LexisNexis has acquired Caselex, a provider of merger control intelligence. The move follows other recent deals by the legal tech giant, including the purchase of CLM company Parley Pro and transaction management platform Closd.
The deal comes at a time of what appears to be increasing M&A activity in the legal tech market, with other acquisitive players such as Litera once again stepping up their deal flow.
The steadily expanding LexisNexis said that the move is part of an ‘ongoing commitment to provide one place where lawyers can get the legal intelligence they need to advise their clients’ and that with Caselex, LexisNexis can now offer ‘competition lawyers a truly integrated and differentiated suite of offerings’.
Caselex has about 37 staff, is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and was founded in 2015. LexisNexis stated that it has built ‘one of the largest market definition databases of its kind, with 52,000 market definitions from 17,000 merger control decisions – collated and translated from 55 Competition Authorities across Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Oceania’.
As well as providing this via their platform ‘the Caselex team meticulously check the content for accuracy and consistency, adding insight, analysis and links between content that aids interpretation by competition lawyers’.
All well and good, but what is a market definition and why does it matter?
This is how they explain things: ‘Market definition often plays a vital role in the application of competition law. A transaction cannot be said to effect competition until the relevant market has been defined. As such, market definitions established in previous cases by regulators around the world provide competition lawyers with invaluable guidance for their approach going forward.
‘Recent analysis from LexisNexis revealed that 88% of Competition Lawyers surveyed said they wouldn’t be able to complete their job effectively without consulting market definitions, with 79% consulting them at least once a month. Without access to tools like Caselex, this is a highly time-consuming and manual task.’
The new capability will add to its Law360 offering of legal and regulatory news and will expand upon its LexisNexis Practical Guidance group, which provides notes on competition and regulatory law.
Although Caselex is based in Europe, LexisNexis said that it will support its expansion into law firms across the UK and globally.
Overall, what this suggests is that – although the numbers are small at present – there appears to be an uptick in legal tech M&A. As noted before, this may be because current conditions are good for buyers with plenty of cash, while the funding situation and impending recession is perhaps making some smaller companies consider their strategic path ahead.
Morever, it’s evidence that consolidation in legal tech is not about to end anytime soon, even if it takes a pause every now and then.
It’s also proof that LexisNexis is very serious about building out its offering in multiple directions: as seen now with CLM, deal management, and now a platform to help with – ironically – M&A.