TR’s Westlaw Edge Adds New US Regulatory Comparison Tool

Global legal tech company, Thomson Reuters (TR), has boosted its Westlaw Edge legal research platform with the addition of a new US regulation comparison facility ‘that allows legal researchers to quickly understand how a federal regulation has changed over time’.

The company said that Regulations Compare can contrast ‘any two versions [of a regulation] going back to 2005’.

It’s also added the Delaware Court of Chancery state court to its integrated Litigation Analytics, though it may well be the new Regulations Compare facility that has the greater market impact as there are now several legal tech companies developing applications related to regulatory change updates. We have also seen Big Four firms such as Deloitte develop regulatory change comparison tools with their own internal teams.

But, why is this of any use? TR has a simple and clear answer: it saves a significant amount of time and removes manual labour, with additions to a regulation indicated by digital highlighting, while deletions are indicated by red strikethrough.

The additions follow the launch of the Edge platform this summer, which has sought to tap machine learning techniques to deliver a legal research capability that can compete with challengers, both small and large, in the fast-moving legal research market. (See write up of the July 2018 launch of Edge, here.)

Mike Dahn, senior vice president of Westlaw Product Management, added that the regulatory addition will likely be seen as valuable given that ‘there are tens of thousands of changes made to federal regulations every year, and corporations carry enormous burdens just to stay up to date on regulatory changes affecting their business and market’.

It looks likely that compliance teams in banks and corporates will also be rather keen on this type of application, if they have not already developed something inhouse to handle it, or found another supplier of a similar capability.