Analytics, meet content: LexisNexis acquires Lex Machina

In an acquisition that brings together cutting edge analytics with a trove of content, LexisNexis has acquired litigation data mining company Lex Machina, which through its Legal Analytics platform provides insights about judges, lawyers, parties and patents from IP litigation.

The Silicon Valley company, which says it has so far been inhibited from expanding its services due to a lack of content, delivers a software-as-a-service platform that helps lawyers predict the behaviours and outcomes of different legal strategies by mining, tagging and categorising millions of Federal court dockets and documents.

The technology allows lawyers to make strategic, data-driven decisions and develop litigation strategies using competitive intelligence on opposing parties and counsel, track records and key decisions by presiding judges, as well as reveal trends by case outcomes.

A statement published in the US yesterday (23 November) said: “The combination of the LexisNexis technology and content with the unique capabilities of Lex Machina creates a scalable infrastructure to build next generation Legal Analytics solutions across a wide variety of practice areas. Furthermore, integrating analytic capabilities into existing LexisNexis solutions, such as Lexis Advance, will bring new decision-insights to lawyers.”

Court documents from LexisNexis CourtLink will be used as a resource for Lex Machina, which will also be used to enhance LexisNexis MedMal Navigator and LexisNexis Verdict & Settlement Analyzer.

The Lex Machina Legal Analytics platform is used by 45 of the Top 100 US IP law firms, as well as multi-national companies such as eBay, Google, IBM, AstraZeneca and Nike.

“Data and analytics are integral to the future of the practice of law and the addition of Lex Machina solidifies the LexisNexis position as a leader in providing analytic decision tools for legal professionals,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, managing director of North American Research Solutions at LexisNexis. “We are excited to welcome a company at the forefront of innovation, and we plan to leverage our extensive resources to bring the benefits of Legal Analytics to lawyers everywhere.”

Josh Becker, CEO of Lex Machina said: “We’re proud to have brought transparency to IP litigation with Legal Analytics. The only thing inhibiting our entry into other areas of the law is access to content.

“By joining the LexisNexis family, we will accelerate the introduction of Legal Analytics to more practice areas and enhance insights for our customers with the advanced technology of the Lexis Advance platform.”

In order to protect the leadership and culture at Lex Machina, the company will operate as a stand-alone entity within the North American Research Solutions group within LexisNexis Legal & Professional.

The deal has some parallels with Thomson Reuters’ collaboration with IBM Watson announced in October. Writing for Legal IT Insider, Michael Mills, co-founder and chief strategy officer for Neota Logic wrote: “Although nothing has been said publicly about TR’s specific plans for Watson, one can speculate that the vast trove of legal content in Westlaw and the army of subject matters experts in the company could together do impressive things to improve legal research. Watson needs big data and training, at least initially by people: TR has both.”

The acquisition will also resonate with law firms and in-house legal teams that have been developing a relationship with document automation supplier Business Integrity, which was acquired at the start of October by Thomson Reuters.

Speaking to Legal IT Insider at the time of that acquisition, one IT head at an international firm said: “It’s interesting that Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis are starting to buy these startups – it’s not a coincidence. I see them going one at a time.”