Lexis/Nexis legal, news and business information online service.

Owned by: Mead Data Central and distributed in the UK by Butterworths. Reed-Elsevier, owner of the Butterworth Group, has agreed to acquire Lexis/Nexis for $1.5 billion. The deal is scheduled for completion by the end of 1994.

Costs for subscribers: Monthly subscription: u50 per month and connect time charge, ranging from u2.11 to u3.25 per minute depending on volume usage.

Fixed price packages are available.

Content: Lexis is a full text database comprising primary source materials, including English reported and unreported cases, legislation in amended form as well as a vast collection of US, Commonwealth and European legal materials.

Nexis is a news and business information database which has over 2,300 continuously updated, full-text sources. There are also over 2,000 abstract sources available.

Facilities: The database is situated in Dayton, Ohio, and users are connected via international communication links. Access is normally via a PC or a suitable computer terminal, using a modem.


In the English cases file alone (on Lexis), there are 88,000 cases covering over 40 sets of law reports going back to 1945 and unreported cases from 1980 – all in full text. No other English online database offers this wide a selection, as well as cases from Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and European communities.

English statutes and statutory instruments are available in amended form and in full text.

Any legislation currently in force is on Lexis – even the Magna Carta. Repealed legislation is not included. Lawyers can improve the quality of their research by having access to and researching US, Canadian, Australian and French legal materials in full text, as well as other European countries, including some Eastern European material. The wide selection includes US federal and state case law, US public laws and pending US legislation, federal and state codes, international treaties and legal journals.

Nexis offers a large collection of leading international newspapers, wire services and magazines as well as financial statements on public and private companies worldwide.

UK newspapers include the major quality papers (The Times/The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph/The Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mail/The Mail on Sunday, The Observer, The Glasgow Herald and The Scotsman). Users also have access to Reuters' Textline service.

Uniqueness: In the UK, there is no other similar online service which offers combined legal, news and business information in full-text from such a variety of countries. It is a one-stop shop.

Statistics: As of 1 June, 1994, there are more than 3,900 databases or files to search. There are over 650,000 active users worldwide. The database contains more than 322 million documents with over 2.5 million documents added to it each week.

Will using it save resources?

Yes. The facility to search combined files covering such a breadth of information and the ability to modify and focus on relevant search terms saves an enormous amount of time. Users no longer have to search indexes. Using the power of the computer, they can be more thorough and more up-to-date than before and hence improve the quality of their research for their clients.

Barbara Hill is Lexis marketing manager at Butterworths.