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Thomson Reuters' Brain

Publication Date: 
November 12, 2009
Twin Cities Business Magazine
Dave Beal

Director of the Law Library and Lecturer in Law, Paul Lomio, is quoted in this article on West Publishing Company, now Thompson Reuters Legal:

There may be no more concise way to sum up the changed nature or ambitions of the former West Publishing Company than what Roger Martin says: "We are sort of the next generation of Google--without the garbage--for professionals."

West was the publisher of legal reference and college textbooks that had been around the Twin Cities since 1872, when John and Horatio West began selling legal compendiums and office supplies to lawyers in St. Paul. It got acquired by Thomson Corporation, a Toronto-based publisher and data-services business, in 1996. Then Thomson acquired Reuters Group, PLC, the London-based news and financial reporting company, in 2008. The two became Thomson Reuters Legal.

Martin is a Thomson Reuters director and dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He's been a champion of Thomson's West and Reuters acquisitions, which both drew criticism that Thomson was overpaying.


"We were surprised by the preference for West," says Paul Lomio, director at the Stanford law library (who's been an advisor to Westlaw). "People believe in them more because they've been around so long." Many preferred Westlaw's system of head notes, summaries, and citations, carried over from West's old hard-copy law books.