Its been described as a legal-only version of LinkedIn and as a non-proprietary version of LexisNexis Counsel Connect. The UK Commerce & Industry Group have been using it since December and today it – the new Lexwiser service – gets its formal launch in the UK…

Today Lexwiser announces the official launch of a new online workspace designed exclusively for lawyers. Developed in direct consultation with practicing lawyers from around the world, Lexwiser marks the birth of a truly independent legal market by enabling direct and instant lawyer-to-lawyer collaboration. Based in France, Lexwiser has been developed to enable inhouse counsel to easily contact and collaborate with other lawyers with expertise in their industry. Problem solving, finding experts in the right field, sharing information, and finding answers to specific questions are all current benefits of the service. Private practice lawyers can also use Lexwiser to present themselves to inhouse counsel seeking expertise in their area of law, as well as use it as an informational tool in order to develop their own sector knowledge.

Membership is organised by area of law and by industry into one hundred and forty distinct communities (140).  Inhouse counsel are given access to all communities within their industry while private practice lawyers may choose up to four communities in which to participate.  This ensures that only lawyers who share the same area of interest or specialism may work and share information together. 

1.    INDUSTRY SECTOR
1.    Banking and Finance
2.    Construction and Real Estate
3.    Consumer
4.    Health
5.    Industry
6.    Media and Entertainment
7.    Natural Resources
8.    Retail
9.    Services
10.  Technology
11.  Telecommunications
12.  Transportation
13.  Utilities
14.  Other Services

AREAS OF LAW (in each sector)
a.    Public and Administration
b.    Competition
c.    Corporate
d.    Environment
e.    Family
f.     Human Rights
g.    Intellectual Property
h.    Labor
i.     Litigation and ADR
j.    Tax

Each community comes complete with practical workflow tools, a live database of industry expertise and a selection of bolt-on applications, including specialist case-management tools, planned for roll-out throughout 2010.

Membership is continually monitored to ensure that only qualified lawyers use the service, which helps to secure the integrity of the information held upon Lexwiser while also freeing the workspace from non-lawyers, companies and other third-parties wishing to advertise their services.  Access to Lexwiser is free to all inhouse counsel. Private practice lawyers can choose from one of two annual prepay packages, to be redeemed against the number of applications they use throughout the year.

Eric Eck, Director of Lexwiser, explains the pricing policy “Our pricing model enables us to offer a number of unique benefits to users.  Firstly it allows us to remain entirely independent; there are no giant law firms or legal publishing houses pushing their own agendas behind Lexwiser, and there never will be. Secondly, we are able to offer a workspace totally free of advertising, sponsorships and spam, meaning that everything you see, read and do on Lexwiser is totally dedicated to legal industry collaboration and workflow, and not designed to sell you things that you don’t need.

“To put the prices into perspective, it is far more cost effective than other, more classical, marketing methods such as taking inhouse counsel to lunch or leisure events, or advertising in trade journals. A one year package, quite simply, provides access to whole communities of industry counsel, with requirements in the member’s area of expertise, and we view that as pretty good value for money.”

To sign-in or request an invitation to join Lexwiser please visit www.lexwiser.com or for more information go to http://corporate.lexwiser.com