Legal Tech & Research News: vLex and Fastcase Merge to form vLex Group


If you haven’t yet heard the big news about vLex and Fastcaseboth of which are available to Jenkins members remotely* – the two legal tech companies are merging to form the vLex Group. Announced earlier this month, the merger purports to create both the “the world’s largest law firm subscriber base” as well as the “biggest legal data corpus ever assembled” with over “one billion legal documents from more than 100 countries,” according to a vLex press release

About Fastcase
Jenkins members who use Fastcase for their legal research needs will be familiar with its comprehensive coverage of state and federal primary law (including case law from all 50 states) as well as secondary materials like treatises and law journals and reviews (the latter is in partnership with HeinOnline). Fastcase’s Pennsylvania materials also include various PA county court rules, PA State Ethics and PA Attorney General Opinions, and Pennsylvania Suggested Standard Jury Instructions. The American Association of Law Libraries has twice named Fastcase the New Product of the Year.

About vLex
Since introducing vLex to our roster of databases in 2022, Jenkins members have been pleased to access international law from countries all over the world. vLex also offers select books and journals from publishers like Emerald, Wiley, Sage, and most notably, the American Bar Association. Just last month, the ABA added 60 titles from its Antitrust Law Section to the vLex platform

In 2022, vLex was recognized as the Overall Legal Research Solution Provider of the Year for its AI tools in the LegalTech Breakthrough Awards Program. In fact, vLex just expanded its AI-powered case analysis capabilities. The recent update allows its legal research assistant, Vincent AI, to “extract and present the key legal issue from judgments, and generate headnotes” for over 50 million court cases, using large-scale language models.

About the Merger
vLex founder Lluís Faus will serve as CEO of vLex Group, while Fastcase co-founders Ed Walters and Phil Rosenthal will remain involved as executives and as board members, according to lawyer and journalist Bob Ambrogi

vLex Group’s products will continue to be known as vLex primarily in global markets and as Fastcase in the U.S.  Furthermore, Ambrogi reports that the merger “will have no impact on any of the products’ subscription models”.

vLex Group’s Vision: Access and AI
Together, vLex Group aims to make the law more accessible, disrupt the legal tech industry, and drive innovation in legal research through Artificial Intelligence.  

In the press release, Faus stated that “[b]ringing these two highly successful businesses together will help democratize the law for legal professionals worldwide through a dynamic and robust platform that improves legal research accuracy, efficiency, and affordability.”

Similarly, in an interview with Ambrogi, Walters stated that Fastcase’s “mission to democratize the law is no longer constrained by the geographic boundaries of the U.S.” Calling the merger the “most consequential… in the history of legal technology,” Walters declared that “[t]his is the beginning of the end of the duopoly in legal research.”

The merger also highlights the legal industry’s growing emphasis on Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

"AI is absolutely a motivator for the combination," said Walters, as reported by Reuters. Walters further explained that the vast, newly combined collection of global legal documents will serve as the “crown jewel of [Large Language Models] and the ultimate training data set for legal AI”.  

Backed by investments from Oakley Capital and Bain Capital Credit, the companies also plan to “fast-track the vLex Group’s legal AI lab, ‘which develops AI tools that streamline research, tracking, writing and filing documents for the legal industry’” according to the ABA Journal.

It will be interesting to track the developments resulting from the merger. In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions about using vLex or Fastcase

*Fastcase is available to sole practitioners and attorneys in firms with less than 50 attorneys. Member firms with 50 or more attorneys have access to Treatises On Fastcase.

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