Decision details

Online legal resources

Decision Maker: Head of Governance

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


This contract is for the provision of online legal resources for the Council’s Legal Services team. This is an essential tool to allow the team to access up to date statutory and case law as well as helpful practice notes and precedent documents which aid in the preparation of legal documents and in legal procedures.

Reasons for the decision:

There are only two recognised providers across the legal profession of online legal resources at present and the Council is opting for the lowest quote of those available. The providers on the market are Thomson Reuters with their product Westlaw and Practical Law and the other being RELX with its product Lexis+. The Council sought quotes from both providers and commenced a free trial with Thomson Reuters. The quote for the equivalent Westlaw product including everything we would need was a minimum of £31,863 over three years whereas for Lexis+ it is £26,872. In addition the Lexis+ product allows us to include non-lawyers as users without extra cost meaning other officers in teams such as elections, environmental health and the chief executive himself can have access to consider up to date law themselves without needing to ask our team saving time. This includes procurement/freedom of information officers and trainee lawyers in our own team as well. For the Westlaw product every user must have a licence, lawyer or non-lawyer, and the price increases per user (the price above is solely for lawyers to have access). On using the free trial from Thomson Reuters the team did not consider that the product justified the extra cost. Finally, as a member of a consortium of public sector lawyers called EMLS, the Council benefits from a discount of 15% for Lexis+ over three years resulting in the above fee.

Publication date: 26/09/2023

Date of decision: 04/09/2023

Accompanying Documents: