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Sorry Westlaw and Lexis – The Days of Passing Charges to Clients Are Numbered

3 Geeks – “Over the past 25+ years, the model of passing through the expense of online legal research to the client created a system where operating profits for the vendor were over 30%, and law firms felt immune to the total costs of using online research. Clients were paying the majority of the costs of online research, but had no voice in setting the price negotiated between firms and the vendors. Clients were told that online research created a more efficient way for lawyers to conduct research on their behalf. The idea presented to the client was that online research costs saved the lawyer time, and thus saved the client money in the end. Law firms and online legal research providers were so comfortable with this model, that many signed multi-year contracts where the vendor would build in automatic price increases of more than 10% a year.”

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