Thomson Reuters’ deal to purchase Casetext has driven the legal tech hype cycle to a fever pitch. Don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of Casetext. I have been an admirer for over a decade. More than once I have watched them not just beat the market but redirect the market and invent whole new categories of legal research products. I have spent a lot of time over the past few years musing about innovation, new product categories and market advantage.
When Casetext created the “brief analysis” tool CARA it was three years before even one of the largest legal information companies launched a brief analyzer and it was four years before all three
; Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis and Bloomberg Law had a brief analyzer on the market.
Note: vLex (Fastcase) launched the Vincent “brief checker” in the international market in 2018., two years after the launch of CARA. The above graphic was focused on the U. S. market.
Similarly, with Compose Casetext introduced “parallel search” and a new category of concept searching was born. Or as Casetext co-founder Pablo Arredondo likes to exclaim “parallel search freed lawyers from the prison of the keyword.” This time The market responded in less than two years. LexisNexis launched “Fact and issue Finder” which leveraged extractive AI technology built on a highly tailored version of Google’s BERT to present insights to researchers. Westlaw responded with Westlaw Precision built with a large editorial team to help with machine learning. The response time in the market is growing shorter.
Industry Insiders’ Perspectives I have spoken to several legal tech industry insiders and the consensus seems to be that within 6 to 12 months Thomson Reuters competitors Lexis, Bloomberg Law, and vLex (formerly Fastcase) are likely to have developed capabilities which can compete with CoCounsel. No one is starting from scratch. According to Ed Walters, Chief Strategy Officer at vLex, “we already have global AI products in the labs. We don’t release vaporware, but these products are coming no matter who owns Casetext.”Continue Reading Thomson Reuters $650M Bet on Casetext CoCounsel. Did They Buy Market Dominance or Just Time?