Legal Information Providers Merger Graphic

Earlier this week, I saw a report about Thomson closing Banks-Baldwin’s Cleveland office. That got me thinking about all the mergers that have taken place in the legal information world over time and, being of the USA Today Infographic Generation, I was hoping that there would be a visual representation out there of them, similar to Marshall Breeding’s ILS merger chart, so I could better understand what has happened.

There wasn’t.

So I made one.

This information is surprisingly hard to find.  I relied heavily on Ken Svengalis’ Legal Information Buyer’s Guide and the CRIV Publisher’s List (originally started by Rob Richards, who also helped point me in the right direction) to piece together the histories of these companies.  This is a beta release, meaning still a work in progress, meaning I hope there are not (but there probably are) some mistakes.  I hope to improve upon it in the future.  If you see any errors or additions that should be made, drop me a comment or email.

ETA: Greg Lambert has updated it to include more types of legal info providers AND it’s open in such a way that others can edit it.  Great job! Check it out.



  1. This is a great chart. ThomsonReuters would be the more accurage reflection of that name, rather than ThomsonWest. I keep a small chart of the “Big 3″ vendors and other kinds of purchases that they have made. It’s very rough – but provides me an overall picture of legal research, litigation support, and other services or software. I’m always hoping that it will come in handy in contract negotiation for the firm overall.

  2. Oh, good catch! I always call them Thomson West for some reason – can’t seem to break that habit.

  3. A really great chart. Another one was Barclays Law Publishers, founded in 1856. It was absorbed by the Thompson/Reuters collective in 1995 into the Bancroft-Whitney Division.

  4. Very nice! It would be interesting to see who owns the business/company research resources these days and compare. Not that I’m suggesting more work for you. It’s just that it occurred to me while I was looking at this that those same three companies own a large share of those as well.

  5. Thanks! Yeah, i think I’d like to expand it that way, as well as include all the other information divisions they own that play to different library markets.

  6. Wow – it is beautiful, well done. I have often wondered how to keep track of all these mergers etc. Would you be able to add LexisNexis sometime too? Starting to look like monopolies are emerging.

  7. Hi. If you include the M&A in the rest of the Commonwealth, i.e. Australia & NZ, Canada, South Africa, as well as developing markets., the chart will get much bigger.

  8. Sara,

    I think you should add West’s buy out of BarBri in the early 2000s after they tried to run their own bar review courses that failed miserably.

  9. Very nice, it might figure into useful landscape strategizing in particular awareness with respect to fiscal takeover tactics, though it would need a bit of tweaking .. congrats !!

  10. Your graph of mergers is elegant, meaning beautiful as well as useful.

    Do you have or could you refer me to graphics on mergers of providers of scientific publications?

    I am currently researching constraints on access and thier implications.


    Mary Rushfield, MA, MLIS
    Master’s Candidate
    New York University
    Dept of Social & Cultural Analysis
    20 Cooper Square, FL4
    New York, NY 10003
    tel 347 614 7011

  11. Thanks! Unfortunately, I don’t have that. I only really made this because I couldn’t find it anywhere else.

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