Practical Law Company Being Acquired by Thomson Reuters

Twitter is a-buzz today with the announcement that Thomson Reuters is acquiring innovation darling of UK law, Practical Law Company.

According to the Thomson Reuters press release (Jan. 3, 2013):

Practical Law Company has more than 750 employees, with principal operations in London and New York, and will be part of the Legal business of Thomson Reuters. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PLC has been making an impact over the last couple of years in North America with its unique workflow software tools. This acquisition was rumoured over two years ago according to Gary Rodrigues in a Slaw post from December 2010.

Hat tip to James Mullan via Twitter.


  1. Gary P Rodrigues

    As I noted in my previous post, in the absence or organic growth and innovation, mergers and acquisitions are seen as “essential both for survival and success for the major legal publishers in today’s market conditions.”

    Mr. Dow indicated in a comment to the same post that his company planned “to remain an independent company”. Does the sale mean that growth and innovation at the Practical Law Company has now reached a plateau and that the time has come to cash in? Perhaps.

  2. Gary,

    While this may be an issue of cashing in for the PLC folks, I see this more of an issue of workflow, and its a great move by TR. Workflow > Click Data. Without click data, the rate at which you improve is much slower. Every acquisition we see now will be about capturing, and from what I understand about PLC, they were well positioned for it.

  3. Predicted and predictable but I’ve heard suggestions from some quarters that a business like Thomson Reuters may be of a character that will destroy the innovative spirit of PLC in order to make it fit with the parent company. I hope that is not the case.

    I wonder also how pleased the people at Bloomsbury Professional are to find them selves with a new bedfellow (or potential acquirer)?