Last updated
Type Subsidiary
Headquarters Helmsley Building, New York City [1]
United States
ProductsCase law, articles, publications, news, court documents, lawyer marketing, law practice management tools, media monitoring tools, supply management tools, sales intelligence solutions, and market intelligence tools
Number of employees
10,000 [2]
Parent RELX
Website Lexisnexis.com

LexisNexis is a corporation that sells data mining platforms through online portals, computer-assisted legal research (CALR) and information about consumers around the world. [3] [4] [ clarification needed ] During the 1970s, LexisNexis began to make legal and journalistic documents more accessible electronically. [5] As of 2006, the company had the world's largest electronic database for legal and public-records–related information. [6]



LexisNexis office in Markham, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, Canada LexisNexis.JPG
LexisNexis office in Markham, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

LexisNexis was founded based on ideas developed by John Horty. Horty worked in comparative hospital law at the University of Pittsburgh Health Law Center. While working, Horty realized hospital laws varied from state to state and built a CALR computer database to track them. [7] [8] The Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) developed its own CALR system based on Horty's work in 1965. [9] In 1967, the OSBA signed a contract with Data Corporation, a local defense contractor, to build the CALR based on the OSBA's specifications. [9] Data Corp built a database management system for OSBA using Data Central. [10]

In 1968, paper manufacturer Mead Corporation purchased Data Corporation for $6 million. [11] Mead hired the Arthur D. Little consulting firm to study the business possibilities for the Data Central technology. [11] Little sent a team of consultants, including H. Donald Wilson and Jerome Rubin, a practicing lawyer. [12] [13] The consultants found that a database system for the legal market had the potential to be profitable. [12] [14] However, the technology needed to be improved, as searches took up to five hours to complete if more than one user was online, and its original terminals were Teletypes with slow transmission rates of 10 characters per second. [14] The original terminals were replaced with CRT text terminals in 1970. [14] The system also had quality control issues; Rubin later recalled that its data was “unacceptably dirty”. [15]


In February 1970, Mead reorganized Data Corporation’s Information Systems Division into a new Mead subsidiary called Mead Data Central (MDC). [16] Wilson and Rubin were installed as president and vice president respectively. [16] A year later, Mead bought out the OSBA's interests in the Ohio project. [16]

Wilson was reluctant to abandon the OBAR/Data Central work to date and start over. [17] In September 1971, Mead's management made Wilson vice chairman of the board, a nonoperational role, and promoted Rubin to president of MDC. [16] Rubin pushed the legacy Data Central technology back to Mead Corporation. [16] Under a newly organized division, Mead Technical Laboratories, Data Central continued to operate as a service bureau for nonlegal applications until 1980. [18]

After separating the system from Data Central, Rubin hired a team to build a new information service dedicated to legal research. [19] He created a new name for the system: LEXIS, from “lex,” the Latin word for law, and “IS” for “information service.” [17] After several iterations, the functional and performance specifications were finalized by Rubin and executive vice president Bob Bennett in 1972. [19] System designer Edward Gottsman supervised the implementation of the specifications as working computer code. [19] At the same time, Rubin and Bennett coordinated the keyboarding of the legal materials to be provided through LEXIS, [20] and designed a business plan, marketing strategy, and training program. [19] MDC's corporate headquarters were moved to New York City, while the data center stayed in Dayton, Ohio. [20]

Lexis was the first information service to directly serve end users. To persuade American lawyers to use LEXIS, MDC targeted them with marketing, sales, and training campaigns. [21]

On April 2, 1973, MDC publicly launched LEXIS at a press conference in New York City, with libraries of New York and Ohio case law, as well as a library of federal tax materials. [22] By the end of that year, the LEXIS database had reached two billion characters in size and had added the entire United States Code, as well as the United States Reports from 1938 through 1973. [20]

By 1974, LEXIS was running on an IBM 370/155 computer in Ohio, supported by a set of IBM 3330 disk storage units which could store up to about 4 billion characters. [23] Its communications processor could handle 62 terminals simultaneously with transmission speed at 120 characters per second per user. [23] On this platform, LEXIS was able to execute over 90% of searches within less than five seconds. [23] Over 100 text terminals had been deployed to various legal offices and there were already over 4,000 trained LEXIS users. [23]

By 1975, the LEXIS database had grown to 5 billion characters and could handle up to 200 terminals simultaneously. [23] By 1976, the LEXIS database included case law from six states, plus federal materials. [23] MDC turned a profit for the first time in 1977. [23]

In 1980, the NEXIS service was added, providing journalists with a searchable database of news articles. [24]

The old LexisNexis logo LexisNexis logo.png
The old LexisNexis logo


In September 1981, Rubin, Bennett and Gottsman left Mead Data Central. [25] [26]

When Toyota launched the Lexus line of luxury vehicles in 1987, Mead Data Central sued for trademark infringement on the grounds that consumers would confuse "Lexus" with "Lexis". A market research survey asked consumers to identify the spoken word "Lexis". Survey results showed that a nominal number of people thought of the computerized legal search system and a similarly small number thought of Toyota's luxury car division. A judge ruled against Toyota, and the company appealed the decision. [27] [28] Mead lost on appeal in 1989 when the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit held that there was little chance of consumer confusion. [29]

In 1988, Mead acquired the Michie Company, a legal publisher, from Macmillan. [30]


In December 1994, Mead sold the LexisNexis system to Reed Elsevier (now RELX) for $1.5 billion. [31] The U.S. state of Illinois subsequently charged Mead income tax and penalties for the sale of LexisNexis. [32] Mead paid the tax but sued for a refund in an Illinois state court. [32] On April 15, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Mead that the Illinois courts had incorrectly applied the Court's precedents on whether Illinois could constitutionally apply its income tax to Mead, an out-of-state, Ohio-based corporation. [32] [33] [34] The Court reversed the decision and remanded the case to the lower courts so they could apply the correct test and determine whether Mead and Lexis were a "unitary" business. [32] [34]

In 1997, LexisNexis acquired 52 legal titles, including the Lawyers' Edition, owned by the Thomson Corporation. Thomson was required to sell the titles as a condition of acquiring competing publisher West. [35] [36]

In 1998, Reed Elsevier acquired Shepard's Citations and made it part of LexisNexis. [37] Before electronic citators like Westlaw's KeyCite appeared, Shepard's was the only legal citation service which attempted to provide comprehensive coverage of American law. [38]


In March 2000, Hans Gieskes stepped down as President and CEO. [39] He was replaced by Crispin Davis. [39] In November 2000, LexisNexis announced Veracity, a web distribution service for articles. [40]

In February 2005, LexisNexis began offering LexisNexis AlaCarte, a service that allowed users to search the database for free and only purchase the articles they needed, rather than paying for a monthly subscription. [41] In spring 2005, LexisNexis announced that a data breach had occurred and the information of more than 300,000 clients may have been compromised. [42] LexisNexis offered identity theft protection Equifax Consumer Services to affect customers. [43]

In 2009, another data breach occurred at LexisNexis and affected 30,000 people. [44] The personal information of three hundred people were used in crimes across the United States. [44] LexisNexis offered affected customers a free year of credit monitoring by ConsumerInfo.com. [44]

In 2016, LexisNexis announced plans to move jobs from Dayton to North Carolina. [45]

In February 2020, LexisNexis transitioned its database services to the Amazon Web Services cloud architecture, and shut down its legacy mainframes and servers. [46]


In 2000, LexisNexis purchased RiskWise, a St. Cloud, Minnesota company. [47] In 2001, LexisNexis acquired CourtLink, a company that provides electronic-access services for legal matters. [48] In 2002, it acquired the Canadian research database company, Quicklaw. [49] Also in 2002, LexisNexis acquired the Ohio legal publisher, Anderson Publishing. [50] [51]

In 2004, LexisNexis acquired Data.TXT, a developer of legal practice management software. [52] In February 2008, Reed Elsevier purchased data aggregator ChoicePoint (previous NYSE ticker symbol CPS) in a cash deal for US$3.6 billion. [53] ChoicePoint was integrated with LexisNexis and Reed Elsevier's analytics group to create LexisNexis Risk Solutions. [53] [54]

In 2013, LexisNexis and Reed Elsevier Properties SA, acquired the publishing brands and businesses of Sheshunoff and A.S. Pratt from Thompson Media Group. [55] [56] Sheshunoff Information Services and A.S. Pratt are print and electronic publishing companies that provide information to financial and legal professionals in the banking industry, as well as online training and tools for financial institutions. [55] [56]

In November 2014, LexisNexis Risk Solutions bought Health Market Science (HMS), a supplier of data about US healthcare professionals. [57] In 2016, LexisNexis Risk Solutions acquired the Crash and Project business of Appriss. [58]

Commercial products

LexisNexis services are delivered via two websites that require separate paid subscriptions. [59]

In 2000, Lexis began building a library of briefs and motions. [60] In addition to this, Lexis also has libraries of statutes, case judgments and opinions for jurisdictions such as France, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa and the United Kingdom as well as databases of law review and legal journal articles for countries for which materials are available.

Previously, LexisNexis had a stripped-down free version (known as LexisOne) but this has been discontinued and replaced by Lexis Communities, [61] which provides news and blogs across a variety of legal areas.

Time Matters is a LexisNexis-branded software offering. Lexis for Microsoft Office [62] is a LexisNexis-branded software offering.

In France, the UK and Australia, LexisNexis publishes books, magazines and journals, both in hard copy and online. Titles include Taxation Magazine , Lawyers Weekly and La Semaine Juridique.

LexisNexis UK

The organization that eventually became LexisNexis UK was founded in 1818 by Henry Butterworth (1786–1860). [63] He was a pupil at King Henry VIII School, Coventry. After leaving Coventry he was apprenticed to and, for some time, worked for his uncle Joseph Butterworth, the great law bookseller of Fleet Street. In 1818, however, disagreement between them as to the terms of partnership made Henry set up on his own account at the corner of Middle Temple Gate (7 Fleet Street), where he became the well-known Queen's Law Bookseller.

Butterworths was acquired by International Publishing Corporation in 1965; IPC was acquired by the Reed Group in 1970. [64] Heinemann Professional Publishing was merged with Butterworths Scientific in 1990 to form Butterworth-Heinemann. [65] The Butterworths publishing business is now owned and operated in the UK by Reed Elsevier (UK) Ltd, a company in the Reed Elsevier Group. Publications continue to be produced by RELX (UK) Ltd using the "LexisNexis", "Butterworths" and "Tolley" trade marks. Such publications include Halsbury's Laws of England and the All England Law Reports , amongst others.

The Butterworths name is also used to publish works in many countries such as Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

LexisNexis also produces a range of software, services and products which are designed to support the practice of the legal profession. For example, case management systems, customer relationship management systems ("CRMs") and proofreading tools for Microsoft Office. [63]

Other products

InterAction is a customer relationship management system designed specifically for professional services firms such as accountancy and legal firms. [66] [67]

Business Insight Solutions offers news and business content and market intelligence tools. [68] [69] It is a global provider of news and business information and market intelligence tools for professionals in risk management, corporate, political, media, and academic markets. [70]

Criticism and controversies

Collaboration with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

In November 2019, legal scholars and human rights activists called on LexisNexis to cease work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because their work directly contributes to the deportation of undocumented migrants. [71]


Pursuant to instructions from Chinese authorities, in 2017 LexisNexis withdrew Nexis and LexisNexis Academic from China. [72]

Awards and recognition

See also

Related Research Articles

LexisNexis Risk Solutions is a global data and analytics company that provides data and technology services, analytics, predictive insights and fraud prevention for a wide range of industries. It is headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia and has offices throughout the U.S. and in Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Ireland, Israel, Philippines and the U.K. The company’s customers include businesses within the insurance, financial services, healthcare and corporate sectors as well as the local, state and federal government, law enforcement and public safety.

Wexis is a humorous portmanteau used to refer to the alleged duopoly of publishing conglomerates that dominate the U.S. legal information services industry – namely, West Publishing and LexisNexis.

MeadWestvaco Corporation was an American packaging company based in Richmond, Virginia. It had approximately 23,000 employees. In February 2006, it moved its corporate headquarters to Richmond. In March 2008, the company announced a change to start using "MWV" as its brand, but the legal name of the company remained MeadWestvaco.

RELX is a British multinational information and analytics company headquartered in London, England. Its businesses provide scientific, technical and medical information and analytics; legal information and analytics; decision-making tools; and organise exhibitions. It operates in 40 countries and serves customers in over 180 nations. It was previously known as Reed Elsevier, and came into being in 1992 as a result of the merger of Reed International, a British trade book and magazine publisher, and Elsevier, a Netherlands-based scientific publisher.

Westlaw Online legal research service

Westlaw is an online legal research service and proprietary database for lawyers and legal professionals available in over 60 countries. Information resources on Westlaw include more than 40,000 databases of case law, state and federal statutes, administrative codes, newspaper and magazine articles, public records, law journals, law reviews, treatises, legal forms and other information resources.

The Technical Information Project (TIP) was an early database project. TIP included over 25,000 records and was used to explore bibliographic coupling between works.

Martindale-Hubbell US legal information services company

Martindale-Hubbell is an information services company to the legal profession that was founded in 1868. The company publishes the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which provides background information on lawyers and law firms in the United States and other countries. It also published the Martindale Hubbell Law Digest, a summary of laws around the world. Martindale-Hubbell is owned by consumer website company Internet Brands.

Hank Asher

Hank Asher was a businessman best known as "the father of data fusion." With a reported fortune of around US$500 million earned as the founder of several data fusion / data mining companies that compile information about companies, individuals and their interrelationships from thousands of different electronic databases. "He's kind of a legend" among those who use investigative data tools, says Greg Lambert, a legal information specialist.

Time Matters is practice management software, produced by PCLaw | Time Matters LLC. It differs from contact management software such as ACT! or GoldMine because in addition to contacts, it manages calendaring, email, documents, research, billing, accounting, and matters or projects. It integrates with a variety of other software products from both LexisNexis and other vendors. Some of these vendors are Quicken, Microsoft, Palm, Mozilla, Corel, and Adobe. Developed originally for law firms, Time Matters competes with Gavel, Amicus, Tabs, and other legal practice management products. It also may be used in conjunction with Document modelling and Document assembly software products like HotDocs and Deal Builder.

Shepard's Citations is a citator used in United States legal research that provides a list of all the authorities citing a particular case, statute, or other legal authority. The verb Shepardizing refers to the process of consulting Shepard's to see if a case has been overturned, reaffirmed, questioned, or cited by later cases. Although the name is trademarked, it is also used informally by legal professionals to describe citators in general—for example, Westlaw's similar electronic citator called KeyCite. Prior to the development of electronic citators like KeyCite during the 1990s, Shepard's was the only legal citation service that attempted to provide comprehensive coverage of U.S. law.

Butterworth–Heinemann is a British publishing company specialized in professional information and learning materials for higher education and professional training, in printed and electronic forms. It was formed in 1990 by the merger of Heinemann Professional Publishing and Butterworths Scientific, both subsidiaries of Reed International.

Robert M. Hayes American mathematician

Robert M. Hayes is Professor Emeritus and former dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (1974-1989), now the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). An expert on information systems, Hayes began his academic career in mathematics and went on to become a pioneer in the field of information science.


NELINET, Inc. was the not-for-profit membership cooperative of academic, public, school and special libraries and other information and cultural organizations in New England in the United States. It was formed as a program of the New England Board of Higher Education in 1966, and became independently incorporated in 1979. It merged into Lyrasis in 2009.

<i>Construction Law Journal</i>

Construction Law is a monthly English-language journal providing news and articles on the construction industry. The journal is written for the non-legal professional involved in contractual and other legal matters in the industry. The journal is owned by LexisNexis which is part of Reed Elsevier.

IBM's Automatic Language Translator was a machine translation system that converted Russian documents into English. It used an optical disc that stored 170,000 word-for-word and statement-for-statement translations and a custom computer to look them up at high speed. Built for the US Air Force's Foreign Technology Division, the AN/GSQ-16, as it was known to the Air Force, was primarily used to convert Soviet technical documents for distribution to western scientists. The translator was installed in 1959, dramatically upgraded in 1964, and was eventually replaced by a mainframe running SYSTRAN in 1970.

Thompson Media Group, LLC, originally established as Thompson Publishing Group, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Richard E. Thompson. Thompson Media Group is an American privately held media company that specializes in providing compliance, regulatory, and market information through its four operating units: Thompson Information Services, The Performance Institute & American Strategic Management Institute, AHC & BioWorld, and Sheshunoff Information Services, A.S. Pratt, & Alex Information. Thompson Media Group, LLC, is based in Washington, DC. Thompson Media Group LLC established their name during reorganization in 2011.

The Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents is a large collection of non-litigious legal forms and precedents published by LexisNexis UK.

Bloomberg Law online legal research service

Bloomberg Law is a subscription-based service that uses data analytics and artificial intelligence for online legal research. The service, which Bloomberg L.P. introduced in 2009, provides legal content, proprietary company information and news information to attorneys, law students, and other legal professionals. More specifically, this commercial legal and business technology platform integrates Bloomberg Law News with Bloomberg Industry Group's primary and secondary legal content and business development tools.

Tolley is a British publishing company that publishes reference books on tax.

<i>Programming Languages: History and Fundamentals</i> Early book on computer programming languages (1969)

Programming Languages: History and Fundamentals is a book about programming languages written by Jean E. Sammet. Published in 1969, the book gives an overview of the state of the art of programming in the late 1960s, and records the history of programming languages up to that time.


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Further reading