of law.  And the community will provide visitors ample opportunities to engage with those in similar roles at law firms and corporations and benefit from shared insights and wisdom.”

You can follow Big Law Business on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Bloomberg BNA
Bloomberg BNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bloomberg, is a leading source of legal, regulatory, and business information for professionals. Its network of more than 2,500 reporters, correspondents, and leading practitioners delivers expert analysis, news, practice tools, and guidance — the information that matters most to professionals. Bloomberg BNA’s authoritative coverage spans a full range of legal practice areas, including tax & accounting, labor & employment, intellectual property, banking & securities, employee benefits, health care, privacy & data security, human resources, and environment, health & safety.

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Monica Bay of Law Technology News is reporting this morning that Bloomberg Law is rebranding itself as Bloomberg BNA.  This acknowledges what those us in the legal industry have known for quite awhile:

  1. Bloomberg doesn’t have the same name recognition as a provider of legal information that BNA does
  2. BNA’s name is respected for the quality of their content, and
  3. The Bloomberg approach did not seem to be getting much traction in the legal marketplace. 

Bloomberg seems to come to terms with this themselves with their acknowledgement that this change was client driven and their announcement that the Legal business would be consolidated in the BNA HQ in Arlington.  As Professor Harold Hill once said “You’ve got to know the territory.”  BNA certainly knows the territory.

The marriage between Bloomberg and BNA seems to be moving right along. Today, Bloomberg Law announced that BNA’s CEO, Greg McCaffery, is now the CEO of Bloomberg Law, taking the place of the retiring Larry Thompson. McCaffery has been at BNA since 1986 where he moved up from staff Editor to COO and then President/CEO. I have enjoyed talking over the years with McCaffery and think he will be a good fit for Bloomberg Law as they attempt to make strides to build market share with the Bloomberg Law product. On a side note, I met Larry Thompson at AALL in Boston back in July. I complimented him on the way Bloomberg and BNA integrated the two products into the Bloomberg Law platform. I’m still amazed at how quickly they migrated the BNA data over, and how few complaints I heard from users on the new platform. Larry Thompson deserves much of the credit for that transition. I wish Larry the best of luck and hope he enjoys retirement.

Here’s the press release from Bloomberg Law that was sent to me by Jill Goodkind.

NEW YORK — Bloomberg today announced that Greg McCaffery has been named Chief Executive Officer of Bloomberg Law, the innovative real-time legal research system from the world leader in data and information services.  McCaffery most recently served as CEO and President of Bloomberg BNA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bloomberg.  Bloomberg acquired BNA, the legal and regulatory publishing company, on September 30, 2011.

“Greg McCaffery is a strong, innovative chief executive who has done a stellar job leading BNA,” said Dan Doctoroff, CEO and President of Bloomberg. “He will now play a major role in driving Bloomberg Law.”

As CEO, McCaffery will be responsible for development and execution of strategy and management of day-to-day operations as Bloomberg Law expands its role as a leader in the field of online legal research.  He succeeds Larry Thompson, who is retiring.  McCaffery will continue to report to Beth Mazzeo, Bloomberg’s Global Head of Data Products and the leader of the company’s vertical businesses.

“We are very excited to have Greg leading Bloomberg Law as we focus on the next phase of expansion. Greg brings a 26-year track record of success in building BNA, including the development of a top national sales team,” said Mazzeo.  “We thank Larry Thompson for his hard work and dedication over the past two years and for establishing a strong foundation on which Greg can build.”

Bloomberg Law has revolutionized the legal research industry with a truly integrated platform.  Subscribers have unlimited access to any of the information in the Bloomberg Law system  – from Bloomberg BNA’s legal coverage to Bloomberg’s proprietary news to dockets to primary legal research – as often as they want and whenever they want. Bloomberg Law’s all-inclusive, transparent and predictable pricing means that every user has the same unrestricted, unlimited access to the information in its databases.

“This is a unique opportunity to play a leadership role in the future of the legal research industry,” said McCaffery.  “With the integration of Bloomberg BNA content, we have created a legal information powerhouse in Bloomberg Law that we will continue to grow and expand.  I am incredibly proud to lead Bloomberg Law and its talented professionals into the next phase of its success.”

“I have every confidence that Greg, with the extraordinary experience he has developed in over 25 years at BNA, will provide Bloomberg Law with the dynamic leadership to continue on its successful path,” said Bloomberg Law Chairman Lou Andreozzi. “Already, over the past year, Greg has contributed significantly to that success with the smooth integration of BNA’s content into the Bloomberg Law platform.  We are lucky to have Greg at the helm as we execute the next phase of Bloomberg Law.”

McCaffery began his career at BNA in 1986 and held reporting and editing positions on several BNA publications until 1990, when he was appointed to management. He was elected President and Chief Operating Officer in April 2007. McCaffery was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Bloomberg BNA in January 2012.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from American University, and has completed course work at the University of London, the California Institute of Technology, and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

About Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law is the real-time legal research system that integrates innovative search technology, comprehensive legal content, company and market 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. Bloomberg Law is the recipient of the 2012 American Association of Law Libraries New Product of the Year Award.  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 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.

Just got a press release from Jill Goodkind at Bloomberg announcing that Jones Day has brought them into the fold for their legal research needs. This is the second mega firm that is using Bloomberg (DLA Piper being the other.)

We’re trying to gather more details, (such as “did Jones Day drop Westlaw or Lexis to bring in Bloomberg?”) but I thought this was big enough to push out to let everyone know the news.

Those that I’ve talked to find it interesting that there is no quote from Jones Day representatives in this press release. In looking at some of the job descriptions from previous Jones Day positions, they do ask that applicants be proficient in both Lexis and Westlaw research, so they do appear to have both services at the time of bringing in Bloomberg. It would be unusual for a firm (even one as big as Jones Day) to keep three legal research tools on the budget, so we’ll have to see if they end up dropping one of the current resources. It will be interesting to find out more information about what prompted them to bring in Bloomberg and if more mega firms are to follow.

JONES DAY SELECTS BLOOMBERG LAW FOR LEGAL RESEARCH
Seamless Combination of Legal Research and Business Information, Unlimited Access and Transparent Pricing Provide Value to Modern Legal Practice
New York — Bloomberg Law, the legal research system from the world leader in data, information and news services, today announced a firm-wide agreement with Jones Day, the global law firm, to provide high quality legal research, news and market information.  Jones Day is ranked among the world’s most respected law firms and perennially rated among the best in client service. The firm represents approximately half of the Fortune Global 500. 
Jones Day’s firm-wide adoption of Bloomberg Law will provide the firm’s approximately 1,800 U.S.-based lawyers with unlimited desktop and mobile access to any of the information in the Bloomberg Law system – from Bloomberg BNA’s legal coverage to Bloomberg’s proprietary news to dockets to primary legal research – as often as they want and whenever they want.   Bloomberg Law integrates legal research with the Bloomberg industry and financial information relied upon by corporations and investment institutions throughout the world to provide lawyers with a competitive edge in understanding their clients’ businesses.  Jones Day, which has more U.S. lawyers than any other firm, joins the growing roster of law firms that are using Bloomberg Law to meet their firm-wide legal research requirements.
“We are delighted that Jones Day, one of the largest and most respected law firms in the world, has chosen Bloomberg Law to meet its legal research needs,” said Larry Thompson, CEO of Bloomberg Law.  “Bloomberg Law has modernized the legal research industry with a truly integrated platform that, combined with our transparent and predictable pricing, provides law firms with the resources to conduct comprehensive research while managing costs.”
About Bloomberg Law
Bloomberg Law is the real-time legal research system that integrates innovative search technology, comprehensive legal content, company and market 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.  
Image [cc] Bobby Cromick

[Note: I received this guest post last week, but the writer asked to remain anonymous. Quite frankly, this wasn’t the first time I heard someone voice this opinion, so let us know if you think they are on-point with this post, or if you think Bloomberg Law isn’t just a different flavor of Kool-Aid.]

It seems there is a lot of wonder, awe and excitement over the activities of Bloomberg Law as of late. Their pricing structure, the acquisition of BNA and the quest to ‘replace one of the big two’; all sending the library community into a frenzy. But, I ask why?

First, pricing. So an information vendor comes to you and offers “steep discounting” in exchange for a long term commitment. OK, I can get behind that. However, what is happening is not a fair exchange nor is it anything new or revolutionary. Take a look at the pricing practices of the major online vendors. Is Bloomberg really doing anything different? No.

Next, a number of fellow Library Professionals seemed downright giddy when the BNA purchase was announce. Why? Haven’t most of us cancelled a majority of our BNA publications? What does the purchase of BNA by another publishing behemoth do to improve a product already fading from the interest of our attorneys.

Finally, who really thinks that a year, two years from now any law firm will have to have TWO major online vendors? And, conceivably, that Bloomberg Law will edge out one of the “Heavies” for the long-sought-after 2nd place. Really? Firms can’t afford to dish out triple-digits a month per attorney just to make sure there are two major online vendors available with redundant content.

The associates I work with tell me they just want to be made aware of the resources available and what a client will pay for OR the firm will write off. They don’t care if there are two, three, four sources for primary law. They just want to make sure they can find their print outs from Google Scholar on the network printer.

[I want to thank Cheryl Niemeier, Director of Library Services at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, for offering to guest blog on the Bloomberg/BNA Integration and Pricing.]

I recently had the pleasure of meeting my new Bloomberg Law Representative to discuss current BNA subscription options with regard to the integration of those services into the Bloomberg Law platform, and also got a demo of the BLAW app, which I’m told very closely mirrors the newest online Web interface for BLAW. While BNA content has yet to be incorporated (full integration expected by year end with BNA Health and Labor content migrating first) into the BLAW interface, I came away from my meeting guardedly optimistic that the integration and pricing options are generally palatable for the librarian and at least a small win for the end user whose content world will significantly expand should their firm choose to move to the BLAW platform.

The BLAW pricing options fall into two buckets outlined below, both of which offer access to all content, and require ids and passwords for each user. The platform provides all-inclusive access with no libraries to choose or out-of- plan charges for specialized content. (Please note: BNA customers do not have to migrate to BLAW, BNA direct will continue to be supported, and pricing options for it will remain in place.)

Option 1 (Firm-wide with access for all attorneys and support personnel for all BNA/BLAW integrated content):

  • Pricing is based on the number of U.S. based attorneys.
  • 5 year pricing schedule is provided with ability to opt out every two years.
  • The pricing schedule begins at a reduced rate (based upon a ratio of those who will receive immediate value and those who will do so over time).
  • Incremental increases each year will ultimately move all attorneys to the standard $450/user/month cost by the 5th year
  • For those firms that adopt early (before July 1st), Bloomberg will base the starting ratio at the minimum entry point.

Option 2 (Individual per-user access to all BNA/BLAW integrated content):

  • 2 year subscriptions only
  • $450/user/month in 1st year
  • Nominal bi-annual increases

A look at the pros and cons of the BLAW pricing options raises a nearly equal number of both.

On one hand, several disadvantages arise with the BLAW content and pricing model, but these might not necessarily be deal breakers. Firstly, per user pricing may create roadblocks to determining the cost of the research for client billing purposes, although Bloomberg indicates they will work with customers wishing to devise a method to recover the cost via client billing. Secondly, annual incremental firm-wide pricing increases could be rather steep and by year five for some firms would likely far exceed what a firm might pay for a Westlaw or Lexis flat-rate contract, and thus could be a hard-sell to firm management. Thirdly, inflexibility in the all or nothing content leads to the argument that you end up paying for content that may never be used, which it turn creates an unyielding pricing model. Fourthly, while Bloomberg Law offers a great deal of public company information it is sorely lacking content about private companies and for finding people, thus a firm would need to have that content in their Lexis or Westlaw contract, or utilize low cost one off public records vendors, such as TLOxp (www.tlo.com) which provides low cost searches with no monthly service fees. Finally, while early adopters receive an incentive break in the cost for the first few years ultimately all firm-wide subscribers end up at the $450/user/month in the 5th year.

On the other hand, advantages to the content and pricing models also exist. Firstly, transparency in pricing – no more wondering what the Jones’ law firm is paying – everyone ultimately ends up paying the same in year 5 of the firm-wide deal or out of the gate in the individual per user per month deal. Secondly, the per user monthly pricing model in both deals may actually be a better fit for the growing trends of not billing and clients not paying for online research, and any retail cost that Westlaw or Lexis applies to a search or getting a document etc. is arbitrary anyway as are their negotiated special offers. Thirdly, perhaps the fact that each user gets access to everything including cases, BNA reports, court dockets, Legislation/Regulation Watch, and other specialized transactional practice products such as Dealmaker could also be advantageous as it opens a whole new world of information which in turn may actually help the researcher get to their answer quicker. Fourthly, library staff and/or practice groups might benefit from the BLAW select per user price compared to their current BNA direct firm-wide spend on a cost comparison basis and as a result those users get the benefit of the aforementioned content gains. Fifthly, the BLAW platform offers a great deal of customization for alerts, news, dockets, and other content as well as collaboration tools for sharing and annotating your research much like similar features on WestlawNext and Lexis Advance. Finally, getting all new content developed by BLAW no additional cost and the ability to opt out of the deal every 2 years, both of which are generally not the case with other vendors, are also positive aspects of the firm-wide pricing model.

In large part, determining if the pros outweigh the cons of switching to BNA/Bloomberg Law or vice versa will be dependent on a firm’s current BNA spend compared to cost of same on BLAW, plus savings realized from not renewing or reducing content in Lexis or Westlaw contracts, coupled with cancellation of other print and online subscriptions (i.e. PACER, CCH, RIA, Fastcase etc.) that overlap with BLAW content.

So get your calculators out because in the final analysis, number crunching and possibly whittling or cutting of current subscriptions will be the only way to truly determine if the marriage of BNA/Bloomberg Law content will be a match made in heaven for your law firm, and actually end up either saving your firm money, costing more or be an almost break even proposition.

I’ve been thinking all day about what the Bloomberg acquisition of BNA will eventually mean in the legal publishing world. I first thought of what it would mean to Westlaw and Lexis, and whether Bloomberg Law would now truly bring some competition to the duopoly we’ve all come to accept (and loathe.) However, what really kept popping into my mind was another vendor, CCH… actually CCH’s parent, Wolters Kluwer. In a way, Bloomberg is becoming what CCH “should have become” years ago but never got its act together to be a true competitor. Wolter Kluwer had all the pieces to be competitive, but persisted in the business model of being a holding company for all of these pieces rather than integrating them into a single platform. Sure, the whole IntelliConnect platform was supposed to work toward integration, but it never really recovered after its initial stumbling out of the gate (although, they have given a lot of effort to rectify that blunder over the past couple of years.)

With Bloomberg now having all cases/statutes/regs plus Dockets, a citator system, and now quality secondary resources, it “should” become a major player in the market. Whether or not it can break into that market is still yet to be determined. WestlawNext and Lexis Advance are still relatively new products, and the whole WestlawNext launch fiasco is finally seeming to settle down (although statistics on the adoption of WLN by current Westlaw subscribers is still a little iffy, in my opinion.)

The biggest mistake that Bloomberg can make right now is assuming that they can be competitive simply because they are not Westlaw or Lexis. They bombed at that approach with the whole BLAW launch a few years ago (along with that awful interface.) Bloomberg better come in with some serious pricing deals for firms willing to take them on. Bloomberg needs to get “in the door” of these firms and be on the desktop, laptop, and or iPadtop of attorneys, paralegals and librarians. Right now, Bloomberg needs to learn to speak the language of those in charge of buying law firm research products… “price sells!”

The second biggest mistake that Bloomberg could make is screwing with existing BNA contracts and access points. If they want to see customers bolt for BNA’s competitors, simply tell them that they’ll have to move off of the current platform and onto Bloomberg’s black-and-orange platform. Now is the time to lure customers into the whole Bloomberg Law platform (now improved with BNA!!) It is not the time to bring in ultimatums of move over or lose access.

Although many of us are sad to see an employee-owned organization like BNA go away and merge into the one-employee owned Bloomberg product, I think this may eventually fill all those empty spots that Bloomberg currently has in content, and even make the BNA materials better over time. At least we can be happy that Thomson Reuters or Reed Elsevier didn’t get their hands on BNA.

After a little thinking, I think this acquisition will turn out okay and will finally give Wexis some real competition in the legal publishing and financial news market. I’ve been harping that Bloomberg was too narrowly focused (mainly at big law firms in Manhattan). Now, they step out of NYC and try to take over the (legal publishing) world!

I also received a Q&A Sheet from Bloomberg about their acquisition of BNA and what it means for customers of both products.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS RELATED TO BLOOMBERG’S ACQUISITION OF BNA
1. What was announced today?

Bloomberg and The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (BNA) today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Bloomberg will acquire all 25,116,830 outstanding shares of BNA for $39.50 per share in cash for a total purchase price of approximately $990 million. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved this transaction, which is expected to close later in 2011.

2. Why did Bloomberg acquire BNA?

Bloomberg does not make acquisitions very often – we have a strong bias toward organic growth. But the availability of a leading firm such as BNA – who shares so closely our mission and approach – was a rare strategic opportunity.
Together, Bloomberg and BNA will be a unique combination of premium content, deep subject matter expertise, proprietary data and world-class technological capabilities to provide distinctive products and solutions for professionals and decision makers in law, government, business and finance.
This acquisition would immediately strengthen Bloomberg’s offerings in the legal information market by complementing Bloomberg Law – the only legal research system that fully integrates primary research, dockets, company information and proprietary news – with BNA’s trusted legal, tax and regulatory content.
The acquisition would significantly grow Bloomberg’s presence in the Washington, DC area through its multiple operating units, Bloomberg News, Bloomberg Government, Bloomberg Law and BNA — which would work together to provide unparalleled coverage and analysis of U.S. policy and regulatory issues for customers.
BNA will benefit from Bloomberg’s technology and data expertise as well as the significant analytical and news reporting resources of the company, including Bloomberg Briefs, Bloomberg Industries and Bloomberg News, among others.

3. What are Bloomberg’s plans for the company?

Bloomberg has tremendous respect for the legacy of BNA, its employees and management team. Following the transaction, it is our intention that BNA would retain its name and remain a stand-alone subsidiary within the Bloomberg family, operating from its current location under existing management. Bloomberg will honor existing contracts and relationships.

4. Do you anticipate any layoffs at Bloomberg or BNA as a result of this acquisition?

We do not anticipate any layoffs at Bloomberg or BNA as a result of this transaction in the short-term. We anticipate gradual, modest consolidation over an extended period to be achieved largely through natural attrition.

5. What does this mean for Bloomberg and BNA customers?

Until the transaction is completed, customers will receive the same products and services they are accustomed to. After the transaction is completed, we will provide more information on how the Bloomberg-BNA combination will benefit customers and affect our combined product offering.

6. How many acquisitions has Bloomberg made in its history?

Previous acquisitions include Businessweek and New Energy Finance in 2009. Bloomberg has also made a few significantly smaller acquisitions.

7. Is this transaction evidence of a newly acquisitive posture at Bloomberg?

No. Going forward, we expect almost all of our growth to be organic. However, when this rare strategic opportunity presented itself, we were enthusiastic to acquire a leading franchise.

8. To what extent was Mike Bloomberg involved in the decision to buy BNA?

Mike Bloomberg reviewed and supported this transaction in accordance with his agreement with New York City that allows him to maintain the type of involvement that is consistent with his being the majority shareholder of Bloomberg.

9. How will BNA and Bloomberg be integrated?

BNA’s culture is at the core of its success, and a significant reason the company is a great fit with Bloomberg. Going forward, Bloomberg will respect and maintain many of the unique attributes that have enabled BNA to build its leading position. At the same time, this is an attractive transaction because of the potential for the combined entity to be greater than the sum of its parts, so we expect Bloomberg and BNA employees to work together over time to produce innovative products and services for our customers.

10. What is required to close the transaction?

The Bloomberg-BNA combination is a two-step transaction. The first step is a tender for all of the outstanding shares of BNA at a price of $39.50 per share in cash.
The acquisition is subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the merger agreement, including a condition that at least a majority of the outstanding BNA Class A Shares are tendered, that the waiting period under the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, has expired or been terminated and other customary conditions.
The second step is a merger. If the offer is successful, Bloomberg will acquire any remaining shares of BNA common stock through the merger of a company created for the purpose of this transaction with and into BNA with BNA continuing as the surviving corporation and becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bloomberg.
If Bloomberg acquires at least 90% of the outstanding Class A Shares in the tender offer, it will be able to effect the merger under the short-form merger provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law immediately following closing of the Offer.
If Bloomberg doesn’t achieve 90% ownership through the tender offer, Bloomberg would still own sufficient Class A Shares, without the vote of any other holders of Class A Shares, to satisfy the stockholder approval requirement to approve the Merger. In that case, the Merger will close following the mailing of the requisite information statement to BNA stockholders.

11. When is the transaction expected to close?

Bloomberg anticipates that the transaction will close later in 2011, subject to regulatory approvals and successful completion of the Offer and Merger.

12. Are there potential anti-trust concerns? What if any regulators are involved?

The offer may not close unless pre-merger notification and report forms have been filed with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission and certain waiting period requirements have been satisfied.

13. How confident are Bloomberg and BNA the transaction will go through?

Bloomberg expects that the offer will be successful and that the Merger will be consummated in a reasonable period of time thereafter. Bloomberg believes it is paying a premium for the shares of BNA and believes the BNA stockholders will determine to sell their shares and support the transaction.
Background

14. What is BNA?

BNA was founded in 1929 and has become a trusted information source for labor, tax, and regulatory lawyers as well as for other accounting, government, and academic professionals. BNA’s portfolio of approximately 250 subscription-based information products includes category leaders such as Daily Labor Report, Daily Tax Report, Labor & Employment Law Library, and Tax Management Portfolios. The Company counts amongst its customers the250 largest law firms, 98% of the top 100 accounting firms, 97% of Fortune 500 companies, and a substantial number of large and mid-sized law firms. In law firms alone, BNA serves over 5,500 firms with an estimated 205,000 attorneys. BNA reported revenue of $331 million in 2010. BNA is completely employee-owned, and is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, where most of its 1,465 employees are located.

15. What is Bloomberg?

Bloomberg, a leading global business and financial news provider, 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 300,000 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 and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 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 13,600 people in 185 locations around the world.
The Offer has not yet commenced, and this communication is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation, an offer to purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell shares of the common stock of BNA. On the commencement date of the Offer, a tender offer statement on Schedule TO, including an offer to purchase, a letter of transmittal and related documents, will be filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The offer to purchase shares of BNA’s common stock will only be made pursuant to the offer to purchase, the letter of transmittal and related documents filed with such Schedule TO. INVESTORS AND BNA STOCKHOLDERS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO CAREFULLY READ THE TENDER OFFER STATEMENT (INCLUDING THE OFFER TO PURCHASE, THE LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL AND THE RELATED TENDER OFFER DOCUMENTS) AND THE RELATED SOLICITATION/RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT, AS WELL AS ANY AMENDMENTS THERETO AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. The tender offer statement will be filed with the SEC by Brass Acquisition Corp. and Bloomberg, and the solicitation/recommendation statement will be filed with the SEC by BNA. Investors and BNA stockholders may obtain a free copy of the tender offer statement, the solicitation/recommendation statement and other documents (when available) filed with the SEC at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. The tender offer statement and other documents filed by Brass Acquisition Corp. or Bloomberg may also be obtained free of charge by directing a request by mail to MacKenzie Partners, Inc. at 105 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016, by calling toll-free at +1 800-322-2885 or by email to tenderoffer@mackenziepartners.com.