In major legal-industry news, LexisNexis Legal & Professional today announced its acquisition of Ravel Law, the legal research, analytics and visualization platform that empowers users to contextualize and interpret large amounts of legal information to uncover valuable insights.
Rumors of the impending acquisition have been circulating for weeks. This morning, I spoke with Jeff Pfeifer, VP of product management for LexisNexis, and Dan Lewis, CEO of Ravel Law, who provided details of the acquisition.
Notably, the acquisition moves LexisNexis further in a direction it has been heading for a few years now of expanding its suite of legal analytics products. In addition to its own analytics products, LexisNexis MedMal Navigator and LexisNexis Verdict & Settlement Analyzer, LexisNexis last year acquired Intelligize and Lex Machina.
“This acquisition builds on investments we’ve been making to deliver deeper analysis for today’s lawyer,” Pfeifer said. “Our vision is to create the data-driven lawyer of the future. Daniel and I deeply share that same passion and deeply share that interest in driving new insights out of technology that were not previously available.”
Pfeifer said LexisNexis will be fully integrating Ravel Law’s judicial analytics, data visualization technology and unique case law PDF content from the Harvard Law Library into Lexis Litigation Profile Suite and Lexis Advance. Those first integrated offerings should come to market in early 2018, Pfeifer said.
After acquisition, Ravel Law’s analytics offerings will continue to expand and be fully integrated into Lexis Litigation Profile Suite, delivering new insights around judicial behavior that complement the product’s current expert witness intelligence, LexisNexis said.
Additionally, Ravel Law’s case law data visualization tool will be integrated into Lexis Advance, expanding the platform’s current visualization offerings.
“For our part, one of the things I’m most excited about is not to consider this a finish line for Ravel,” said Lewis, “but rather a next step, and through LexisNexis’s global reach to extend our reach to millions more people than we otherwise could.”
Since 2015, Ravel Law and Harvard Law School have been engaged in a joint project to digitize all U.S. case law. All of that case law content and PDF images of original case opinions will become part of the already expansive case law collection available from LexisNexis. Ravel had committed to maintain free and open access to that historical collection, and LexisNexis says it is committed to continuing that access.
“LexisNexis is truly leading the development of the field of Legal Analytics—through our content, tools, and engineering expertise,” said Jeff Pfeifer, vice president of product management at LexisNexis. “With the acquisition of Ravel Law, we’re gaining more than technology and content—we’re also gaining exceptionally talented people. The Ravel Law team has a proven track record of innovation, and we’re excited to have them on board.”
“The Ravel Law team is excited to join LexisNexis for many reasons, chief among them is that we share a vision for the role of technology in the practice of law in which innovative, highly effective and easy to use tools help lawyers make data driven decisions,” said Daniel Lewis, CEO of Ravel Law. “We look forward to bringing our expertise and technology to that effort at LexisNexis.”
Ravel Law and its team will continue to be based in San Francisco. All Ravel Law employees have been offered positions to remain with the company.
I will have more on this later.