Is this the start of a new force in legal publishing? The law publishing department at the Oxford University Press (OUP) has launched 3 new online services:
 
Oxford Reports on International Lawwww.oup.com/online/oril/
Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Lawwww.oup.com/online/law/epil/
Investment Claimswww.oup.com/online/ic/
 
The publisher says “This is just the beginning of our commitment to offering law resources to practitioners and scholars in multiple formats” – which sounds like they are muscling into the territory that has traditionally been dominated by the likes of Thomson/Sweet & Maxwell/WestLaw and LexisNexis Butterworths.

Although OUP has a reputation for being a primarily academic press – they have just published Richard Susskind's new book The End Of Lawyers – Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services* – OUP has been publishing in the practitioner sector since 2001 and the acquisition of Blackstone Press. According to Alison Bowker, head of marketing (medicine & law) “It is now a core part of our law publishing programme, and in 2009 we’ll publish in the region of 100 new works and new editions. Our approach is to bring the values of OUP as a scholarly publisher – quality, fair-dealing, and partnership – to the practitioner sector. We focus on subject areas where opportunities exist for the development (and sometimes acquisition) of current works and the creation of new ones, whether in book, looseleaf, journal or online form. Our lists in IP and competition law, banking and finance, arbitration and public international law are all gaining strong reputations, and of course our stable contains some of the key Blackstone copyrights and series.”
 
Bowker adds that she would be grateful to hear people's views and what they think of OUP as a practitioner publisher?

* One of the blurbs for Susskind's book says: “Susskind remains the only writer today who can put the future of lawyers and the legal professions on the agenda at the highest levels of government, the judiciary, the legal institutions, major corporations – and law firms.”