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Business of Law

Thomson Reuters buys Aussie Online Legal Documents Company

Posted Jul 1, 2011 3:15 PM CDT
By Rachel M. Zahorsky

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Although it shed the legal consultancy Hildebrandt Baker Robbins, Thomson Reuters acquired the Australian online legal document company Cleardocs this week—a move that may signify the information giant’s confidence in the growing market for cost-effective commoditized legal goods.

Cleardocs will be aligned with Thomson Reuters' tax and accounting business in Australia, according to a press release.

"The motivating force behind the foundation and growth of Cleardocs is the desire to improve the clarity of legal documents everywhere and to help move plain language further into the mainstream—and to do all that profitably," Cleardocs founder and former managing partner, Christopher Balmford, wrote at the Cleardocs blog. "Thomson Reuters has the content, customers, and expertise to do that in more places and for more documents—while further meeting its customers’ needs by delivering on its strategy of making its content more active.”

Cleardocs, a plain-language advocate, allows users to quickly create legal documents online using master documents and question interfaces written and signed off by the 200-lawyer Melbourne and Sydney law firm, Maddocks, which also provides a free legal helpline to customers.

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