Mergers & Acquisitions

2 competing legal research companies announce merger

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Fastcase and Casemaker, two competing legal research companies that have previously faced off in litigation, announced Tuesday that they have merged.

The companies have also competed over the years to be selected as member benefits offered by bar associations across the country, and they said in a press release teaming up will allow them to offer bar associations “a more complete alternative for legal research.”

“The real promise of this is offering the best of both services to every bar association in the country,” says Ed Walters, CEO and co-founder of Fastcase. “That’s very exciting.”

The companies reported that more than 1 million lawyers combined subscribe to their services and said users’ subscriptions will continue uninterrupted. Walters says users of both platforms, which will keep operating for now under their existing names, will gain immediate access to legal libraries not previously offered in the competing product.

Walters also says the new combined company will spend the next six months doing a “systematic comparison of the best of both products” to determine how to most effectively serve users moving forward.

“That might look like a new Fastcase product; it might look like keeping both Fastcase and Casemaker; it might involve designing an entirely new system,” Walters says.

As part of the merger that became effective Jan. 1, the parent company’s corporate name is Fastcase, according to Walters. He will be the parent company’s CEO, and fellow co-founder Phil Rosenthal will remain Fastcase’s president. Satish Sheth, Casemaker’s owner, will join Fastcase’s board of directors.

The merger comes on the heels of multiple acquisitions that Fastcase has made in recent years, including buying complementary products Docket Alarm, NextChapter and Law Street Media. These products will benefit Casemaker subscribers, according to the press release about the merger.

Meanwhile, Fastcase subscribers will benefit from Casemaker’s “historic nationwide caselaw, a caselaw citator in CaseCheck+, and a leading digest for its state bar associations,” according to the press release.

“The combination of our two programs is long overdue, and now the fun really begins,” Sheth said in the press release. “The first thing we’re going to do is what we always do: We’re going to put our customers first.”

The prior litigation between the legal research companies stemmed from Casemaker’s claims of control over Georgia’s administrative regulations. In December 2019, the companies settled their legal battle but did not publicly reveal the details of the settlement, according to the LawSites blog.

“We settled the litigation in order to begin this combination,” Walters says. “I think we both realized we have a very shared mission.”

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