LexisNexis is a corporation providing computer-assisted legal research (CALR) as well as business research and risk management services.[2][3] During the 1970s, LexisNexis pioneered the electronic accessibility of legal and journalistic documents.[4] As of 2006, the company has the world's largest electronic database for legal and public-records related information.[5]

HeadquartersHelmsley 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
ParentRELX Group


LexisNexis is owned by RELX Group (formerly known as Reed Elsevier).[6]

The story of LexisNexis starts in western Pennsylvania in 1956, when attorney John Horty began to explore the use of CALR technology in support of his work on comparative hospital law at the University of Pittsburgh Health Law Center.[7] In 1965, Horty's pioneering work inspired the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) to develop its own separate CALR system, Ohio Bar Automated Research (OBAR).[8] In 1967, the OSBA signed a contract with Data Corporation, a local defense contractor, to build OBAR based on the OSBA's written specifications.[8] Data proceeded to implement OBAR on Data Central, an interactive full-text search system originally developed in 1964 as Recon Central to help U.S. Air Force intelligence analysts search text summaries of the contents of aerial and satellite reconnaissance photographs.[9]

In 1968, paper manufacturer Mead Corporation purchased Data Corporation for $6 million to gain control of its inkjet printing technology.[10] Mead hired the Arthur D. Little firm to study the business possibilities for the Data Central technology.[10] Arthur D. Little dispatched a team of consultants to Ohio led by H. Donald Wilson.[11] Mead asked for a practicing lawyer on the team, so the team included Jerome Rubin, a Harvard-trained attorney with 20 years of experience.[12] The resulting study concluded that the nonlegal market was nonexistent, the legal market had potential, and OBAR needed to be rebuilt to profitably exploit that market.[12] At the time, OBAR searches often took up to five hours to complete if more than one user was online, and its original terminals (replaced with CRT text terminals in 1970) were noisy Teletypes with slow transmission rates of 10 characters per second.[13] OBAR also had quality control issues; Rubin later recalled that its data was “unacceptably dirty.”[14]

In February 1970, Mead reorganized Data Corporation’s Information Systems Division into a new Mead subsidiary called Mead Data Central (MDC).[12] Wilson and Rubin, respectively, were installed as president and vice president.[12] A year later, Mead bought out the OSBA's interests in the OBAR project, and OBAR disappears from the historical record after that point.[12]

Wilson was reluctant to implement his own study's recommendation to abandon the OBAR/Data Central work to date and start over.[15] In September 1971, Mead relegated Wilson to vice chairman of the board (i.e., a nonoperational role) and elevated Rubin to president of MDC.[12] Rubin promptly pushed the legacy Data Central technology back to Mead Corporation.[12] Under a newly organized division, Mead Technical Laboratories, Data Central continued to operate as a service bureau for nonlegal applications until 1980.[16]

With that out of the way, Rubin hired a new team to build from scratch an entirely new information service dedicated exclusively to legal research.[14] He coined a new name: LEXIS, from “lex,” the Latin word for law, and “IS” for “information service.”[15] After several iterations, the original functional and performance specifications were finalized by Rubin and executive vice president Bob Bennett by the late summer of 1972.[14] System designer Edward Gottsman supervised the implementation of the specifications as working computer code.[14] At the same time, Rubin and Bennett also orchestrated the necessary keyboarding of the legal materials to be provided through LEXIS,[17] and designed a business plan, marketing strategy, and training program.[14] MDC's corporate headquarters were moved to New York City, while the data center stayed in Dayton, Ohio.[17]

According to Trudi Bellardo Hahn and Charles P. Bourne, LEXIS was the first of the early information services to actually realize the vision of a future in which large populations of end users would directly interact with computer databases, rather than going through professional intermediaries like librarians.[18] Other early information services in the 1970s crashed into financial, structural, and technological constraints and were forced to retreat to the professional intermediary model until the early 1990s.[18] Rubin later explained that they were trying “to crack the librarian barrier. Our goal was to get a LEXIS terminal on every lawyer’s desk.”[18] To persuade American lawyers to use LEXIS (at a time when computer literacy was rare), MDC targeted them with aggressive marketing, sales, and training campaigns.[18]

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 separate library of federal tax materials.[19] 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.[17]

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.[20] Its communications processor could handle 62 terminals simultaneously with transmission speed at 120 characters per second per user.[20] On this platform, LEXIS was able to execute over 90% of searches within less than five seconds.[20] Over 100 text terminals had been deployed to various legal offices (i.e., law firms and government agencies) and there were already over 4,000 trained LEXIS users.[20]

By 1975, the LEXIS database had grown to 5 billion characters and it could handle up to 200 terminals simultaneously.[20] By 1976, the LEXIS database included case law from six states, plus various federal materials.[20] MDC turned a profit for the first time in 1977.[20]

In 1980, LEXIS completed its hand-keyed electronic database of all extant U.S. federal and state cases. The NEXIS service, added that same year, provided journalists with a searchable database of news articles.

In September 1981, Rubin and several of his allies (including Bennett and Gottsman) left Mead Data Central to pursue other opportunities.[20]

When Toyota launched the Lexus line of luxury vehicles in 1987, Mead Data Central sued for trademark infringement on the grounds that consumers of upscale products (such as lawyers) 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; a similarly small number thought of Toyota's luxury car division.[21] A judge ruled against Toyota, and the company appealed the decision.[22][23] Mead lost on appeal in 1989 when the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit held that there was little chance of consumer confusion.[24] Today, the two companies have an amicable business relationship, and in 2002 implemented a joint promotion called "Win a Lexus on Lexis!"

In 1988, Mead acquired the Michie Company, a legal publisher, from Macmillan.[25]

In December 1994, Mead sold the LexisNexis system to Reed Elsevier for $1.5 billion. The U.S. state of Illinois subsequently audited Mead's income tax returns and charged Mead an additional $4 million in income tax and penalties for the sale of LexisNexis; Mead paid the tax under protest, then sued for a refund in an Illinois state court. 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.[26] The Court reversed and remanded so that the lower courts could apply the correct test and determine whether Mead and Lexis were a "unitary" business.


In 2000, LexisNexis purchased RiskWise, a St. Cloud, Minnesota company.[27] Also in 2000, the company acquired the American legal publisher Matthew Bender from Times Mirror.[28] In 2002 it acquired a Canadian research database company, Quicklaw. In 2002, LexisNexis acquired the Ohio legal publisher Anderson Publishing.[29] In 2004, Reed Elsevier Group, parent company of LexisNexis, purchased Seisint, Inc, from founder Michael Brauser[30] of Boca Raton, Florida.[31] Seisint housed and operated the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX).

On March 9, 2005, LexisNexis announced the possible theft of personal information of some Seisint users. It was originally estimated that 32,000 users were affected,[32] but that number greatly increased to over 310,000.[33] Affected persons were provided with free fraud insurance and credit bureau reports for a year. However, no reports of identity theft or fraud were discovered to have stemmed from the security breach.[34]

In February 2008, Reed Elsevier purchased data aggregator ChoicePoint (previous NYSE ticker symbol CPS) in a cash deal for US$3.6 billion. The company was rebranded as LexisNexis Risk Solutions.[35]

In 2013, LexisNexis, together with Reed Elsevier Properties SA, acquired publishing brands and businesses of Sheshunoff and A.S. Pratt from Thompson Media Group.[36]

Sheshunoff Information Services, A.S. Pratt,[37] & Alex Information (collectively, SIS), founded in 1972,[38] is a print and electronic publishing company that provides information to financial and legal professionals in the banking industry, as well as online training and tools[39] for financial institutions. SIS was founded in 1971 by Alex and Gabrielle Sheshunoff. The company became recognized for providing guidance and analysis to the banking industry. In 1988 Thompson Media, a division of Thompson Reuters, acquired the company. Separately, the Sheshunoffs began publishing Alex Information products.

In 1995 SIS acquired A.S. Pratt & Sons. Established in 1933, Pratt's Letter is believed to be the second oldest continuously published newsletter in the country behind Kiplinger's Washington Letter, which began publication in 1923. A.S. Pratt is a provider of regulatory law and compliance work tools for the financial services industry.[40]

Gabrielle Sheshunoff returned in 2004 to unite the AlexInformation, Sheshunoff, and A.S. Pratt brands before it was sold to Thompson in 2008.[41]

In November 2014, LexisNexis Risk Solutions bought Health Market Science (HMS), a supplier of data about US healthcare professionals.[42]

Commercial products

LexisNexis services are delivered via two websites that require separate paid subscriptions.[43]

According to a company news release, LexisNexis hosts over 30 terabytes of content on its 11 mainframes (supported by over 300 midrange UNIX servers and nearly 1,000 Windows NT servers) at its main datacenter in Miamisburg, Ohio.[44] The Lexis database contains current United States statutes and laws and a large volume of published case opinions dating from the 1770s to the present, as well as publicly available unpublished case opinions from 1980 onward. In 2000, Lexis began building a library of briefs and motions.[45] 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,[46] which provides news and blogs across a variety of legal areas.

Time Matters is a LexisNexis-branded software offering. Lexis for Microsoft Office[47] 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).[48] 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.[49] Heinemann Professional Publishing was merged with Butterworths Scientific in 1990 to form Butterworth-Heinemann.[50] 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"), practice management systems, electronic disclosure systems, background checking and identity verification products.[48]

Other products

InterAction is a customer relationship management system designed specifically for professional services firms such as accountancy and legal firms.[51][52]

Business Insight Solutions offers news and business content and market intelligence tools.[53][54] 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.[55]

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.[56]


Pursuant to instructions from Chinese authorities, in 2017 LexisNexis withdrew Nexis and LexisNexis Academic from China.[57]

Awards and recognition

  • In 2010 and 2011 the Human Rights Campaign recognized LexisNexis as a company that treats its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees well.[58]
  • Training magazine inducted LexisNexis into its "Training Top 125" list between 2007 and 2010. In 2008 the company was 26th on the list, rising 6 places from the previous year, but in 2009 it was 71st place and by 2010 was 105th.[59]
  • In 2012, Nexis won the SIIA CODIE Award for Best Political Information Resource.[60]
  • In 2013, LexisNexis SmartMeeting won the Stevie Award for sales and customer service.[61]
  • In 2014, Nexis won the SIIA CODIE Award for Best Business Information Solution.[62]
  • LexisNexis made the 2014 Spend Matters Almanac List for 50 Providers to watch for in the procurement sector.[63]

See also


  1. "Legal".
  2. Vance, Ashlee (January 25, 2010). "Legal Sites Plan Revamps as Rivals Undercut Price". The New York Times.
  4. Miller, Stephen (January 12, 2012). "For Future Reference, a Pioneer in Online Reading". The Wall Street Journal.
  5. "Lexis-Nexis founder Don Wilson dies". UPI.com. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  6. Gargan, Edward A. (October 6, 1994). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Reed-Elsevier Building Big Presence in the U.S." The New York Times.
  7. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. pp. 229–230. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  8. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. pp. 235–236. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  9. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. pp. 239–245. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  10. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. pp. 245–246. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  11. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 250. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  12. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  13. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  14. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  15. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 300. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  16. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 304. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  17. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  18. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. pp. 302–303. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  19. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. pp. 300–301. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  20. Bourne, Charles P.; Hahn, Trudi Bellardo (2003). A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 303. ISBN 978-0-262-02538-6. Available through IEEE Xplore.
  21. A far greater number, although by no means a majority, thought of a television character; most thought of nothing at all.
  22. James Risen (January 4, 1989). "Distinctiveness of 'Lexis' Trademark Cited Toyota Can't Call Car 'Lexus,' Judge Says". Los Angeles Times.
  23. Mead Data Cent. v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. 702 F.Supp. 1031 (1988)
  24. Mead Data Cent., Inc. v. Toyota Motor Sales 875 F.2d 1026 (1989)
  25. "Macmillan Agrees to Sell Michie to Mead". Associated Press. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
  26. MeadWestvaco Corp. v. Illinois Dep't. of Revenue, 553 U.S. 16 (2008).
  28. Barringer, Felicity (1998-04-28). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Times Mirror Sells Legal Unit To British-Dutch Publisher". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  29. "Anderson Publishing - LexisNexis Company Information". Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  30. "Giuliani Firm Stood to Benefit From U.S. Deals, Florida Company's Files Show". The New York Times. December 14, 2007.
  32. "LexisNexis customer IDs stolen". CNN. 2005-03-09. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
  33. Silver, Caleb (2005-04-12). "LexisNexis acknowledges more ID theft". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
  34. Ellsworth, Abigail.Reference & User Services Quarterly; Chicago Vol. 41, Iss. 3,  (Spring 2002): 276-277.
  35. "LexisNexis Risk Solutions". LexisNexis.com. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  36. "Newsroom - Press Release". Lexisnexis.com. 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  37. "LexisNexis Store | Shop Law Books & Legal Research Guides". Aspratt.com. 2015-02-19. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  38. "LexisNexis® Sheshunoff®". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  39. "Sheshunoff | LexisNexis Store". Lexisnexis.com. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  40. "About Questia | Questia, Your Online Research Library". Archived from the original on 2014-06-11. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  41. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2014-03-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  42. Adam Rubenfire (13 November 2014). "LexisNexis to acquire Health Market Science". Modern Healthcare. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  43. Jennifer Peltz (June 4, 1999). "Surf your way into college". CNN.
  44. "Data Center Facts for LexisNexis". Lexisnexis.com. 2014-03-19. Archived from the original on 2006-11-10. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  45. "LexisNexis Litigation Services Enhanced with Briefs, Motions, Pleadings" (Press release). Business Network. February 28, 2006. Archived from the original on November 19, 2011.
  46. LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom. Lexisnexis.com (2013-08-05). Retrieved on 2013-08-27.
  47. "Lexis® for Microsoft Office® – Better Legal Drafting". LexisNexis.com. 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  48. "LexisNexis UK – Butterworths – Tolley Innovative Business, Legal Solutions". Lexisnexis.co.uk. 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  49. "FOB: Firms Out of Business". Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  50. Medlik, S. (2016-06-06). "Publisher's note". Managing Tourism. Elsevier. ISBN 978-1-4831-0372-3.
  51. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  52. "InterAction® LexisNexis®". interaction.com. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  53. "Welcome to LexisNexis® BIS User Resources". Lexisnexis.com. 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  54. "Welcome to LexisNexis® BIS User Resources | LexisNexis® Prospect Portfolio". Lexisnexis.com. 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  55. "News & Company Research Solutions". Lexisnexis.com. 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  57. Holton, Kate (August 27, 2017). Heavens, Louise (ed.). "LexisNexis withdrew two products from Chinese market". Reuters. Retrieved August 29, 2017. “Earlier this year LexisNexis Business Insight Solutions in China was asked to remove some content from its database,” LexisNexis said in a statement. “In March 2017, the company withdrew two products (Nexis and LexisNexis Academic) from the Chinese market.”
  58. For 2010 LGBT support recognition, see "Corporate Equality Index: A Report Card on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality in Corporate America-2010; Appendix A. Corporate Equality Index Ratings and Breakdown" (PDF). hrc.org. 2010. p. 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-04-05.
  59. "Training Top 125 2008: Rankings 26-35" (PDF). managesmarter.com. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 25, 2011.
  60. "Best Political Information Resource;". siia.net. 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-07-28.
  61. "STEVIE sales and customer service;". stevieawards.com. 2013.
  62. "Best Business Information Solution;". siia.net. 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-12-28.
  63. "Spend Matters Almanac 50 To Watch 2014;". spendmatters.com. 2014.

Further reading

  • Graham, Gordon (2006-07-31). From Trust to Takeover: Butterworths 1938–1967: A Publishing House in Transition. London: Wildy, Simmonds and Hill Publishing. ISBN 978-1-898029-81-6.
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