We Love Robert McKay. His Articles About The Legal Publishing Industry Make Us Seem Eternal Optimists !

Robert writes for SLAW…

The Law Publishing Business Is Finished……

Here’s his intro (below) and to be honest it’s pretty hard to fault any of his argument(s).

We’ve been saying for years that the law firms could do a better job  than the publishers. In the main they’ve not taken up the challenge so now technology companies , law societies, associations and the like are the ones that try to filter out new legal information and relevant commentary.

Robert details his view of the major suppliers (note he doesn’t call them publishers) and we can’t fault any of his observations.

Here at HOB we feel these organizations will always be failed technology companies, always using their time honored tradition of using acquisition to compete with the “other”.

They operate a model that might keep them existing customers but won’t gain them new ones and especially for new firms in nascent industries such as online gaming, cannabis etc.

Yes these sectors may be fringe now but what happens to the large content companies in 5-7 years time when all the major firms have re-merged consolidating the top end of the market into a small core of firms , when government cuts really bite into information provision in the public sector and  new players on the block don’t even consider  applying any part of their knowledge budget to these databases.

Lex Machina may offset many of these issues for LN if they can move away from their current modus operandi, but can this leopard change its spots quick enough.


Delusion only lasts for so long but at a certain point all the indicators cannot be ignored; law publishing, as a business in its own right has run its course; it’s pretty much over, if not necessarily, according to the caselaw, in the toilet.

Previously I suggested a likely scenario envisaged in the not too-distant future. If accurate, I predicted that by that time professional publishing will have become no longer a business in its own right. Rather it may evolve into an increasingly not-for-profit skillset within larger media entities that simply wish to maintain overall relationships with and profits from certain market sectors, such as lawyers, accountants and tax advisers. That many, if not all the relevant component competences have already been outsourced to the Philippines and thereabouts, with predictable results, is a strong indicator of what will be the next steps. In my view the time has arrived, more or less. I would reiterate the point that there is little to indicate that there is no longer a need and demand for professional information that is published in current and future media but rather that, with notable exceptions, these activities have reached a point at which they are no longer businesses but rather are departmental functions.

Full article and links at…..